Taylor Swift talks muses & songwriting with iconic muse Pattie Boyd for Bazaar

Harper's BAZAAR Aug '18 Cover_NS

I’ve mentioned this before, but if you ever want a breezy, interesting autobiography to read, check out Pattie Boyd’s Wonderful Tonight. Boyd was George Harrison’s first wife, then she divorced George and married Eric Clapton. She was the “muse” to two of the most talented men in the history of rock and roll, and she inspired such classics as “Wonderful Tonight” and “Something” and “Layla,” among others. Her book was a really nice read, and a wonderful portrait of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Anyway, Pattie is the subject of this new Harper’s Bazaar interview. The interview was conducted by… cover subject Taylor Swift. Taylor hasn’t really given an interview in years. She didn’t do interviews at all to promote Reputation, even though she did agree to some magazine covers. So basically, this “interview” is more of a conversation. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

On Taylor’s connection to Pattie: “We’re both women whose lives have been deeply influenced by songs and songwriting. I stand on one side of it, and you [Pattie Boyd] on the other.”

Taylor on finding moments of inspiration: “There are definitely moments when it’s like this cloud of an idea comes and just lands in front of your face, and you reach up and grab it. A lot of songwriting is things you learn, structure, and cultivating that skill, and knowing how to craft a song. But there are mystical, magical moments, inexplicable moments when an idea that is fully formed just pops into your head. And that’s the purest part of my job. It can get complicated on every other level, but the songwriting is still the same uncomplicated process it was when I was 12 years old writing songs in my room.”

Tay on muses: “I don’t know what it is that makes some people really creatively inspiring. There have been people I’ve spent a lot of time with who I just couldn’t write about… It’s just that some people come into your life and they have this effect on you.”

On how Pattie inspires her future self: “I would love to look back on my life with the same clarity, wisdom, and peace that you [Pattie] seem to have.”

[From Harper’s Bazaar]

I agree that Pattie Boyd is a legend and an icon. But what I don’t understand is why Taylor seems to identify with Boyd, the songwriter’s muse, rather the songwriter. I mean, the comparisons which Taylor should be trying to make are between herself and, like, Carole King and Carly Simon and even Liz Phair and Alanis. That’s the comparison. Tay isn’t the muse: she’s looking for muses. And she finds them with Tom Hiddleston, Jake Gyllenhaal, Harry Styles and now Handsome Joe.


Photos and cover courtesy of Alexi Lubomirski for Harper’s Bazaar, sent from promotional email.

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30 Responses to “Taylor Swift talks muses & songwriting with iconic muse Pattie Boyd for Bazaar”

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  1. minx says:

    I love, love, love Pattie. She’s a goddess. She had a little beauty column in 16 magazine in the 60s and I remember trying to copy her style. I was 13 and I really had a girl crush on her.

    • Milla says:

      I love her as well. She’s a legend. And i like the photos. but I’m in love with 60 and 70s.

  2. Shannon says:

    I think that’s why she said Pattie is on one side and Taylor’s on the other? If I understood it correctly.

  3. Case says:

    It is strange that the magazine would pair these two together and try to make the connection between them. Taylor actively searches for new muses more openly than any artist I can think of at the moment, so they really are on opposite ends of the songwriting process.

    Taylor looks lovely dressing in this mod style.

  4. Spark says:

    I LOVED ‘Wonderful Tonight’. Read it three times. I’m not even a Beatles fan.

  5. WinnieCoopersMom says:

    Taylor is obviously a pretty young women, but I don’t understand why she continues to pose with her mouth open like that. When she does, she puts out some serious Nepoleon Dynamite/mouth breather vibes. It’s just so unnecessary and not a good look for her face/mouth shape. Aside from that, this interview is super random.

    • HelloSunshine says:

      Omg thank you. I think that TS is quite pretty but when she does the open mouth pose, it drives me nuts. My eyes instantly jump down to that lol

    • Red says:

      So agreed. I think Taylor looks good styled in the 60′s and 70′s, but the entire photo shoot is ruined with her mouth hanging open. She never closes it. The interview sounds boring af, either Taylor has nothing interesting to add anymore or she’s being purposely uninteresting. There is no connection here at all.

    • Josie says:

      She has huge veneers

    • SK says:

      I don’t think she’s pretty and the constant mouth open at rest is just extra offputting ( I already don’t like her face)

  6. Surely Wolfbeak says:

    Ugh. I feel the need to point out that Patty Boyd left George Harrison for Eric Clapton AFTER Eric Clapton went on a racist tirade in Birmingham in 1976.


    • minx says:

      George was sleeping with everything that walked, so I don’t blame Pattie for bailing. And there was a LOT of drinking and drugging going on by all parties, I don’t think any of them were clear headed at that time.

      • Surely Wolfbeak says:

        Sorry, I just added a link that includes Clapton’s rant. My issue isn’t so much with leaving Harrison as it is with marrying Clapton, who was an avowed racist at the time.

      • minx says:

        She might have thought, as with the drinking, that she could change him. Or maybe she didn’t even think about it at all. They were all shitfaced a lot of the time.

      • Ginger says:

        No excuses for racism. NO EXCUSES FOR RACISM.

      • minx says:

        I didn’t say there were excuses for racism. I have no idea what was going through Pattie’s head when she married Clapton, merely guessing, as we all are. I wouldn’t have gone near the guy, then or now.

      • perplexed says:

        Even though he apologized, yikes on what he said. That is pure hatred coming out of his mouth. I had no idea he used to be racist (what he claims. What he is now I have no idea as I don’t follow him).

      • Kit says:

        And he calls those words “semi racism”.

    • perplexed says:

      “And he calls those words “semi racism”.”

      Oh yeah, I was staring at that term strangely. I mean, before I read what he had said, I had a vague idea it was going to be offensive. But what he said legitimately shocked me.

  7. sara says:

    I think the interview was more for the photos than the musical comparison. Taylor really physically resembles a young Pattie.

    • jammypants says:

      I think Taylor looks more like Patti Hansen but her tweeness resembles Pattie Boyd more.

  8. violet says:

    Boyd is prettier than Swift ever was or ever will be. My Mom said Boyd ruined her adolescence: everyone, but everyone, wanted to look like her but hardly anyone could, with that English rose face and delicate frame. I have a photo of my Mom in the late 1960s with her former pageboy suddenly cut into Cleopatra lines with straight bangs and long hair.

    This being Bazaar, I’m sure those photos of Boyd will be heavily retouched, because I’ve seen candids of her at this age, and she doesn’t look anything like that, she looks entirely her age and clearly hasn’t had any work done, for which I hugely respect her.

    My Mom has kept tabs on Boyd all these years, especially as her fave Beatle was George.

  9. lobstah says:

    I don’t understand who approved those veneers in Taylor’s mouth. Her teeth are too big for her mouth, so she can never close it.

  10. Leapin' Lizards! says:

    Who put this thing together? I don’t see any connection between a ‘muse” from a half century ago, most people Tay’s age probably don’t know about her anyway — and an incredibly successful songwriter/performer who is 100% in control of her product. No connection what-so-ever.

    • elimaeby says:

      While I agree that the connection between the two is tenuous at best, I am about Taylor’s age (a few years older, but in the same demographic), and have read Pattie’s book twice and have Beatles-themed tattoos. The Beatles are fairly ageless, as far as pop culture and music go.

  11. ChillyWilly says:

    Taylor can’t compare to any of the women Kaiser mentioned. But I like the cover. She’s a very pretty girl.

  12. Harryg says:

    Boyd’s memoir is really good!

  13. perplexed says:

    If Swift is interviewing Boyd, I think Swift is simply complimenting her as a kind of thing that celebrities do with each other, not comparing herself to Boyd.

    Boyd looks like….Melanie Griffiths in that one photo. It’s a little strange.