Life upon the rock hill

Life upon the rock hill
Reviewer: mdurshimer
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Jennifer Juniper:
A journey beyond the muse
300 pages
May 30, 2020
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:

Jenny Boyd’s extraordinary life is the stuff of movies and novels, a story of incredible people and places experienced at a pivotal time in the 20th century.

Jennifer Juniper doesn’t lack a thing. And neither does her memoir.

The younger of the infamous Boyd sisters (sister Pattie married a Beatle and God) and the muse of more than just Donovan, Jenny spares no detail in her look back at her not-always-perfect life of the 1960s and beyond.

For those of us born just a little too late to enjoy peace, love, and understanding, the stars in our eyes still shine brightly when we think of the Woodstock generation. We tend to romanticize the early days of the hippie movement, giving a hall pass to those who overindulged and weren’t on their best behavior. Fair Jenny, a willing participant, does not.

Born to parents who barely knew each other and who lived a rather unusual life in far-reaching places (Dad was disfigured in a fighter plane mishap during WWII), Jenny and her siblings were basically on their own, a tightknit group of beautiful child vagabonds. Eventually returning to England, the girls became models, and set off on their own rock-n-roll adventure, including a brief stay in Haight Ashbury during its heyday.

Then Mick Fleetwood came along, long before he was THAT Fleetwood. Their on-again, off-again romance, including two marriages and two divorces, has now evolved into a lovely friendship, but years ago, there was nothing lovely about their relationship. Jenny’s involvement with Mick pushed her into the party world, where a little booze and coke gave her the confidence to hang with what are now some of rock’s greats.  And sister Pattie’s time as Mrs. Harrison, when the Beatles aligned with Maharishi, brought her into the world of spirituality and meditation. The 1960s are such an enigma: let’s get blasted out of our minds and then know God. Ha! Eventually, Jenny realized the folly and left it behind.

She certainly has a lot to say about all of it, and much of it is not complimentary. Now a Ph.D., she uses her clinical experience as a counselor to analyze her actions and those who surrounded her. It’s clear who did her right and who didn’t. Clapton and Stevie Nicks might want to leave this book on the shelf!

While Jenny spent a lot of time among my generation’s rock royalty, this didn’t seem to impress her. She wasn’t a groupie, wasn’t trying to be anything other than herself. She just happened to become part of a movement and to Ms. Boyd, it ain’t no big thing. To us, well that’s another story.

And what about Donovan, the man who so clearly adored and immortalized her in song? ‘Twas a fleeting moment in a semi-charmed life. And what a lucky girl she was to live and breathe it – and now share it with us.