In the August issue Harper’s Bazaar, Pattie Boyd — perhaps rock’s greatest muse and wife to both George Harrison and then Eric Clapton — recalls to pop star Taylor Swift the often dangerous side of “Beatlemania.” Boyd, who met Harrison on the set of the “Fab Four’s” 1964 A Hard Day’s Night movie, married the “Quiet Beatle” in 1966 before finally divorcing him just over a decade later. Boyd, who had a small role in the film, remembered her early days with Harrison: “Living in London with George, there were so many fans every day, it became impossible to leave the flat. (Manager) Brian Epstein thought there might be an idea that John (Lennon), Ringo (Starr), and George move to the country, have little houses about an hour out of London. We would decorate the outside of our house with spray-paint cans. The whole house was like a psychedelic monster.” The magazine’s spread features Swift aping some of Boyd’s famed “Swinging London” outfits and model poses.
She thought back to the first time she saw the group’s fans completely lose control, remembering, “In my first experience, I found it absolutely terrifying. I got to see the Beatles play at a theater in London, and George told me that I should leave with my friends before the last number. So before the last song, we got up from our seats and walked toward the nearest exit door, and there were these girls behind me. They followed us out, and they were kicking me and pulling my hair and pushing us all the way down this long passageway.”
Swift asked Boyd if the fans still hold a grudge against her for snagging George away from them: “George is no longer with us, or John. It was such a long time ago, and the fans haven’t held on to the same antagonistic feelings toward me. Actually they seem happy that I’m sharing the photographs I took. One time I was having an exhibition, and these girls turned up dressed like me in A Hard Day’s Night. . . It is adorable.”
Ironically, it was George Harrison forcing Pattie Boyd to give up her modeling career after their marriage that led to her finding her true calling as a photographer: “No, he really preferred me not to be working. As far as he was concerned, if we were married then I shouldn’t have to work. It was much nicer for us to be together, to spend time together. Because he would either be on tour with the Beatles or he would be recording. So, he didn’t want me to be working as well.”