Layla: The Story Behind the Classic Rock Song by Eric Clapton

Did you know Eric Clapton wrote “Layla” for his secret love, who also happened to be the wife of a Beatle?! Find out more.

Eric Clapton has become an exceedingly divisive musician over the years due primarily to his personal beliefs outside of music. And while I disagree with plenty of his viewpoints, I can’t deny that his song “Layla” is an unquestionable masterpiece. I’ve been blasting the original rock version for decades (the acoustic version is also good!), but it wasn’t until recently that I questioned, what is this song actually about?!

Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon wrote “Layla,” which was released in the 1970s by Clapton and Gordon’s band, Derek and the Dominos. Clapton was in love with Pattie Boyd at the time, who also happened to be the wife of his good friend George Harrison. Yes, THAT George Harrison. The song was titled “Layla,” after the object of desire in a Persian love story, which reflected Clapton’s own feelings of forbidden love. Clapton later married and divorced Boyd, but this was after the initial release of his smash song.

Watch the video below to learn more about the origin story of “Layla.”