Embracing their wedding day on January 21, 1966, Patty and George look adorably young
It’s every day that you meet a glamorous ’60s icon. But if there’s anyone, it’s Patty Boyd: the supermodel, musician muse, portrayed by snapper stars like David Bailey and Terence Donovan. Then there’s the cherry on the ’60s cake – marrying George Harrison, the Beatles’ best-looking, though the Bullets might disagree.
Patti chats to me via Zoom from the West London apartment she shares with her third husband Rod Weston when they are not living in their main home in Sussex. An incredibly 78-year-old, she looks chicer than ever, those iconic bright blonde locks draped over her shoulders, trendy specs of tortoiseshells framing her blue eyes and wearing a crisp-look striped shirt.
Her new book, My Life In Pictures, is a visual treasure trove of more than 300 photos and artwork with Patty sharing intimate access to her personal archive for the first time. It must have been a lovely job to decide which photos to include?
She laughs, “Oh, that was it.” “I had a lot of pictures in my own business from my modeling days. Also, the book editor found a lot of pictures that I don’t even remember. Then there are the pictures I’ve taken of myself over the years. They keep sending him more and more.”
The anthology includes many images of close friends and contemporaries such as Twiggy, David Bailey, Mick Jagger, Billy Preston, her second husband, guitarist Eric Clapton, and of course, The Beatles and George. The latter brings back fond memories of the man I called “the love of my life.” One photo in particular evokes fond memories.
“We’re in the Himalayas and George is lying on his back after an afternoon meditating,” she says. “It must have happened in late 1967.” “It’s a beautiful picture. He looks relaxed, calm and peaceful. This is probably the last time I saw him looking this way for a very long time. We were about to head back to London for business meetings – Apple Records after it was launched.
“From now on, the Beatles will be both businessmen and musicians, as they have to involve themselves in a world they don’t know much about. It was a strange thing about George.”
Patty today. Her book is a treasure trove of photos from her archives
Patty met George in 1964 when she was cast as one of the schoolgirls in The Beatles’ first film, A Hard Night.
“My friends and I loved the music of the Beatles, and I was so excited when I realized what the job was,” she recalls. “But I never thought I’d end up marrying one of them. I sat next to George to lunch and he was so kind, good-looking, and funny as he chatted away.
“At the end of the day, he asked me to go out with him that night but I had a friend I was seeing that evening, so I told him I couldn’t—though I invited George to join us, and he, surprisingly, wasn’t interested in doing it. And that was Had director Dick Lister not remembered us on another day of filming after about 10 days.By then, I would have broken up with my boyfriend.I made a beeline for George.He asked me how my boyfriend was,I told him I didn’t have one anymore and he asked me that night,and he was That’s it! “
The book also contains diary entries. The book, dated March 6, 1964, says: “George Harrison asked me!” Less than two years later, at only 21 years old, she wrote on January 21, 1966: “I’m getting married!!” – Diary entry surrounded by written love hearts.
Surely, it couldn’t be much better than being a twenty-year-old in 1964’s Swinging London, a beautiful, successful, modern supermodel in love with the world’s most famous band of great guitarist?
Was Patty aware at the time that she was living the dream? She answers, “I was having a great time, but I didn’t always realize I was in the middle of what is now considered a pivotal time in history.”
English fashion designer Ossie Clark with models Judy Jay Johnson and Patti Boyd
“It’s only when you look back that you realize things like that. I didn’t look at my friends and always think, ‘Oh my God, you’re so famous!’” “It was only when I did things like put together this book or talk to people like you that I realized what a wonderful time it was to live. Everything was so new and exciting, and everything and everything seemed possible. At the time, I thought it would last forever.” Of course not.
The swinging 1960s gave way to the turbulent 1970s and Patty’s marriage was among the casualties. By 1974, her marriage to Harrison had largely ended due to his infidelity. She began a relationship with Eric Clapton whom she later married. She and the former Beatles managed to remain friends.
“We stayed close until the end of his life,” she says. “A few months before his death in 2001, he came to see me in Sussex. I thought he wanted to see where I live. He brought me some small gifts, played me some music, and we had tea together. It was so cool.”
“When he left, I realized I might never see him again. I knew he was sick, and upon thinking, it looked like he had come to say goodbye.”
Harrison died at just 58 in November of that year, with his family around him, from a very aggressive form of cancer.
Patti continues: “We were very young when we met and it was like we had grown up together. We learned about music, culture and faith – not just in the UK but all over the world. It’s great to have you growing up with George – he was so likable and so open-minded. for everything “.
While her book is primarily an anthology of images, the accompanying diary entries and memories are incredibly vivid.
With her second husband Eric Clapton in 1975. Patti inspired his songs “Layla” and “George’s Thing”
Another entry stated: “Does your silence mean your demise?” It’s a telegram from a heartbroken Eric Clapton. The Slowhand star was penned by Layla and Wonderful Tonight in her honor.
Harrison, of course, wrote “Something” for Patty – a song that has been described as one of the greatest love songs ever. It has also inspired many of Harrison’s other books, including I Need You, If You Need Someone, I Love You and For You in Blue.
“Aren’t you lucky?” She laughs. “It is an absolute honor to have inspired such famous love songs. If I hear one of them come in at a store or restaurant or something else, it gives me an incredibly warm feeling.”
Speaking of stores, she recalls, “I was at an optician in Notting Hill the other day and thinking about what color frames I should get for my new eyeglasses when this tall, good-looking young man approached me.” Sorry. , He said. “I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m Paul McCartney’s grandson.” I couldn’t believe it. I think Paul has an adult grandson – and he’s very handsome, too. It astounded me. Where have all the years gone? “
Pattie Boyd My Life In Pictures is out now
Where already. Given her extraordinary life, does Patty have any regrets?
“I thought, naturally, when I grow up and get married, I’ll have kids,” she says.
“Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened to me. Once you come to terms with this fact, it takes a while to really take control and bite your lips.
“Once you get past that, you realize that you have good friends and that life is wonderful. I think we can’t force nature. Everything that happens in life is meant to happen. So, I have no major regrets, no, just accept what goes into your life and deal with it in a way suitable.
“I hate anger and negativity—it can make you sick. I take life as it is. I internalize it and then do something about it. Or I don’t. I’m quite proactive and like to do things on the spot—but I learn to back off and not be completely spontaneous.”
“You decided very early on that there should never be a dull moment in life. If you find yourself getting bored, just change your mind.”
- My Life In Pictures by Pattie Boyd (Reel Art Press, £39.95) is now available. To get a free P&P in the UK, visit Expressbookshop.com Or call 020 3176 3832