Eric Clapton and George Harrison were friends, but their relationship wasn’t without its snarls. Clapton went after Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd while they were still together and later became her second husband. He also became the object of Harrison’s wrath when he did something he mistakenly believed would be helpful. He explained that after that moment he was wary of letting his guard down on Harrison.
George Harrison and Eric Clapton had a complicated relationship
Harrison and Clapton were friends for years, collaborating on music and supporting each other’s work. Clapton complicated things when he fell in love with Boyd.
“He and George had become close friends; They played, wrote and recorded together,” Boyd wrote in the book Wonderful tonight. “At the time his girlfriend was a model named Charlotte, but I was aware that he found me attractive — and I enjoyed the attention he gave me.”
Her marriage to Harrison was rocky at best, and she appreciated Clapton’s attention.
“It was hard not to be flattered when I caught him staring at me or when he decided to sit next to me or complimented my clothes or the food I had prepared or when he Said things he knew would make me laugh or engaged in conversation,” she wrote. “Those were all things George stopped doing.”
Eventually Harrison and Boyd separated and she married Clapton. Surprisingly, however, this did not permanently damage their friendship. Harrison even stopped by Boyd and Clapton’s at Christmas.
Eric Clapton didn’t want to let George Harrison down
In 1968 Harrison invited Clapton to play on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. Afterwards, Harrison brought in a copy of the White Album, which the song would appear on. Clapton took it on a tour of America and started showing it to friends. It wasn’t long before he received an angry call from Harrison.
“He had heard that I was playing the album in town and he was angry and gave me a huge shit,” Clapton wrote in the book Clapton: The Autobiography. “I remember being incredibly hurt because I thought I had done a great job promoting their music to really discriminatory people. It brought me down to earth with a bang and it was a good lesson to learn about boundaries and not making assumptions, but it hurt like hell.”
Harrison forgave Clapton, but the latter said he never fully lowered his vigilance towards the Beatle.
“I stayed away from him for a while, but over time we became friends again, although I’ve always been a little wary of losing my guard around him after that.”
The former Beatle said anger is not a productive emotion
Harrison made his anger and frustration clear to Clapton, but he personally believed the emotions were of no use.
“He was the first to say that you can’t do anything with bitterness, anger or hate,” his friend Tom Petty told Rolling Stone in 2001. “I don’t know how many times he reminds me that bitterness or pessimism is something will only slow you down to finding the solution. And so he lived.”
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https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/eric-clapton-wary-letting-guard-george-harrison-painful-scolding.html/ Eric Clapton was ‘cautious’ to stop defending George Harrison after a painful scolding