Thursday, 29 April 2010

It Couples - Pattie Boyd and George Harrison

Ninetten year-old Pattie Boyd first met George Harrison in 1964 when she was cast as a schoolgirl fan on the Beatles film A Hard Days Night.  Boyd said at the time that Harrison was "the most beautiful man she'd ever seen" but she was still with boyfriend Eric Swayne who she had dated for a year.  One of the first things Harrison said to her was "Will you marry me?" when she laughed Harrison said "Well if you won't marry me, will you have dinner with me tonight?"  Several days later when she was recalled for more work on the film he asked her out again.  This time she accepted having just ended her relationship with Swayne.  Their first date was at the Garrick Club in Covent Garden accompanied by Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

In December 1965 when they were driving through London Harrison proposed and they were married on 21st January 1966 with Paul McCartney as Best Man.  John Lennon and Ringo Starr had gone on holiday with their wives to divert attention from the wedding.  The couple moved into Kinfauns, a large bungalow-style house in Esher, whose outside they later had painted with psychedelic patterns and where The Beatles made many of the demo recordings for  the White Album.  They honeymooned at the Hotel Cap Estrelle near Eze in the South of France, again accompanied by Epstein.

Through her interest in Eastern mysticism and her membership of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement Boyd inspired the Beatles psychedelic period by taking them to meet the Mahirishi Manesh Yogi in 1967 and accompanied them on their visit to the Maharishi's ashram in Rishikesh, India in 1968.

In the late Sixties George Harrison became close friends with Eric Clapton and began writing and recording music together.  Clapton fell in love with Pattie and also fell in love with her seventeen year-old sister Paula, who moved in with him but Paula left him when she heard the song Layla, realising she'd just been a substitute for her sister.  Pattie maintains that she turned Eric down in late 1970 after which he went into self-imposed exile with Alice Ormsby-Gore for three years addicted to heroin.

John Lennon and Mick Jagger also made advances with Jagger admitting to his girlfriend Bebe Buell in the Eighties that he'd tried to seduce Pattie for years and failed.  Pattie had a brief affair with Ronnie Wood in 1973 when her marriage to George was failing and was spotted in Barbados with him by the press.  Boyd said that Harrison had backed out of a holiday claiming he was ill and had then taken Krissie Wood (Ronnie's wife) on holiday to Spain to see Salvador Dali, although Harrison denied any affair.

Pattie claims that George's religious explorations and personality changes irrevocably alienated her and they split in June 1974.  She married Eric Clapton in 1979.

Their relationship was immortalised by the song Something, which George wrote for Pattie.  It was described by Frank Sinatra as "the best love song written for fifty years."

"I regret allowing myself to be seduced by Eric and wish I had been stronger.  I believed marriage was for ever and when things were going wrong between me and George I should have gritted my teeth and worked through them".  

"When I heard George had died; I felt completely bereft.  I couldn't bear the thought of a world without him.  I'll miss him for the rest of my life"

Pattie Boyd

Rare archive promo for Something


Helena Halme said...

What a beautiful post. Such a true love story. I have to admit ignorance - I didn't know about George & Patty. (That's being foreign for you...)Love the song a video too, so very seventies.


Helena Halme said...

Oops, sorry I meant Pattie. xx

Alison Cross said...

Wow - another great posting - and such wonderful photos of an exceptionally handsome couple.

Imagine having 'Layla' AND 'Something' written about you *sigh*

Ali x

Christina Lindsay said...

Dear Helena and Ali, they were beautiful. Such a shame! I love the song too. A perfect tribute xx

Simone said...

I LOVED reading this, just fascinating....what a life to look back on! I knew some of it but not all the details.

How amazing too have too such fantastic songs written about you...."Something" is a really great song, I must agree with Mr Sinatra :) Didn't Eric Clapton write "Wonderful Tonight" for her as well?

Great photos too.....I read an interview with Pattie Boyd just a few years ago and she still looks good, still an interesting lady.

Great post!

Make Do Style said...

I so think Pattie was right about not leaving him and they both must have regretted it.

If I was Ashley Cole's PR person I'd sort him out so he could stick with Cheryl. I don't know why I think this nor why I care but I know I'm the only person who thinks she's be making a big mistake by divorcing.

Why I went down a rung when George and Pattie were in a different class I have no idea!!

Wildernesschic said...

I have always been fascinated by this story .. the love that inspired men to write two of the best songs ever. Something, is one of my all time favourites songs as is Layla.. and an old boyfriend, dedicated Wonderful tonight to me, and when he told me the story behind it, I hadn't realised the same girl had inspired all three songs.
I loved George Harrison he was my Beatle
She must have been a hell of a girl old Pattie
Wonderful post Christina and once again fabulous photos xx

Kate B said...

Gosh Christina yet another amazing post. Something and Layala are my all time favourite songs and as a young girl in the 60's I dreamt of being Patti. She was stunning and has recently been in Australia promoting a book on her photographs of her life. Apparently still a looker too!

Christina Lindsay said...

Dear Simone, I love doing these posts. Yes amazing to have those songs written about you! Harrison wrote Something, For You Blue and Isn't It a Pity for Pattie and Clapton wrote Layla, Wonderful Tonight and Bell Bottom Blues. I bet six songs is a record! I must do a post on Pattie and Eric soon xx

Dear Make Do Style, I know I would have booted Ashley out after the first one, once the trust is broken and all that. But I think it's a terrible shame Pattie and George broke up as they were such soullmates. And what a fabulous couples they made! xx

Dear Ruth, I'm so with you yet again, George is my favourite too followed by John. Yes Pattie was an absolute show stopper! I remember my friend and I driving to work, we'd stopped to get some petrol and it came on the radio that George had died and we both sat there in the car crying. It was quite emotional doing this post, having to read all the stuff about them and listening to the songs xx

Dear Katie, thanks so much for your lovely words. Something is probably my favourite love song ever and Layla is a total classic. Pattie still looks good and I love her style xx

Belle de Ville said...

What an astounding life Pattie has lead. How amazing to be the lover, wife and muse to two of the best musicians of the 20th Century.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Great photos. Patti was so beautiful.

Caroline, No. said...

Oh god. That last quote just made me tear up! Lovely George. x

Christina Lindsay said...

Dear Belle, absolutely... she's had an amazing life and some big ups and downs xx

Dear SB, she looks like a beautiful doll! xx

Dear Caroline, I know, don't!! It gets me every time... xx

Anonymous said...

Beautiful XX

santiago said...

wow.. cool pictures.. i would love to see old but cool pictures of celebrities too.. thanks for sharing this information, really awesome. the style they project is cool too.

Anonymous said...

wonderful images and words...thanks, you made my day...

Gerrardz said...

Please visit San Diego Hills | Parfum