Pattie Boyd reveals ‘love triangle’ letters from George Harrison and Eric Clapton

Pattie Boyd reveals ‘love triangle’ letters from George Harrison and Eric Clapton
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Newly revealed letters have shed fresh light on a notorious love triangle between George Harrison, his close friend Eric Clapton, and rock’s most legendary muse, Pattie Boyd.

The model was admired and pursued by both men during the 1960s and 1970s and inspired some of music’s greatest ever love songs, including Harrison’s “Something” and Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” and “Layla”.

She married Harrison first before being persistently pursued by his close friend Clapton - both marriages eventually breaking down.

Now, she says “it’s time to move on” as she sells the touching love letters from both musicians at an auction for Christie’s.

The sale includes two significant handwritten love letters from Eric Clapton - each estimated to be worth £10,000 to £15,000. One was hastily sent to the Harrison home around the same time he wrote “Layla”, a famous ode to unrequited love named after a woman in a Persian tale about a man driven to obsession by love.

A picture of George Harrison and Pattie Boyd on sale at Christies (Christie’s)
A picture of George Harrison and Pattie Boyd on sale at Christies (Christie’s)

It said: “What I wish to ask you is if you still love your husband?” said Clapton. “All these questions are very impertinent, I know, but if there is still a feeling in your heart for me… you must let me know!”

A second letter was written on a torn-out page of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

‘I would sacrifice my family, my god and my own existence’ wrote Clapton before his marriage to Boyd broke down amid claims of infidelity (Christies)
‘I would sacrifice my family, my god and my own existence’ wrote Clapton before his marriage to Boyd broke down amid claims of infidelity (Christies)

“Dear Layla,” it began, using Clapton’s nickname for Boyd. “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.”

The most expensive item to be featured on the sale by Christies is the original artwork used for the cover of the 1970 Derek and The Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, originally acquired by Clapton from the son of a French artist during a stay at his home, when the guitarist was struck by the resemblance to the similarly blonde-haired Pattie Boyd and is estimated to be worth £40,000 to £60,000.

The original artwork for the cover of Derek and the Dominos album is also up for sale (Christie’s)
The original artwork for the cover of Derek and the Dominos album is also up for sale (Christie’s)

Boyd met Harrison on the set of the band’s 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night. She felt an instant connection to his “shy” nature which she felt reflected her own, according to an interview on the Christie’s website.

The pair eventually married before trouble ensued as Harrison’s close friend, Clapton repeatedly declared his undying love for her. She went on to split from The Beatle, getting with the guitarist weeks later.

In an interview with The Telegraph in 2022, the model-turned-photographer said she felt she had to leave the “hot-headed” Beatle “because things were getting really out of hand”.

Pattie Boyd commented on the sale: “I’m happy to let go of these things which I have treasured and loved for so many years. These items represent special moments in my life but now I think it’s time to move on and share what I have with others.”

The full sale will be on public view at Christie’s headquarters in London from 15 to 21 March.