Pattie Boyd

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Pattie Boyd
Born(1944-03-17) 17 March 1944 (age 69)
Taunton, England[1]
OccupationModel
photographer
author
Years active1959–
Spouse(s)George Harrison
(1966–77)
Eric Clapton
(1979–89)
Modeling information
Height5 feet 7 inches
Hair colorBlonde
Eye colorBlue
Website
www.pattieboyd.co.uk
 
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Pattie Boyd
Born(1944-03-17) 17 March 1944 (age 69)
Taunton, England[1]
OccupationModel
photographer
author
Years active1959–
Spouse(s)George Harrison
(1966–77)
Eric Clapton
(1979–89)
Modeling information
Height5 feet 7 inches
Hair colorBlonde
Eye colorBlue
Website
www.pattieboyd.co.uk

Patricia Anne "Pattie" Boyd (born 17 March 1944) is a model, photographer and author from the United Kingdom, best known as the first wife of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton. In August 2007, she published her autobiography Wonderful Tonight. Her photographs of Harrison and Clapton, titled Through the Eye of a Muse have been exhibited in Dublin, Sydney, Toronto, Moscow, London and throughout the United States.

Early life[edit]

Boyd was born on 17 March 1944,[2] in Taunton, Somerset,[1] and was the first child to Colin Ian Langdon Boyd,[3] and Diana Frances Boyd (née Drysdale), who were married on 14 September 1942. The Boyds moved to West Lothian, Scotland where her brother Colin was born in 1946.[4] The Boyd family moved to Guildford, Surrey, where her sister, Jenny Boyd was born in 1947.[5] Boyd's youngest sister, Paula, was born at Nakuru hospital, Kenya, in 1951.[6] The Boyds lived in Nairobi, Kenya, from 1948 to 1953, after her father's discharge from the Royal Air Force.[3] Boyd's parents divorced in 1952, and her mother married Robert Gaymer-Jones in February 1953, in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). The family returned to England where Boyd gained two half brothers, David J.B. (b. 1954) and Robert, Jr. (b. 1955).[7]

Boyd attended Hazeldean School in Putney, the St Agnes and St Michael Convent Boarding School in East Grinstead, and St Martha's Convent in Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire (where she received three GCE O level passes in 1961).[8] Boyd moved to London in 1962 and worked as a shampoo girl at Elizabeth Arden's salon, until a client who worked for a fashion magazine inspired her to begin work as a model.[9]

Career[edit]

Boyd began her fashion career in 1962, modelling in London, New York and Paris. She was photographed by David Bailey and Terence Donovan, and appeared on the cover of Vogue. Boyd appeared on the cover of the UK and Italian editions of Vogue magazine in 1969,[10] with other popular models of the day, such as Twiggy, who based her early modeling appearance on Boyd.[11] Boyd was asked by Gloria Stavers to write a column for 16 Magazine,[12] and appeared in a TV commercial promoting Smith's crisps. She was cast for A Hard Day's Night, where she met George Harrison.[13]

Boyd exhibited her photos of Harrison and Clapton, at the San Francisco Art Exchange on Valentine's Day 2005, in a show entitled Through the Eye of a Muse.[14] The exhibition appeared in San Francisco and London during 2006, and in La Jolla, California in 2008.[15] Boyd's photography was shown in Dublin and in Toronto in 2008 and at the Blender Gallery in Sydney, Australia and[16] in Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2009 and 2010.[17][18] Her exhibit "Yesterday and Today: The Beatles and Eric Clapton" was shown in Santa Catalina Island in California,[19] and at the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, DC in 2011.[20]

In 2007 Boyd published her autobiography, which includes some of her photographs, titled Wonderful Today in the UK; in the US it was published with the title Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me.[7][21] In the United States, Boyd's book debuted at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Marriage to George Harrison[edit]

Kinfauns, the home of Pattie Boyd and George Harrison from 1965 to 1970

In 1964, Boyd met Harrison during the filming of A Hard Day's Night, in which she was cast as a schoolgirl.[12][23] Her only line in the film was asking "Prisoners?", but she later appeared in the "I Should Have Known Better" segment.[24] Boyd was "semi-engaged" to photographer Eric Swayne[6] at the time, thus declining a date proposal from Harrison.[11] Several days later, after ending her relationship with Swayne, she went back to work on the film and Harrison asked her out on a date for a second time. The couple went to a private gentlemen's club called the Garrick Club, chaperoned by the Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein. According to Boyd, one of the first things Harrison said to her on the film set was: "Will you marry me? Well, if you won't marry me, will you have dinner with me tonight?"[25]

Boyd had her first encounter with LSD in early 1965[26] when the couple's dentist, John Riley,[27] secretly laced her coffee with the drug during a dinner party at his home.[14] As she was getting ready to leave with Harrison, John and Cynthia Lennon, Riley told them that he had spiked their drinks and tried to convince them to stay.[28] Outside, Boyd was in an agitated state from the drug and threatened to break a store window, but Harrison pulled her away.[29] Later, when Boyd and her group were in an elevator on their way up to the Ad Lib club, they mistakenly believed it was on fire.[28]

Later that year, Boyd moved into Kinfauns with Harrison.[12] The couple were engaged on 25 December 1965, and married on 21 January 1966, in a ceremony at a registry office in Ashley Road, Epsom, with Paul McCartney as best man.[30][31] Later, the couple went on a honeymoon in Barbados.[32] In September, Boyd flew with Harrison to Bombay to visit sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, before returning to London on 23 October 1966.[33] The following year, Boyd attended the Our World broadcast of "All You Need Is Love". Through her interest in Eastern mysticism and her membership in the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, she inspired all four Beatles to meet the Indian mystic Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in London on 24 August 1967, which resulted in a visit to the Maharishi's seminar in Bangor, the following day.[14][34][21] Boyd accompanied Harrison on the Beatles' visit to the Maharishi's ashram in Rishikesh, India, in February 1968.[30] In March 1970, Boyd moved with Harrison from Kinfauns to Friar Park, a Victorian neo-Gothic mansion, in Henley-on-Thames.[35]

Clapton on stage, 19 June 1977

In 1973, Boyd's marriage to Harrison began to fail and she had an affair with Faces guitarist Ronnie Wood.[36] She separated from Harrison in 1974 and their divorce was finalised on 9 June 1977.[37] Boyd said her decision to end their marriage and leave Harrison was based largely on his repeated infidelities, culminating in an affair with Ringo Starr's wife Maureen, which Boyd called "the final straw".[38] Boyd characterised the last year of her marriage as "fuelled by alcohol and cocaine", and claimed "George used coke excessively, and I think it changed him ... it froze his emotions and hardened his heart."[39] According to Boyd, Harrison's songs "I Need You" and "Something" were written for her.[40]

Marriage to Eric Clapton[edit]

In the late 1960s, Clapton and Harrison became close friends, and began writing and recording music together. At this time Clapton fell in love with Boyd.[41] His 1970 album with Derek and the Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, was written to proclaim his love for her, particularly the hit song "Layla".[14] When Boyd rebuffed his advances late that year, Clapton descended into heroin addiction and self-imposed exile for three years.[42][43] Boyd moved in with Clapton and married him in 1979.[41] Her struggles within the marriage were masked by her public image with Clapton. Although Boyd drank and admits to past drug use, she never became an alcoholic or a drug addict like Clapton did.[44] Boyd left Clapton in September 1984, and divorced him in 1988. Her stated reasons were Clapton's years of alcoholism, as well as his numerous affairs[21] including one with Italian model Lory Del Santo.[45] In 1989, her divorce was granted on the grounds of "infidelity and unreasonable behaviour".[46] Boyd believes she was the inspiration for the songs: "Bell Bottom Blues" and "Wonderful Tonight".[47]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Profiles: Pattie Boyd's extraordinary life". BBC Somerset. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Boyd 2007, p. 5.
  3. ^ a b Boyd 2007, p. 7.
  4. ^ Boyd 2007, p. 3.
  5. ^ Boyd 2007, p. 6.
  6. ^ a b Boyd 2007.
  7. ^ a b Junor, Penny, Boyd, Pattie. "Wonderful Today: The Autobiography of Pattie Boyd". Headline Review. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Boyd 2007, p. 36.
  9. ^ Boyd 2007, pp. 35, 40–41.
  10. ^ Mason, Anthony (26 August 2007). "A Rock Muse Remembers". CBS News. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Spitz 2005, p. 499.
  12. ^ a b c Barrow 2006, p. 243.
  13. ^ Tillery 2011, p. 29.
  14. ^ a b c d Lepold, Todd (3 February 2005). "Harrison, Clapton and their muse". CNN. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Pattie Boyd Opening at La Jolla Gallery April 2008". Morrison Hotel Gallery. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  16. ^ Fulton, Adam (2 December 2009). "Fab faces of swinging '60s". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  17. ^ Kuzmina, Olga (19 July 2011). "Beatles, Clapton Pics in Free Show". Moscow Times. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "The Old Pharmacy Gallery in Speightstown – Soon To Host Movie Classics & Lancaster 2010 Season". Bajan Reporter. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  19. ^ Louis Sahagun (3 July 2011). "An ex-Beatle wife brings the Age of Aquarius back to Catalina Island". Los Angeles Times. 
  20. ^ unknown (29 September 2011). "Music on ... Photography: Pattie Boyd". 
  21. ^ a b c Meacham, Steve (4 July 2007). "Beatle's muse comes clean". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  22. ^ "New York Times Best Seller list for 9/23/07". New York Times. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  23. ^ Crowther, Bosley (19 February 2007). "A Hard Day's Night (1964)". New York Times. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  24. ^ Huntley 2006, p. 86.
  25. ^ Varjgas, Elizabeth (31 August 2007). "The Real 'Layla' Talks About George Harrison and Eric Clapton". ABC News. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  26. ^ Spitz 2005, p. 565.
  27. ^ Tillery 2011, p. 44.
  28. ^ a b Tillery 2011, p. 45.
  29. ^ Spitz 2005, pp. 565–566.
  30. ^ a b Turner 2010, p. 219.
  31. ^ Miles 2007, p. 210.
  32. ^ Boyd 2007, pp. 55, 75, 92–94.
  33. ^ Spitz 2005, pp. 644–645.
  34. ^ Spitz 2005, pp. 710–711.
  35. ^ Browne 2011, pp. 83–84.
  36. ^ Huntley 2006, p. 99.
  37. ^ Badman 2001, p. 210: Divorce date; Doggett 2009, p. 209: separated in 1974.
  38. ^ Boyd 2007, pp. 179–180.
  39. ^ Boyd 2007, p. 181.
  40. ^ Boyd 2007, p. 117: "Something"; Turner 2010, p. 70: "I Need You".
  41. ^ a b Doggett 2009, p. 261.
  42. ^ Tillery 2011, p. 93.
  43. ^ Pattie Boyd, "Pattie Boyd: 'My hellish love triangle with George and Eric' – Part Two", Daily Mail, 4 August 2007 (retrieved 23 May 2013).
  44. ^ Boyd 2007, pp. 304–307.
  45. ^ Woods, Judith (17 March 1999). "It's amazing we're still alive". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 8 May 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  46. ^ Boyd 2007, p. 263.
  47. ^ Boyd 2007, pp. 153: "Bell Bottom Blues", 201–202: "Wonderful Tonight".

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]