The Story Of Layla And Majnun And George


Q: What is EC's personal relationship with George Harrison?
A: The two man have a long-standing friendship, based on mutual affection and admiration for each other's work, and hampered by the most famous love triangle in rock music.

Q: How did the two become friends?
A: The friendship began during the Yardbird's Christmas season with the Beatles at Hammersmith in 1963.

Q: What musical work have they done together?
A: Their musical collaborations are extensive. EC was asked by GH to play lead guitar on While My Guitar Gently Weeps during the sessions for The Beatles in 1968. That same year, EC appearred on Harrison's album Wonderwall Music under the pseudonym Eddie Clayton. The two wrote Badge together in 1969, and GH joined Cream in the studio to perform it. EC and the rest of The Dominoes were the backing band for a substantial portion of GH's 1971 triple album All Things Must Pass. To repay the favor, GH contributed his own guitar work and his current producer, Phil Spector, to the Dominoes first single. EC joined GH's charity band for the Concert For Bangla Desh in 1971.

More recently, EC played on the 1979 album George Harrison, and on four tracks on Cloud 9 from 1987. (The tracks are Cloud 9, That's What It Takes, Devil's Radio and Wreck Of The Hesparus.) The two performed That Kind Of Woman and GH's composition Run So Far together during the sessions for EC's 1989 album Journeyman; the former was not included on the album, but was released on the benefit album "Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal". In 1991, EC and his band backed GH on Live In Japan.

Q: Didn't Eric play on Harrison's 1974 album Dark Horse?
A: Marc Roberty swears that EC did not play on that album, despite the fact that he is credited in the album liner notes for the song Bye Bye Love.

Q: How does Patti fit into all of this?
A: Patti Boyd and George Harrison were married on January 21, 1966 in Surrey. When their relationship began to fall apart, Patti started flirting with Eric in an attempt to get George's attention. Eric returned the affection, perhaps to get revenge for a date George had swiped from Eric. Eric ended up completely in love with his friend's wife, contributing to his severe depression and subsequent heroin addiction. George and Patti were divorced on June 9, 1977, after a long separation. She and Eric were married shortly after.

Q: How does George view his relationship with Eric?
A: From an interview in Crawdaddy from 1977: "We both love Eric, still do, but there were a few funny things. I pulled his chick once. That's happened, and now you'd think he was trying to get his own back on me... Patti and he got together after we'd really split, and actually we'd been splitting up for years. That was a funny thing, you know. I thought that was the best thing to do, for us to split, and we should've done it much sooner. I didn't have any problems about it; Eric had the problem. Every time I'd go and see him he'd really be hung up about it, and I'd be saying, 'Fuck it, man, don't be apologizing,' and he didn't believe me. I was saying, 'I don't care.'"

Q: How does Eric view his relationship with George?
A: From an interview in Q magazine: "Well, we've approached it and I think the wounds were and are pretty deep ... And sadly, the damage done, I don't know if it can ever be repaired."

Q: What are the details of Eric's marriage to Patti Boyd Harrison?
A: The two were married on March 27, 1979 at the Apostolic Assembly of Faith in Christ Jesus in Tuscon, Arizona. The ceremony was conducted in Spanish. To ensure privacy, they booked five different churches for the occasion. When they returned to the UK, they had a reception at Hurtwood Edge in Ewehurst on May 19, 1979. The invitation read:

    +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | Hello                                                             |
    | Me and the Mrs. got married the other day but that was in America |
    | so we've decided to have a bash in my garden on Saturday, May     |
    | 19th about 3:00 pm. for all our mates here at home, if  you are   |
    | free, try and make it, it's bound to be a laugh.                  |
    |                                                                   |
    |                              ...see you then..                    |
    |                                Eric and Patti Clapton             |
    |                                                                   |
    | PS. you don't have to bring any presents if you don't want to.    |
    +-------------------------------------------------------------------+

On stage that night were all of Cream (EC, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker), Mick Jagger, Lonnie Donegan, and 3/4 of the Beatles. In fact, John Lennon revealed that he would have come, even though he was living with Yoko in New York, if he had known about it. This is the closest the Beatles ever came to reuniting.

Q: How did the marriage go after that?
A: The next night, EC brought Patti on stage so that he could sing "Wonderful Tonight" to her; by the end of April he sent her packing off to England. Eric returned from his 1984 tour of Australia and Hong Kong to find that Patti had moved out. The two agreed to a separation, which helped EC to understand how strong of a bond they had, but the birth of his child with Lori Del Santo in 1985 made it impossible to hold the relationship together. Their divorce was finalized sometime in 1989.


1995 Brian Davies & Elysa Leventon
Please send comments to davies@ils.nwu.edu

Excerpted from the Eric Clapton FAQ