Pattie Boyd

George and Pattie Harrison, 1966In 1965 Pattie Boyd moved in to Kinfauns, George Harrison's Esher bungalow. In December that year he proposed to her while they were driving in London in December 1965.

They married on 21 January 1966 in a ceremony in Epsom, Surrey. Paul McCartney was the best man, and Brian Epstein also attended; John Lennon and Ringo Starr were on holiday abroad with their wives to distract journalists from the event. Following the wedding the pair spent their honeymoon in Barbados.

In September 1966 Pattie and George flew to Bombay as guests of Indian musician Ravi Shankar. Their interest in Eastern mysticism and belief grew during the trip. Upon their return Pattie attended a lecture on Transcendental Meditation at London's Caxton Hall, and soon afterwards persuaded George, along with Lennon, McCartney and their partners, to hear the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi speak at the London Hilton on 24 August 1967.

Pattie subsequently accompanied The Beatles as they joined the Maharishi in Bangor, Wales, and again in 1968 when they spent several weeks at his meditation training camp in Rishikesh, India.

The Beatles in Rishikesh, India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1968

Although she and Harrison were a close couple, Pattie was rarely present in the studio while The Beatles were recording.

It was one of those flat cap attitudes which we were losing by then. I think if Maureen came to the studio five or six times that would be about it, and in all the years Pattie came several times at most. I don't remember Cynthia coming much when she was married to John. It was just something that didn't happen.
Ringo Starr
Anthology

Despite this, she appeared on a number of Beatles songs. Pattie participated in the chorus of Yellow Submarine, recorded at Abbey Road on 1 June 1966, and helped out on the song's various special effects.

She was also present for the 10 February 1967 orchestral overdubs for A Day In The Life, which were filmed for a mooted television special but never shown. And on 25 June she sat cross-legged on the studio floor as The Beatles performed All You Need Is Love for the Our World satellite link-up; also present were Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richard, Eric Clapton, Keith Moon and Jane Asher.

Perhaps the song most prominently featuring Pattie was Birthday on the White Album; she performed backing vocals on the song with John Lennon's then-girlfriend Yoko Ono.

Although George Harrison later downplayed the connection, saying he envisaged it being sung by Ray Charles, it is widely held that he wrote Something, one of Abbey Road's highlights, for Pattie.

He told me in a matter-of-fact way that he had written it for me. I thought it was beautiful and it turned out to be the most successful song he ever wrote, with more than 150 cover versions.
Pattie Boyd
Wonderful Tonight

Pattie and George Harrison were arrested on 12 March 1969 at their Esher home for possession of marijuana, following a police raid. It took place on the day of Paul McCartney's wedding to Linda Eastman.

George and Pattie Harrison, 1968

I was with George in the office when that call came through. It was the end of a long day at Apple. Pattie rang and said, 'They're here - the law is here,' and we knew what to do by then. We phoned Release's lawyer, Martin Polden. We had a routine: he came round to Apple, and we all went down by limousine to Esher, where the police were well ensconced by then - and I stood bail for George and Pattie. They went off to the police station.
Derek Taylor
Anthology

5 responses on “Pattie Boyd

  1. AlfinaHawaii

    My GOD… this George with Maureen thing is just flat out childish! And Pattie’s reaction was almost equally childish – which was, unfortunately, not much of a surprise to me.

    I could just imagine the “temperature” of the Beatles inner circle back in 1968-1969. John and Yoko were making a saga; George was having drunken fling with his best friend’s wife.

    Whether it is true or not, I feel I can imagine why Paul shied away from the marriage issue at the time.

    I can’t help it – I have to applaud Paul for getting the “itches” out of his system by playing the fields before tying his first knot with Linda.

  2. NEIL

    Pattie and George were such a beautiful couple. Pattie’s face had more character before she had her teeth straightened. It must have been difficult for her trying to be the lady of the manor at that huge Victorian pile that George bought, particularly with Maureen’s ‘visits’.

Leave a reply