Pattie Boyd is an English model, photographer, and former wife of two iconic rock musicians, George Harrison and Eric Clapton. She was born on March 17, 1944, in Somerset, England. Boyd’s modeling career took off in the 1960s when she was discovered by a fashion photographer. Her stunning looks and charm quickly made her a sought-after figure in the fashion industry.
Boyd’s life changed when she met George Harrison, a member of the Beatles, on the set of their film A Hard Day’s Night in 1964. They married in 1966, and Boyd became a significant influence on Harrison’s music.
Their relationship began during a period of tremendous success for the Beatles, as they were at the height of their fame and cultural impact. Boyd’s presence in Harrison’s life coincided with a significant shift in the Beatles’ music, marked by their exploration of Indian spirituality and the incorporation of Eastern influences. Boyd herself played a role in Harrison’s interest in Eastern philosophy, introducing him to the teachings of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and accompanying him on a transformative trip to India.
As a muse to Harrison, Boyd inspired some of his most beloved songs. The iconic “Something” from the album Abbey Road is widely regarded as a tribute to her, with its poignant lyrics expressing a deep and enduring love. Harrison’s composition “I Need You,” featured on Help!, is another example of a song influenced by their relationship.
Despite their apparent connection, Boyd and Harrison faced their share of challenges. The pressures of fame, constant media attention, and the demanding nature of the music industry strained their marriage. Harrison’s infidelities and increasing devotion to spirituality contributed to the strain. Ultimately, after eleven years of marriage, Boyd and Harrison divorced in 1977.
After her divorce from Harrison, Boyd entered into a relationship with another legendary musician, Harrison’s close friend Eric Clapton. Their relationship inspired the Derek & The Dominoes hit “Layla,” which was a heartfelt plea for Boyd’s love. The two eventually married in 1979 but divorced in 1989. Despite the end of their romantic relationships, Boyd remained on good terms with both Harrison and Clapton.
In addition to her connections with famous musicians, Boyd developed her own passions and talents. She pursued a career in photography, capturing candid moments and portraits of renowned musicians and celebrities. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and published in books.
Boyd’s life and relationships have been the subject of fascination and intrigue, as she played a significant role in the lives and creative output of two influential musicians. Her impact on popular culture and the music industry, as both a muse and a talented artist in her own right, has secured her a place in rock music history.
Read Pattie’s autobiography Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me and her photo memoir Pattie Boyd: My Life in Pictures for her story in her own words.