The most famous love triangle in rock music perhaps is that of George Harrison,Pattie Boyd and Eric Clapton.It is not a secret and there had been many books written about Eric Clapton taking George Harrison's wife away with each individuals telling their very own side of the story.
First,we go to Pattie Boyd,the beautiful girl these two guitar gods were crazy about.Boyd has actually began modelling since 1962 doing various catwalks and photoshoots in London,New York and Paris.She appeared on the covers of the UK editions of Vogue magazine.She later became a photographer with recent exhibits of her shoots done in San Francisco,London and New York.She first met George Harrison during the filming of the Beatles' first movie A Hard Day's Night where she had a cameo appearance with a famous one-liner "prisoners?" during a train scene.Pattie and George began dating as she broke her engagement at that time with another man.The couple wed at the Epsom Registry Office in England with both Brian Epstein and Paul McCartney in attendance as "best men".When she split with Harrison in 1974,Boyd was defending herself and telling her own side of the story to the music press before being branded a slut by angry Beatles fans as far back as the seventies.A tell-all book Wonderful Tonight:George Harrison,Eric Clapton And Me was published in 2007.
(below:Pattie's controversial book written by herself;photo above:George Harrison,Pattie Boyd and Eric Clapton)
George Harrison on the other hand,as we all know was the Beatles' lead guitarist and it ain't a secret about his long term friendship with another guitar god Eric Clapton.Their friendship as we say was of the best of times until it turned sour when Clapton took Harrison's wife away.But amazingly enough,they made up and Harrison even attended their wedding.
[ For my article about Eric Clapton's involvement with the Beatles' music click here ]
Story goes that Eric Clapton first met Pattie Boyd through George Harrison in 1969 during the Toronto Rock Festival in which John Lennon and Yoko Ono was also in attendance and was performing under the name Plastic Ono Band with various musicians.Clapton said in an interview that he fell in love with Boyd the first time he saw her,though he is really aware at the time that she is in fact his best friend's wife and must've seen her with Harrison on television.Pattie claimed at that time that George was into womanizing and was accusing him of having an affair with Maureen Starr--the wife of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.She even claimed of catching Harrison and Maureen Starr together in bed.Rumors circulated by then that Lennon was angry at George and even telling him of committing incest because of their relationship with each other in the Beatles as one big family unit.Well there had been different versions according to some books on how each other claims on what the hell really happened to George and Pattie's marriage.
One story told was that Pattie wasn't attracted to Eric at first,and she kept on telling him that a relationship couldn't be possible because she is in fact married and that she loves George very much.But with Pattie claiming a number of infidelities committed by Harrison that she decides to teach him a lesson by doing a mock relationship with Clapton.George and Pattie never had a child after years of trying and this was the reason the other party seems to be pointing why George was seeing other women.Clapton made no secret that he fell in love with Pattie Boyd the very first time he saw her.He played with the idea of having a mock relationship with Pattie with the latter not knowing that Clapton was in fact taking it more seriously than she expected.
There was a time when George was about to arrive home in his car and he spotted his wife Pattie walking hand in hand with Eric Clapton at the side of the road.Harrison fumingly got out of the car,slammed the door,took Pattie and screamed in front of Clapton's face almost knocking him down,told him to stay away from his wife,then got Pattie into the car and drove off.Unknown to George,it was all Pattie's idea(at least at that time) to make him jealous.But the problem rose when Clapton pursued Pattie to come with him and leave her husband.Numerous claims did say that Eric Clapton did said to George Harrison that he is in love with his wife.Though George didn't took kindly to that statement.
Pattie Boyd,who both became Mrs Harrison and Mrs Clapton was the inspiration of several songs written by both George and Eric,with the former writing "I Need You","For You Blue" and one of the most beautiful love songs ever written "Something" all under the Beatles' banner.The latter song,went to number one on both sides of the Atlantic and was considered to be the biggest George Harrison penned hit for the Beatles.Eric Clapton on the other hand,wrote songs inspired by Pattie namely "Layla","Bell Bottom Blues" and "Wonderful Tonight".
Clapton by then kept on pursuing Pattie though she kept on refusing at first saying that she is married and that she loves George very much,then it was alleged that Clapton brought with him a large amount of heroin enough to kill a horse and told Pattie that he will kill himself by overdosing with it if she wont come with him and leave her husband behind.And then legend has it that Pattie then slowly fell under the spell of Eric Clapton.
George and Pattie divorced in 1974 and Pattie became Mrs Clapton.Though Pattie Boyd left George Harrison for Eric Clapton during that year,it wasn't until 1979 when Eric and Pattie finally tied the knot and made it official. George just shrugged his shoulders and was at the time seeing Olivia Arias,who became his second wife.
But it wasn't all bed of roses for Eric and Pattie,their marriage went on the rocks as well under grounds of infidelity on Clapton's part.It was believed that Pattie Boyd was barren that she didn't had a child with Clapton either after years of trying and in spite of having in vitro fertilization.
During their marriage,Pattie told a horror story about Clapton's alcoholism and affairs with numerous women.The marriage went on the rocks as the eighties approached.Clapton by then broke Pattie's heart when she learned that he had a child with model and actress Lory Del Santo that prompted her to file for a divorce.Del Santo,whom Eric had an affair while married to Boyd,gave birth to a son,Conor,who accidentally fell off 53 stories of an apartment building in New York City in 1991 when the boy was only 4 years old and became the inspiration for Clapton's 1992 song "Tears In Heaven".
Pattie Boyd and Eric Clapton divorced in 1988.Clapton also had an affair with Yvonne Kelly,whom he had a daughter Ruth,born in 1985.But it wasn't until 1991 when Boyd found out about it through Clapton himself.
Several press releases made by both Clapton and Boyd in recent years showed how sorry they felt on what happened.Clapton made a statement in 2005 saying how much he regretted breaking George and Pattie's marriage and that he became an alcoholic out of it.In 2007,Pattie Boyd made an interview with Daily Mail saying how she regretted of leaving George and how she cried when she heard of Harrison's death in 2001.Oddly enough,she didn't attend the Concert For George,perhaps realizing she wasn't even welcome there aside from the fact that she wasn't invited.
Harrison,on the other hand,had married American Olivia Arias and became his second wife until his death in 2001.They had a son,Dhani born in 1978 who also became a musician just like his father.Astonishingly,George Harrison and Eric Clapton remained the best of friends in spite of what happened.With Clapton,even organizing and directing Concert For George tribute to Harrison in 2002.
Perhaps there's always a reason for everything,after all,Dhani Harrison wouldn't have existed if his dad George didn't divorce with his first wife Pattie and later met his mom Olivia.
(c) Keith Vernon Adagio