Pattie Boyd’s Friends Thought She Was ‘Out of [Her] Mind’ for Rejecting George Harrison

TL;DR:

  • George Harrison and Pattie Boyd met while filming A Hard Day’s Night.
  • Pattie Boyd’s friends were furious that she turned down George Harrison.
  • Pattie Boyd eventually took her friends’ advice.

In 1964, George Harrison proposed to Pattie Boyd within hours of knowing her. Boyd laughed off his proposal and turned down his subsequent request to take her to dinner. She had a boyfriend at the time and felt that it was best to reject Harrison. When she told her friends about this later, though, they were horrified. They couldn’t believe that she would say no to a date with a member of The Beatles.

A black and white photo of George Harrison sitting with his arm around Pattie Boyd's shoulders.
Pattie Boyd and George Harrison | Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The couple met on the set of the first Beatles movie

Harrison was working as a model when she was cast in the first Beatles film, A Hard Day’s Night. She almost didn’t want to take the part — she wasn’t an actor and didn’t think she’d be able to do it. Ultimately, though, she accepted the role and met all four Beatles.

“On first impressions, John seemed more cynical and brash than the others, Ringo the most endearing, Paul was cute, and George, with velvet-brown eyes and dark chestnut hair, was the best-looking man I had ever seen,” she wrote in the book Wonderful Tonight. “At a break for lunch, I found myself sitting next to him. Being close to him was electrifying.”

Pattie Boyd’s friends couldn’t believe she rejected him

At the end of the shoot, Harrison asked Boyd if she would marry him. She laughingly brushed him off, but then he asked if she’d join him for dinner. 

“I was thrown,” she wrote. “Was he serious or just playing around? I felt awkward and said I couldn’t, I had a boyfriend, but I was sure my boyfriend would love to meet him — maybe we could all go out. George didn’t think so, so we said our farewells at the station and disappeared into the night.” 

Her roommate couldn’t believe this when she heard it. Boyd said that she launched into a “tirade” about why she should have said yes, ending with a blunt statement about her current boyfriend: “You don’t even like Eric!”

The next day, Boyd told another model, Pat Booth, about the situation.

“Are you crazy?” Booth responded. “You must be out of your mind.”

Boyd explained that her boyfriend, Eric, wouldn’t like it if she started dating Harrison.

“Of course he wouldn’t, but he’ll get over it,” Booth said. “And if he doesn’t so what? You don’t turn down the chance of going out with George Harrison. It would be such an adventure. You’ve got to go.”

Pattie Boyd took her friends’ advice and accepted George Harrison’s invitation to dinner

As the second day of filming approached, Boyd decided to take her friends’ advice. She found that she wanted Harrison to ask her out again, which signaled to her that she should break up with her boyfriend. 

“I saw George again on March 12, a few days before my twentieth birthday,” she wrote. “He had turned twenty-one the month before. There was a press photo call at Twickenham Studios and each of us schoolgirls had to stand behind a Beatle and pretend to do their hair. I made a beeline for George. He seemed pleased to see me and asked how my boyfriend was. I told him I’d dumped him. He grinned and asked me to have dinner with him.” 

Two years later, Boyd and Harrison got married.

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