Patti Harrison

Biography by

Patti Harrison, the first wife of George Harrison, was Patti Boyd when she met George on the set of A Hard Day's Night in March 1964. Patti, then a model, had a bit part as one of the girls watching the…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

Patti Harrison, the first wife of George Harrison, was Patti Boyd when she met George on the set of A Hard Day's Night in March 1964. Patti, then a model, had a bit part as one of the girls watching the Beatles during their train sequence. She and George were married on January 21, 1966, and Patti ended up taking cameo roles on Beatles' records, as one of the background voices on "Yellow Submarine" and a backup vocalist on "Birthday." She also was the inspiration behind George's most famous song, "Something," as well as the much less famous "For You Blue," from the Beatles' Let It Be album.

Even more famously, perhaps, Patti Harrison was the inspiration for Derek & the Dominos' "Layla." Eric Clapton, a close friend of George's, had fallen in love with Patti and composed "Layla" to express his anguish over his frustration, the name "Layla" substituting for her real identity. Although Patti did not leave George at the time around which "Layla" was written (in the early '70s), she did eventually leave Harrison for Clapton by the mid-'70s. Harrison and Clapton managed to maintain their friendship; George even said at a 1974 press conference that he was "very happy about" Eric and Patti's romance, "because he's great. I'd rather have her with him than with some dope." In a strange sidelight, a song from George's 1974 album Dark Horse, a cover of the Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love," features Patti on background vocals and Clapton on guitar. Eric Clapton and Patti Boyd Harrison married in 1979, but separated in the '80s.