- Pattie Boyd
caption = Pattie Boyd, 1964.
birthname = Patricia Anne Boyd
birthdate = birth date and age|df=yes|1944|3|17
Taunton, Somerset, England
haircolor = Blonde
eyecolor = Blue
yearsactive = 1959 - present
occupation = Model
Patricia Anne "Pattie" Boyd (born 17 March 1944) was the first wife of
George Harrisonof The Beatles, after whom she married Eric Clapton. She was the inspiration of love songs written by both musicians. Harrison purportedly wrote " Something" (though he later denied this in interviews, such as those given to Japanese reporters during his early 90's Japanese tour with Eric Clapton) and " What is Life", while Clapton wrote, " Layla", " Wonderful Tonight," and " Bell Bottom Blues."
Boyd started her modelling career in 1962, but was rejected by many photographers owing to her unconventional looks including rather prominent front teeth; one stated, "models don't look like rabbits"Fact|date=October 2008. She modelled in London, New York and Paris (for
Mary Quantand others), and was photographed by David Baileyand Terence Donovan.
An exhibition of photographs taken by Boyd during her days with Harrison and Clapton opened at the San Francisco Art Exchange on
Valentine's Day2005, titled "Through the Eye of a Muse". The exhibition also ran again in San Francisco in February 2006, and for six weeks between June and July of 2006, in London.
Early years and career
Boyd was born in
Taunton, Somerset, to Colin Ian Langdon Boyd and Diana Frances Drysdale (married 14 September 1942). She was the eldest child, before Colin (1946) Helen Mary (later known as Jenny, 1947, later married to Mick Fleetwood) and Paula (1951). Boyd nicknamed Helen "Jenny", after one of her favourite dolls.cite web |first= |last= |url=http://patriciaannboyd.piczo.com/?g=10822657&cr=4 |title=Biography |publisher=Piczo |accessdate=2008-03-06] The Boyds moved to Nairobi, Kenya, from 1948 to 1953, after her father's discharge from the Royal Air Forcefollowing a severe injury as a pilot during WWII. Diana and Colin divorced in 1952, and Diana returned to England with her four children following her remarriage to Robert Gaymer-Jones in February 1953 in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). They had two sons named David J.B. (1954) and Robert, Jr. (1955), Pattie's half-brothers. Boyd attended convent boarding schools until 1961, and moved to London in 1962, first working at Elizabeth Arden's as a shampoo girl. A client who worked for a fashion magazine asked her if she had thought of a modelling as a career.cite web |first=Geoffrey |last=Giuliano |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=Z3LucGjG_7AC&pg=RA1-PA240&dq=pattie+boyd&ie=ISO-8859-1&sig=jagEoUVOb41KW18YdRe3w3sfuhY |title=Dark Horse - The Life and Art of George Harrison |publisher= Da Capo Press|accessdate=2008-03-06] cite web |first= |last= |url=http://members.fortunecity.com/pattiboyd/bio.html |title=A Pattie Boyd Biography |publisher=Fortune City |accessdate=2008-03-06]
Boyd started her modelling career in 1962, but was rejected by many photgraphers, as one said, "models don't look like rabbits". Boyd modelled in London, New York, and in Paris (for Mary Quant), and Boyd was photographed by David Bailey and Terence Donovan.cite web |first= |last= |url=http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Lounge/3117/pattie.html |title=Pattie Boyd, Quant and Bailey |publisher=Geocities |date=2000|accessdate=2008-03-31] She appeared on covers of the UK and Italian editions of "Vogue" in 1969.cite web |first=Anthony |last=Mason |url=http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/08/23/sunday/main3198902.shtml |title=A Rock Muse Remembers |publisher=
CBS News|date= 2007-08-26|accessdate=2008-03-31] After becoming George Harrison's girlfriend, Boyd was asked by Gloria Staversto write a regular column for " 16 Magazine".cite web |first=Tony |last=Barrow |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=BNnzcGw8JQsC&pg=PA244&dq=pattie+boyd&ie=ISO-8859-1&sig=uwFgg8_j9cGkb89ttfkkzbpBLC8#PPA243,M1 |title=John, Paul, George, Ringo and Me - The Real Beatles Story |publisher=Thunder’s Mouth Press |accessdate=2008-03-08] Twiggy, the popular 1960s model, commented that she based her own look on Boyd when starting her modelling career in 1966. Spitz 2005 p499]
Boyd who was nineteen in 1964, met Harrison during the filming for "A Hard Day's Night", after being cast as a schoolgirl fan for the film.cite web |first=Bosley |last=Crowther|url=http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/21522/A-Hard-Day-s-Night/overview |title=A Hard Day's Night (1964)|publisher=
New York Times|date= 2007-02-19|accessdate=2008-02-27] Boyd was "semi-engaged", to boyfriend Eric Swayne whom she'd dated for about a year, and out of loyalty declined George Harrison's first invitation for a date, but said that Harrison was the most beautiful man she had ever seen. One of the first things Harrison said to her was "Will you marry me?" Boyd laughed, so Harrison said, "Well, if you won't marry me, will you have dinner with me tonight?" Several days later when Pattie was recalled for another day's work on the film, George asked her out again and she accepted, having ended the relationship with Swayne. Their first date was spent at the Garrick Club(a private gentlemen's club) in Covent Garden, in the company of The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein.cite web |first=Elizabeth |last=Vargas |url=http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/SummerConcert/story?id=3546199&page=1 |title=The Real 'Layla' Talks About George Harrison and Eric Clapton |publisher= ABC News|date= 2007-08-31|accessdate=2008-03-06]
Boyd was present, along with Harrison, John and
Cynthia Lennon, during their first encounter with LSDin early 1965. Spitz 2005 p565] A dentist, John Riley, the son of a London Police officer, laced their coffee with the drug.cite web |first=Ian |last=Herbert |url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20060909/ai_n16780362 |title=Revealed: Dentist who introduced Beatles to LSD |publisher= The Independent|date= 2006-09-09|accessdate=2008-03-10] The effect differed among all of them, with Lennon and Harrison feeling ecstatic in the beginning, but Boyd and Cynthia feeling confused and scared. In an agitated state, Boyd threatened to break a store window until Harrison dragged her away. Spitz 2005 pp565-566]
Harrison and Boyd were driving through London, in December 1965, when he proposed marriage to Boyd, but said he would have to talk to Epstein first; this was to make sure no Beatles' tours had been planned.cite web |first=Pattie |last=Boyd |url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=473175&in_page_id=1773 |title=George had to ask Brian Epstein for permission to marry me |publisher=
Daily Mail|date= 2007-08-05|accessdate=2008-03-06] Boyd married Harrison on 21 January 1966, in a ceremony in Epsom, Surrey, with Paul McCartney(Best Man) and Epstein in attendance. John Lennonand Ringo Starrhad gone on holiday abroad with their wives distracting journalists from finding out about the wedding.cite web |first=Pattie |last=Boyd |url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=473174&in_page_id=1879 |title=Pattie Boyd: 'My hellish love triangle with George and Eric' - Part One |publisher= Daily Mail|date= 2007-08-06|accessdate=2008-03-08] Pattie started living with George at Kinfauns in 1965.cite web |first=John |last=Howard |url=http://www.angelfire.com/music3/sentstarr/motion.html |title=The inside story of George Harrison's marriage to Patti (sic) Boyd, as told us by his mother and mother-in-law |publisher=Motion Picture Magazine |date=1966|accessdate=2008-03-06] Boyd and Harrison later went on holiday with Epstein, staying at the Hotel Cap Estrelle near Eze, in the south of France.
While Lennon was in Spain filming "
How I Won the War" in September 1966, Pattie and George flew to Bombay(now called Mumbai) as guests of sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, and returned to London on 23 October 1966. Spitz 2005 pp644-655] Through her interest in Eastern mysticism, and her membership in his Spiritual Regeneration Movement, she inspired The Beatles to meet the Indian mystic, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in London on 24 August 1967, which resulted in a visit to Bangor, in Wales, to join him again in the following day. Spitz 2005. pp710-711] cite web |first=Steve |last=Meacham |url=http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/07/03/1183351210250.html |title=Beatle’s muse comes clean |publisher= The Sydney Morning Herald|date= 2007-07-04|accessdate=2008-03-08] cite web |first=Todd |last=Lepold |url=http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Music/02/03/pattie.boyd/ |title=Harrison, Clapton and their muse |publisher= CNN|date= 2005-02-03|accessdate=2008-03-08] Boyd attended the " Our World" broadcast of " All You Need Is Love", which was shown on 25 June 1967. [cite news
last = Harrington
first = Richard
title = His Musical Notes Have Become TV Landmarks
pages = Y06
url = http://player.interactual.com/news/McCartney.htm
accessdate = 2007-06-04]
Boyd was also arrested on 12 March 1969, along with Harrison, for possession of
marijuana, after a police raid.cite web |first=Michael |last=Schumacher |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=rrFJmTceXX4C&pg=PA145&ots=KU2rhsXo8U&dq=pattie+boyd&sig=hqOuWs43W_YSeeU_Px-jY9Emuj8#PPA146,M1 |title=Crossroads: The Life and Music of Eric Clapton|publisher=
Mick Jagger, were also said to have had crushes on Pattie, with Jagger admitting to model Bebe Buellin the 1980s (who had had a relationship with Jagger) that he had failed to seduce Boyd after trying for years.cite web |first=Buell, Bebe |last=Bockris, Victor |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=x3ldMZrwQrQC&pg=PA117&dq=pattie+boyd&ie=ISO-8859-1&sig=ecEjx5WD4lTAuzPutYq7Vu2nVUE#PPA117,M1 |title=Rebel Heart: An American Rock 'n' Roll Journey|publisher=St. Martin’s press |accessdate=2008-03-08] Boyd had a brief affair with future Rolling Stone, Ronnie Wood, in 1973, as her marriage to Harrison was ending.cite web |first=Ronnie |last=Wood |url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=484697&in_page_id=1773 |title=The night I told George Harrison I was sleeping with his wife |publisher= Daily Mail|date= 2007-09-29|accessdate=2008-03-06] According to Boyd, Harrison backed out of a planned holiday with her (claiming to be ill) and then invited Krissie Wood (Wood's wife) on a holiday to Spainto see Salvador Dali, although Harrison later denied that he and Krissie Wood had had an affair. According to Boyd's account, while Harrison was in Spain with Krissie Wood, she [Boyd] traveled to the Bahamaswith her sister Paula, and was joined by Ron Wood. Boyd and Wood were spotted by the press upon their return to London, on 25 November 1973, which was reported in the press. Boyd states that after Harrison's increasing religious explorations and continuing infidelities irrevocably alienated her, and she left him in June 1974 and flew to Los Angeles to stay with her sister Jenny. Beatles' assistant, Peter Brown, confirmed Boyd's account stating, "George [Harrison] was the worst runaround of the bunch [The Beatles] . He had lots of girlfriends - lots. Spitz 2005 p549] What Boyd calls " the last straw" was Harrison's affair with Starr's wife, Maureen Starkey. Boyd says that she informed Starr of their spouses' affair. According to Boyd, in 1974, Harrison told Starr that he was in love with Maureen.
In the late 1960s, Clapton became a close friend of Harrison, writing and recording music together. It was reported at this time that Clapton fell in love with Boyd. Clapton also fell in love with Boyd's 17-year-old sister, Paula, who moved in with him. Paula left Clapton when she heard "Layla", because the song confirmed that Clapton had been using her as a substitute for her sister. Boyd claims that when she rebuffed Clapton's advances in late 1970, he descended into an
addictionto heroinand self-imposed exile with Alice Ormsby-Gorefor three years. Meanwhile, during Clapton's tenure in Derek and the Dominos, their only studio album, " Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs", was written to state his love for Boyd. It produced "Layla" which became a hit in three different decades, and in two different versions.The outward image of the perfect couple masked struggles within their marriage, which began in 1979. Although Boyd drank, and admits to past drug use, unlike Clapton she never became an alcoholic or a drug addict. [Wonderful Tonight, Epilogue; See also, Daily Telegraph, 12 August 1999; "Like many others in her circle, Boyd sampled the booze, dope and cocaine but, unlike Clapton, she knew when to stop."] Boyd states that she left Clapton at one point due to his refusal to seek treatment for his alcoholism, and she began seeing a photographer, Will Christie. In 1984, Clapton began a year-long relationship with Yvonne Kelly; they had a daughter, Ruth, born in January 1985.cite web |first=Marcus |last=Errico |url=http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/15392917 |title=No Kidding: Clapton a Dad at 59 |publisher= Yahoo|date= 2005-03-02|accessdate=2008-03-07] Clapton and Kelly did not make any public announcement about the birth of their daughter, and Ruth was not revealed as his child until 1991, at the funeral of his son Conor.cite web |first=Stuart |last=Husband |url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/you/article.html?in_article_id=463772&in_page_id=1908 |title=The truth about Eric Clapton's Secret Daughter |publisher=YOU magazine |date= 2007-06-23|accessdate=2008-03-08] Boyd says that she did not know of the existence of Ruth until 1991: "What cut deepest was that Eric had known about the child all along. While declaring undying love to me and pleading with me to go back to him, he had been paying Yvonne maintenance for the past six years." Boyd states that she divorced Clapton after years of alcoholism as well as numerous affairs on his part, which began before their marriage. Clapton and Boyd divorced in 1989, following his affair with Italian model Lori Del Santo, who had given birth to a son, Conor, in August 1986.cite web |first=Judith |last=Woods |url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent.jhtml?html=/archive/1999/03/17/tlboyd17.html |title=It's amazing we're still alive |publisher= Daily Telegraph|date= 1999-03-17|accessdate=2008-03-08] Boyd herself has never been able to conceive children, despite attempts at in vitro fertilization. Boyd and Clapton's divorce was granted on the grounds of "infidelity and unreasonable behaviour."
Boyd claims that she was the inspiration for one of Harrison's Beatles songs, "
Something," which Frank Sinatrasaid was, at the time, the best love song written in fifty years.cite web |first= |last= |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/soldonsong/songlibrary/something.shtml |title=Something - The Beatles |publisher= BBC|accessdate=2008-03-07] Boyd stated that Harrison told her "Something" was written for her, but after they parted Harrison said he was thinking about a song for Ray Charles. Boyd also stated she was the inspiration for "Bell Bottom Blues," which Clapton reportedly wrote after he gave her a pair of blue jeans. In her autobiography, Boyd wrote that Clapton gave her a pair of jeans after returning from a trip to Miami.cite web |first=Pattie |last=Boyd |url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=473206&in_page_id=1879 |title=Pattie Boyd: 'My hellish love triangle with George and Eric' - Part Two |publisher= Daily Mail|date= 2007-08-04|accessdate=2008-03-08] It appeared on the same album as "Layla," which took its name from a Persian tale of unrequited love that Clapton had received from a friend.
On 7 September 1976, Clapton wrote the famous love song "
Wonderful Tonight" for Boyd while waiting for her to get ready to attend Paul and Linda McCartney's annual Buddy Hollyparty. Of "Wonderful Tonight," Boyd would say: "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."cite web |first=Pattie |last=Boyd |url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=474705&in_page_id=1773 |title=I'd pray Eric would pass out and not touch me' - Part 2 of Pattie Boyd's sensational autobiography |publisher= Daily Mail|date= 2007-08-11|accessdate=2008-03-08]
Photography and autobiography
An exhibition of photographs taken by Boyd during her days with Harrison and Clapton opened at the San Francisco Art Exchange on Valentine's Day 2005, titled, "Through the Eye of a Muse". The exhibition also ran again in San Francisco in February 2006, and for six weeks in June and July of 2006, in London. It was also on display for a few weeks at the Morrison Hotel gallery in La Jolla, California, in 2008. "Wonderful Today: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me", was published in England on 23 August 2007, by Hodder Headline Review and in the U.S. (as "Wonderful Tonight") on 28 August 2007, by Harmony Books, includes her own photographs and was written with a £950,000 ($2.2 million) advance.cite web |first=Boyd, Pattie |last=Junor, Penny |url=http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wonderful-Today-Autobiography-Pattie-Boyd/dp/0755316428/ref=pd_bbs_1/203-4788718-1913565?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1188629138&sr=8-1 |title=Wonderful Today: The Autobiography of Pattie Boyd |publisher=Headline Review |accessdate=2008-03-08] It was co-written with journalist Penny Junor. The 64-year-old Boyd lives in a 17th-century cottage in West Sussex and is said to be enjoying the prospect of her account going head-to-head with Clapton's autobiography. In the United States, Boyd's book debuted at the top of the
New York Times Best Seller list. [cite web|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/23/books/bestseller/0923besthardnonfiction.html?_r=1&oref=slogin|title=New York Times Best Seller list for 9/23/07|accessdate=2007-09-18|publisher=New York Times]
Boyd will exhibit photographs taken during her days with Harrison and Clapton, from "Through the Eye of a Muse", at Gallery Number One, 1 Castle Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. The exhibition will open 21 August to 5 September 2008, and Boyd will be present at the exhibition launch.cite web |first= |last= |url=http://www.gallerynumberone.com/ |title=Rock Legend Muse Pattie Boyd to Exhibit at Gallery Number One - Fans to meet Pattie in person at the Exhibition Launch |publisher=Gallery Number One |date=accessdate=2008-08-15]
*Lennon, Cynthia| title=John| publisher=Crown Publishers| year=2005 | id=ISBN 0-307-33855-X
*Miles, Barry] | title=
Many Years From Now| publisher=Vintage- Random House| year=1997 | id=ISBN 0-7493-8658-4
* [http://www.pattieboyd.co.uk/ Official website]
* [http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/somethingaboutPattieBoyd/ Something About Pattie Boyd Yahoo! Group]
* [http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/pattieboydssixtiesstyle/ Pattie Boyd's Sixties Style Yahoo! Group]
* [http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/ForeverPattieBoyd/ Forever Pattie Boyd Yahoo! Group]
* [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/main.jhtml?xml=/fashion/2005/11/14/efboyd14.xml Hilary Alexander, "Patti (sic) Boyd, back in style," The Telegraph, 14 November 2005]
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