Three Of The Most Popular Songs Of All Time Were Written About One Woman
Pattie Boyd, a woman with an undeniable allure, captivated the hearts of not one, but three legendary rock stars. The intensity of their love for her inspired a collection of remarkable romantic songs that have stood the test of time. Delve into the story of this epic love triangle and discover how Pattie became the muse behind these timeless hits. Read on to learn more.
Pattie's First Love Affair
Pattie Boyd's journey into the world of love and music began with her relationship with photographer Eric Swayne during her successful modeling career in the 1960s. However, it was on the set of the film A Hard Day's Night where she met George Harrison, a member of the iconic band The Beatles. Although she initially turned him down, their undeniable chemistry would soon bring them together.
A Special Night With George Harrison
After Pattie ended her previous relationship, her connection with George Harrison grew stronger. George asked her out to dinner, and she happily accepted. Their first date took place at the Garrick Club in London, a prestigious gentleman's club with a long history dating back to the 1800s. It was a special evening that marked the beginning of their romantic journey together.
Strain On The Relationship
In 1964, The Beatles were experiencing unprecedented success, which brought unique challenges to George and Pattie's relationship. Both of them had demanding careers that required time and dedication. However, Pattie, being a successful model herself, understood the demands of a busy career. This shared understanding helped them navigate the challenges that come with dating a rockstar, making their relationship more manageable.
Creating A Shared Home
When George and Pattie met in March, they fell quickly for each other. A few months later, George decided to buy a deluxe bungalow in Surrey, England outside of the city so that he could get away from his fans and have some peace and quiet.
Not only did this idea appeal to him but Pattie also thought it was a great plan as she moved right in with him shortly after the purchase was made.
Engagement Over The Holidays
After spending some quality time together and learning more about one another, George and Pattie fell deeply in love. On Christmas Day in 1965, the romantic George proposed marriage to his soulmate Pattie, who said yes with overwhelming joy.
The wedding ceremony was held only a few short weeks later, on January 21st, 1966, at a nearby register office; it didn't require extensive preparations as it was an intimate gathering.
Uncovering a Shared Sense of Faith
George and Pattie's strong bond was made even stronger by their influence on each other's perspectives. George shared that Pattie broadened his views, while he exposed her to spiritual convictions which piqued her interest in Eastern mysticism.
To further explore this newfound knowledge, the couple embarked on a journey to India where they adopted practices such as yoga, vegetarianism, and the playing of instruments like the sitar and dilruba. These activities only increased their admiration for one another as George refined his skills with the sitar while Pattie took up the dilruba.
George Became Pattie's Photography Subject
Though Pattie was known for her modeling, she also had an interest in photography and eventually became a member of the Royal Photographic Society. She began taking photos of her husband, which revealed a more personal look at the rockstar.
These photos were of large interest to fans. The couple was so sought-after that they lived on houseboats on Dal Lake in Kashmir while on vacation just to escape the press and all of the crowds of fans.
George Wrote "Something" About Pattie
George didn't only inspire Pattie in her photography, but she also became George's muse. He wrote multiple Beatles songs about his lovely wife, including "I Need You," "Love You Too," and "For You Blue."
Based on the song titles alone, it's clear that George was deeply in love with Pattie. One of his more revered songs about her, though, was simply called "Something." The 1969 hit cemented George as one of the best songwriters of the time.
The Couple Started To Grow Apart
The new decade marked an end to the seemingly blissful start of George and Pattie's marriage. The two began to differ in their beliefs which lead to clashes that they couldn't avoid. Pattie responded by melding deeper into her modeling career.
Meanwhile, George became more devoted than ever to Indian spirituality. The two were no longer growing together, instead, growing apart. It was only a matter of time before things came to a head.
Eric Clapton Had Loved Pattie For Years
A few years into George and Pattie's marriage, another musician fell hard for the model. Eric Clapton and Pattie had formed a relationship at the end of the '60s and even wrote music together. Like George, Eric couldn't help but fall hard for Pattie.
He dated Pattie's sister, Paula, in an attempt to curb his feelings for the married woman, but it didn't work. The only thing that Eric could do was pour his feelings into his music.
Eric Wrote An Album For Patti
Eric poured all of his feelings for Pattie in the 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. The collection was based on The Story of Layla and Majnun, wherein a seventh-century poet goes mad over his love for an unattainable woman.
The song "Layla" was especially popular and clearly articulated his torment over Pattie. Though the hit has been recognized as a masterpiece, it failed to win over the doe-eyed model. As a result, Eric spent the next few years in a deep depression.
Eric Finally Got A Shot With His Dream Girl
After years of isolation and substance abuse, Eric climbed out of his dark hole to once again pursue a relationship with Pattie. This time, the musician was successful. The same year that the model left George, she began a relationship with Eric.
Over the next five years, Pattie and Eric fell for one another. In 1977, Eric finally had a positive song to write about his beautiful partner: "Wonderful Tonight." The pair wed in 1979, though things proved to be shakier than the public initially thought.
Pattie And George's Relationship Went Downhill
Though Pattie stuck by George's side while Eric professed his love for her, their marriage began to get rocky. The Beatles rocker had multiple affairs, and Pattie even strayed from their relationship with Faces guitarist Ronnie Wood.
Pattie later stated that George's affair with his fellow bandmate Ringo Starr's wife was the final straw. The couple that so many fans had fallen in love with parted ways in 1974, though their divorce wasn't finalized until 1977.
George And Eric Became Surprisingly Cordial
In 1973, George and Eric were still bitter about their love triangle with Pattie, resulting in George's hit "So Sad," and Eric's "Bell Bottom Blues." Over the year, their distain melted away and was replaced by a surprising comraderie.
George even started calling Eric his "husband-in-law." Though he and Pattie's divorce was heartbreaking, they handled it quite well. Pattie's solicitor commented on it stating, "There was no overreacting, no greed or playing with each other's emotions – I wish all divorces were so well handled."
Pattie And Eric Started Having Struggles
Though George was handling Pattie's new marriage well, the same couldn't be said about the model and photographer. Eric continued to struggle with substance abuse and Pattie soon followed suit.
The couple's relationship became volatile and Eric later admitted to being the source of domestic violence in their home. To make things worse, Pattie started reliving the nightmare she experienced in her first marriage in that Eric would not remain faithful. One of his affairs was reportedly with Italian actress Lory Del Santo.
They Were Unsuccessful At Having Children
Another struggle that Pattie started to relive with Eric was having a hard time conceiving a child. When she couldn't have children with George, the pair couldn't see eye-to-eye on adoption.
With Eric, they decided to instead go the route of in vitro fertilization. Unfortunately, the procedures didn't pan out, and served to only build the tension between Eric and Pattie. Though the couple fought to remain together for years, it became increasingly clear that they were falling apart.
Eric And Pattie Divorced After A Decade Of Marriage
Though Pattie's relationship with Eric outlasted her time with George, it still fell apart just as tragically. After 15 years together, including a decade of marriage, the couple divorced in 1989. The split occurred on the grounds of "infidelity and unreasonable behavior."
Though Pattie was a profound inspiration in both musicians' lives, not even she could pull them out of the stereotypical rocker lifestyle. One good thing that came out of the failed marriages was Pattie's memoir, which a literary reviewer claimed, "gives more insight into the weirdness of rock-star life than anything I have ever read."
Pattie Took Her Time With The Third Relationship
After two marriages that didn't work out, Pattie was slower than ever with her third major relationship. This time, she was sure to stay far from the rockstar lifestyle. Instead, she fell for property developer Rod Weston.
The two met in 1994, several years after her divorce from Eric Clapton. Though things were going splendidly, they didn't rush into marriage. This time, Pattie had to be absolutely sure that this man was the person she'd spend the rest of her life with.
The Third One Was The Charm
After more than two decades of dating, Pattie and Rod finally tied the knot in 2015 at a Register Office in London. Rod joked, "It's almost our silver anniversary, so we thought we had better get on with it."
Though their relationship might not be full of all the hype that comes with a rockstar marriage, Pattie and Rod have been happily married ever since. Pattie told The Syndey Morning Herald that she and Rod, "have a nice relationship that's warm and friendly, with no pressure. That is a relief."
Pattie Is Deemed A "Legendary Rock Muse"
Though Pattie's relationships with George Harrison and Eric Clapton weren't always the most pleasant, they lead to Rolling Stone deeming her a "legendary rock muse." The numerous songs written about Pattie still touch the hearts of rock fans today.
Pattie later claimed that Eric "only wanted what George had" and was infatuated with her for that reason. When asked which of the musicians had a more considerable influence on her, Pattie replied, "That is so difficult, but I would say George. He will always stay with me."