by Elton John
I’ve read some reviews here & elsewhere) where some readers were so disappointed by this book, that it has put them off EJ’s music. Being from New Zealand, where everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows someone, I certainly remember hearing about EJ throwing some rip snorting temper tantrums back stage on one of his 1990’s tours & how shattered some of the Kiwi crews were finding their idol had feet of clay. (within Elton’s four foot high platform boots, of course!) & EJ has always struck me as a bit of a name dropper. & it probably helps that while I love some of his older material I was never a rabid fan. My husband now…
So I probably would never have read this book if I hadn’t found a copy in a Little Free Library. But I am very glad I did! Elton’s voice shone through in a larger than life um… life. From a rotten childhood (a distant father who often wasn’t around & a mother who sounds insane)
I’m not just behaving like an idiot, I’m behaving like my mother – and rush around issuing desperate apologies to everyone concerned. Mum never snapped out of it, never seemed contrite, never appeared to think she was in the wrong or behaving badly. The best you could hope for was a terrible argument – in which, as ever, she had to have the last word – followed by an awkward smoothing over, a shaky truce that lasted until she went off again. As the years passed, she had elevated sulking to an epic, awesome level. She was the Cecil B. DeMille of bad moods, the Tolstoy of taking a huff. I’m exaggerating only slightly. We’re talking about a woman who didn’t speak to her own sister for ten years as a result of an argument over whether Auntie Win had put skimmed milk in her tea or not. A woman whose dedication to sulking was such that, at its height, it literally caused her to pack her entire life up and leave the country. It happened in the eighties; she fell out with me and one of Derf’s sons from his first marriage at the same time and, as a result, emigrated to Menorca. She would rather move to a foreign country than back down or apologize. There’s not an enormous amount of point in trying to reason with someone like that.”
During his childhood, it sounds like only his maternal Nan made things bearable.
Luckily Reg Dwight (EJ’s real name) was musically gifted.
From a lucky chance introduction to Bernie Taupin, Elton has really never looked back & has lived a life of extremes. Elton is very honest about a lot of things and acknowledges a lot of his character flaws.
Some parts are very funny;
My whole body hurt. Especially my hands. Since when did hangovers make your hands hurt? And why wouldn’t the person knocking at the door just fuck off, despite my repeated instructions to do so?
EJ has found sobriety, love and fatherhood now.; I hope he is happy.
My own favourite Elton John tracks; High Flying Bird, Tiny Dancer.
My favourite album; Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
I’m not so familiar with some of EJ’s later works. EJ loathes the album Leather Jackets. I’ve played it & think it was pretty good – other than EJ & Cliff Richards voices on one track (Slow Rivers) don’t mesh well together. Bernie Taupin thinks The Big Picture is their worst. If there is worse than this one I don’t want to hear it. I had to keep skipping tracks.