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Pattie Boyd and George Harrison

Patricia Anne Boyd (born 17 March 1944) is the former wife of musician George Harrison and later of Eric Clapton.

Before meeting Harrison on the set of A Hard Day's Night, Boyd was a model for Mary Quant, having modelled in London, New York and Paris. She was usually rejected for her unconventional looks, often being told "models don't look like rabbits".

An exhibition of photographs taken by Boyd during her days with Harrison and Clapton opened at the San Francisco Art Exchange on February 14, 2005, 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 2006, in London.

Childhood and career[]

Boyd was born in 1944 to Colin Ian Boyd and Diana Frances Drysdale, in Taunton, Somerset. She was the eldest of four, having a brother and two sisters: Colin (1946), Helen Mary (1947, known as Jenny) and Paula (1951). The Boyds moved to Nairobi, Kenya, after her father's discharge from the Royal Air Force due to a severe injury. Diana and Colin divorced in 1952. Later, after her remarriage to Robert Gaymar-Jones in February 1952, Diana returned to England with her four children. Pattie's half-brothers, David J.B. (1954) and Robert Jr. (1955), were Diana and Robert's children together.

Boyd attended Hazeldean School, St Agnes and St Michael Convent Boarding School, East Grinstead and St Martha's Convent, Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire, which she left with 3 GCE O level passes in 1961. She 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 modelling as a career.

She began modelling for Mary Quant in London, Paris and New York. She was photographed by David Bailey and Terence Donovan and appeared in both the UK and Italian editions of Vogue in 1969. After becoming George Harrison's girlfriend, Boyd was asked by Gloria Stavers to write a regular column for 16 Magazine. Twiggy, the popular 1960s model, commented that she based her own look on Boyd when starting her modelling career in 1966.

Relationship with George Harrison[]

Georgeharrison pattieboyd hard days night

Harrison and Boyd during the filming of "A Hard Day's Night"

When she was nineteen going on twenty, Boyd first met Harrison on the set of the Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night, in which she was cast as a schoolgirl fan. One of the first things Harrison said to her was "Will you marry me?" When she laughed, he said, "Well, if you won't marry me, will you have dinner with me tonight?" Boyd was already "semi-engaged" to boyfriend Eric Swayne and felt obliged to decline Harrison's offer, though she believed that George was the most beautiful man she had ever seen. However, several days later, after breaking up with Swayne, Harrison asked her out again and she accepted. Their first date was at the Garrick Club, in Covent Garden, in the company of the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein.

In early 1965, Boyd was present, along with Harrison, John and Cynthia Lennon during their first encounter with LSD. Dentist John Riley, the son of a London police officer, laced their coffee with it. The four left in fury and extreme fear. In an agitated state, Boyd threatened to break a store window, until she was led away by Harrison. While driving through London in December 1965, Harrison proposed marriage to Boyd, the couple having already moved in together at Harrison's homse of Kinfauns. Harrison said that he needed to talk to Epstein first, to ensure no Beatles' tours were planned.

Harrison and Boyd married on 21 January 1966, in a ceremony at the then Registry Office, Upper High Street, in Esher, Surrey, with Paul McCartney (Best Man) and Epstein (sharing Best Man duties with Paul) in attendance. John Lennon and Ringo Starr were not in attendance. This was because they had taken a holiday with their wives to distract journalists from finding out about the wedding.

Boyd was very much a part of Harrison's life during his time with the Beatles. She was in attendance during the Our World broadcast of All You Need Is Love and was seen in the promotional video for A Day in the Life. She sang female backup vocals (along with Yoko Ono) on Birthday and is believed to be the inspiration for several of Harrison's songs (Something, I Need You, For You Blue, etc). Through Boyd's interest in Eastern mysticism, Harrison became immersed in the Indian culture, which showed itself in later Beatle songs. They travelled to Bombay as guests of Ravi Shankar and later inspired the band to meet Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. She accompanied The Beatles on their visit to the Maharishi's ashram in Rishikesh, India in 1968. On 12 March 1969, a police raid on Kinfauns found a generous amount of hashish in the property. Boyd and Harrison both pleaded guilty and were fined 250 pounds each.


Lennon and Rolling Stone vocalist Mick Jagger were said to have been attracted to Boyd, with Jagger admitting that he had failed to seduce Boyd for years. She had a brief affair with Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood in 1974. Boyd states that Harrison's increasing religious explorations, extreme work ethic, and personality changes irrevocably alienated her, until they finally split in June 1974. Although they never reunited, Boyd said that Harrison is the love of her life and that she always regretted not working things out with Harrison. Boyd was extremely upset upon hearing a Harrison's marriage to Olivia Harrison. She always had a good relationship with Harrison after their marriage, and they kept in regular contact throughout Harrison's life.

Later life to present[]

Eric and Pattie

Pattie Boyd with her second husband Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton was a close friend of Harrison's; he played lead guitar on While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Subsequently, he fell deeply in love with Boyd and Boyd's sister Paula. She states that she rebuffed Clapton's advances and he developed a heroin addiction as a result. After she and Harrison separated, she began a relationship with Clapton, marrying him in 1979. They later divorced in 1989, on the grounds of infidelity and unreasonable behavior.

Boyd's autobiographical book 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.

As of 2008, Boyd lived in a 17th-century cottage in West Sussex and was 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.