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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Sir Elton John’s autobiography is warm, moving and a hit

Elton John’s autobiography is candid, funny, warm and moving. And like everything Elton John, it’s absolutely entertaining.

more-lifestyle Updated: Oct 23, 2019 13:57 IST
Medha Shri Dahiya
Medha Shri Dahiya
Elton John released his autobiography recently.
Elton John released his autobiography recently.(Instagram/EltonJohn)
         

Sir Elton John, a talent extraordinaire, the rockstar in every sense of the word’s trappings, has come out with his autobiography, Me. Like everything Elton John, the book is thoroughly entertaining, in both anecdotes and language.

Remember all those ‘scandalous’ things we heard, the big scoops we read and the incredulous stories we shared about the pop icon all gape-mouthed? The music legend retells all those stories (and then some) better than anyone has ever done, in first person, with a lot of humour and self-awareness. He owns it.

The book is replete with anecdotes not just about the man himself but people from his social circle, think people such as Lady Diana, Freddie Mercury, Madonna, the Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor, and every artist, actor, royal name that lived or lives in Elton’s lifetime. The name- dropping is not ostentatious, it is organic to incidents and accidents in his life. Like once, in the days when he was often under the influence of dangerous amounts of an addictive stimulant drug, he threw a party. And he recalls, “I was flying... When a scruffy-looking guy I didn’t recognize wandered into the party. I loudly demanded to know what the gardener was doing helping himself to a drink. There was a moment’s shocked silence, broken by the sound of Bob Halley’s voice: ‘Elton, that’s not the f*&@ing gardener. It’s Bob Dylan’.”

He even gave the iconic Andy Warhol the snub. Elton was hanging out with John Lennon doing drugs, when Warhold knocked at their hotel suite. They decided against opening the door as they didn’t want to be clicked. So Warhol kept knocking and finally left.

Elton is funny and has the ability to laugh at himself. He recalls, after he debuted with his new hairdo at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, a writer noted, “That I looked like I had a dead squirrel on my head. He was mean, but I was forced to concede, he also had a point.”

He writes at length about owning football club Watford F.C. and how passionately he was involved with it. His passion for the sports club kept things real for him and even “saved” his life. His life at the club was where he had to leave the diva in him behind. His team meant so much to him that he even got a luxury car painted to support his club. This once, he met Prince Philip who asked him, ‘Have you seen the bloody idiot who drives around that area in his ghastly car’? ‘It’s actually me’,” he had replied. “”What the hell are you thinking? Ridiculous. Makes you look like a bloody idiot. Get rid of it” — recalls Elton. He even owns the story of how the famous Rolling Stones interview in which Elton said wasn’t heterosexual, came about.

Besides all the wit and humour, he also talks about the ill-effects of drugs in his life, of his struggle to get out of the addiction. He talks about the cause of AIDS that’s dear to him. He speaks of his ex-wife Renate Blauel, and his marriage to his husband, David furnish.

The book is surely a bestseller. He is a diva with than extravagant life. The candidness, honesty and the self-aware gaze through which he looks at himself, makes this autobiography different from the regular celebrity memoirs where the subject is too cautious of what they are letting out and who they are letting in. It’s a firecracker of a gift this Diwali.

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Follow author @Twitter/MedhaShri