books, george harrison

Wonderful Tonight

So I started reading Pattie Boyd’s autobiography at the end of summer, and have just picked it up again (it’s at the part where she marries Eric Clapton). For some reason, regular biographies bore me, but I really enjoy reading autobiographies and memoirs. It doesn’t have to be about a celebrity either; I just love to read about people’s own experiences and the way in which they remember them. In the case of this book, there are a lot of crazy stories about the 60s and later Eric’s alcohol/drug problems, but there are also a lot of funny little anecdotes that are a reminder that these famous rock stars are just like the rest of us. Take, for instance:

We had a lot of visitors, including Ronnie and Krissie Wood, and Mick Jagger. One morning when I came down in the morning to make tea, Krissie said “shh”…I crept into the kitchen and there was Mick, up to his elbows in soap suds, washing the dishes from the night before…

[and in reference to a trip to Tahiti in 1964]
We had so much fun – it felt as though we did nothing but laugh. On one of the islands, John and George borrowed our black wigs, dressed up in some oilskin macs they had bought in Papeete, and made a funny little 8-millimeter film about a missionary – John – who comes out of the ocean to convert the natives.
Haha, I always wondered what the context of this picture was:


In case you didn’t know, Pattie Boyd was married to George Harrison and then left him for Eric Clapton, George’s best friend. A little messed up on all accounts, but somehow they remained friends, haha. I found a relevant pic on Classic Rock Macros:


For the record, I think George was by far the better husband, but if Eric hadn’t been so obsessed with Pattie, two of my favorite Clapton songs (“Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight”) wouldn’t have been written. So let’s hear it for awkward love triangles!

EDIT: Ahhhhhhhhh I am near the end of the book and these parts were heartwrenching:

George and I didn’t speak on the phone much, but we saw each other from time to time. He had become almost an older brother to me, someone with whom I felt entirely comfortable and to whom I could say anything. Every now and again he would send a little present – a tree for the garden or an ornament…

I heard about George’s death from Alan Rogan, who rang me early in the morning at Rod’s flat. I burst into tears, I felt completely bereft. I couldn’t bear the thought of a world without George. When I left him for Eric, he had said that if things didn’t work out, ever, I could always come to him and he would look after me. It was such a selfless, loving, generous thing to say and it had always been tucked away at the back of my mind…You never know with grief how long it will last, but I think I’ll miss him for the rest of my life.

<3

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