Interview with Pattie Boyd on Breakfast With The Beatles, Los Angeles
Chris: Hello Pattie?
Chris: Hi, it's Chris Carter from Breakfast with the Beatles in los Angeles
Pattie: Chris how are you?
Chris: Good, how are you Pattie?
Pattie: Good thank you.
Chris: I'm sure you've had a long day of talking about your love life so,
Pattie: A HUGE day so please don't ask me any of those questions
Chris: I will not talk about George Harrison or Eric Clapton or The Beatles alright. We're going to talk about your cooking, and you know thing that you that are close to your heart these days.
Pattie: cooking, gardening that will do
Chris: exactly, nice an easy you know.
Pattie: yes, of course. Good morning to you Chris
Chris: Good morning to you too. Sc congratulations on your book. Fantastic job
Pattie: Thank you very much!
Chris(host): so Pattie why did you finally decide to write a book?
Pattie: I supposed honestly, and truly it was inevitable at some point ,but you know, up until relatively recently well a year ago, i felt alright about doing it.
Chris: So I noticed the book has 2 titles, Wonderful Tonight, and in Europe its called Wonderful Today, why is that?
Pattie: Well, I think it's basically because there was 2 different publishers, in England it's a different one, it's a different publisher in America, they didn't like each other's titles so that's all it is you know.
Chris: I thought maybe because you know when it's night time here it's daytime in England or something
Chris: thinking too much. So this is a Beatles show of course Pattie, tells us when you first got the news that you got this gig to appear as a school girl, in the Beatles film "A Hard Day's Night". You were a model up until then you were the smith's crisp girl. Tell me about that call, and what went through your head at the time.
Pattie: oh, my gosh well, the guy who was the director was Dick Lester and I had already done a couple of those commercials with him and when I went for the audition I naturally assumed it was going to be another one and then my agent told me later that afternoon I had got a part in the Beatles film. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't work out on how I'd got this. And she said No it was Dick Lester who wanted me to play the part. So i just thought my god, and also they told me to keep it a secret, i wasn't to tell anyone, so i kept it a secret, this terribly exciting secret, for quite a while
Chris: So you meet George, of course you meet all the Beatles but George you fancy a bit more, tell us about the charisma, what went down between you two guys.
Pattie: Oh well I mean, I can only say that I think it was chemistry that attracts us to each other. Also we were quite similar in some ways. We were both very shy and I must say that he was the most gorgeous and good looking man I'd ever seen. and he was very funny and very sweet and just gorgeous. I couldn't believe it when he asked me out
Chris: Now he asked you out right off the bat right? Like the first day you met him.
Pattie: Yes, it was the first day of filming the words as far as I was concerned it was only going to be one day of filming and he did. Actually he asked me to marry him, which as he and the others had been joking all day. Joking around, playing around during filming. I thought that he was still joking so i didn't take him seriously at all, I just laughed and then he asked me to have dinner with him that night. But I couldn't because i already had a date with my boyfriend and I thought that George might be a bit, you know they didn't know London very well, and they might not know where to go, so I said to him "Why don't you join us for dinner?" and he said "no i don't think i should do that".
Chris: Wow that's an amazing story. So you guys dated 1964, 1965, eventually getting married in 1966, How much did you date prior to your marriage?
Pattie: Well we dated quite a bit, he, quite a lot actually, but he had two tours during that time, one was America. He went to America for a longish tour, and then he went to Australia and defiantly Manila because The Beatles had a bit of a problem in Manila, I don't know if you ever heard of that.
Chris: With (name, i couldn't understand, it's an audio clip i'm copying down) and all that. Sure yeah.
Pattie: Yeah so you know, that was just a horrible experience for all of them but particularly George because of he would tell me how ghastly it all was
Pattie: and you know, because we wanted to be together that i think it was he wasn't so enamored with touring. And also I was modeling of course when ever i would have to go away on assignments, i hated going away, it was difficult finding time where we both weren't working
Chris: So a lot about the myth about the Beatles in the recording studio. You always heard things like that, you know, no girls, no wives were allowed in the studio. Was that true, and how much of it was true? Did you visit george in the studio when they were recording?
Pattie: no, no, no. It really wasn't encouraged at all, I knew not to go because he was kind of you know, that was considered their domain and their work place and that was that. So I followed the rules and I never went to the studio. I might have went to EMI once when they were recording or they were finishing, and I did go to EMI
Chris: Right, you popped in from time to time but you didn't you didn't hang out during the sessions?
Pattie: No, no, no
Chris: So that is true then?
Chris: Interesting. Towards the end of The Beatles career around the Abbey Road time and the summer of 1969, what did you sense from George that was going on? Did he share what was happening within the group as far as them getting along, not getting along? Did you sense the end was near?
Pattie: I knew things were not right. I knew there was trouble at the mill.
Chris: haha! trouble at the mill indeed.
Pattie: Yeah, i know it was, things were defiantly on a sliding down scale really.
Chris: Was this something maybe George was looking forward to because it was evident in the album /All Things Must Pass/ that George has so many songs that he had been keeping. I know a lot of them had been written in the Beatle era. you know a lot of them were new, it seemed like something he might welcome. You know, a chance to spread his wings so to speak.
Pattie: Yeah i think that he only realized that it was actually opening up a new door for him. They'd run but you know at the time it was anxiety and tension and really it sort of intruded our lives as well. and then all at once he sort of got over it and realized he actually in a really good position now because he could you know make his own music. He had got lots of songs that he had been storing pup because for one reason or another weren't on Beatles albums.
Chris: Let's talk a little about Friar Park. The famous castle which you described so well in the book. "A wildly cool place, but very old and a bit run down" and you described how there was grass growing through the living room floor. Tell me about moving to Friar Park. You found it for him right?
Pattie: Yeah, i found it because I had been looking for a house for us for about 6 or 8 months. And you know, driving around the country side and sometimes with a real-estate agent and sometimes on my own. I looked at countless properties and finally I was with a real estate agent and we drove, and he found out this property was for sale. We went up the drive, and we turned the corner, and there it was. This beautiful Victorian Gothic style, is the only way i could describe it. It was absolutely stunning. Like a magical fairyland castle. And at the time there were about 6 nuns living there on one side and a priest on the other side.
Chris: Sounds like a Monty Python Skit! What I found really interesting was that you were describing, you know, how it was so cold when you first moved in and you guys were bundled up and sleeping on the floor in front of a fire, and it got me to thinking that at the same time, that in 1970 Paul McCartney was in a farm in Scotland pretty machine the same environment. You know, he's sleeping in kind of a beat up old farm and I'm thinking to myself, two of the worlds most successful rich men, and you know they're sleeping on these cold floors in these old places, it's just interesting to put it in that context
Pattie: It's funny. I just realized Paul was sleeping on a cold floor as well
Chris: Yeah, Paul went back to basics. to see him around that farm in scotland, you know with sheep in the living room and the whole thing. You know the Beatles going back to basics.
Chris: So at about this time George's religious beliefs have started to enter the picture. How did you feel about all that? Were you on the same page with George?
Pattie: Not to the same depth and extent that he was. He invited them to, the Hare Krishna families to move in with us. And I must admit that I found that rather difficult, but you know
Chris: I can imagine
Pattie: Yeah, I mean what was difficult was cooking. they had extremely pungent food at 6 in the morning
Chris: That will wake you up!
Pattie: Yeah that woke me up. I wasn't always in the best mood.
Chris: And George like you said, had a couple of families living there and George really did enjoy socializing at the house and like there was always a crowd over there at Friar Park
Pattie: Yeah, so that was always fun. It was nice and lovely, And he's always have people over. You know we spent so long trying to fix up the house, it took a long time, then the gardens as well, and during that time friends would come over, lots of musicians would come over. And the main requirement that George wanted about a house was that there be enough room for a recording studio. So of course this house was absolutely enormous and we could knock down the walls of several rooms and put them together to make a control room for the recording studio. And then extensive gardens were renovated. So all of this took a long long time. during that time friends would come and go and you know it was really fun.
Chris: oh it sounded like a great time, and of course one of those friends that came over, and I don't want to give away the whole book, because we want people to buy the book, of course was Eric Clapton, who started to come over to Friar park and touch up on it. It's a story that everyone is somewhat aware of, but thanks to you and the book, I think, you get a clearer picture. Eric was really romantic, and writing you these wonderful little poems, and notes. Tells us all about that situation and how it went down.
Pattie: Yeah I supposed it really started with me receiving a letter one day and it was beautifully written and it was like a little love letter really, and I didn't know who it was from and I showed it to George and we sort of had a bit of a laugh and thought no more about it. That evening Eric asked me if I had gotten his letter. And i thought oh no! I didn't realize it was you.
Chris: Uh oh, you realized there was some trouble
Pattie: trouble ahead
Chris: more trouble at the mill. You were in this odd position because he's Eric with these romantic advances, and you and George at not maybe the best point in your relationship and what was the final that made you decide to leave Friar Park and go to Los Angeles?
Pattie: I think really it was an unavoidable situation, i think that really we had reached the cross roads of our relationship i imagine. You know i think it had run it's course, and i think that can happen sometimes. It didn't mean that we didn't care about each other, but we were just going in different directions. We had hurt each other, and behaved badly so i thought I just couldn't bare it anymore and I wanted to go and stay with my sister, really to get away from it and think about it more clearly.
Chris: And in the book you describe the scene where you tell George you're going to leave and he tells you "Don't go". Is that something you have thought about over the years just those two words and did you do something and did you make the right decision or did you feel you didn't make the right decision?
Pattie: Yes I did. I did think about that for maybe the next two years or so, but i think probably when george remarried i stopped questioning myself
Chris: well we're not going to go into too much detail about the Eric Clapton years other than i think it's best to say it was a bumpy relationship at best right? I mean you had your good times and it just seemed tough for you.
Chris: it seemed that Eric went from one thing to the next. Did you expect that? Was it kind of a surprise to you? I'm sure you drank socially but the extent of that, were you surprised by that?
Pattie: Yeah I was surprised only because it creeped up very slowly, with what he was drinking and then what i didn't notice was that the amount he would drink, as it slowly increased and it became really difficult to handle. After that he became ill and grumpy.
Chris: Ill and Grumpy, that's no way to be. And George and Eric pretty much stayed friends throughout your marriage to Eric
Pattie: yeah because they really appreciated Each other's musicianship and that is at the end of the day what went through
Chris: So Pattie tell me, off the top of your head your favorite songs written by George Harrison
Pattie: I always loved Tax Man because I thought it was so musical it was such a clever, witty little song and you know he was clearly angry about the tax man because in England at that time people in his financial bracket were being ripped off by the government unmercifully so.
Chris: It's had to believe that they would take that much off from each dollar, take what like 90 cents or something
Chris: It's incredible! It doesn't even make any sense.
Pattie: I remember him one day trying to figure out how much a packet of cigarettes cost if he was taxed that amount of money. Hundreds of pounds for a packet of cigarettes
Chris: That's incredible. Tell me quick about your photography and what's in the future for that
Pattie: Peter Blakely is sponsoring me at a few galleries call the Morrison Hotel Galleries and I have an exhibition there now. It looks great, it looks so fantastic and they were talking last night about moving it to LA and then Lahoya I think
Chris: Maybe you'll common out for that?
Chris: that'll be great, you can come on our show in person and have breakfast with us
Pattie: Would that be a nice thing to do?
Chris: That would be a wonderful thing to do
Chris: Hey I was on your website, share to our listeners your website address because it's fantastic
Pattie: it's www.pattieboyd.co.uk isn't fun!
Chris: it's fantastic because it's got the photo gallery the scrap book and the little commercials with the one of you in the car wash. What year was that?
Pattie: That was so funny wasn't it? That was 1963 i think
Pattie: yes that was a commercial for the cinema and I never saw it and the first time I saw it was last year
Chris: Well you can see it on the website applesruffradio.com our photo gallery, we have a whole Pattie Boyd photo gallery you can look at photos, I'm not going to say you've never seen before Pattie but that you haven't seen in a long time.
Pattie: Really? well that is fantastic
Chris: Well Pattie Boyd thank you for taking your time to spend with us and good luck with the book. it's a great read pick it up, it's in shops now it's called Wonderful Tonight Pattie Boyd. Thank you so much
Pattie: Thank you Chris. Bye!
Pattie Photo Collection!