Eric Clapton’s Love Letters to George Harrison’s Then-Wife Pattie Boyd Are Headed to Auction

There are few tropes better than love triangles — especially when they involve three rock icons. From March 8-21, auction house Christie’s will host an online auction of items from the personal collection of British photographer and model Pattie Boyd, who served as a muse for both George Harrison and Eric Clapton.

Deemed as “one of the greatest muses in rock history” by Christie’s via a press release on Monday (Feb. 26), Boyd inspired a plethora of songs between the two musicians. Boyd was married to Harrison during the peak of Beatlemania, the band’s foray into psychedelia and post-breakup (1966-1977). Harrison’s Boyd-inspired Beatles tracks include “I Need You” (1965) and Billboard Hot 100 chart-toppers “Something” (1969) and “For You Blue” (1970).

Clapton, a close friend of Harrison’s, pursued Boyd for years via a series of love letters, some of which are available at the auction. “I am writing this note to you, with the main purpose of ascertaining your feelings toward a subject well known to both of us,” he opens one letter. “What I wish to ask you is if you still love your husband, or if you have another lover? 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!”

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By 1974, upon discovering his multitude of extramarital affairs, Boyd left Harrison. Five years later, she and Clapton married, eventually splitting in 1987 due to substance abuse issues and infidelity. In Clapton’s catalog, Boyd can lay claim to inspiring “Layla,” the 1971 No. 12 Hot 100 hit, which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame just 27 years after its release (1998).

For her part, Boyd believes auctioning off these items (which include photos of herself, Harrison and Clapton, as well as postcards, telegrams and letters) is a part of her healing journey.

“I thought, ‘Do I need them? Do I need to keep going into Pandora’s Box?’ I’ve enjoyed them for many, many years, and now it’s time for other people to see and enjoy them. It’s only right I should pass them on,” she mused to Christie’s, where items will be on display at Christie’s in London from March 15-22.


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