The Real 'Layla' Talks About George Harrison and Eric Clapton

Pattie Boyd inspired some of rock's most famous love songs.

ByABC News via GMA logo
August 31, 2007, 11:30 AM

Aug. 31, 2007 — -- She was George Harrison's "Something" and Eric Clapton's "Layla."

What was it about the British model Pattie Boyd that inspired two of rock music's most talented and famous men to write such emotional songs about her?

"I wish I knew," Boyd said in an interview with ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas. "Like, I wish I could tell you. I don't know."

Boyd, who also inspired Clapton to write "Bell Bottom Blues" and "Wonderful Tonight," hasn't spoken very much about her relationship with either man.

But now, at age 63, she has written a memoir detailing her life with rock royalty, called "Wonderful Tonight."

Harrison met 19-year-old Boyd in 1964 on the set of the film "A Hard Day's Night," where she was acting in a small role.

Harrison was smitten with her and said, "Will you marry me?" She laughed, and he replied, "Well, if you won't marry me, will you have dinner with me tonight?"

She turned him down, saying she was already having dinner with a boyfriend.

Boyd rethought the decision, though, and soon broke up with that boyfriend. She was called back to the set of the movie a few days later, and this time she said yes when Harrison asked her out. The two fell in love and married in 1966.

"I thought he was absolutely adorable," Boyd said of the Beatle. "He was very, terribly good looking, but really funny as well and just enchanting."

Harrison and Boyd shared a passionate and stormy marriage for 11 years, a relationship that inspired what many consider one of the greatest love songs ever, "Something."

"I remember him playing this melody quite a lot, and then some time later, he wrote lyrics for it," Boyd said. "And I didn't realize until after he'd recorded it and he told me that he'd written it for me. I was thrilled. I couldn't believe it. It was wonderful."

By the time that song was composed in 1968, however, the couple's marriage was falling apart. Amid the turmoil, Boyd received a declaration of love from her husband's good friend Eric Clapton.