George Harrison Marries Pattie Boyd (1966)
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Uploaded on Dec 5, 2010
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Patricia Anne Boyd (born 17 March 1944) is an English model and photographer, and the former wife of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton. It has been suggested that she was the inspiration for love songs written by both musicians, Harrison's "Something," "I Need You" and "Isn't It a Pity," and Clapton's "Layla," "Wonderful Tonight" and "Bell Bottom Blues."
Boyd started her modelling career in 1962, but was rejected by many photographers owing to her unconventional looks, including rather prominent front teeth; one stated, "models don't look like rabbits." She modelled in London, New York and Paris (for Mary Quant and others), and was photographed by David Bailey and Terence Donovan.
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.
Boyd, who was nineteen going on twenty in 1964, met Harrison during the filming of the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night, in which she was cast as a schoolgirl fan. Boyd was "semi-engaged" to boyfriend Eric Swayne, whom she had dated for about a year, and out of loyalty declined Harrison's first invitation for a date, but said that Harrison was the most beautiful man she had ever seen. One of the first things Harrison said to her was "Will you marry me?" Boyd laughed, so Harrison said, "Well, if you won't marry me, will you have dinner with me tonight?" Several days later, when Boyd was recalled for another day's work on the film, Harrison asked her out again and she accepted, having ended the relationship with Swayne. Their first date was spent at the Garrick Club (a private gentlemen's club) in Covent Garden, in the company of The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein.
Boyd was present, along with Harrison, John and Cynthia Lennon, during their first encounter with LSD in early 1965. A dentist, John Riley, the son of a London police officer, laced their coffee with it. The four of them were furious and left extremely scared. In an agitated state, Boyd threatened to break a store window until Harrison dragged her away.
Harrison and Boyd were driving through London in December 1965 when he proposed marriage to her, but said he would have to talk to Epstein first; this was to make sure no Beatles' tours had been planned. Boyd married Harrison on 21 January 1966, in a ceremony at the then Registry Office, Upper High Street, in Epsom, Surrey, with Paul McCartney (Best Man) and Epstein in attendance. John Lennon and Ringo Starr had gone on holiday abroad with their wives, distracting journalists from finding out about the wedding. Pattie had started living with George at Kinfauns in 1965. Boyd and Harrison later went on holiday with Epstein, staying at the Hotel Cap Estrelle near Eze, in the south of France.
While Lennon was in Spain filming How I Won the War in September 1966, Harrison and Boyd flew to Bombay as guests of sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, and returned to London on 23 October 1966. Through her interest in Eastern mysticism and her membership in his Spiritual Regeneration Movement, she inspired The Beatles to meet the Indian mystic Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in London on 24 August 1967, which resulted in a visit to Bangor, Gwynedd, to join him again in the following day. Boyd attended the Our World broadcast of "All You Need Is Love", which was shown on 25 June 1967. She accompanied The Beatles on their visit to the Maharishi's ashram in Rishikesh, India in 1968.
Lennon and Mick Jagger were also said to have been attracted to Boyd, with Jagger admitting to then-girlfriend Bebe Buell in the 1980s that he had failed to seduce Boyd after trying for years. Boyd had a brief affair with future Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood in 1973, as her marriage to Harrison was failing. Boyd and Wood were spotted by the press upon their return to London, on 25 November 1973, which was reported in the press. Boyd states that Harrison's increasing religious explorations and personality changes irrevocably alienated her, and they split in June 1974 and she flew to Los Angeles to stay with her sister Jenny. Although they never reunited, Boyd writes in her autobiography that Harrison was her soul mate.
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