Music News

published : 2023-11-08

George Harrison, Eric Clapton Love Triangle: An Arranged Marriage

Biographer Philip Norman reveals the hidden complexities of the infamous love triangle

George Harrison playing guitar on stage - Taken with Nikon D850

In a new book by bestselling biographer Philip Norman, titled 'George Harrison: The Reluctant Beatle,' the intricate dynamics of the love triangle between George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and model Pattie Boyd are laid bare.

The story begins in 1970 when Clapton confesses to Harrison, his best friend, about his deep love for Harrison's wife.

Harrison's marriage with Boyd had already been on shaky ground, while Clapton's obsession with the rock star muse grew stronger.

Norman describes Harrison as a contradiction, and the unique relationship between the guitar legends unfolds in surprising ways.

Harrison first meets Boyd in 1964 on the set of 'A Hard Day's Night,' where she had a small role. He immediately falls for her, asking her to marry him.

Their marriage in 1966 is marked by Boyd introducing Harrison to meditation and their transformative trip to India with The Beatles in 1968.

However, Harrison's spiritual awakening causes him to distance himself from Boyd, leading to a shift in their relationship.

The introduction of Clapton into their lives as a close friend further complicates the situation.

Eric Clapton performing during a concert - Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Clapton's infatuation with Boyd grows, culminating in him writing the iconic song 'Layla' as a declaration of his feelings for her.

Boyd is unaware of Clapton's infatuation until he writes her a heartfelt letter, which she initially dismisses as fan mail.

Despite the growing feelings, Boyd hesitates between Clapton and Harrison, both influential figures in her life.

Clapton continues to pursue Boyd, showering her with attention and passion, while facing the challenges of their complicated dynamics.

Throughout the love triangle, there is an underlying fear between Harrison and Clapton, as they navigate their deep bond as friends.

Harrison eventually confronts Boyd and Clapton during an intimate conversation, asking his wife who she chooses to spend the night with.

Boyd's response surprises both men, as she chooses to go home with Harrison.

Despite her decision, Boyd remains in the marriage for three more years before leaving Harrison for Clapton in 1974.

Pattie Boyd posing for a photoshoot - Taken with Sony A7R III

The final straw for Boyd was when she discovered Harrison's affair with Maureen Starkey, Ringo Starr's wife.

Harrison's actions, including flaunting a necklace gifted by the hairdresser, confirmed Boyd's decision to end the marriage.

Boyd's divorce from Harrison in 1977 marked the beginning of her marriage to Clapton in 1979.

Throughout the tumultuous relationships, Harrison, Clapton, and even Starr maintained a friendship.

The love triangle is described by Norman as an 'arranged marriage', with complexities that unfolded as characters found themselves caught between love, desire, and loyalty.

Clapton and Harrison remained close friends, despite the entanglements of their shared past.

Boyd's journey through love, betrayal, and self-discovery is a compelling testament to the power of relationships and the complexity of human emotions.

The book by Philip Norman provides a deep dive into this captivating love triangle, shedding light on the secret lives of guitar legends.