May 28, 2008

Me & "Layla"



I finally got the chance to meet Pattie Boyd this year at the 2008 Beatlefest. She was signing copies of her autobiography, which I of course I got personalized to myself.

I was thrilled to meet a woman who inspired some of the best musicians to write some oft he best & most beautiful songs ever written. Being a huge Beatlefan I always had a thing for Pattie who was by far the best looking Beatle wife.

It was a long line for the best guest the Fest ever had. She was extremely beautiful for her age and was very pleasant and charming. It was a thrill to put my arm around her and take a picture with her. She spoke in the ball room and although there really wasn't any new stories we didn't know, it was awesome to hear her tell her own stories. Here is a bio of her incredible life and some pics.

Patricia Anne "Pattie" Boyd (was born 17 March 1944 in Taunton, Somerset England)
Pattie is one of the most famous women in Rock and Roll history.
Pattie is the eldest child of three children. The Boyd's moved to Nairobi, Kenya, from 1948 to 1953. Her parents divorced in 1952 and she moved back to England. Boyd first attended convent boarding schools until 1961, until moving to London in 1962. She first worked at Elizabeth Arden's as a shampoo girl. and a fashion client encouraged her to model.

She started modelling in the early sixties in London, New York, and Paris. She appeared on covers of the UK and Italian editions of Vogue in 1969. After becoming George Harrison's girlfriend, Boyd was wrote a regular column for 16 Magazine.

Boyd who was nineteen in 1964, met Harrison during the filming for A Hard Day's Night. She played a schoolgirl on the train in the film and is seen during the song "I Should Have Known Better". Years later she said that Harrison was the most beautiful man she had ever seen,one of the first things he said to her was "Will you marry me?" She laughed, so Harrison said, "Well, if you won't marry me, will you have dinner with me tonight?" Their first dinner date was spent in the company of The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein.The two fell in love immediately and were married in January 1965. Paul McCartney was the only Beatle in attendance.

She was there through the Help movie, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, and all the Beatles fame and madness.Through her interest in Eastern mysticism she inspired The Beatles to meet the Indian mystic, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, This led to the famous trip to Bangor, in Wales,where most of the Beatles White Album was written.
Pattie was there with George, John and Cynthia Lennon, during their first encounter with L.S.D. She attended the Our World broadcast of "All You Need Is Love", which was shown on 25 June 1967 in the first satellite telecast around the world. She and George were arrested in 1969, at their home for possession of marijuana, after a set up police raid. The officer in charge was later proven guilty of planting drugs in the home of England's rock stars.
Pattie was the inspiration for almost all of Georges love songs with the Beatles and his early solo career. Most famously he wrote "Something' for her. The Beautiful song is considered one of the best love songs of all time. She also influenced "Love You To" "For You Blue" "What is Life" "If Not For You' " and more.


Harrison's increasing spiritual explorations and his many sexual affairs were enough for her to leave George for Eric Clapton in 1974. Pattie said the last straw was Georges affair with Ringo's wife Maureen Starr.

John Lennon & Mick Jagger were said to have fallen for Pattie too but she never pursued any of the opportunities that may have risen. She did have a brief affair with future Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood in 1973 as her marriage to George was ending.

In the late 1960s, Clapton became a close friend of George Harrison, writing and recording music together. Clapton began to fall in love with Pattie. Pattie claims she was loyal to George in those years and when Clapton couldn't have Pattie he fell into Heroine addiction.

Meanwhile, during Clapton's tenure in Derek and the Domino's, their only studio album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, was written for his love for Boyd. It produced "Layla" which became a hit in three different decades, and in two different versions. "Layla" is a song about a Persian tale of unrequited love. As soon as she heard the song she melted and knew it was about her. It is considered one of the best Rock songs of all time.

Pattie was the inspiration of a few other Clapton classics as well. 'Bell Bottom Blues" was written for her after he gave her a pair of blue jeans from a trip to Miami.In 1976 Clapton wrote another classic love song for her, "Wonderful Tonight" was written while waiting for her to get ready to attend Paul and Linda McCartney's annual Buddy Holly party.Pattie said "For years it tore at me. To have inspired Eric, and George before him, to write such music was so flattering. 'Wonderful Tonight' was the most poignant reminder of all that was good in our relationship, and when things went wrong it was torture to hear it".

The image of the perfect rock and roll couple didn't last all that long. After years of his alcoholism, drug addictions and affairs Pattie & Eric's relationship fell apart. Pattie was unable to conceive children. Clapton had an affair in 1984 and his daughter Ruth was born from it. The fact that he was the father was hidden until 1991, at his sons Connor's funeral. Pattie and Eric divorced in 1989 on the grounds of " infidelity & unreasonable behavior".

Family: Pattie's sister Jenny Boyd first dated Donovan and the song 'Jenifer Juniper" is written about her. She then married Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac and had 2 daughters with him.

Photographer & Author: Pattie had an exhibition of her photographs taken during her years with Harrison and Clapton. It ran in San Francisco on Valentine's Day 2005, then six weeks in London in 2006. It made a return to San Francisco and also La Jolla California in 2008.
Her book "Wonderful Tonight" George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me, was published in 2007 with a 2.2 million dollar advance. She currently lives in West Sussex England.