The Other Sister

Now 73 years old, Eric Clapton is one of the most famous rock and blues guitarists still actively playing for almost 50 years. Eric Clapton is rated #2 on Rolling Stone Magazine list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, coming in just behind Jimi Hendrix.  Clapton came in #55 on Rolling Stone Magazine list of 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time.  Derek and the Dominos album released in 1970 on ATCO, ‘Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs’ came in at number 117 on Rolling Stone Magazine list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.  Clapton had a number of songs that made it into Rolling Stone Magazine list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time ‘White Room’ with Cream is #376, his ‘Tears in Heaven’ is #362, ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ with Cream is #65 and ‘Layla’ with Derek and the Dominos is # 27.

Layla was written Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon who was a popular session drummer and a member in the blues rock super group Derek and the Dominos.  In 1983, Gordon murdered his mother and was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison.  Three versions of Layla were released, the original in 1972 by Derek & The Dominoes charted #7 in the UK and #10 in the US, Layla (1982) again by Derek & The Dominoes charted #4 in the UK and did not make the US charts and Layla Unplugged by Eric Clapton in 1992 got to #45 in the UK and reached #12 on the US charts.

Ian Dallas a Scottish a playwright and actor was part of the bohemian scene in swinging sixties London before he converted to Islam.  Ian Dallas was friends with both George Harrison and Eric Clapton, and one day he gave a copy of the ancient Persian Sufi parable Layla and Majnun by a 12th-century Persian poet called Nizami Ganjavi to Clapton and Eric shared this book with Pattie Boyd who was married to George Harrison.  This is a story about a princess who was married to the wrong man.  Leyli and Majnun was rewritten later by the eminent Turkish poet and thinker Muhammad Süleyman Oğlu better known as Muhammad Fuzuli.  This is perhaps the most famous of ancient Persian love stories, and many people consider the story of Leyli and Majnun to be an ancient Arabic precursor to that of Romeo and Juliet.  This tale about the tragic lovers tells a passionate story where a man is in love with an unobtainable woman.  Layla and Qays, are in love from childhood but are not allowed to unite.  Qays (called Majnun, which means “possessed”) is perceived to be mad in his obsession with Layla.  Layla is married off to another and Majnun becomes a hermit, devoting himself to writing verses about his profound love of Layla.  Although they attempt to meet, they die without ever realizing a relationship.  Reading this book about desperation struck a chord with his unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, the wife of his friend and fellow musician George Harrison.  The book moved Clapton profoundly, because it was the tale of a young man who fell hopelessly in love with a beautiful, young girl and went crazy because he could not marry her.

George Harrison was 22 when he spotted his future wife 21 year old Pattie Boyd in 1964, while she had a small part in the movie A Hard Day’s Night.  The two dated and eventually got married in 1966.  George Harrison was dissatisfied with the Beatles’ recording of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, so he invited Eric Clapton to play the guitar solo on this.  George and Pattie seemed to be reasonably happy, and George’s career thrived following the Beatles’ breakup.  In the late ‘60s and early ’70s, Harrison and Clapton began working closely together and this led to the unfortunate circumstance of Clapton falling desperately in love with Pattie Harrison.  In 1970, Eric Clapton was passionately in love with his friend George Harrison’s wife, model Patti Boyd, but apparently they were not engaged in any unlawful sexual intercourse at this time.  Embroiled in a love triangle with George and Patti Boyd Harrison, Clapton came up with an album of love-tortured blues songs.  Eric Clapton was so obsessed with Pattie Boyd, that he was actually living with her sister Paula because he couldn’t have Pattie.  Later, Harrison and Boyd’s marriage did fall apart, and Clapton was there to pick up the pieces, marrying Pattie in 1979.   In rock ‘n’ roll, coveting thy neighbor’s wife’s ass seems to be a common theme and nothing makes a better story than when a rock star is fooling around, or into wife swapping, or just cheating on their spouse.

George Harrison was affectionately known as ‘the quiet Beatle’, but in fact he was a habitual womanizer.  When Harrison returned from his trip to India, he wanted to emulate the god Krishna who is usually depicted surrounded by maidens, so he told Pattie that he needed concubines and George took them wherever he could find them.  Charlotte Martin a French model with long legs and an incredible figure who Eric Clapton broke up with in 1968 came to stay with George.  Harrison sent Pattie away to stay with friends and he phoned her six days later to tell her that the girl was gone.  George even suggested that he and Pattie go out with her sister Paula, who was dating Eric Clapton at the time, so that they could swap partners at the end of the evening.  Clapton lost his nerve and the foursome never happened.  However Clapton did ask pianist and long-rumored voodoo practitioner Dr. John for a love potion, and he was given “a little box made out of woven straw” to keep in his pocket several weeks before finally winning Boyd over.

In 1973, Harrison’s friend and houseguest Ronnie Wood told him that he intended to sleep with George’s wife Pattie Boyd that evening.  Harrison ended up sharing a bed with Ronnie’s wife Krissie that night.  The last straw for Pattie was when George began sleeping with Ringo’s wife Maureen, another woman she considered a friend.  Harrison actually announced during a dinner party that he had slept with Ringo Starr’s wife Maureen in front of Pattie.  Both Ringo and Pattie were greatly distressed, and Pattie in particular became annoyed by Maureen’s habit of turning up late at night and spending the evening in meditation with her husband, or locking herself away in a studio with him.

Clapton confessed his feelings about Pattie to his friend George, who seemed to be very cavalier about this, reportedly saying “Do whatever you like, man”, giving him carte blanche to go for it.  Clapton said, “To be honest there was a lot of swapping and fooling around”, but initially Pattie was not persuaded.  Although Eric Clapton and George Harrison remained best of friends, Clapton recalled a tantrum that Harrison threw and said, that he was always a little wary of letting his guard down around George.  As the ‘70s progressed, and George Harrison’s promiscuity and drug usage became increasingly more extreme, Pattie Harrison filed for divorce.  In 1974, Pattie and Clapton became a couple and ultimately married in 1979.  Harrison wasn’t angry and even showed up at their wedding reception.  Ultimately, the same issues that destroyed her marriage to Harrison would precipitate Pattie’s divorce from Clapton, and the couple split in 1988.  Perhaps settling for something a little more stable, Pattie Harrison Clapton married her longtime companion, Rod Weston, a property developer, in 2015.

Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best as the Beatles’ drummer and in 1963 Ringo collapsed at a photo shoot and was hospitalized with tonsillitis and Jimmy Nicol filled in for him.  Ringo was overjoyed when they decided to reinstate him.  Maureen Cox was a trainee hairstylist that fell in love with Ringo Starr, and they were married in secret in 1965, a month after she found out that she was pregnant when she was 18.  Ringo threatened to divorce Maureen when he was told about her having sex with George.  It was Harrison’s wife Pattie who alerted Ringo after she found the pair in bed together.  Ringo was a shitty husband, he was an alcoholic, that did drugs, had affairs, was prone to random acts of violence and he used to beat his wife Maureen.  Ringo had an affair with the American model Nancy Lee Andrews while he was estranged from his wife Maureen.

Pattie had been gone from George for two weeks and even though he had nothing to say to her, he liked her being home with him.  Pattie wanted him to say things, to reassure her of his love, but he didn’t, or couldn’t, or wouldn’t, as he wished that she would just understand that he loved her, without needing a discussion.  Ringo and Maureen stopped over and they disappeared for a while, George heard the studio door open and he turned to Maureen who was standing there and he asked, “Where’s Ringo?”  Maureen just shrugged her shoulders and walked over to him and took his guitar out of his hands and carefully put it in its stand.  She moved back towards him and his eyes were roving as her dress swirled around her legs.  It was then he realized she had on Pattie’s dress.  It was one Pattie had recently bought, a long, floral silk that buttoned down the front.  He could tell Maureen had nothing on underneath.  She bit her bottom lip as she stared intently at him.  Now was his chance to stop things, to laugh and ask her what the fuck she was up to, but he didn’t.  He just stood there passively waiting to see what would happen next, what Maureen wanted to happen, where the realm of reliability was taking them.  As gracefully as a dancer, Maureen knelt before him and unzipped his jeans, and while she was loose, he became firm.  George thought he had hit the mother lode, this was a bonanza as Maureen looked sexier wearing Pattie’s dress than his wife ever did when she wore it.  They actually had the audacity to have sex in the same house while both their spouses were in another room.  Being astride George with the skirt of the dress spread out around her, he looked at Maureen like she was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen.  To George this was the strangest feeling, something that went beyond simple sexual pleasure.  It felt as if there was something inside her, something special he had not experienced before with another woman, something that was making its way into his soul.  When he finally kissed her mouth it was as if he’d arrived home after a long journey.  He didn’t feel remorse, it was just meant to be and he couldn’t argue with the universe.

George Harrison’s love for Pattie inspired him to write the song ‘Something’ which Frank Sinatra said was the best love song of the past 50 years. ‘Something in the Way She Moves’ is a song written by James Taylor that appeared on his 1968 debut album for Apple Records, James Taylor. Taylor told Rolling Stone that this song is about an early girlfriend and the calm you feel in the presence of someone who knows you really well, which basically rules out that it was written about Joni Mitchell or Carly Simon, each of whom he later dated.  The opening line “Something in the way she moves, or looks my way, or calls my name that seems to leave this troubled world behind”, inspired George Harrison to write the #1 Beatles’ song ‘Something’.  Ronnie Wood also wrote two songs that are about Pattie Boyd, ‘Mystifies Me’ and ‘Breathe On Me’.  George & Ringo stayed close even after George’s affair with Maureen.

Paul had a five year relationship with actress Jane Asher that began in 1963, and ended when she came home and found him in bed with another woman.  Harrison met Olivia in Los Angeles where she was working for Dark Horse records and they were married in September 1978, a month after the birth of their son, Dhani.  Harrison died from lung cancer in 2001 at the age of 58, two years after surviving a knife attack by an intruder at home.

Layla was recorded by the short-lived ensemble Derek and the Dominos, and this song storms with aching vocals and crosscutting riffs from Clapton and Duane Allman the rare contributing guitarist who could challenge him, it finally dissolves into a serene, piano-based concluding passage.

What’ll you do when you get lonely
And nobody’s waiting by your side?
You’ve been running and hiding much too long.
You know it’s just your foolish pride.

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

I tried to give you consolation
When your old man had let you down.
Like a fool, I fell in love with you,
Turned my whole world upside down.

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

Let’s make the best of the situation
Before I finally go insane.
Please don’t say I’ll never find a way
And tell me all my love’s in vain.

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

Written for Daily Addictions prompt – Bonanza, for FOWC with Fandango – Tantrum, for November Writing Prompts – The realm of reliability, for Sheryl’s A New Daily Post Word Prompt – Reinstate, for Ragtag Community – Loose, for Scotts Daily Prompt – Firm and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Roving.

18 thoughts on “The Other Sister

  1. Lots of really good information here. I always wondered what the story was with EC, George Harrison, and Patty Boyd. I’m not sure if I’m losin’ it or what, but did you throw a little porn in there? Seems like it veered off for a moment and then returned lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is more like the other way around, as the story that I read was very descriptive and I cleaned it up a lot. It seemed to be true, but it went way too far, however since I did not want to describe any sex acts I had to tone it down. I guess times were different just after the Sumer of Love, but this story allowed me to hit all of the prompts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah! Thank you very much for posting it and for your judicious editing. I didn’t know George was that much of a womanizer and that Ringo was such a jerk. I always thought Ringo was the “good” Beatle.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When I hear about how The Fab 4 supposedly broke up because John & Yoko, then Paul & Lynda, then hear how they were philandering all over the place, it throws things akilter in my p.o.v.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Gosh! Too much of wife swapping! I was always intrigued why the song was titled ‘Layla’ !
    Laila-Majnu is one of the many star-crossed love stories famous in our part of the world.
    My interest in the Boyd sisters was piqued by your post yesterday and you did justice with this one.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I know of a few fellow bloggers who don’t like to read long posts. I guess it is their loss. An interesting post is interesting because of the content and not length. Anyway, to each his/her own. You have a loyal reader in me:)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a bunch of messed up people. I’ve decided not to say who it all reminds me of that I know — and who still appears to be upstanding and all that jazz (has always judged people). Pisses me off. (Not anyone you all would know.)

    I know I’ve heard some of the same kinds of things (and some different things) about Fleetwood Mac and people around them (any of them not being people I know).

    Liked by 1 person

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