Wednesday, August 30, 2023





Blind leading the blind

A person ignorant of a given subject is getting advice and help from another person who is just as ignorant of the subject

Bible origin:
Matthew 15:13-14, Christ referring to the Pahrisees:
"Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."


The phrase and concept appear in earlier texts and works:
Sanskrit texts giving rise to Hinduism:
Abiding in the midst of ignorance, thinking themselves wise and learned, fools go aimlessly hither and thither, like blind led by the blind.
— Katha Upanishad, c 800BC

North India Hindu:
Suppose there were a row of blind men, each holding on to the one in front of him: the first one doesn't see, the middle one doesn't see, the last one doesn't see. In the same way, the statement of the Brahmans turns out to be a row of blind men, as it were: the first one doesn't see, the middle one doesn't see, the last one doesn't see.
— Canki Sutta, oral tradition committed to writing c 29BC

Roman recording:
"Nor does the non-expert teach the non-expert—any more than the blind can lead the blind."
Sextus Empiricus (160 – 210BC) comparing ignorant teachers and blind guides in Outlines of Scepticism:

The most famous artistic depiction of the phrase is Pieter Bruegel's The Blind Leading the Blind, completed in 1568 and currently in the collection of the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples, Italy:

It portrays a line of five blind men, in progressive stages of losing their balance, following the fate of their blind leader, who has already fallen into a stream. We see him, dramatically foreshortened, wallowing on his back, still holding his hurdy-gurdy, the musical instrument commonly associated with beggars. The men have evidently been making their way along a path leading from a village. They are linked together by wooden staves and are guided by placing their hands on the shoulders of the next man in front.

Cornelius Massys’ engraving The Blind Leading the Blind is from the 1550s, however, Bruegel’s work is the earliest known painting​ of the subject.

John Singer Sargent’s poignant 1919 painting Gassed has a modern echo of the above in depicting a line of soldiers blinded by a gas attack heading towards a dressing station.  Sargent was commissioned by the British War Memorials Committee to document the war and visited the Western Front in July 1918 spending time with the Guards Division near Arras, and then with the American Expeditionary Forces near Ypres. The painting was finished in March 1919 and voted picture of the year by the Royal Academy of Arts in 1919. It is now held by the Imperial War Museum.

A photograph similar to Gassed of British troops blinded by poison gas during the Battle of Estaires, 1918


Cast pearls before swine

To offer something prized, helpful or valuable to someone who does not appreciate it.

Bible origin:
Matthew 7:6:
"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."
The biblical text is generally interpreted to be a warning by Jesus to his followers that they should not offer biblical doctrine to those who were unable to value and appreciate it.


At the time both dogs and pigs were poorly regarded. Dogs were part of society, but were half wild and roamed the region in packs that were sometimes dangerous to humans. The word used here refers specifically to dogs without a human master. They were unclean and would eat whatever scraps and carrion they came across. Pigs were the quintessential unclean animal and were closely associated with the Gentile communities in the region which kept them in large numbers. Pearls were a luxury of extreme value.

The metaphor seems to be teaching against giving what is considered just or holy to those who do not appreciate it. Animals such as dogs and pigs cannot appreciate ethics, and this verse implies that there is even some class of human beings who cannot, either.

Historically, a common view was that this verse refers to the Eucharist, that only baptized individuals ought to receive the Eucharist.

One modern argument is that dogs and pigs represent Gentiles and heathens, and that this verse is demonstrating that Jesus' original message was intended only for the Jews. In Jewish literature heathens were often compared to dogs, and the unclean pig was a Jewish symbol for the Roman Empire.

The alternative interpretation is that dogs and pigs are not metaphors for some group of people, but for the unholy in general. This verse is not about excluding some group from God's teaching, but rather ensuring that those things that are God's are kept holy. Thus the Temple is kept clean, religious meals treated with respect, and holy days honoured and kept separate from the turbulence and impiety of daily life.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023





Because I am short of time tonight, because I happened to think about this story and because it made me laugh when I thought of it, I am reposting it.

It was posted in Bytes on March 5, 2023 so it is still quite recent but hey, if you enjoy it, age is no barrier . . . ask Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio.




Today’s Bytes describes a story told on the David Letterman Show by an individual named Jay Thomas.

The interview was sent me by John P, a regular provider of items posted in Bytes. Thanks John, it’s a very funny story. The link to Jay Thomas telling the story appears at the end of this post.

By way of background information, especially for younger readers:

  • The Lone Ranger is a fictional masked former Texas Ranger who fought outlaws in the American Old West with his Native American friend Tonto. The character has been called an enduring icon of American culture. He first appeared in 1933 in a radio show. In 2013, Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films released The Lone Ranger, starring Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger and Johnny Depp as Tonto, but it was a box office flop.
  • Clayton Moore (1914-1999) was an American actor best known for playing the Lone Ranger from 1949 to 1952 and 1953 to 1957 on the television series of the same name and two related films.

Publicity photo of Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger and his horse Silver from a personal appearance booking at Pleasure Island (Massachusetts amusement park), Wakefield Massachusetts.

  • Jay Thomas (1948 – 2017) was an American actor, comedian, and radio personality. His notable television work included his co-starring role as Remo DaVinci on Mork & Mindy (1979–1981), the recurring role of Eddie LeBec, a Boston Bruins goalie on the downside of his career, on Cheers (1987–1989), the lead character of newspaper columnist Jack Stein on Love & War (1992–1995), and a repeat guest role as Jerry Gold, a talk-show host who becomes both an antagonist and love interest of the title character on Murphy Brown. He had also appeared in various films.

In 2000 on Letterman's show, Thomas told a story about when he was a young disc jockey (around 1972) at WAYS 610 AM in Charlotte, North Carolina. Thomas had been making a promotional appearance at a local Dodge dealership, which had also booked a personal appearance by actor Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger, with Moore dressed in his Lone Ranger costume, to open the dealership.

Thomas illustrated his story with a photograph of Clayton Moore at the promotional appearance in full Lone Ranger outfit, with the car dealership owner Pickle Moore:

According to Thomas, he and his colleague Mike Martin, both clad in the hip fashion of the day (including tight jeans, tie-dyed shirts and their hair, which Martin wore long while Thomas himself sported what he called a giant "White Man's Afro"), had secretly gotten "herbed-up" (smoked marijuana) several times throughout the day behind a dumpster whilst the kids were busy with the Lone Ranger.

After the broadcast had ended and the crowd had left, while packing up their equipment, Thomas and Martin discovered that Moore was still there, as the car that was supposed to drive him back to his hotel never arrived; Thomas then offered Moore a ride in his own car, an old, decrepit Volvo, which Moore accepted.

According to Thomas, they did their best not to look stoned.

While stuck in traffic, with Moore sitting quietly in the back seat, an impatient, middle-aged man backed his full-sized Buick into the front end of Thomas' compact Volvo, broke Thomas’s headlight, and then drove off. An angry Thomas chased the Buick down Morehead Street weaving through heavy traffic and forgetting all about Moore still sitting quietly in his back seat.

Thomas finally caught up to the man, blocked his Buick with the Volvo, and confronted him about the broken headlight. The indignant driver denied all; when Thomas threatened to call police, the man exclaimed, "Who do you think they'll believe? Me, or you two hippie freaks?"

At that moment, Moore, still in costume as the Lone Ranger, stepped out of the Volvo, approached the man and said "They'll believe me, citizen!"

The man, incredulous, exclaimed "I didn't know it was you!"

For every year thereafter except 2013, Thomas appeared to repeat the Lone Ranger story, which Letterman called, "The best talk show story, ever."

The link:

Monday, August 28, 2023




From a past Bytes:

Mateship has always been a strong element of the Australian psyche, culture and ethos, although its existence is disputed by some. It has been explained as having evolved from the convict days when men stuck together against authority, developed on the goldfields and forged further at Gallipoli and other battlefields. It has been described as being more than just friendship, that it includes bonds of loyalty, equality, solidarity and fraternity.

Ned Kelly, escaping from the siege at Glenrowan to warn off supporters, then returned to the standoff of the three members of his gang and the police. Those three died, Kelly was badly wounded and arrested. Asked why he had returned when he had gotten away, he responded “A man would have to be a dingo to run out on his mates.”


The below poem, simply called Mates’ Poem, was written by Duncan Butler of the 2/12th Field Ambulance and is an example of a category of poetry known as Soldiers’ Poetry.


Some background:
  • Duncan Butler had enlisted in the Army during WWII, An ex-parson, he was captured and spent three-and-a-half years as a Prisoner of War working on the treacherous Burma Railway.
  • He was repatriated and returned to Australia in October 1945.
  • Duncan Butler’s poem is about his mates on the Railway and. highlights the significance of mateship amongst prisoners-of-war.

Mates' Poem

    - Duncan Butler

I’ve traveled down some dusty roads
Both crooked tracks and straight
And I have learnt life’s noblest creed
Summed up in one word, “Mate”.

I’m thinkin’ back across the years
A thing I do of late
And these words stick between me ears
“You gotta have a mate.”

Someone who’ll take you as you are
Regardless of your state
And stand as firm as Ayers Rock
Because he is your mate.

Me mind goes back to ’43
To slavery and hate
When man’s one chance to stay alive
Depended on his mate.

With bamboo for a billy-can
And bamboo for a plate
A bamboo paradise for bugs
Was bed for me and mate.

You’d slip and slither through the mud
And curse your rotten fate
But then you’d hear a quiet word
“Don’t drop your bundle, mate.”

And though it’s all so long ago
This truth I have to state
A man don’t know what lonely means
’til he has lost his mate.

If there’s a life that follers this
If there’s a Golden Gate
The welcome that I wanna hear
Is just “Goodonya mate”.

And so to all who ask us why
We keep these special dates
Like ANZAC Day, I tell ’em “Why?!
We’re thinkin’ of our mates.”

And when I’ve left the driver’s seat
And ‘anded in me plates
I’ll tell Ol’ Peter at the door
“I’ve come to join me mates.”

Sunday, August 27, 2023




Australian Prime Ministers get hung in Parliament House, not litterally but their portraits do. Kevin Rudd left Parliament 10 years ago but returned recently to unveil his Prime Misterial portrait for the House gallery.

Becoming Oz’s 26th PM in 2007 under a campaign slogan “Kevin 07”, he ended up on the nose with public servants (who dubbed him “Kevin 24/7” for his lack of respect for working hours), the public and within his own party, resulting in his being rolled in favour ofJulia Gillard.

His removal from office began a sequence of four subsequent prime ministers who would all be removed by their own parties before completing their full first term.

At any rate, Rudd’s official portrait is now on the wall:

The official portrait of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, painted by Ralph Heimans.

Former PM Kevin Rudd and wife Therese Rein at the unveiling of his portrait at Parliament House.

By the way, Rudd is curerntly the Oz Ambassador to the US.


Some past official House PM portraits and comment, from the Parliament House website at:
After the end of each Australian Prime Ministers’ term in office, the Historic Memorials Collection (HMC) committee commissions prominent Australian artists to paint their portraits.

The portraits reflect how political leaders have chosen to be portrayed, and how they are viewed by the community. Early Prime Ministerial portraits tended to be intimidating, and larger than life. They often depict sitters in solemn poses, dressed in formal attire emerging from sombre surrounds. Over time, HMC artists have introduced a more personal dimension to the portraits, through the sitter’s pose, choice of backgrounds and inclusion of objects with personal associations.




Tony Abbott
Prime Minister, 18 September 2013 to 15 September 2015
Liberal Party of Australia

Julia Gillard
Prime Minister, 24 June 2010 to 27 June 2013
Australian Labor Party
(Julia Gillard that she wanted her portrait to be different, to reflect that she was first female PM)

John Howard
Prime Minister, 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007
Liberal Party of Australia

Paul Keating
Prime Minister, 20 December 1991 to 11 March 1996
Australian Labor Party

Bob Hawke
Prime Minister, 11 March 1983 to 20 December 1991
Australian Labor Party

Malcolm Fraser
Prime Minister, 11 November 1975 to 11 March 1983
Liberal Party of Australia

Gough Whitlam
Prime Minister, December 1972 to 11 November 1975
Australian Labor Party
The above paiting by Clifton Pugh was awarded the 1972 Archibald Prize. Pugh had won the same prize the year before for a portrait of Australia's 18th Prime Minister John McEwen. After Whitlam's dismissal from office by the Governor-General, Whitlam refused to sit for an official portrait to sit in Parliament House and requested that Pugh's portrait be hung instead. This offer was accepted and the portrait remains part of the Parliament House collection.

The head of the Smithsonian Institution ihas apologised for the dark history behind its collection of human remains.

In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Lonnie G Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, addressed how the institution amassed a collection of tens of thousands of body parts during the first half of the 20th century — taken largely from Black and Indigenous people, as well as other people of colour, and mostly without their consent.

Bunch's apology on behalf of the institution comes after a Washington Post investigation last week revealed that the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History is currently in possession of at least 30,700 human body parts, including 255 brains, from people in countries such as the Philippines, Peru, Germany and the US.

Most of the remains, the Post found, were collected in the early 1900s under the direction of anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka, who sought to advance his now-debunked theories that white people were superior to people of colour.

"It was abhorrent and dehumanising work, and it was carried out under the Smithsonian's name," Bunch wrote in an op-ed published on August 20. "As secretary of the Smithsonian, I condemn these past actions and apologise for the pain caused by Hrdlicka and others at the institution who acted unethically in the name of science, regardless of the era in which their actions occurred."

He continued, "I recognise, too, that the Smithsonian is responsible both for the original work of Hrdlicka and others who subscribed to his beliefs, and for the failure to return the remains he collected to descendant communities in the decades since."

Lonnie Bunch 111

Ales Hrdlicka


A landmark statue commemorating Australian nurses who served in wartime has been unveiled in Canberra.

Nurses who died serving Australia, were the victims of wartime atrocities and made sacrifices for their country are now permanently commemorated after the first statue of a woman at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel, who was the sole survivor of an infamous World War II massacre, has become the first female to be memoralised in bronze at the memorial.

Bullwinkel, who died in 2000, was posted to Singapore as part of the Australian Army Nursing Service in 1941 as British-led forces attempted to repel an attack by the Japanese army.

After the fall of Singapore, 22 unarmed Australian nurses were brutally executed by Japanese soldiers at Bangka Island, east of Sumatra.

Bullwinkel was the only nurse to survive but was later captured and spent three-and-a-half years in a Japanese prison camp.

Following World War II, she left the army and became director of nursing at Melbourne's Fairfield Hospital. She devoted herself to nursing, honouring those killed on Banka Island and raising funds for a nurses' memorial.

The sculpture, created by Brisbane artist Charles Robb, includes 22 inlaid stainless steel discs commemorating the 22 women killed in the atrocity.

Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel, centre, devoted her life to nursing after surviving a World War II massacre.

Saturday, August 26, 2023





From Bytes,
Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Wit and Wisdom of LBJ

Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) was the 36th President of the United States, between 1963 and 1969, becoming Pres upon the assassination of President Kennedy. A rough hewn but sincere Texan, he was noted for his plain speaking and no-nonsense approach to the Presidency. At the same time as he continued Kennedy’s attack on discrimination , he escalated the American presence in Viet Nam, perceiving a need to stand against the expansion of communism. Despite domestic hostility to the war and the portrayal of LBJ as a warmonger (characterised by the chant at anti-war rallies “Hey Hey LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?”), privately the deaths of young men caused him much personal grief. When he left the Presidency he had aged much more than the 6 years in that office. As part of his Great Society program, he was responsible for laws that upheld civil rights, public broadcasting, Medicare, Mediaid, environmental protection, aid to education, aid to the arts, urban and rural development. His War on Poverty helped millions of Americans rise above the poverty line during his presidency. He was succeeded by Richard Nixon and died four years after leaving office.

* * * * * * * *

Some LBJ quotes:

* * * * * * * *
I do not find it easy to send the flower of our youth, our finest young men, into battle.”

News Conference (28 July 1965)

* * * * * * * *
“Gerry Ford is so dumb he can't walk and fart at the same time.... He's a nice fellow, but he spent too much time playing football without a helmet.”

* * * * * * * *
"Boys, I may not know much, but I know chicken shit from chicken salad.”

* * * * * * * *
“[Richard Nixon]'s like a Spanish horse, who runs faster than anyone for the first nine lengths, and then turns around and runs backwards. You'll see; he'll do something wrong in the end. He always does.”

* * * * * * * *
“It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”

On FBI director J Edgar Hoover, who had dirt files on large numbers of politicians and celebrities, as quoted in the New York Times, 31 October 1971

* * * * * * * *
“I took the oath. I became president. But for millions of Americans I was still illegitimate - a pretender to the throne, an illegal usurper. And then there were the bigots and the dividers and the Eastern intellectuals who were waiting to knock me down before I could even begin to stand up. The whole thing was almost unbearable.”

On assuming the Presidency, November 22, 1963

* * * * * * * *
“I will not let you take me backward in time to Vietnam. Fifty thousand American boys are dead. Nothing we can say will change that fact. Your idea that I could have chosen otherwise rests upon complete ignorance. For if I had chosen otherwise, I would have been responsible for starting World War III.”

To his biographer, Doris Kearns Goodwin

* * * * * * * *
“I don’t want loyalty. I want loyalty. I want him to kiss my ass in Macy’s window at high noon and tell me it smells like roses. I want his pecker in my pocket.

Quoted in David Halberstam ‘The Best and the Brightest’ (1972). Discussing a potential assistant.

* * * * * * * *
“If I left the woman I really loved - 'The Great Society' - in order to get involved with that bitch of a war on the other side of the world, then I would lose everything at home. All my programs. All my hopes to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless. But if I let the Communists take over South Vietnam, then I would be seen as an appeaser.”

On the Vietman War

* * * * * * * *
“Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.”

* * * * * * * *
“You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: 'now, you are free to go where you want, do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.' You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race, saying, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe you have been completely fair... This is the next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity—not just legal equity but human ability—not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.”

* * * * * * * *
Making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg. It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.

Private comment, as quoted in Name-Dropping (1999) by John Kenneth Galbraith

* * * * * * * *
“Fuck your parliament and your constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea. If these two fleas continue itching the elephant, they may just get whacked good ...We pay a lot of good American dollars to the Greeks, Mr. Ambassador. If your Prime Minister gives me talk about democracy, parliament and constitution, he, his parliament and his constitution may not last long...”

Comment to the Greek ambassador to Washington, Alexander Matsas, over the Cyprus issue in June 1964. Quoted in I Should Have Died (1977) by Philip Deane

* * * * * * * *
“The purpose of the law is simple. It does not restrict the freedom of any American, so long as he respects the rights of others. It does not give special treatment to any citizen. It does say the only limit to a man's hope for happiness, and for the future of his children, shall be his own ability. It does say that there are those who are equal before God shall now also be equal in the polling booths, in the classrooms, in the factories, and in hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and other places that provide service to the public.”

Civil Rights Bill signing speech, 1964

* * * * * * * *
“I do not believe that the Great Society is the ordered, changeless, and sterile battalion of the ants. It is the excitement of becoming—always becoming, trying, probing, falling, resting, and trying again—but always trying and always gaining.”

Inaugural address, 1965

* * * * * * * *
“In each generation, with toil and tears, we have had to earn our heritage again. If we fail now, we shall have forgotten in abundance what we learned in hardship: that democracy rests on faith, thatfreedom asks more than it gives, and that the judgment of God is harshest on those who are most favored. If we succeed, it will not be because of what we have, but it will be because of what we are; not because of what we own, but, rather because of what we believe. For we are a nation of believers. Underneath the clamor of building and the rush of our day's pursuits, we are believers in justice and liberty and union, and in our own Union. We believe that every man must someday be free. And we believe in ourselves.”

Inaugural address, 1965

* * * * * * * *
Some LBJ pics:

Lyndon Johnson showed off his surgical scar after a double operation to remove his gallbladder and a kidney stone. “I got two operations for the price of one,” said Johnson.

Lyndon B Johnson being sworn in on Air Force One with Jackie still in her blood-stained outfit beside him.

* * * * * * * *

Critical view:
Those wishing to read about LBJ's nasty side should click on:



Friday, August 25, 2023




I recently posted a Bytes item of Ringo Starr singing at the Concert for George, held on 29 November 2002 as a memorial to George Harrison on the first anniversary of his death. He was 58 at his death.

Here is another item from that concert, I don’t grow tired of watching it – George Harrison’s close friend Eric Clapton, and massed musicians, playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps.


I defy you not to be moved and not to get goosebumps at times.

Some viewer comments at the above link:

0:02 Jim Keltner (back)
0:06 Dhani Harrison
0:11 Andy Fairweather Low
0:16 Eric Clapton
0:27 Paul McCartney
0:30 Chris Stainton
0:41 Albert Lee (middle), Dave Bronze (L)
0:47 Marc Mann & Dave Bronze (right)
2:10 Ringo Starr
3:11 (in order of appearance) Jim Capaldi, Emil Richards, Ray Cooper
4:03 Jeff Lynne (L)
4:49 Henry Spinetti (L)
5:27 Gary Brooker (bottom left), Billy Preston (bottom right)

There are 6 drummers and it sounds like one. That’s musicality at its finest.

The stars must have all aligned..because this is a Stellar band. Talent galore....and the collaboration is spot on. I could watch and listen to this all day. Plus...everyone appears to be genuinely enjoying the moment.Kudos!!

I love how Eric is one of the most badass guitarists of all time but he just looks like someone’s dad

Unreal. The amount of talent on this stage. May be the best live version of this epic song ever. Eric Clapton, so perfect--nothing more to say.

One of the most beautiful songs ever written. Clapton's guitar unbelievably actually seems to be weeping. An absolute genius performing another genius' song. Fantastic.

Amazing rendition by Eric Clapton and the entire band along with Paul, Ringo and George’s son Dhani. R.I.P. George & John 🙏🏽✝️

One of the greatest songs ever written what an absolutely beautiful tribute

George was and is my favorite of all of the fab 4. His songs touch different emotions for me than the others. He was the sweet soul of the Beatles. Eric plays and sings beautifully on this magnificent tribute to his friend. George's son playing with all those assembled is emotional beyond words that can be expressed. The all star talent level of all those performing on this version is amazing. RIP George

Brings tears to my old eyes. the young man there with his dad's best mates playing his music, simply beautiful.

If you think about it, that was one of the most legendary live performances of any song of all time

Truly the best version of this song. The solo at the end... every note flows right out of his soul.

You know it’s something special when McCartney is just a sideman. Wow.

This is a fantastic version of one of George's greatest songs. Paul backing Clapton's lead vocal is perfect. The guitars have a drive that this song needs. Great to see George's son there. Just wow.

Oh my God, Eric, the Rock God, Clapton. Flawless, unequaled boyhood hero. And after all the years he hasn't lost any of his magic. I still get chills when he plays. The legend lives on. Seemingly immortal.

To anyone that hasn't watched this entire concert, what ever you do, you must, it really is an amazing experience to involve yourself in, there's no greater thing (in my opinion) than watching such an array of outstanding talent, pouring out raw emotion, in the form of fantastic music, to celebrate their love, affection & appreciation of a great friend.

A man who lost his son, playing his quitar and weeping inside for the loss of his friend... playing next to a son who lost his father and paying homage for the whole world to see.. Beautiful!

Eric put his heart and soul into that song for George. When it was over he looked stunned for a few seconds.

George Harrison and Eric Clapton:

Eric Clapton and George Harrison were best friends, but there were some strange aspects to their history.


The Bizarre Story of Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and Pattie Boyd
By Matty Cord and Colin Newby
October 27th, 2022

Pattie Boyd, the ex-wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton, interviewed with Telegraph Magazine after the release of her new book My Life in Pictures last week. 
Pattie Boyd (centre) and George Harrison (right) after their wedding at Epsom Register Office, pictured with Paul McCartney (left)

Eric Clapton at his 1973 comeback concert organized by Pete Townshend at the Rainbow Theatre in London

The book’s official site described Boyd as a “model, photographer, and one of the most iconic muses of the twentieth century.” However, many classic rock fans will only ever associate her with her bizarre, topsy-turvy relationships with two of the greatest rock stars of her generation.

She is the inspiration for Harrison’s single “Something” and two of Clapton’s most recognizable hits “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight.”

Boyd married George Harrison in 1966 while Beatlemania continued to sweep the music world off its feet. However, she suffered through incredible insecurity that ultimately ended her marriage with the Beatles’ guitarist in 1977.

“I felt I had to leave George because things were getting really out of hand. George was just being a different George. We had gone in different directions, basically. But we still loved each other… It’s just that I think he wanted to spread his wings and take advantage of being the handsome, famous, rich guy that he was and see how the girls feel about him,” she told Telegraph.

Eric Clapton was Harrison’s closest friend, but he had actively pursued Pattie Boyd romantically while she was married to Harrison. He wrote “Layla” in 1970 with Derek and the Dominos about his painful desire for the famous model.

In an unusual twist of events, Clapton married Boyd in 1979. His drug abuse issues complicated the relationship before and after the marriage, and they ultimately split up in 1989.

Having the same ex-wife is hardly a common bonding point of best friends, but Clapton and Harrison remined close until Harrison passed away in 2001.

Boyd spoke about her life after divorcing two famous rock stars and how the astonishing path ultimately led her to happiness after the fame. “Well, I was no longer Mrs. Famous George or Mrs. Famous Eric, so who am I? I am no one. No one knows me. I don’t even know me. I was at a critical point in my life, and so I saw a psychotherapist who was quite wonderful. She was amazing. She guided me out of this mire of respond, and gradually, I learned to believe in myself.”

While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Lyrics:

I look at you all
See the love there that's sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps

I look at the floor
And I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don't know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don't know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you

I look at the world
And I notice, it's turning
While my guitar gently weeps

With every mistake
We must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don't know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don't know how you were inverted
No one alerted you

I look from the wings
At the play you are staging
While my guitar gently weeps

'Cause I'm sitting here
Doing nothing but aging
Still my guitar gently weeps

While My Guitar Gently Weeps, about:


"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was written by George Harrison and is from the Beatles’ 1968 double album The Beatles (also known as "the White Album").

Harrison wrote "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" as an exercise in randomness inspired by the Chinese I Ching. The song conveys his dismay at the world's unrealised potential for universal love, which he refers to as "the love there that's sleeping".

The song also serves as a comment on the disharmony within the Beatles after their return from studying transcendental meditation in India in early 1968. This lack of camaraderie was reflected in the band's initial apathy towards the composition, which Harrison countered by inviting his friend and occasional collaborator, Eric Clapton, to contribute to the recording. Clapton overdubbed a lead guitar part, although he was not formally credited for his contribution.

When discussing another song he wrote at this time, "Not Guilty", Harrison said it referred to "the grief I was catching" from John Lennon and Paul McCartney for leading them to India supposedly hindering the group's career and the launch of their Apple record label. Eric Clapton, with whom Harrison collaborated on several recordings throughout 1968 as a distraction from the Beatles, said that "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" conveyed Harrison's spiritual isolation within the group.

Harrison later complained that John Lennon and Paul McCartney did not give ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ the attention he felt it deserved. The presence of Eric Clapton on lead guitar, at Harrison’s request, made the rest of the group take the song more seriously.

We tried to record it, but John and Paul were so used to just cranking out their tunes that it was very difficult at times to get serious and record one of mine. It wasn’t happening. They weren’t taking it seriously and I don’t think they were even all playing on it, and so I went home that night thinking, ‘Well, that’s a shame,’ because I knew the song was pretty good.

The next day I was driving into London with Eric Clapton, and I said, ‘What are you doing today? Why don’t you come to the studio and play on this song for me?’ He said, ‘Oh, no – I can’t do that. Nobody’s ever played on a Beatles record and the others wouldn’t like it.’ I said, ‘Look, it’s my song and I’d like you to play on it.’

So he came in. I said, ‘Eric’s going to play on this one,’ and it was good because that then made everyone act better. Paul got on the piano and played a nice intro and they all took it more seriously.

George Harrison

The full group recording was made in September 1968, at which point the song's folk-based musical arrangement was replaced by a production in the heavy rock style. The recording was one of several collaborations between Harrison and Clapton during the late 1960s and was followed by the pair co-writing the song "Badge" for Clapton's group Cream.

Harrison and Clapton often performed the song together live, during which they shared the lead guitar role over the closing section.

George Harrison wrote "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" after his return from India, where the Beatles had been studying transcendental meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi during the spring of 1968. The visit had allowed Harrison to re-engage with the guitar as his primary instrument, after focusing on the Indian sitar for the previous two years, and also marked the start of a prolific period for him as a songwriter.

Inspiration for the song came to him when he was visiting his parents in Warrington, Cheshire, and he began reading the I Ching, or "The Book of Changes". As Harrison put it, "[the book] seemed to me to be based on the Eastern concept that everything is relative to everything else, as opposed to the Western view that things are merely coincidental." Embracing this idea of relativism, he committed to writing a song based on the first words he saw upon opening a book, which happened to be "gently weeps".Harrison continued to work on the lyrics after this initial writing session.

A demo that Harrison recorded at his home in Esher includes an unused verse: "I look at the trouble and hate that is raging / While my guitar gently weeps / As I'm sitting here, doing nothing but ageing …" This version also includes the line "The problems you sow are the troubles you're reaping", which he similarly discarded. An early acoustic guitar and harmonium performance of the song features a slightly different third verse: "I look from the wings at the play you are staging / While my guitar gently weeps / As I'm sitting here, doing nothing but ageing …"

The song is a lament for how a universal love for humankind is latent in all individuals yet remains unrealised. Harrison sings of surveying "you all" and seeing "the love there that's sleeping". During the bridges, Harrison adopts a repetitive rhyming scheme in the style of Bob Dylan to convey how humankind has become distracted from its ability to manifest this love. He sings of people that have been "inverted" and "perverted" from their natural perspective.

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" follows in a lyrical tradition established by Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Bo Diddley, whereby emotions and actions are attributed to a musical instrument.

Harrison biographer Joshua Greene says that its message reflects the pessimism encouraged by world events throughout 1968, such as the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in the United States, and the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.


George Harrison, left, with Eric Clapton at the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden, New York, in 1971

Eric Clapton and Dhani Harrison, Concert for George