I read my first e-book on the train last week. And because I read fast and didn’t need to retain anything I had it finished in four hours’ travel. Entertaining in a superficial way. Just what you need when you’re tired after a hard day’s work. (I once pulled ‘Hello’ out of my bag when I was training. ‘Ooh’, someone said, ‘Didn’t think you would read that’. Well I do read rubbish occasionally, like I might watch rubbish TV when I don’t want to have to think.) Anyway the book was ‘Wonderful today’ by Pattie Boyd. And it was a free e-book so I wasn’t wasting money.
If you recognise the name you are probably my generation. She was a model who was also George Harrison’s first wife. In the 60s most female Beatle fans would have an allegiance to a Beatle and his then girlfriend or wife. As mine was Paul I preferred Jane Asher. My friend Eileen liked George so hence I knew a lot about Pattie Boyd. She looked a bit like her, slender and fair. Frail-like. Straight hair, long legs and beautiful clothes. We once appeared in a talent contest at school as The Beatles, wearing black trousers and polo-necks. Well it was a girls’ school. Really we all wanted to be the wife/girl-friend. But that was then.
Reading Pattie’s account of her life with first George and then Eric Clapton you wouldn’t have wanted to be her or them. Drink, drugs and rock n roll wasn’t half as much fun as we might have imagined. Both men seemed to crave the limelight yet were unable to handle the attention it brought. They would host parties and then retreat to their bedrooms ‘strolling a lonely guitar’. Their women were expected to share their men with other women. Within a week of marrying Pattie, whom he had enticed from George, Eric was bedding another woman. ‘It’s sex, not love’ seemed to be the standard response. (Reminds me of the profile of the wife of Dominique Strauss Kahn, profiled in today’s Observer.) The book isn’t well-written. People are no more than cardboard cut-outs and you don’t learn very much about the inner life of the woman who inspired so many love songs. It does make you wonder why it’s recently been reported that a third of kids want the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Not sure Pattie has had such a wonderful life. A quick read though and a first e-book for me. (Easy to customise to your reading habits. Change the font size and for me two page spread for speed reading!)