Music in my life, George Harrison and Eric Clapton

By Ahmet Abdulaziz ….

The other day I was listening to an old interview of George Harrison, where he was asked about his relationship with Eric Clapton. Interestingly he gave an outright reply, saying, “well we shared the same wife”.

It was such a blatant reply that I had never expected of him. Though I knew the whole story, yet still such a reply took me back to the triangle of George Harrison, Pattie Boyd and Eric Clapton.

Eric and George had developed a good understanding during the 1960s, when George was on his way to becoming a celebrity as a Beatle. In the same period of time, Eric too had established himself as a fantastic guitarist, who had made his own name in the music world, as songwriter, singer, and musician.

However, for those who do not know the triangle of George, Eric, and Pattie, I am repeating here this interesting story of those years.

Pattie Boyd born in 1944 was an English model and photographer. She was one of the leading international models during the 1960s. Her life, however, took a turn, when she was asked to appear in a short role in a movie being made about the Beatles. That short presence of Pattie on the set had made George Harrison develop a liking for her.

They entered into friendship and got married in 1966 when the Beatles were at the height of their career.

However as time passed by, they started having troubles. Their married life started facing problems, which ultimately led to a divorce in 1977.

At the time when Pattie was having difficulties in her marriage to George Harrison, Eric Clapton entered into her life. Being a family friend, Eric was always close to her, however, the two developed a good relationship as Pattie found it difficult to continue with George.

Eric and Pattie married in 1979. George Harrison remained friendly with them. He jokingly used to mention Eric as his “Husband in Law”. Their marriage ultimately ended in 1989.

With this whole story in mind, I came across two wonderful songs of Eric Clapton and George Harrison, which I felt had a direct connection with the triangle that I have mentioned above.

These songs are “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton and “While my Guitar Gently Weeps” by George Harrison.

Though in reality, the two songs may not have any direct relevance with Pattie Boyd and her life, the words to me carry the feelings of one husband  (George) who finds himself losing his wife, and that of another (Eric) winning the heart of his wife to be (Pattie Boyd).

In his song, George says:…………

“ I don’t know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you”

Whereas in his song Eric wrote for Pattie, saying

“I feel wonderful because I see
The love light in your eyes
And the wonder of it all
Is that you just don’t realise how much I love you”

However, George appeared further complaining by saying

“I don’t know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don’t know how you were inverted
No one alerted you “

On the other side, Eric praised the same Pattie by saying

“And then I tell her, as I turn out the light
I say, “My darling, you were wonderful tonight
Oh my darling, you were wonderful tonight.”

I believe that both the songwriters were deeply affected by their personal feelings, which became more than evident in the words of their songs.

However it was not just the words, the tune, the music of both the songs are so fantastic, that still they remain as one of the most popular songs.