This song is about the ultimate muse and the battle between two men for her affection.
Pattie Boyd was a beautiful young British model who married George Harrison of the Beatles in 1966 she had only known him for less than 2 years and she was just 22.
This was during the time when George and the rest of the Beatles had just returned for India and George had become very spiritual and this was at the height of the swinging 60’s scene in jolly ol’London.
Pattie experimented with everything from weed to LSD while George was constantly away. The two stayed married through the 60’s but by 1969 George was had to watch his best friend around his young beautiful wife, when slow hand Eric Clapton started spending a suspicious amount of time around the house with Pattie, while George was off recording the White Album.
Pattie was lonely and Eric was head over heels in love with her, so while George and the Beatles were off making their masterpiece, Eric Clapton wrote one of his own in an attempt to win the affection and the hand of Harrison wife.
This is the only album ever released by Derek and the Dominoes titled Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs. Just before the album came out, Eric talked Pattie into meeting him in a secret location, and then he sat her down and played this song repeatedly. It wasn’t until the third spin on the turntable, when Pattie figured out this song was about her and this was Eric’s way of asking her to leave George and be with him.
She refused. Despite her past and her indiscretions, she believed in marriage as a forever concept.
This devastated Clapton and he descended into a deep dark heroin addiction and he tucked himself away from the world for over three years.
Pattie soon learned that nothing last forever. She and George had grown apart as he became more devote to his spirituality and after she may or may not have had an affair with Rolling Stones guitar player Ronnie Wood. She and George divorced in 1974.
By this time Clapton had kick his heroin habit and was back after Pattie. The two did eventually tie the knot in 1979. The honeymoon did not last long because Clapton had just traded one vice for another and Pattie began to drink to deal with Clapton, during the marriage both were raging full blown alcoholics. Clapton even admits to being abusive to Pattie during those years.
After years of heavy drinking, constant fighting and numerous affairs on both sides. The flame had gone out, Pattie and Eric divorced in 1987.
There was once a time when no fire burned hotter than Eric Clapton’s love for Layla.
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