Wednesday, February 5, 2014

25 Days Of Harrison Day 5- Pattie Boyd

Pattie Boyd is best known for her toothgap, one of the top models in the 1960s and wife of two of the worlds greatest guitarist; George Harrison and Eric Clapton but she was much more to that.

Pattie was born 17 March, 1944 in Taunton, Somerset as Patricia Anne  Boyd to Colin Ian Boyd and Diana Frances Drysdale. She was the oldest of four, having two younger sisters; Helen who goes by Jenny (who inspired Donovan's "Jenifer Juniper") born in 1947 and Paula born in 1951. She also had a younger brother named Colin born in 1946. As a child Pattie and her family moved to Narobi, Kenya after her father was injured and discharged from the Royal Air force. In 1952 her parents divorced, Diana soon married a man named Robert Gaymar- Jones and would move back to England with Pattie and her siblings. She attended various schools from Hazeldean School, St Anges and St Michael Convent Boarding School, East Grinstead and St Martha's Convent, Hadleywood, Hertfordshire (where she left with a 3 GCE 0 level and passed in 1961).

Pattie Boyd with Twiggy
In 1962 Pattie moved to London where she worked at a hair salon at Elizabeth Ardens, it was there where she had gotten the interest in modeling after a client had asked if she'd ever considered it. When she first started talking to photographers they'd all turn her down saying she looked like a rabbit.  She was soon photographed by David Baily and Terence Donovan and modeled in London, Paris, and New York; even the famous Twiggy says she based her looks after Pattie's.

At age 19 going on 20 she was cast as a school girl for The Beatles first motion picture, A Hard Days Night in 1964.

Pattie Boyd and George Harrison
"On first impressions, John seemed more cynical and brash than the others, Ringo the most endearing, Paul was cute and George, with velvet-brown eyes and dark chestnut hair, was the best-looking man I had ever seen. I found myself sitting next to him. Being close to him was electrifying."- Pattie Boyd, Wonderful Tonight
One of the first things George told Pattie was "Will you marry me?" followed by "Well, if you won't marry me, will you have dinner with me tonight?". During this time Pattie was seeing a man  by the name Eric Swayne and refused George's first few offers to go out. Several days or so later George asked again and to his surprise she said yes, her and Eric had broken up. The two had their first date at the Garrick Club with Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

The two were quickly an item and were soon on vacations with John and his wife Cynthia (read about her here) in Tahiti where John and George had to wear Cynthia's and Pattie's wigs so they wouldn't be recognized, but when they were recognized the boys had to head straight out of the hotel while the girls were disguised as maids and dragged out of the hotel in laundry bags. She also was there and victim of the "Dental Experience" (Read about it here). In 1965, Pattie moved into to George's home and by December were engaged.

On the 21st of January 1966 George and Pattie were married at a registry in Epsom, Surrey. Paul McCartney and Brian Epstein along with George's parents and Pattie's parents attended while John and Ringo and their wives (Cynthia and Maureen) were on vacation.  The couple had their honeymoon in Barbados.

Any Beatle fan would know that George was heavily into Indian styles and the sitar, Pattie was too. In September of 1966 they flew to Bombay as guest of Ravi Shankar, an Indian musician and soon to be one of George's best friends. When they came back to London Pattie had attended Transcendental Meditation lecture and convinced George, John and Cynthia, and Paul and his girlfriend Jane Asher to attend to hear Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This lead to the group going to see The Maharishi in Whales, where they had shortly found out about the death of their manager, Brian, afterwards. The group then took a several week vacation to Rishikesh, India for a meditation camp with other celebrities like Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Mia and Prudence Farrow (Prudence would later be who "Dear Prudence")and Donovan.

This later lead to problems with George and Pattie's marriage,
"George had become obsessive about meditation. He was also sometimes with drawn and depressed" -Pattie Boyd, Wonderful Tonight
Her image would reflect George's mood and during this time she even said she felt "almost suicidal". She says she wasn't going to follow through with suicide at any point but had it all planned out if she did.

Two years later on 12 March, 1969, while Paul McCartney was marrying Linda Eastman, George and Pattie were busted for marijuana possession. A year after that George had purchased an old school, mansion with about 120 rooms called Friar Park. The couple moved in there where Pattie remembers living there as a "madhouse" with lots of alcohol and cocaine.

1970s was a hard year for Pattie Boyd, she had found out that George was unfaithful to her and then she had complications with good friend of George's and hers, Eric Clapton.
"She was the last person I would of expected to stab me in the back."- Pattie Boyd, Wonderful Tonight
Pattie was visiting her mother in Devon and had figured out that George had been seeing Maureen Cox, wife of Ringo from 1965- 1970. Maureen would come around the house wearing a necklace George had given her, Pattie recalls one experience as,
"Then I found them locked in a bedroom at Friar Park. I stood outside the door yelling: 'What are you doing? Maureen's in there, isn't she? I know she is!" George just laughed.
Eventually he opened the door and said: 'Oh, she's just a bit tired so she's lying down.'"
 She had then went to the top of the house and lowered a flag that had the om symbol on it and replaced it with a skull and cross-bones flying it over their house.Even after this incident Maureen would show up at their door at night, when Pattie would question why she was there she would say she wanted to see George in the recording studio in Friar Park. Pattie would say she was going to bed and Maureen would snap back saying she was going to the recording studio.

Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd
George Harrison and Eric Clapton had become close friends, Eric even played on The Beatles "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and when George left the group during the Let It Be sessions the rest of the band thought about getting Eric Clapton.
"I was aware that Eric found me attractive and I enjoyed the attention he paid me." -Pattie Boyd, Wonderful Tonight
She says Eric would compliment her and make a point of sitting next to her trying and succeeding to make her laugh. He even wrote "Layla" about her trying to win her over. It was at a party at Robert Stigwoods that he had told George he was in love with her. George questioned her asking whether she was going home with him or Eric. Pattie choose George and the two went home.  The video below is Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood talking about "Layla" with Pattie Boyd on his talk show.

George and Pattie started their divorced (or down fall) in June of 1974  (wasn't completely finalized till 1977) and she wed Eric five years later. Not only did Eric write "Layla" for her but one night as they were getting ready to go to Paul and Linda's annual Buddy Holly party (on September 7, Buddy's birthday) Eric wrote one of his most famous songs "Wonderful Tonight".

Eric and Pattie stayed together up till 1979 when Eric had an affair with Italian model Lori Del Santo.

Pattie Boyd had inspired so many great love songs throughout the years including the two mentioned, "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight", she also is said to have inspired George Harrison's/The Beatles "Something" and "It's All Too Much" with the lines "With your long blonde hair and your eyes of blue" and later George Harrison's "Window, Window" She is now a photographer, having exhibits from photo's she took through the years with George, Eric, and traveling with other musicians, called Through The Eyes of A Muse and Pattie Boyd: Newly Discovered Also, the author of Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me, which became an immediate New York Time's Best Seller.
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