Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three, he was performing his first gig in America, facing an astonished audience in his bright yellow dungarees, a star-spangled T-shirt and boots with wings. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again.
His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with the Queen; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation. All the while, Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade.
In Me Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you, by a living legend.
As a child of the 1990s, Elton John came on to my radar relatively late in his career. This means that some of the things that he writes about in Me are complete revelations to me and I found it fascinating. This includes his difficult childhood, his battles with addiction and his relationships with other well known people such as Freddie Mercury and The Beatles.
Elton John is much more open with the reader in this book than I expected and he looks back on the events in his life with humour, honesty and self deprecation. This added another layer to the book and gave me a greater appreciation of the issues he has faced throughout his life.
I chose to listen to the audio version of Me, which is narrated by Taron Egerton, who played Elton John in the recent biopic, Rocket Man. The research that he did for this role was clearly useful for the narration, as it gave him an insight which enabled him to present each person in the book in a way which allows the listener to understand their personality. I loved that, on occasion, you could hear him laughing whilst reading the more humorous anecdotes!
Me is available from Amazon.