Layla, You’ve got me on my knees

Eric Clapton’s Layla and Layla (Unplugged)

Pattie Boyd, a model and photographer by profession was casted in a Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s Night” and was wooed by George Harrison (Lead Guitarist, The Beatles) on the sets.

You are so pretty, will you marry me? If not marry, will you at least go for a dinner with me?

They marry 2 years hence.

Something in the way she moves, attracts me like no other lover..
Something in the way she woos me..

George composed “Something” in 1969 for her then wife, Pattie. The track is often labelled as the best love song of the time. Meanwhile, George and Eric Clapton (Rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, 2nd rank in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.) compose together and become close friends. Consequently, Eric often gets to meet Pattie. Falls in love and composes Layla for her darling in the year 1969.

“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. 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, about a man who falls hopelessly in love with a woman who loves him but is unavailable.”

~ Pattie Boyd

Layla was released in 1970 as the title track of the album “Layla and other assorted love songs” by Derek And The Dominos and stands at 27th place on the Rolling Stones list.

Eric confesses love to Pattie in the presence of George and on following several other occasions. When Pattie did not fulfill his desire of running away with him, Eric goes on to do heroine for subsequent 3-4 years. Miraculously, Eric’s attempts to woo George’s wife away from him did not dent their friendship. 

Sometime during their marriage George visited India and was greatly influenced by Indian classical music and traditions. In fact following his visit he started leading the Beatles towards “folk rock”. Checkout the Sitar introduction in Norwegian Wood. He even played at a concert in NYC with Pandit Ravi Shankar.

To top it all, he was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India, in a private ceremony,  as in Hindu tradition. Hell Yeah! Amongst other things, George was also intrigued by Lord Krishna, so much that he even developed an association with the Hare Krishna Movement. As Pattie points out in her biography “Wonderful Tonight” (another Clapton’s track), George took his fondness for Krishna at whole another level.

“But, in fact, by then our relationship was in trouble. Since a trip to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India in 1968, George had become obsessive about meditation. He was also sometimes withdrawn and depressed. My moods started to mirror his and at times I felt almost suicidal.
And there were other women, which really hurt me. George was fascinated by the god Krishna who was always surrounded by young maidens. He came back from India wanting to be some kind of Krishna figure, a spiritual being with lots of concubines. He actually said so.”

Infidelities followed. Pattie is still in the now not-so-happy marriage, which finally breaks off in the year 1977. Pattie goes on to marry Eric Clapton. This marriage too breaks apart after a time and that is another story, details of which we choose to omit.

This is not a celebrity-gossip-of-the-1960s blog. A woman whom the most desirable men of that time fell head over heels in love with. A woman who inspired some of the best records of the decade.

Pattie was George Harrison’s Something and Eric Clapton’s Layla.

Something to ponder about. Shoot up the track Layla again and see if the lyrics fit.

Layla; you’ve got me on my knees,
Layla; I’m begging darling please,
Layla: Won’t you ease my worried mind..

                                                             ~ Eric Clapton

References:
Pattie Boyds Account * The Layla Story * George Harrison wiki * Eric Clapton’s wiki

 

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