Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Something In Layla

"Something In Layla" charcoal on mylar, 24 x 20"

The perfect “Black Butterfly muse” subject – Pattie (Boyd) Harrison/Clapton.

So, here’s my tribute to THE muse of the London music scene of the 60’s and 70’s. This time I’ve flipped my symbolism, the model is the muse and the butterflies represent the artists inspired by her. I used several references for this work, all were very low resolution, and I took great artistic liberty and removed a sheer vest Pattie was modeling. I hope she doesn’t mind ;) oops. The photo of her face was most likely from the period when she was torn between George Harrison and Eric Clapton.

According to Wikipedia :

Boyd started her modeling career in London in 1962. She modeled in London, New York and Paris (for Mary Quant and others). Boyd, who was nineteen in 1964, met Harrison during the filming for A Hard Day’s Night, after being cast as a schoolgirl fan for the film. Boyd married Harrison on 21 January 1966.

Boyd says she served as the inspiration for one of George Harrison’s most famous Beatles songs. Boyd maintains that Harrison told her that Something was written for her but after she left him, Harrison denied Boyd was his muse.

In the late 1960s, Clapton and Harrison became close friends, and began writing and recording music together. It was reported at this time that Clapton fell in love with Boyd. Harrison and Boyd split in June 1974, and Boyd married Clapton in 1979.

Boyd is said to also be the inspiration to Bell Bottom Blues which Clapton reportedly wrote after he gave her a pair of blue jeans. In her autobiography, she claims he gave her the pair of pants after returning from a trip to Miami. It appeared on the same album as Layla. “Layla” took its name from a Persian tale of unrequited love that Clapton had received from a friend.

In the true story of Layla, Majnun fell passionately in love with her at first sight. He went mad when her father prevented him from marrying her; for that reason he came to be called Majnun Layla, which means “Driven mad by Layla”. To him were attributed a variety of incredibly passionate romantic Arabic poems. It may be the basis for the story of Romeo and Juliet.

On September 7, 1976, Clapton wrote the famous love song Wonderful Tonight for Boyd while waiting for her to get ready to attend Paul and Linda McCartney’s annual Buddy Holly party. He also reportedly penned other tunes for her: “Pretty Blue Eyes”, “Golden Ring”, “Never Make You Cry” (from Behind the Sun) and “Pretty Girl” (from Money and Cigarettes).

Mick Jagger also made some plays on Boyd, but she rejected his advances. She did, however have a brief affair with Ronnie Wood after her break-up with Harrison. This was apparently some hot muse.

Clapton and Boyd divorced in 1989. Of “Wonderful Tonight,” Boyd would say: “For years it tore at me. To have inspired Eric, and George before him, to write such music was so flattering. Wonderful Tonight was the most poignant reminder of all that was good in our relationship, and when things went wrong it was torture to hear it. “An exhibition of photographs taken by Boyd during her days with Harrison and Clapton opened in San Francisco in 2005, titled, Through the Eye of a Muse. Her autobiography Wonderful Today: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me, was published in England in August 2007 and in the U.S. (as Wonderful Tonight).

Derek and the Dominos


Morgaine said...

Wow ! fantastic work Alice.
Could you pop by my blog I have listed you for an award

Vesna Designs said...

This is just so stunning !