I keep thinking about this picture and the remarkable story of George Harrison, Pattie Boyd and Eric Clapton’s love triangle that took place in the sixties and seventies. Married to George Harrison of the Beatles for ten years, Pattie ended up leaving Harrison and marrying his good friend Eric Clapton. Through her love affairs with the musicians she inspired three of the best songs of all time. George Harrison wrote “Something” for her and Clapton wrote “Layla” and ” Wonderful Tonight”. Not too long ago, Boyd released a book telling her amazing story. The above picture of Boyd and Harrison is one of my all time favorites.
From Pattie’s Book Wonderful Today:
“We met secretly at a flat in South Kensington. Eric Clapton had asked me to come because he wanted me to listen to a new number he had written.
He switched on the tape machine, turned up the volume and played me the most powerful, moving song I had ever heard. It was Layla, about a man who falls hopelessly in love with a woman who loves him but is unavailable.
He played it to me two or three times, all the while watching my face intently for my reaction. My first thought was: ‘Oh God, everyone’s going to know this is about me.
I was married to Eric’s close friend, George Harrison, but Eric had been making his desire for me clear for months. I felt uncomfortable that he was pushing me in a direction in which I wasn’t certain I wanted to go.
But with the realisation that I had inspired such passion and creativity, the song got the better of me. I could resist no longer.
That evening I was going to the theatre to see Oh! Calcutta! with a friend and then on to a party at the home of pop impresario Robert Stigwood. George didn’t want to go to the show or the party.
After the interval at Oh!Calcutta! I came back to find Eric in the next seat, having persuaded a stranger to swap places with him. Afterwards we went to Robert’s house separately but we were soon together. It was a great party and I felt elated by what had happened earlier in the day but also deeply guilty.
During the early hours, George appeared. He was morose and his mood was not improved by walking into a party that had been going on for several hours and where most of the guests were high on drugs.
He kept asking ‘Where’s Pattie?’ but no one seemed to know. He was about to leave when he spotted me in the garden with Eric. It was just getting light, and very misty. George came over and demanded: ‘What’s going on?’ To my horror, Eric said: ‘I have to tell you, man, that I’m in love with your wife.’
I wanted to die. George was furious. He turned to me and said: ‘Well, are you going with him or coming with me?”
I made a little mix with Pattie’s songs and some new stuff just for fun. You can listen to it here.
Further Reading – Pattie Boyd in the Daily Mail UK