Home Lifestyle Eric Clapton’s ex-wife Pattie Boyd reveals real story behind his famous rock...

Eric Clapton’s ex-wife Pattie Boyd reveals real story behind his famous rock classic ‘Layla’


Boyd initially rebuffed Clapton’s advances despite him playing her ‘Layla’, leading him to descend into heroin addiction.

Former British fashion model Pattie Boyd, who was married to Beatle George Harrison, then to guitar god Eric Clapton. Picture: AP

PATTIE Boyd has joked she demanded royalties from ex-husband Eric Clapton as part of their divorce settlement, for inspiring his rock classic ‘Layla’.

The model and rock muse, now 78 and a successful writer, was wooed from her husband, Beatles guitarist George Harrison, after Clapton played her his 1970 anthem and told her it was written in honour of his love for her.

But she resisted leaving Harrison, who died aged 58 in 2001, for Clapton until the Beatle’s cheating led to their divorce in 1974.

Boyd, who then divorced Clapton, 77, in 1989, jokingly told the Sunday Times magazine that she hasn’t received a penny from the track.

She said: “I asked for that in my divorce and he said: ‘Are you kidding?’ That’s why I have to write books.”

Boyd also inspired some of Harrison’s work with The Beatles, including ‘I Need You’, ‘If I Needed Someone’, ‘Love You To’ and ‘Something’.

Harrison wrote his 1973 solo song ‘So Sad’ about his marriage to Boyd.

Recalling her first meeting with the Beatle on the set of the band’s first feature film ‘A Hard Days Night’ in 1964, Boyd added: “He was so good looking and sweet, chatting away. (The Beatles) were all wearing little dark suits and little black ties.

“Yes, he was very gorgeous and sexy, very stylish.

“(The Beatles’ manager) Brian Epstein had a theatre and Clapton was playing there. We all went back to Brian’s flat and he became friends with George.”

Two years after meeting, the couple married at Epsom Registry Office, before Boyd left for Clapton, to whom she was married for a decade.

Boyd initially rebuffed his advances despite him playing her ‘Layla’, leading him to descend into heroin addiction and he became a virtual recluse for three years.

The model left Clapton in April 1987 and divorced him in 1989.

Her stated reasons were the blues guitarist’s years of alcoholism, as well as his numerous affairs, including one with Italian actress Lory Del Santo, now 63.

In 1989, her divorce was granted on the grounds of “infidelity and unreasonable behaviour”.

Boyd later suspected Clapton’s pursuit of her when she was married to Harrison had more to do with the competitiveness between the musicians and Clapton “just wanted what George had”.

After her split with Clapton, Boyd married for a third time in 2015, to property developer Rod Weston, at a registry office in London after they met during a holiday in Sri Lanka.

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