Meet The Woman Who Had Multiple Famous Songs Written About Her

Published: Sep 07, 2023

Many young women dream of winning a rock star’s affection. One model not only charmed a Beatle, but she also made the legendary Eric Clapton weak in the knees. Being the beloved wife of guitarist George Harrison propelled Pattie Boyd to new heights of stardom. She inspired George to pen some of The Beatles’ most swoon-worthy tunes during their relationship. 

Meanwhile, Eric Clapton used music to cope with his love for a lady already in a relationship. Continue reading to see how this love triangle led to memorable songs about the same beautiful woman.

Pattie Boyd was in a relationship when she met George Harrison

Pattie Boyd first gained notoriety as an international model in the 1960s, appearing in prestigious fashion publications like Vogue and Vanity Fair. Given her line of work, it makes sense that she would end up dating photographer Eric Swayne.


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The Beatles’ guitarist George Harrison couldn’t resist asking her out on a date when they first met, even though she was already in a relationship. Pattie was an extra in the band’s musical comedy A Hard Day’s Night. Pattie would later admit that the feelings were mutual even though she turned down his invitation.


Pattie broke up with her boyfriend shortly after meeting George

Only a few days after George invited Pattie to dinner, Pattie decided to break up with her then-boyfriend. It was evident that she was starting to feel something for George, or at the very least he had made her understand that her present relationship wasn’t going to work.


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In any case, George was thrilled, especially after Pattie finally agreed to go on a date with him. He took her to the Garrick Club, a London gentlemen’s club that has been around since the 1800s.

Their respective careers made it difficult to date

Early on in their relationship, Pattie and George faced the stereotypical challenges that come with dating a rock star. In 1964, the Beatles were only starting to become one of the biggest rock bands in the world.


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George had his hands full most of the time and couldn’t spend enough time with Pattie, especially whenever the band traveled abroad. Meanwhile, Pattie was equally busy with her modeling career, so she could identify with the sense of having a demanding job.

Pattie and George started living together

George purchased a luxurious bungalow in Surrey, England. He decided to live outside of the city so that he could occasionally escape the attention of the public and live a normal life. Pattie was drawn to the peaceful home as well.


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The couple first met in March, and George bought the house in July of that same year. Even though they had only been seeing each other for a few months, Pattie quickly moved in with him.

He proposed to her on Christmas

The couple enjoyed some alone time together at last. They became madly in love as they got to know each other better. George proposed to Pattie just less than two years into their relationship, and she gladly accepted.

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The fact that they were engaged on Christmas Day in 1965 made it more endearing. The couple tied the knot a few weeks later on January 21st, 1966. The ceremony was intimate and was held at a nearby registry office, so it didn’t require much time to prepare.


They had a spiritual influence on one another

One of the factors that contributed to the newlyweds’ close relationship was the way they inspired one another’s attitude on life. Years later, George recalled how Pattie had opened his mind to fresh perspectives.

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Pattie, on the other hand, was influenced by George in that he shared his spiritual convictions with her, which sparked her interest in Eastern mysticism. The pair traveled to India for several weeks, where they learned music, practiced yoga, and adopted a vegetarian diet. Pattie started playing the dilruba, while George improved his sitar playing.


Pattie took pictures of George

While Pattie was well-known for her modeling, she also had a passion for photography, eventually joining the Royal Photographic Society. She also took photos of her spouse, which gave a more intimate look at the life of the rock star.

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Fans showed a lot of interest in these photos. Because of their fame, the couple chose to spend their vacations in houseboats on Kashmir’s Dal Lake so they could avoid the media and their adoring fans.


The song “Something” was about Pattie

While George served as an inspiration for Pattie’s photography, she became his muse. George penned several Beatles songs about his beloved wife, including I Need You (1965), Love You To (1966), and For You Blue (1970).

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It’s obvious from the song titles alone that George was madly in love with Pattie. However, one of the most adored compositions about her was simply titled Something. The 1969 smash hit solidified George as one of the finest songwriters of the era.


The couple began drifting apart

George and Pattie’s ostensibly happy marriage began coming to an end at the start of the new decade. Conflicts erupted as a result of the two’s growing differences in ideas. Pattie’s reaction was to immerse herself even more in her modeling profession.

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George, meanwhile, was more committed than ever to Indian mysticism. Instead of continuing to grow together, the two were now growing apart. It was just a matter of time until things reached a breaking point.


Eric Clapton was deeply in love with Pattie

Another famous musician had developed feelings for Pattie just a few years into her marriage to George. Pattie met Eric Clapton at the end of the 1960s and they quickly formed a strong bond. They even wrote songs together. Eric was just as smitten with Pattie as George was.

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Eric tried to suppress his feelings for Pattie by dating her sister Paula, but it didn’t work. The only thing Eric could do at that point was express his emotions via his music.


Eric wrote an album about his love for Pattie

Eric expressed his love for Pattie in his 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. The album was inspired by an old story of Arab origin called Layla and Manjun, in which a 7th-century poet loses his mind over his love for a woman he couldn’t have.

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His torment over Pattie was clearly expressed in the song Layla. The song was well-liked by the public, but it failed to charm the doe-eyed model. Eric suffered from severe depression for several years as a result.


Pattie and George’s relationship deteriorated

Pattie continued to support George even as Eric declared his love for her. However, their relationship deteriorated further. George had several extramarital affairs, while Pattie had an affair of her own with Faces lead guitarist Ronnie Wood.

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Pattie would later admit that George’s affair with the wife of bandmate Ringo Starr was the breaking point. To their fans’ disappointment, the couple split up in 1974, though their divorce wasn’t legally formalized until 1977.


Eric finally won Pattie over

After years of seclusion and drug abuse, Eric emerged from the dark hole he was in to try and win Pattie over once again. The musician was successful this time around. Pattie started dating Eric the same year she broke up with George.

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Pattie and Eric fell in love over the following five years. In 1977, Eric finally managed to write a more uplifting song about the woman of his dreams: Wonderful Tonight. The couple married in 1977, though their relationship turned out to be rockier than everyone had thought.


George and Eric got along well

By 1973, George and Eric were still angry over their love triangle with Pattie, which gave rise to George’s single So Sad and Eric’s Bell Bottom Blues. By the following year, however, their animosity faded and was soon replaced by a surprising camaraderie.

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George and Pattie’s divorce was tragic, but they handled it fairly well. George even began referring to Eric as his “husband-in-law.” Pattie’s attorney later went on to say that he wished all divorces were as well handled as theirs.


Pattie and Eric’s marriage started having problems

While George was handling his ex-wife’s new marriage quite well, Pattie was a different story. Pattie soon began to deal with substance abuse issues like Eric did.

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Pattie and Eric’s relationship deteriorated, and Eric eventually acknowledged that he was rather abusive toward Pattie. The fact that Eric was also unfaithful made Pattie’s situation even worse, as she had to relive the nightmare of her first marriage. One of the women Eric reportedly had an affair with was Italian actress Lory Del Santo.


They were unable to have children

Pattie and Eric also struggled to conceive a child, which further put a strain on their relationship. While adoption could have been an option, this was something that the two couldn’t agree on.

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The couple eventually decided to give in-vitro fertilization a try. Unfortunately, the procedures didn’t work, and the friction between Pattie and Eric only increased. Even though they tried for years to stay together, it became more and more obvious that their marriage was falling apart.


Pattie and Eric got divorced after ten years of marriage

Despite Pattie’s marriage to Eric lasting longer than her previous one, it ended tragically nonetheless. Pattie and Eric divorced in 1989 after fifteen years together, which included ten years of marriage. They cited “infidelity and unreasonable behavior” as the reason for their breakup.

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Even though Pattie was a significant influence on both her ex-husbands’ lives, she was unable to save them from the conventional rock star lifestyle. One positive outcome of the failed marriages, however, was her memoir, which a reviewer said gave more insight into the craziness of the life of a rock star than anything they’ve ever read.


Pattie took her time with her third relationship

After two failed marriages, Pattie became more cautious than ever in her third relationship. She made sure to avoid the rock star lifestyle this time. Instead, she fell in love with a property developer named Rod Weston.

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Pattie first crossed paths with Rod in 1991, just a few years after her divorce from Eric. Even though everything was going great, they took their time getting married. Pattie wanted to be certain that Rod was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.


The third time’s a charm

After more than twenty years of dating, Pattie and Rod married at the Register Office in Chelsea Old Town Hall in London in 2015. Rod joked that it was almost their silver anniversary, so they needed to “get on with it.”

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Pattie and Rod have been blissfully married ever since, even if their union may not have all the fanfare associated with a rock star marriage. The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Pattie as saying that her relationship with Rod is “warm and pleasant” with no pressure.


Pattie has been described as a “legendary rock muse”

Although Pattie’s relationships with George Harrison and Eric Clapton weren’t always the best, they did lead to her being referred to as a “legendary rock muse” by Rolling Stone. The countless songs written about Pattie still resonate with many rock fans today.

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According to Pattie, Eric was smitten with her because he just “wanted what George had.” When asked which of the two performers had a greater impact on her, she replied by saying that she would pick George, adding that he will always be with her.