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Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me [Paperback]

Pattie Boyd , Penny Junor
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (567 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 27, 2008
Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

For the first time, rock music’s most famous muse tells her incredible story

Pattie Boyd, former wife of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton, finally breaks a forty-year silence and tells the story of how she found herself bound to two of the most addictive, promiscuous musical geniuses of the twentieth century and became the most legendary muse in the history of rock and roll. The woman who inspired Harrison’s song “Something” and Clapton’s anthem “Layla,” Pattie Boyd has written a book that is rich and raw, funny and heartbreaking–and totally honest.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Q&A with Pattie Boyd, Author of Wonderful Tonight

Why are you writing the book now?

I have been asked for the last 15 years to write a book, and it is only now that I feel the time is right. My confidence in myself was restored after two successful exhibitions of my photography, and it occurred to me that I was finally ready to take a look at the unique experiences of my life and to share them--including all the ups and downs.

Tell us about the first time you met George Harrison.

Working as a model, I occasionally went for castings, mainly for television commercials. I went for an interview with one of the directors I had worked with in the past, and he cast me in his first movie, A Hard Day’s Night, to play the part of a schoolgirl. When I first saw George on the set, I thought he was the best-looking man I’d ever seen. I was so surprised when he asked me out on a date at the end of my first day of filming.

Tell us about the first time you heard George Harrison's song, "Something."

George said he had written a song for me, and he played it on the guitar at home without the words. Then when I heard the song after it had been recorded I couldn’t believe how utterly beautiful it was. It was released on a single in October 1969, and I felt so thrilled and flattered.

Tell us about the first time you heard Eric Clapton's "Layla."

Eric invited me to his band's flat one day and played a rough recording of "Layla" on a cassette recorder. I was sitting on a sofa and he on the floor as it played, and he kept looking up at me for a reaction. I was stunned; the intensity, passion and tenderness came across so strongly--I knew, as he said, it was written for me.


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"[T]he appeal of Wonderful Tonight is as self-evident as the seemingly simple but brash opening chord of 'A Hard Day’s Night'… a charming, lively and seductive book, and like all good memoirs it also works as a cultural history… The prose is clear and unpretentious, and although she writes candidly about the pain her husbands ’ infidelities caused her…this isn’t a bitter tell-all. There’s an aura of sweetness around Boyd’s approach."
New York Times Book Review

“A scrumptious memoir…There is exactly one big question for Ms. Boyd to answer here: What made her leave Mr. Harrison for Mr. Clapton, her husband’s close friend? To its credit the book answers that question plausibly and fully.”
The New York Times

"They say if you can remember the '60s, you weren't really there. Well, Pattie Boyd was there, and she remembers it all." Wonderful Tonight "is a unique gospel of a turbulent time by someone who was in the very eye of the rock 'n' roll hurricane."
Sydney Morning Herald

"Pattie Boyd married two Sixties legends and inspired three of the era's greatest love songs, but life was far from glamorous. The ex-wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton speaks out in this compelling autobiography."
The London Sunday Times

"There are so many wonderful stories in Pattie Boyd's life: Falling in love with a Beatle. Falling in love with another famous rock star, Eric Clapton, and being serenaded with 'Wonderful Tonight' . . . "But there is much that is excruciating in her life story." Boyd "was taught by her parents that she didn't deserve to be loved; she was told by her husbands that she wasn't worth very much, but here she is: not dead, not on drugs, not an alcoholic, but a survivor."
London Daily Mail

“Will thrill classic-rock buffs with a taste for scandal.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Boyd finally answers some of those questions [about George Harrison and Eric Clapton]–but on her own terms.”
—USA Today

“Sixties model Pattie Boyd opens up about her rocky relationships with two of music’s most famed performers.”
—Harper’s Bazaar


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (May 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307407837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307407832
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (567 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
586 of 635 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Admirable Woman August 29, 2007
Format:Hardcover
I'm a Beatles fan too, but am dismayed to see some Beatles and EC acolytes posting not just harsh and unwarranted, but arguably libelious, comments here. "Groupie"?? "Call Girl"??!!

It's sad to see people so rabid and in such denial about their heroes' imperfections that they're smearing a lovely woman because she had the temerity to leave those rock gods before they destroyed her. I fear this sends a message that if you're an abused woman, but your husband is a beloved celebrity (or a popular guy in your community), then keep your mouth shut and put up with it. This is the story of a woman's triumph over abuse and that should be celebrated!

Pattie Boyd gained fame in her own right as was one of the top fashion icons and models of the Swinging London '60s. She was and is a dignified, intelligent woman. She was NOT a "groupie" or a "call girl"; in fact, she initially rebuffed the two men she would later marry.

After being talked and sung about for four decades, Pattie has every right to tell her side of the story. She's said in recent interviews, she chose to NOT reveal graphic details of the abuse she suffered from Slowhand, who has already admitted he repeatedly raped Pattie during their marriage. (See the June 27, 1999, London Sunday Times, recounted here, by the BBC: [...]

Pattie chose to omit the ugliest details from her memoir, but still gives a very vivid description of the fear, panic, and disillusionment that reigned during her marriage to the alcoholic guitar god and her subsequent nervous breakdown.

There are no truly salacious, graphic details in this book -- Pattie is much too classy for that.
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148 of 166 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Revisit to the 60s and 70s September 14, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having just read the biography of Phil Spector and the girlfriend of Lindsey Buckingham, I'm beginning to see a pattern. Rock Stars are narcissistic creatures who do what they want when they want, don't like no for an answer and want to be waited on hand and foot. Oh, one more trend. There are plenty of people willing to do that from wives, girlfriends, managers and roadies.

But this is a special book mainly because you are dealing with two very special musicians. Any Beatle is special and George appears to overall have been a special human being. Eric Clapton also has to go down in the Top 20 of musicians for his guitar playing and long history. Imagine what life is like to have been the inspiration of such classic songs, Layla, Wonderful Tonight, Something in the Way She Moves! Patty's life is very interesting although I wouldn't call it fascinating. She just happened to be at a place to view Pop History in the last half of the 20th Century and meet many of the people who influenced it, as well as partake in the drugs and drink that shaped it. In summary, George comes off as what the public saw: a quiet man with faults like others but a fairly even demeanor, a good chap. Eric, is passionate, but eventually cruel. It's often said that the ones you hurt the worst are the ones closest to you. That's the summary of this book. And Patty participates also by breaking hearts.

I too am surprised by the harsh comments of her by some reviewers. She was a beautiful model who inspired men, maybe no more so than Clapton who pursued her from his friend when still married. I wish there had been more pictures of her to see the appeal. What she does an excellent job of is showing what is behind the public persona of these guys. What was it really like?
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187 of 215 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing... September 13, 2007
Format:Hardcover
Ultimately, the responsibility of the outcome of this book rests on Pattie Boyd's shoulders, but I can't help feeling that she could have used a better co-author here. There are so many problems with this book I'm not sure where to begin. It's unfortunate because I really believe that Pattie has an amazing story to tell.

Clinical is the best way I can describe the telling of this story. Pattie tells us that "this happened, this happened and this happened," but never gives us a real sense of what it was like to experience all these different things. I could accept that if chronologically she wasn't all over the board. One moment she's telling us about something that happened before she was married to George, jumps to something that happened after they were married, and then she's right back to before they were married.

I've seen some complaints about the name-dropping. Quite frankly, I'd be surprised if she didn't drop a few names. What bothered me was that I have never even heard of a lot of these people (sorry, but I'm just not as up as I should be on all the models, photographers and club owners that roamed around swinging London of the 1960's.)

There is something about the way she describes her relationship with George that left me feeling a bit cold. She doesn't even tell us when she knew she was in love with him. Based on what I read, their relationship seemed to be that of roommates. She paints a picture of him as being quite aloof and distant with her, yet quite joyful and generous with her family.

Then there's Eric. This is really were Pattie lost me. I'm still not sure what she saw in this guy that made her leave her husband (yeah, I know, he wrote a song about her...and?) He is not portrayed in a pleasant light at all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I guess you had to be there
You'd think someone with as interesting a public life as she has had would be able to write a more interesting biography. Read more
Published 1 day ago by rabidreader
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good insight into George and Eric.
Published 2 days ago by Jeff P.
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't know if the book was published like this. otherwise its a...
It was advertised as New but I am not sure as the edges of pages stick out in a strange way. I don't know if the book was published like this. otherwise its a clean and good copy. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Zurab Kakabadze
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Growing up in that era and liking the Beatles and Clapton I found this an interesting read.
Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight to an interesting time.
Interesting insight to an interesting time. This is a first hand account of someone who actually lived through the era. Read more
Published 2 days ago by J. Rush
3.0 out of 5 stars A book about a self-involved woman.
This was an OK book but I got very tired of reading about the self involved author. She was taken care of by either George Harrison or Eric Clapton and travelled all over the... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Jean
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Good Read
I didn't expect this book to be as good as it was. I was more interested in learning about George Harrison and I did. The writing was good and it was well edited. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Karen C. Hitzelberger
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay minus minus
Okay but tends to drag, blah, blah. Good "skip" read; find the few good/interesting chapters.The rest are painful.
Published 10 days ago by pmpnlst
3.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue and confusion
Interesting to get this inside perspective on the lives of the rich and famous, but the narrative was confusing. Read more
Published 10 days ago by patty
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read
It was an interesting read. She was so involved in the music scene. I felt she left out as much of the stories as she wrote about. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Beverly Farr
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Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me
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Why I Will Read Customer Reviews Before Buying A Book.
LOL!!!!
Feb 10, 2009 by RumbleDoll |  See all 2 posts
Patti Boyd and homeopathic medicine?
page 85 she was given a diagnosis from a healer in 1965 and got a homeopathic remedy for a kidney disorder
Jan 29, 2008 by kooky Kid |  See all 2 posts
Why I will read this book
I saw it too. Her publisher may have told her to protect the "mystique" of the book and reamain reticent so as not to adversely affect sales.
I look forward to reading her book as well as Eric's.
Aug 26, 2007 by E. Leiss |  See all 2 posts
Why I *Will* Buy/Read This Book
I agree! Linda would NOT ever write a book about her life with Paul. If she were still alive, she would most definitly still be married to Paul,making her even less inclined to write her memoirs. Even if she had written something it would probably be media, crowd pleasing, image control stuff.... Read More
Aug 31, 2007 by Kindle Customer |  See all 3 posts
Why I Won't Buy/Read This Book
Completely agree with T. McCool-
of course the meaning of the letter (to her) is going to change when you find out it's from someone you know and have been close friends with -rather than some person off the street. That's just common sense. Don't know why someone would find fault with her for... Read More
Sep 24, 2007 by Kelli Cane |  See all 10 posts
why i will but this book. Be the first to reply
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