The Pattie Boyd Effect/Affect

Yes indeed, science has its formulas. Albert Einstein came up with that one about “mass–energy equivalence” and now everybody knows that E = mc2 (well, supposedly anyways).

Then there’s Sir Issac Newton and his trifector of motion. He wrote it in Latin so I can’t understand it, but people say it’s important and I believe them ever since the time I got lost in an apple orchard.

Pattie Boyd

But it’s not very fair for science to hog all the important formulas. Music should have some too. And thanks to a gal named Pattie Boyd, it does.

Just like Newton, Pattie Boyd has her own trifector (intellectual term for trifecta). She’s responsible, maybe a little indirectly, for three of the best love songs to ever come out of England, or not out of England even. She’s been a model and a photographer, and she’s also been the wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton.

The formula for her trifector, henceforth known as the “Pattie Boyd Effect/Affect” can be described like this:

SM + PB x FF = BS

Where: SM = Some Musician, PB = Pattie Boyd, FF = Feeling a feeling and BS = Bul…Brilliant Song .

For example, take the song “Something” off the Beatles album Abbey Road:

(George Harrison) + (Pattie Boyd) x (the feeling of a blooming love) =


Then there’s this song, that Eric Clapton wrote about his best friend’s wife:

(Eric Clapton) + (Pattie Boyd) x (the pining for an unrequited love) =

And then there’s the song that Clapton wrote once his love wasn’t so unrequited:

(Eric Clapton) + (Pattie Boyd) x (the feeling of wonder) = 

Just as with any theory, there’s a bit of debate over whether all these songs were about her. Likely, however, these weren’t the only ones written about her, and the “Pattie Boyd Effect/Affect” applies to them as well.

To find out more about Boyd and her relationship with these songs, you could read her autobiography. You’ll also find out a lot of stuff about Clapton and Harrison that you probably didn’t want to know. But it’s like Eddie Vedder says:  “love the music, not the musician” – and this formula helps explain the origins of some rather important examples of the former.

Explore posts in the same categories: Music from across the pond, One time, Back in History...

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2 Comments on “The Pattie Boyd Effect/Affect”

  1. Trex McGee Says:

    I hope you realise that you’re a genius. I love this article. Your up beat writing style is awesome as always. Maths has never been more rock & roll. I love that you went with Layla live. I do love the riff of the original but I prefer the acoustic one. I’m probably not going to read her autobiography. Was she having an affair with Clapton while is was with Harrison? Do you think her magic could have improved Ringos “talent”?

  2. Diane Says:

    Pattie was and is gorgeous, then and now.

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