On this day in 1979, Eric Clapton married Pattie Boyd. Clapton had been in love with Boyd since the late sixties, but Boyd was then married to Clapton’s best friend, fellow musician, and Beatle George Harrison. During this time, Clapton was dating Boyd’s younger sister Paula as a substitute; she would later leave him after hearing ‘Layla’, a song he wrote about Pattie.
Clapton’s love for Boyd would drive him mad over the years. He descended into heroin abuse after she denied his affections in 1970. During a night of drink and drugs, George Harrison would ask Clapton if he would be into “swapping partners for the evening”, Clapton was so upset that Harrison would want to share Boyd that he came out and told Harrison of his love for his wife. Harrison didn’t seem to be to bothered by this – he had other women and was growing apart from Boyd.
Once married, Clapton would go on to write the famous love song ‘Wonderful Tonight’ and ‘Bell Bottom Blues’ for Boyd, but he was not be able to kick his drug habit and had fallen deeper into alcohol abuse. Boyd eventually left Clapton in 1984 due to his infidelities (even impregnating and having a child with an Italian model) and his addictions. They would divorce in 1988.