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August 27, 2007


How to seduce your best friend's wife

Pattie Boyd, Wonderful Tonight

There are already thousands of Beatles biographies out there, and all of them recount how George Harrison's wife Pattie Boyd left him for Eric Clapton after he hounded her for years, and they both wrote all kinds of songs about her, including the beautiful and tender "Something", the classic rock standby "Layla", and maybe the worst song ever written "Wonderful Tonight".

So now Pattie Boyd has a new autobiography. She decided to go with Wonderful Tonight for the title, so that the world would never forget that this treacly piece of prom theme garbage that Eric Clapton insists on singing with his eyes closed is about her. Poor lady.

Janet Maslin reviewed it for the Times. She exhibits some kind restraint, but still notes some of Boyd and her collaborator Penny Junor's more vapid observations: "This book includes perhaps the least useful account of the much-described 1968 all-star idyll in India: 'If it was anyone’s birthday, and there was a surprising number while we were there, including George’s 25th and my 24th, there would be cake and a party.' "

But what makes my heart go out to Boyd is her account of Eric Clapton stalking her for 7 years until she finally divorced George Harrison and married him. The guy sent her anonymous letters like this--"for nothing more than the pleasures past i would sacrifice my family, my god, and my own existence, and still you will not move", started dating her 17 year-old sister, then wrote "Layla" for Pattie in 1970 and played it for everybody telling them it was about her, and then actually threatened to start using heroin if she didn't leave George for him.

She didn't, but the determined Eric Clapton started doing heroin anyway. By the time Pattie finally left George for him in 1977 he had become a big junkie, then in kicking that, transitioned seamlessly into raging alcoholism. "It was as though the excitement had been in the chase," Boyd realizes, and she eventually ended what sounded like a completely awful marriage in which he drank two bottles of brandy a day and impregnated other women all over the place and wrote songs like "Wonderful Tonight".

She sounds like she's doing OK now.

categories: Books, Celebrities, Music
posted by amy at 4:20 PM | #

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Many years ago, Pamsterdam and I renamed her Travelin' Pattie Wilbury.

Posted by: Cushie at August 27, 2007 11:06 PM

Eric Clapton did not stalk her. Do you honestly believe she didn't lead him on? She not only flirted with him to make her husband jealous but she had an affair with him. And dispite Pattie arrogantly believing she was the cause of his heroin addiction, he admits he was already addicted when he made his dramatic declaration to her. She literally gave him permission to cheat on her and has the nerve to complain that he fathered a child with a woman while they were separated and she was living with another man! Then after years of playing the enabler she actually claims credit for saving his life by leaving him. She seems nice enough but she simply wasn't strong or bright enough to handle anything beyond the shallow and the superficial.

Posted by: Zenon at September 2, 2007 1:15 PM

Zenon, I completely agree with your comments. In the first place, she claims that she saved his life after leaving him? Sorry, Pattie, but according to your book, Eric was in a drunken rage and kicked you out, forcing you to finally leave him. Second, she too was guilty of adultery. She had a fling with Ron Wood while married to Harrison, PLUS she had a fling with another man while briefly separated from Clapton, and STILL married to him too. Third, she was a fool for marrying Clapton, even after his infidelities, ignoring her, or cheating on her with other women, not to mention his drinking. This seems to me like a serious lapse in judgment. I don't think the marriage was even real-the only reason Clapton married her was because of a bet he made with his manager while drunk. Fourth, she continually let both of those jerks be unfaithful to her and fool around with other women-she was an enabler. She wasn't entirely innocent, she was just as guilty as both Harrison and Clapton. I think, in Clapton's case, it was just full-blown infatuation, the thrill of the chase, the thrill of getting something unobtainable. I think he built up a fantasy about Pattie in his mind, and THIS was what he was really chasing. And que ironico-when she finally gave herself to him, he didn't want her anymore. Clapton himself admitted this in his memoirs. If that doesn't spell infatuation, I don't know what does.

Posted by: Tranisha at December 7, 2012 11:22 AM

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