Eric Clapton and George Harrison once had a two hour long guitar duel for the love of Harrison’s wife, Pattie. She is said to have inspired songs by both artists, such as “Wonderful Tonight” and “Something”.
Legendary rock muse Pattie Boyd, who inspired Eric Clapton “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight,” and, reputedly, George Harrison’s “Something,” is coming out with an autobiography, Wonderful Today, and doing interviews on her relationships with two of rock’s leading men. The juicy details:
• In 1970 Boyd was married to Harrison but became involved with Eric Clapton after hearing “Layla.” “We met secretly at a flat in South Kensington. Eric had asked me to come because he wanted me to listen to a new number he had written,” Boyd recalled. “He switched on the tape machine, turned up the volume and played me the most powerful, moving song I had ever heard. It was ‘Layla.'”
• Later that same night Boyd was caught out in the garden of manager Robert Stigwood’s house. “[Harrison] kept asking, ‘Where’s Pattie? But no one seemed to know. He was about to leave when he spotted me in the garden with Eric,” Boyd said. “George came over and demanded, ‘What’s going on?’ To my horror, Eric said, ‘I have to tell you, man, that I’m in love with your wife.’ I wanted to die. George was furious. He turned to me and said: ‘Well, are you going with him or coming with me?'” She went home with Harrison.
• Clapton once showed up drunk at Harrison’s home and engaged the Beatles’ guitarist in a rock duel. “George handed him a guitar and an amp — as an 18th-century gentleman might have handed his rival a sword — and for two hours, without a word, they dueled,” Boyd recalled. “At the end, nothing was said but the general feeling was that Eric had won. He hadn’t allowed himself to get riled or go in for instrumental gymnastics as George had. Even when he was drunk, his guitar-playing was unbeatable.”