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Pattie Boyd is a British photographer and former model known for being the muse of her ex-husbands, George Harrison and Eric Clapton.
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Born on March 17, 1944, in Taunton, England, Pattie Boyd pursued a modeling career before meeting the Beatles and band member George Harrison in 1964. The two married, with Boyd inspiring the song "Something." She later become involved with and married Eric Clapton,
"It wasn't until I realized that I could actually take nice photographs that I started to become passionate about it. I then got a few jobs working for magazines in London and I would get terribly excited and intense about doing a job and taking photographs and looking through the lens to capture something amazing."
"I will not take a photograph of somebody in a bad pose, or not looking good. Because I always hated seeing horrible photographs of myself, and was always confused: How come the photographer didn't notice that I was looking kind of odd, or not sitting properly?"
"I went and had a couple of years of psychotherapy, and I rebuilt myself to find out who I was, really. ...And then, gradually, I became more and more confident. It takes time. It really helps, because you know you can start believing that you are not an appendage of someone else."
"I sort of lived and partied and whatever, whatever, and made [my husbands'] lives really happy and comfortable and enjoyable and warm, and I nurtured them. I love cooking and gardening. And so I would do that whole traditional thing of looking after your man."
"I think I was a romantic inspiration to Eric and George because I gave as much as I could to them both, to the detriment of myself. I was always there for them. Which I think is really what a muse is. You are living your life for somebody else."
"I think men are mainly unfaithful because as they get older, they feel the urge to prove to themselves that they are still attractive. They need proof from outside the marriage. ...With George and Eric, it was simply because they had women telling them how wonderful they were all the time."
"I think both of the men I married were so unfaithful and destructive because they were adored by hundreds and thousands of people. It's very seductive, and easy to misbehave. Am I as much to blame? Probably, because I didn't put my foot down."
"It was difficult to write about my experiences, but it was also quite indulgent. It's not often we can spend that much time thinking about ourselves and our lives. It was therapeutic as well."
"I am very sensitive to the people I photograph, as, normally, they feel nervous, unsure and would rather be somewhere else. Because of my insecurity as a model I know the importance of trying to calm down and encourage the sitter. I hate being photographed now, as I can normally see what lens they are using and the paparazzi seem to always use a wide angle, which is not good for me."
"I think we grow into our faces, depending on how we feel during our lives. If somebody's been angry or uptight, you can see it in their face. ...I try to have a good attitude to any situation. That's terribly important—I think it's the secret of looking good."
"I still feel attractive. It sounds boastful, but I think I'm all right. I've become happier in my skin, probably because I've had no long-term anxiety in my life. I don't mind aging. I'm stable and quite a happy soul."
"I was apprehensive about showing intimate photos of George and Eric and it took a long time for me to even look at them myself. As time went on I thought that I wouldn't mind sharing some of them with others."
inspiring songs "Layla" and "Wonderful Tonight." Boyd is also an accomplished photographer and has a bestselling memoir.
Pattie Boyd was born Patricia Anne Boyd in the town of Taunton—part of the county of Somerset, England—on St. Patrick's Day (March 17), 1944, with the holiday inspiring her name. During her childhood she lived with her family for a time in Kenya before returning to the United Kingdom, eventually working as a photographic model, landing multiple Vogue covers and walking in runway shows for designer Ossie Clark. She also started to develop an interest in photography, purchasing a camera and seeking counsel from the photographers she worked with.
When she was 19, Boyd earned a big role via a secret audition that she was asked to attend after appearing in a TV commercial: She was to play a schoolgirl sitting in a baggage car watching the band The Beatles perform for their 1964 film A Hard Day's Night. This is how she met band member singer/songwriter/guitarist George Harrison.
The two dated and wed in January 1966. Boyd served as inspiration for the classic Harrison song "Something" from the album Abbey Road (1969), as well as "I Need You" and "For You Blue," from Help! (1965) and Let it Be (1970), respectively. A devotee of transcendental meditation, Boyd was responsible for introducing the band to the spiritual leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whom would also have a profound effect on Harrison personally and professionally.
Harrison was known to have liaisons outside of his marriage, while his friend and collaborator, musician Eric Clapton, came to develop feelings for Boyd. Clapton penned the future Derek & the Domino's classic "Layla" for the object of his affection. In 1970 he shared the song with her at a flat and revealed that he was in love with her to both Boyd and Harrison at a party; Boyd was dismayed, leaving the gathering with an angry Harrison.
Boyd was romantically involved briefly with Clapton before returning to Harrison, though the marriage between the two eventually ended. She married Clapton in March of 1979. (The two musicians were able to remain friends, and Clapton had a previous relationship with Boyd's sister as well.) Another song came forth with Boyd reportedly as muse--Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight."
The relationship was tumultuous however as Clapton struggled with substance/alcohol abuse and had extramarital relationships, while Boyd faced her own demons with alcohol and drugs as well. The two split in 1989.
Boyd later stated that in hindsight she would have chosen instead to work through her issues with Harrison, though acknowledging that being with Clapton enabled her to experience great passion; she also declared she would have refused to put up with philandering from either husband.
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