|"Another Campari, darling?"
Not backside, but his back ... side!
What am I talking about? I’ve recently got hold of an extremely rate copy of Town magazine from Christmas 1965 – forty-eight years old but in fantastic condition. The front cover is a photo by James Mortimer that straightaway makes a serious statement about the style and verve of the swinging sixties.
The stunningly beautiful, winking woman is model Patti Boyd, later to become the wife of ex-Beatle George Harrison and blue guitarist Eric Clapton.
The lucky man? Well, that’s Len Deighton of course, hence why it's on this blog. The image it conjures up gives a clue to the way in which men's expectations were changing: a pretty ‘bird’, sexually liberated, up front, enjoying drink-fuelled partying fun, with a handsome man on her arm, who clearly thinks he's struck lucky.
Why is this picture interesting? Well, for a start, it’s the reverse image of the cover of Drinks-man-ship, edited by Len and produced by the same team working on Town magazine, which came out at the same time (in time for Christmas).
However, it’s also interesting because it demonstrates Len’s status – three years after publication of The Ipcress File – as a writer and … well, nowadays one would refer to him as a “celebrity”.
[Thanks to blog reader Nick Flindall for his detective work on identifying Patti Boyd]