If you’re a fan of the ballads Something, Wonderful Tonight or Layla, you can thank a woman named Pattie Boyd. The British model inspired husband George Harrison to pen his 1969 hit single Something before she caught the eye of another rock legend, Eric Clapton, who seduced her with Layla while she was still married to the Beatles guitarist. “My first thought was, ‘Oh, God, everyone’s going to know this is about me,'” Boyd recalled in her 2007 memoir Wonderful Todayof having Clapton play for her what she called “the most powerful, moving song I had ever heard.” The two men even once staged a guitar-playing duel to win her affection.
In the end, Clapton won — Boyd divorced Harrison in 1977 and married Clapton two years later — but Clapton’s victory was short-lived; he and Boyd divorced in 1988. “For years it tore at me,” she later said of the song Wonderful Tonight, which Clapton wrote for her the year she left Harrison. “[It] was the most poignant reminder of all that was good in our relationship, and when things went wrong it was torture to hear it.” For the rest of us, the song remains a classic.