Book Review: Rock & Roll Books

Gift guide

Rock & Roll Books

Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me

by Pattie Boyd with Penny Junor
Harmony Books, 321 pp. $25.95

Noted royals scribe Penny Junor jumped in bed with the ne plus ultra of rock muses, Pattie Boyd Harrison Clapton, for Wonderful Tonight, a sweet, sad memoir that rings true. As George Harrison's girlfriend, then wife, Boyd's blondness and English rose complexion was the embodiment of 1960s beauty. She floated through the swinging decade until she came heart to heart with love-struck guitar god Eric Clapton. Along the way, she'd inspired Harrison's wistful "Something" and the ravishing "Layla" by Clapton, but rock & roll songs aren't fairy tales with happily ever after endings. Wonderful Tonight layers her early life with enough details to make the casual reader start flipping pages until, oh, say ... the Beatles appear. And that's the payoff: how Boyd's path to inner peace led the Beatles to the Yogi, which changed Harrison into a distant, introspective cheat and paved the way for alcoholic, drug-addicted Clapton to win her then spurn her. At the worst, Boyd/Junor use a messy chronology that throws people and places out of context. Once the magical mystery rock star names vanish, Boyd turns the mirror inward, and the book becomes SFF – strictly for fans. By that time, you've read what you want to know.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Pattie Boyd
Playback: Welcome to Terrordome: Sixth Street During SXSW
Playback: Welcome to Terrordome: Sixth Street During SXSW
Appraising APD's solution to Sixth Street during SXSW

Kevin Curtin, April 8, 2016

More Music Reviews
<i>Me & Mr. Cigar</i>
Me & Mr. Cigar
Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes debuts a deeply weird and wonderful young adult novel.

Alyssa Quiles, Feb. 21, 2020

Revenge of the She-Punks
Revenge of the She-Punks

Rachel Rascoe, Dec. 6, 2019

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016


Pattie Boyd, George Harrison, Eric Clapton

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle