As planned, after reading John by Cynthia Lennon, I have read Wonderful Tonight – George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and me by Pattie Boyd.
And here again, we learn a lot about these iconic stars that are George Harrison and Eric Clapton, with once again a woman trapped in their addictive lives.
“Addictive lives” obviously refers to alcohol and drugs, but also to music and transcendental meditation.
This time, it is not only the story of a Beatles’ partner, this is only one part of the book.
In the first part, we discover Pattie Boyd’s upbringing, and the surprise to learn that she lived most of her childhood in Kenya with her mother and between an absent father and a dark stepfather. When she arrived in England, she spent most of her education in boarding school.
Contrary to Cynthia Lennon, Pattie Boyd has a kind of life of her own before meeting the Beatles, being a successful model. The meeting with the Fab Four took place during the set of A Hard Day’s Night’s movie, where she was chosen as an extra.
They instantly liked each other, but because she had a boyfriend at that time she declined George Harrison’s invitation to dinner (of course, everybody would tell her how stupid it was!). Fortunately, the set was more than one day, and the next time they saw each other, she was able to accept another invitation…
And then, the second part of the book is about her life with George, and the transition from the successful model to the perfect housewife. Unwillingly, she progressively gave up her modelling to stay at home for George who, on his part, grew progressively apart and withdrew into music and transcendental meditation.
Finally, one person took advantage of it… Eric Clapton, a friend of George Harrison, fell in love with Pattie Boyd and declared his love for her every time he was seeing her.
Pattie rejected him at first, but she finally succumbed, thinking she might have the chance to live with someone who cares for her…
Unfortunately, we discover in the third part that life was not that easy with someone like Eric Clapton. Very quickly, she found a man addicted to alcohol, drugs and women; and the only time he showed his feelings was to get her, and to get her back anytime she decided to leave him.
This is the story of a woman who struggled in love relationships, but who was also the muse of two genuises, as she inspired great songs such as Something and Layla.
This makes me want to know more about the tumultuous life of Eric Clapton… To be continued…
“Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me
I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how”
“Layla, you’ve got me on my knees
Layla, I’m begging, darling please
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind”