Elton John’s autobiography is a brilliant read. It’s entertaining, candid, fascinating and bittersweet. Elton examines his colourful rollercoaster of a life, from the young record-obsessed Reg Dwight, to the highs and lows of superstardom, to his journey towards sobriety and fatherhood. I was really blown away by not only the content and themes of his story, but the strong quality of the writing.
Elton is known for his outrageous costumes, extravagant shopping and short temper in addition to his musical talents. The book is an interesting mix of his musical career and personality quirks. It’s also heartrendingly honest, from his difficult relationship with his parents, to his self-destructive addictions, to his notorious tantrums. Although there’s a lot of humour, a vein of sadness runs through the book, as he has lost so many dear friends, including John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, Gianni Versace and Princess Diana. He seems to know, or have known, every high-profile person in music, art, fashion and royalty. His anecdotes of so many famous people are very interesting and don’t feel simply like name-dropping. Elton’s direction in life was changed after meeting Ryan White; charity fundraising for AIDS became a major focus for Elton.
The book is just the right length and never becomes self-indulgent. There are some fantastic photographs included. I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoyed watching the film Rocketman.
First published in 2019.