Getting To Know Pattie Boyd, The Muse Of Two Legendary Musicians

Many girls dream of capturing the heart of a rockstar. One model not only won over a member of the Beatles but also caused the great Eric Clapton to go weak in the knees. Pattie Boyd reached new heights of fame as the adored wife of guitarist George Harrison. During their relationship, she inspired him to write some of the most romantic songs of the Beatles. All the while, Eric Clapton dealt with his helpless love for a taken woman with his music. Read on to see how this love triangle resulted in timeless hits about the same lovely lady.

Pattie Boyd Was Taken When George Harrison Met Her

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Michael Ward/Getty Images
Michael Ward/Getty Images

Pattie Boyd emerged in the sixties as an international model, gracing the pages of major fashion magazines including Vogue and Vanity Fair. Given her industry, it’s suiting that she embarked on a relationship with a photographer, Eric Swayne.

Despite her relationship status, The Beatles guitarist George Harrison couldn’t help but ask her on a date the first time they met. The band was filming A Hard Day’s Night, and Pattie was one of the extras. Though she declined his offer, Pattie would soon reveal that the feelings were mutual.

Pattie Left Her Boyfriend Days After Meeting George

Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Larry Ellis/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A matter of days passed between the time George asked Pattie to dinner and her ending the relationship with her then-boyfriend. It seemed clear that her feelings for George were already beginning to emerge, or at least that he helped her realize that her current relationship wasn’t going to work out.

Either way, George was ecstatic, especially after Pattie accepted his offer to go on a date. He took her out to the Garrick Club, a gentlemen’s club in London that dates all the way back to the 1800s.

Both Their Careers Made It Challenging To Date

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Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The stereotypical difficulties that come along with dating a rockstar proved to be a challenge in Pattie and George’s early days of dating. The year was 1964, and The Beatles were just emerging as one of the biggest rock groups in the world.

Their tours had George completely booked as the band travelled internationally. Fortunately, Pattie was just as busy with her modeling, so she could relate to the feeling of having a demanding career.

George And Pattie Moved In Together

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Fox Photos/Getty Images

George bought a deluxe bungalow in Surrey, England. He chose a place out of the city to get away from fans and experience life away from the rockstar hype every once in a while. The quiet home appealed to Pattie, as well.

The pair had met in March and George purchased the house in July. Though they had only been dating a few months, it didn’t take long for Pattie to move in with him.

They Got Engaged On Christmas

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PA Images via Getty Images
PA Images via Getty Images

The happy couple finally had some time alone together. As they got to know one another better, they grew deeply in love. After less than two years of dating, George proposed marriage and Pattie said yes.

Even more endearing was that they got engaged on Christmas Day in 1965. The famous couple married only weeks later, on January 21, 1966. They didn’t need much time to prepare because the ceremony was small and took place at a nearby register office.

They Influenced One Another Spiritually

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Cummings Archives/Redferns/Getty Images

One of the things that created such a tight bond between the newlyweds was the way they influenced one another’s outlook on life. George stated years later that Pattie helped expand his mind to new ideas.

On the other hand, George influenced Pattie by exposing her to his spiritual beliefs, which led to her interest in Eastern mysticism. The couple spent several weeks in India where they practiced yoga, vegetarianism, and studied instruments. George refined his ability to play the sitar while Pattie took up the dilruba.

George Became Pattie’s Photography Subject

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Express/Archive Photos/Getty Images

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

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Express Newspapers/Getty Images

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

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Tim Boxer/Getty Images

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

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Evening Standard/Getty Images
Evening Standard/Getty Images

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

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John Rodgers/Redferns/Getty Images

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.

Pattie And George’s Relationship Went Downhill

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Cummings Archives/Redferns/Getty Images

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.

Eric Finally Got A Shot With His Dream Girl

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Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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.

George And Eric Became Surprisingly Cordial

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Dave Hogan/Getty Images

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

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WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

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

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Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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

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PA Images via Getty Images

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

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Dave M. Benett/Getty Images
Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

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

Dave M. Benett/Getty Images
Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

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”

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Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

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.”