Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Book Review: Patti Boyd's Autobiography

Book Review: Wonderful Tonight
George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me

Writer: Patti Boyd
Reviewer: Rick Galusha

Patti Boyd was a fashion model in the early ‘60’s when ‘Swinging London’s’ cool factor was at its height. As a child I can vividly recall the ‘Max Factor’ ads that were filmed in London and aired during ‘The Monkees’ program on television.

Not surprisingly Boyd and Clapton’s autobiographies were released within weeks of each other. After completing Patti Boyd’s autobiography, ‘Wonderful Tonight’ a friend lent me his super rare copy of Derek & the Dominos, ‘In Concert.’ Of all the Clapton albums I’ve heard his playing was never comparable to this – not even close.

Although she was a British citizen, Patti Boyd was born in Africa. The eldest child in her family, Boyd moved back to England at a young age. The product of a broken home, twice, Boyd’s tells the life of an emotionally crippled ‘Child of the ‘60’s’ that lands not one but two of rock’s superstars in matrimony; Beatle George Harrison and Eric ‘Slowhand’ Clapton. Outwardly Boyd lives a dream life; at the center of London’s hip scene, making money as a high paid model, meeting pop stars and traveling the globe meeting celebrities and artists. On the dark side Boyd survives overt spousal promiscuity, drug induced abusive relationships, interlopers & hanger-oners, and an on going saga of egos suffering due to the ups and downs of stardom.

As a ‘hand picked’ model for a role in the Beatles film, ‘Hard Days Night’ Boyd meets and eventually marries the Harrison. Together they stumble through the drug haze of the ‘60’s, go to Wales and then India to hang with the Mariharishi, survive the break-up of The Beatles and then begin to fight as Harrison stumbles to define his post-Beatle life. While Boyd later identifies herself as Harrison “soul mate” she finds time to accept the advances of Harrison’s good friend Eric Clapton. The book is awash with love notes sent from Clapton to Boyd including one signed, ‘Slowhand.’

Boyd eventually leaves Harrison drug dabbling for Clapton’s more serious substance abuse problems with heroin and then alcohol. While Harrison’s life was somewhat cloistered but peaceful, Clapton’s was abusive, self-centered and possessive. Amid the anguish of an alcoholic marriage gone astray Boyd relates how young Conor Clapton, the illegitimate son of Eric Clapton, breaks up her co-dependent marriage. An oblivious husband, Clapton, relates the joy of his new found fatherhood with his barren wife. It is the height of sadness and simultaneous weirdness as the former Patrick Clapham was so self absorbed as to reportedly completely miss her sorrow. The sage continues when the infant falls to his death and subsequently inspires the Grammy award winning song, ‘Tears in Heaven.’

Boyd was certainly one of the ‘In Crowd’ and relates a perspective on many pivotal music moments that Boomers will recognize; including Live Aid, The Concert for Bangladesh and the Apple Records debacle. On one hand it is refreshing as the books spoons away the years to a time of fewer obligations and life’s future beckoned. On the other hand Boyd is a brat that has the gumption to ask Clapton, well after their divorce, for 600,000 English pounds ($1,500,000) for a “cottage with a view” so that Boyd and her new love may reside in.

The book moves very quickly and includes cameos by Mick Jagger, John & Paul, Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac (who was married to her sister twice), Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, David Gilmore, Roger Waters and The Who’s Pete Townshend. It is both insightful and gossipy at the same time. This book is fun for fans albeit with little more to offer than moments inside one of rock music’s most famous enclave. It is delicious but shallow and completely entertaining.

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