Okay, I know “Layla”, you know “Layla”… we all know “Layla”. It’s been released three times, charting in both the 70’s (in a radio-friendly 2:43 edited version that leaves out the piano coda) and as an instrumental from Eric Clapton’s 1992 MTV Unplugged performance. But reading about the song just now, there’s a few things I didn’t previously know.
One is that one of Clapton’s Derek and the Dominoes bandmates was Duane Allman. In fact, it was Allman who made the song something of a rocker, reportedly coming up with the song’s signature guitar riff. One more thing I didn’t realize is that Clapton wrote the song about George Harrison’s wife, Patti Boyd, who Clapton would later marry (and divorce). Boyd was also said to be the inspiration for Harrison’s songs, “Something” and “I Need You” as well as Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” and “Bell Bottom Blues”. She also had an affair with Ronnie Wood from the Jeff Beck Group, Faces and the Rolling Stones so, y’know… she knew her way around rock and roll as much as anyone.
Layla – Derek and the Dominos