Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Last month I got Pattie Boyd's charming autobiography Wonderful Tonight, and read it very quickly. Perhaps it's because I don't think the former Mrs. Clapton and Mrs. Harrison was as epic, witty or wonderful as Miss Marianne, but I enjoyed her book considerably less than Faithful. And, admittedly, the Rolling Stones are my all time bar-none favorite musical group that's ever graced our planet, so maybe it has something to do with that. Blasphemous as it may seem, I never cared for the Beatles in any sort of obsessed way; same with Clapton. I recognize their talent and that they created some of our best music, but the fascination that fuels my likeness of the Rolling Stones just isn't there for those artists. Oh well. Back to Pattie....
Her book is a good read, I didn't mean to debase its quality by my own personal preference for Marianne and the Stones. I found Marianne's bio to be written better and to be more interesting, but Pattie certainly lived no simple life, and some of her tales of the famous, brilliant men she was in love with are most remarkable. I actually NEVER knew that "Layla", "Wonderful Tonight" and "Something In The Way" were written about her. I thought that her description of her love affair with Eric Clapton seemed far more passionate and exciting than her marriage to George, and that certainly comes through in the music. "Layla" is one of the most overplayed songs in rock history, but if you step back and pretend you're an alien who has never heard it before, it's difficult to deny the greatness of that tune. Eric pined for her for a long time, and all of that longing and passion is eloquently expressed. Their letters to each other I found really sweet, and the pain she felt by his infidelity and alcoholism is something that persoanlly hit close to home, as my relationship with He Who Shall Not Be Named involved a lot of booze and lies. She also didn't have such an easy life. She spent most of her time as a model being anorexic, and she was unable to have children (not due to anorexia), which was a problem in her marriages.
Pattie is a compelling woman, and she comes off rather shy, unlike Marianne and especially Anita. I suppose you can compare how she looks nowadays with that of my Stones goddesses and you can see she's lead a much more clean life! She actually looks very beautiful still, and let's face it, Anita and Marianne are worse for wear and tear (though I love them so much I find their wrinkles to be gorgeous lines bearing the witness of incredible tales). Pattie, in her youth, was a successful model, and she really was quite breath-taking in an innocent Bird of Britain kind of way (and had a great sense of style). To me her eyes lack the fire, intensity, and intelligence of A & M, her smile the wicked seductiveness, but she was still a beautiful girl. Buy her book if you're interested in rock n' roll, famous muses, or the Beatles. You probably won't be disappointed.