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Pattie Boyd Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Wonderful Tonight (With: Penny Junor) (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pattie Boyd: My Life in Pictures / Pattie Boyd: My Life Through a Lens (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Pattie Boyd
Pattie Boyd was born March 17, 1944 in Taunton, Somerset, and she is an English photographer and model. She was one of the leading international models during the 1960s and (along with Jean Shrimpton), epitomized the British female look of the era.

She is the oldest child of Colin and Diana Boyd. They moved to West Lothian in Scotland, where Colin (her brother) was born in 1946. Then they moved to Guildford, Surrey where Jenny (her sister) was born in 1947. After Jock (her dad) got discharged from the Royal Air Force, the Boyds lived in Nairobi from 1948 until 1953. Pattie’s youngest sister, named Paula, was born in 1951 at a hospital in Nakuru, Kenya.

Pattie, from the age of eight, boarded at Nakuru School near Nairobi. During one half-term break, she went back home and was shocked to find out that her parents had divorced. In December of 1953, she and her siblings moved to England with Diana and Bobbie Gaymer-Jones, her new husband. With her mom’s second marriage, Pattie gained two half-brothers, David (born in 1954) and Robert (born 1955). many years later, she discovered that she also had two half-sisters through Jock’s second marriage Clare (born 1962) and Julia (born 1964).

She briefly attended Hazeldean School in Putney, and then St. Agnes and St. Michael Convent Boarding School in East Grinstead, and then St. Martha’s Convent in Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire. Then she achieved three GCE O level passes in 1961. She moved to London that same year and through her mom found work as a trainee beautician, age 17, at Elizabeth Arden’s Bond Street salon. One of the clients that worked for Honey magazine then inspired her to join an agency and start working as a fashion model.

She started her fashion career in 1962, modeling first in Paris and London. Among her regular assignments at that time were jobs for the UK edition of Vanity Fair, Vogue, Elle in France, and Honey, as well as fashion spreads in newspapers like The Times and The Daily Telegraph. She was photographed by Brian Duffy, David Bailey, and Terence Donovan, as well as others and appeared on the cover of British Vogue.

Other popular models of the day, like Twiggy, based their modeling appearance on Pattie’s. She and Jean Shrimpton each became international celebrities while being the embodiment of the “British female look”: mini skirt, straight and long hair, and wide eyed loveliness. This look defined Western fashion for women due to The Beatles’ international popularity, as well as other British Invasion musical acts from 1964 onwards.

Early in 1964, she appeared in this TV ad campaign for Smith’s crisps, which was directed by Richard Lester. He then cast her in “A Hard Day’s Night”, the Beatles film, where she met and befriended George Harrison, lead guitarist. As a result, her modelling career sky rocketed as a result of her subsequent romantic involvement with George. She recalls that further assignments for Vanity Fair and Vogue resulted, along with jobs for Tatler (with Jeanloup Sieff, a photographer), more TV commercials, for L’Oreal’s Dop Shampoo brand and for Smith’s crisps, and ads in newspaper fashion pages.

Boyd and Harrison were among the leading couples in the Swinging London era, when (according to this 1966 article in the Daily Express) pop singers, models, actors, and hairdressers were London’s new privileged class. She was described as being the most glamorous by far of all the Beatles’ girlfriends and wives. She epitomized (even more than Jane Asher) what sixties stardom was meant to confer upon its chosen.

She started taking pictures of musicians and her other friends during the 60s and was a member of the Royal Photographic Society. She said it wasn’t until 2004 that she felt ready emotionally to revisit these images. Her lack of professional status probably made for a much more authentic and intimate mood in her work, since her subjects were relaxed in her company.

Pattie married George Harrison in 1966, and experienced the height of Beatles popularity and sharing in their embrace of Indian spirituality. They divorced in 1977. She married Eric Clapton (George’s friend) in 1979, and they divorced in 1989.

She inspired George’s songs “Something”, “For You Blue”, “If I Needed Someone”, “I Need You”. And Clapton’s songs “Bell Bottom Blues”, “Layla”, and “Wonderful Tonight”.

“Wonderful Tonight” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2007. An iconic figure of the 1960s and 1970s, Pattie breaks her forty year long silence in this book, and she tells the story about how she found herself bound to two of the most promiscuous and addictive musical geniuses of the 20th century and became the most famous muse in the history of rock and roll.

When she was cast in “A Hard Day’s Night” as a schoolgirl, she met the Beatles in 1964. A smitten George Harrison proposed to her ten days later. For Pattie (just 20 years old at the time) it was the start of an unimaginably complex and rich life since she was welcomed into the Beatles’ inner circle, which included Ron Wood, Mick Jagger, and Jeff Beck, and a veritable who’s who of rock musicians. She describes the dynamics within the group, the music making, the tensions, the friendships, the weird and wonderful memories she has of Linda and Paul, John and Cynthia, Maureen and Ringo, and particularly her years with George, her husband.

It was a turbulent and sweet life, however it was one that would take an unexpected turn, beginning with a simple note that started “dearest I”.

She read it fast and assumed it was just from some weirdo; since she did get fan mail occasionally. She didn’t think any more about it until that evening when her phone rang. It was Eric Clapton, who asked if she got his note. Then the penny dropped. This was the most passionate letter anybody had ever written to her.

For the first time Pattie Boyd, ex-wife of Eric Clapton and George Harrison, a high profile model whose face epitomized the swinging London scene of the 60s, a woman who inspired Clapton’s “Layla” and Harrison’s “Something”, has decided to write a book that is heartbreaking and funny, raw and rich, and is fully open, honest, and breathtaking. Here’s the truth, here’s what happened, here’s the story you’ve been waiting for.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Pattie Boyd

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