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Title: Layla
Artist: Derek and the Dominos
Played: 2921 times

We met secretly at a flat in South Kensington. Eric Clapton 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.

He played it to me two or three times, all the while watching my face intently for my reaction. My first thought was: ‘Oh God, everyone’s going to know this is about me.

Pattie Boyd on hearing “Layla” for the first time


❝  Dear Layla.
For nothing more than the pleasures past i would sacrifice my family, my god, and my own existence, and still you will not move. I am at the end of my mind, i cannot go back and there is nothing in tomorrow (save you) that can attract me beyond today. I have listened to the wind, i have watched the dark brooding clouds, i have felt the earth beneath me for a sign, a gesture, but there is only silence. Why do you hesitate, am i a poor lover, am i ugly, am i too weak, too strong, do you know why? If you want me, take me, i am yours….
If you don’t want me, please break the spell that binds me.
To cage a wild animal is a sin, to tame him is divine.
My love is yours. ❞
- Eric Clapton’s love letter to Pattie Boyd (via purple-noon)
❝  The next time I saw Eric, he turned up unexpectedly at Friar Park. George was away - I don’t know whether Eric knew that in advance - and I was on my own. He came in and we had a glass of wine together. Then he said he wanted me to go away with him: he was desperately in love with me and couldn’t live without me. I had to leave George right now and be with him.
“Eric, are you mad?” I asked. “I can’t possibly. I’m married to George.”
And he said, “No, no, no. I love you. I have to have you in my life.”’
“No,” I said.
At this point he produced a small packet from his pocket and held it out toward me. “Well, if you’re not going to come away with me, I’m going to take this.”
“What is it?”
“Heroin.”
“Don’t be so stupid.” I tried to grab it from him but he clenched his fist and hid it in his pocket.
“If you’re not going to come with me,” he said, “that’s it. I’m off.”
And he went. I hardly saw him for three years. ❞
- Pattie Boyd. From “Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me” (via purple-noon)
❝  George and his wife, Pattie, lived on a residential estate in Esher, about a half an hour’s drive away, in a sprawling bungalow called Kinfauns. We started to hang out a lot together.
I remember them also indulging in a bit of matchmaking, trying to set me up with different pretty ladies. I wasn’t really interested, however, because something else quite unexpected was happening: I was falling in love with Pattie.
I think initially I was motivated by mixture of lust and envy, but it all changed once I got to know her. I had first set eyes on Pattie backstage at the Saville Theatre in London after a Cream concert, and had thought then that she was unusually beautiful. This impression was strengthened by spending time with her. I remember thinking that her beauty was also internal. It wasn’t just the way she looked, although she was definitely the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. It was deeper. It came from within her, too. It was just the way she was, and that captivated me. I realized that I would have to stop seeing her and George, or give in to my emotions and tell her how I felt.
I also coveted Pattie because she belonged to a powerful man who seemed to have everything I wanted-amazing cars, an incredible career, and a beautiful wife. This emotion was not new to me. I remember that when my mum came home with her new family, I wanted my half-brother’s toys because they seemed more expensive and better than mine. It was a feeling that had never gone away, and it was definitely part of the way I felt toward Pattie. But for the time being I kept all the emotions strictly under lock and key, and buried myself in trying to sort out what I was going to do next musically. ❞
- Eric Clapton, Clapton: The Autobiography (via purple-noon)
❝  One evening when John Hurt, the actor, was with us, Eric was due to come over and George decided to have it out with him. John wanted to make himself scarce but George insisted he stay. He remembers George coming downstairs with two guitars and two small amplifiers, laying them down in the hall, then pacing restlessly until Eric arrived – full of brandy, as usual. As Eric walked through the door, George handed him a guitar and amp – as an eighteenth-century man might have handed his rival a sword – and for two hours, without a word, they dueled. The air was electric and the music exciting. At the end nothing was said but the general feeling was that Eric had won. He hadn’t allowed himself to get riled or to go in for instrumental gymnastics as George had. Even when he was drunk, his guitar-playing was unbeatable. ❞
- Pattie Boyd. From “Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me” (via purple-noon)
❝  That evening I was going to the theater with Peter Brown to see Oh! Calcutta! , the Kenneth Tynan revue that had caused such a stir. It was the first time full-frontal nudity had been seen on British stage. By this time Peter had left Apple and was working for Robert Stigwood in America, so I hadn’t seen him for a while. Afterward we were going to a party that Robert was holding at his house in Stanmore, North London. George didn’t want to go to the theatre and said he wasn’t interested in the party either, so Peter was my date.
After the interval I came back to my seat to find Eric in the next seat. He had spotted me in the theatre and persuaded a stranger to swap places with him. Afterward, he drove himself to the party and I went with Peter, but we were soon together. It was a great party, and I felt elated by what had happened earlier in the day, but also deeply guilty.
Much later in the evening, George appeared. He was morose, and his mood was not improved by walking into a party that had been going on for several hours, and most of the people there were out of it. He didn’t want to speak to anyone, just find me. He 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. It was early morning, just getting light, and very misty. He came over to us and said, “What’s going on?”
To my complete 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?”
And I said, “George, I’m coming home”.
I followed him to his car, we got into it, and he sped off. When we got home I went to bed and he disappeared into his recording studio. ❞
- Pattie Boyd. From “Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me” (via purple-noon)
❝  The final straw was his affair with Maureen Starr, Ringo’s wife. She was the last person I would have expected to stab me in the back, but she did. I discovered from some photos Terry had had developed that she had been staying in the house with George one weekend when Jenny and I had gone to Devon to see my mother. He had given her a beautiful necklace, which she wore in front of me. Then I found them locked into a bedroom at Friar Park. I stood outside banging on the door and saying to George, “What are you doing? Maureen’s in there, isn’t she? I know she is,” but he laughed. He was supposed to be in the studio and everyone was waiting for him. Eventually he opened the door and said, “Oh, she’s just a bit tired so she’s lying down.” I went straight up to the top of the house and, with the help of Phil and Andy, the studio engineers, lowered the OM flag that George had flying from the roof and hoisted a skull and crossbones instead. That made me feel much better. She wasn’t even prepared to be subtle.
Maureen would turn up at Friar Park at midnight and I would say, “What the hell are you doing here?”
“I’ve come to listen to George playing in the studio.”
“Well, I’m going to bed.”
“Ah, well, I’m going to the studio.”
The next morning, she’d still be there, and I’d say, “Have you thought about your children? What are you up to? I don’t like it.”
“Tough.” ❞
- Pattie Boyd. From “Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me” (via purple-noon)
❝  Lots of people still came to our house, mostly old friends of mine, family, and musicians. Among the latter group a new face began to appear – that of Eric Clapton. He had played on a couple of albums with George, had been in the Yardbirds, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Cream, and Blind Faith. I first met him at a party Brian Epstein gave after a Cream concert at the Saville Theatre, which Brian had just bought. Eric was held in awe by his fellow musicians for his guitar playing, and graffiti declaring that “Clapton is God” had been scrawled on the London Underground. He was incredibly exciting to watch. I was in a box next to Tony King, who worked for the Beatles, and he kept saying, “Oh, my God.” He looked wonderful on stage, very sexy, and played so beautifully. But when I met him afterward he didn’t behave like a rock star: he was surprisingly shy and reticent.
He and George had become close friends; they played, wrote music, and recorded together. At that time his girlfriend was a model called Charlotte, but I was aware that he found me attractive – and I enjoyed the attention he paid me. It was hard not to be flattered when I caught him staring at me or when he chose to sit beside me or complimented me on what I was wearing or the food I had made, or when he said things he knew would make me laugh or engaged me in conversation. Those were all things George no longer did. ❞
- Pattie Boyd. From “Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me” (via purple-noon)
❝  What it was about, for me, was drinking and escaping my responsibilities as a bandleader, so I could just hang out and play for sheer enjoyment, and the music reflected this. Very homespun and mostly acoustic, it was in just this spirit that the song “Wonderful Tonight” was written. I wrote the words for this song one night at Hurtwood while I was waiting for Pattie to get dressed to go out to dinner. We had a busy social life at that time, and Pattie was invariably late getting ready. I was downstairs, waiting, playing the guitar to kill time. Eventually I got fed up and went upstairs to the bedroom, where she was still deciding what to wear. I remember telling her, “Look, you look wonderful, okay? Please don’t change again. We must go or we’ll be late.” It was the classic domestic situation; I was ready and she wasn’t. I went back downstairs to my guitar, and the words of the song just came out very quickly. They were written in about ten minutes, and actually written in anger and frustration. I wasn’t that enamored with it as a song. It was just a ditty, as far as I was concerned, that I could just as easily have thrown away. The first time I played it was around the campfire up at Ronnie’s, when I was playing it for Pattie, and playing it for Ronnie, too, and he liked it. I remember thinking, “I suppose I’d better keep this.” ❞
- Eric Clapton on writing “Wonderful Tonight”, Clapton: The Autobiography (via purple-noon)
❝  From time to time during the spring and summer of 1970 Eric and I saw each other. One day we went to see a film called Kes together, and afterward we were walking down Oxford Street when Eric said, “Do you like me, then, or are you seeing me because I’m famous?”
“Oh, I thought you were seeing me because I’m famous, “ I said. And we both laughed. He always found it difficult to talk about his feelings – instead he poured them into his music and writing.
Once we met under the clock on the cobbled Guildford high street. He had just come back from Miami and had a pair of bellbottom trousers for me – hence the track “Bell Bottom Blues.” He was tanned, gorgeous, and irresistible – but I resisted. On another occasion I drove to Ewhurst and we met in the Hurt Woods. He was wearing a wonderful coat and looked very sexy, as he always did. We didn’t go to the house, probably because someone would have been there. ❞
- Pattie Boyd. From “Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me” (via purple-noon)
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