To say that Elton John is one of the most famous musicians in the world would be an understatement. But how did this simple man from a working-class family become so famous? You may have read about his private life in the tabloids, but are the rumors really founded?
These insights into Elton’s life reveal the real person behind the legend of his meteoric rise to international superstardom. This is a condensed version of the rocket man’s life, full of juicy anecdotes and famous tidbits.
The secret life of a superstar is revealed here; read on if you’re interested. Learn the truth about your favorite celebrities when the cameras stop rolling, from Michael Jackson and Princess Diana to Iggy Pop and others.
You may be wondering if you should read the book. This book review will tell you what important lessons you can learn from this book so you can decide if it is worth your time.
At the end of this book review, I’ll also tell you the best way to get rich by reading and writing.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Lesson 1: When Elton was a child, he showed both musical talent and interest.
Although Elton had a sad childhood, he also had many musical experiences. In fact, Elton’s relatives remember how he could recognize the melody of a song and play it on the piano just from memory. That may not seem like much to you. I suppose many people can recognize a melody on the piano just by hearing it. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing. But even at the age of 3, Elton showed remarkable ability.
Young Elton was totally enthralled by modern pop music. He would be very unhappy on Christmas morning if he opened his presents and found toy cars or building blocks. To this day, he has only wished for and received 78 records, which he saved up for as a child.
Elton’s world was rocked by music at the age of nine. While waiting in line at the barber store, he spotted a picture in a magazine. It was clearly a snapshot of Elvis Presley. Elton felt as if he came straight from another planet; he had never seen anyone dressed or posing like that in a London suburb before.
Elton shared his mother’s opinion that Elvis sounded like an alien when she brought home his new record, Heartbreak Hotel. In a positive sense, though. Elton fell head over heels in love with rock’n’roll after that.
However, there was one small problem. Although Elton’s father despised rock ‘n’ roll, Elton was a big fan of artists like Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. By today’s standards, rock ‘n’ roll sounds rather innocuous compared to more extreme music genres like gangsta rap and heavy metal.
In the 1950s, however, this was unthinkable. In fact, this new music, written for teenagers, caused a moral panic. Elton’s father, like many others of his generation, was worried that his son would become a thug through the music of Buddy Holly and Little Richard.
It turned out that Elton’s father was wrong. Elton, however, showed a rebellious quality that could be traced back to rock and roll. He began to hate classical piano lessons.
Classes were held at the Royal Academy of Music on Saturday mornings, where he went regularly. Due to the strict entrance examination, eleven-year-old Elton was admitted to study at the Academy. However, it happened that he spent the whole morning in the subway instead of attending classes. He read magazines and fantasized about playing rock’n’roll on the train instead of classical music.
Lesson 2: Elton has waited a long time for his big breakthrough.
Do you remember clearly the week when everything changed for you? To put it simply: Elton John can. It was back in 1970, and Elton John’s new album was receiving critical acclaim. When Elton arrived at the Los Angeles airport, a red London bus was already there to pick him up. The sign said, “Elton John has arrived!”
Just a few days later, Elton performed at the legendary Troubadour Club. Elton performed in the presence of The Beach Boys and Neil Diamond, two of the rock and roll icons he had always hoped to meet. The next day, the LA Times announced the arrival of a new rock superstar.
Elton John seemed to become instantly famous in the eyes of the public. But in practice, things turned out quite differently.
In fact, Elton made his first professional appearance at the age of 15. Elton was a regular in a pub, where he played traditional English drinking songs on the piano. The guests would then tip him with a pint glass. However, things did not always go smoothly.
The guests preferred to argue among themselves instead of listening to the pianist. Often Elton had to stop his performance and escape through a window when the crowd got too drunk. Elton’s career got off to a wild start.
Not everything Elton did in his early days took place in pubs. At the age of seventeen, Elton dropped out of high school to pursue a career with the band Bluesology. The band was frequently on the road, performing at various venues throughout the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, Bluesology failed to catch on. Elton wrote both of the band’s singles, “Come Back Baby” and “Mr. Frantic,” but neither of them became a hit.
As could be expected, Elton’s Bluesology album did not make much money. That’s why he became a session musician. To do this, he had to go into a recording studio and produce terrible interpretations of modern pop songs. Sometimes I had to laugh out loud while doing this work.
Once Elton was hired to record “Young, Gifted, and Black,” a song that does not quite work when sung by a white boy from a London suburb. Once again, he had to imitate the squeaky-high singing voice of Bee Gees member Robin Gibb. Elton only managed to do this by practically strangling himself while singing.
Elton’s successes owe much to these factors. These potentially dangerous performances in the pub shaped him into a courageous artist. And he learned how to put on a show with the Bluesology band.
Lesson 3: Elton’s career was forever changed by a chance encounter with his lyricist.
Every cloud has a silver lining; it’s a cliché, but Elton John knows it’s true. Elton’s first solo audition with a record company was in 1967. His efforts were completely unsuccessful. Fifty years later, Elton realizes that if he had gotten the job based on his audition, he never would have met Bernie Taupin.
Even though Elton did not get a contract with the record company that day, he did not leave empty-handed. The music industry manager took an envelope from his desk and handed it to him before he left.
Inside the sealed envelope were song lyrics – and Elton’s potential.
Bernie Taupin’s submission to the record company was one of hundreds from young, aspiring songwriters. The manager selected Bernie’s envelope from the pile sitting on his desk that afternoon, but he might as well have given Elton one of the others.
When Elton first heard Bernie’s lyrics, he was immediately intrigued. His words were mysterious and evocative, full of hidden meaning. Undoubtedly better than anything Elton had ever written. Elton was impressed with her personally. Bernie had both good looks and class.
To my knowledge, the only thing that completely shocked him was the fact that when Bernie was not writing songs, he was working on a chicken farm in a sleepy northern town. That was unappealing, to say the least.
Bernie and Elton first moved in together as a couple in 1968 when they got an apartment together. Bernie typed up some lyrics and gave them to Elton, who composed a melody to go with them. As you can imagine, the start of the relationship was a bit bumpy.
While Elton and Bernie lived with Elton’s mother, they tried in vain for months to write songs that might be of interest to record companies. They slept in bunk beds in Elton’s old bedroom.
Those early jam sessions were the first step in a musical collaboration that would last 50 years and produce dozens of chart-topping singles.
When Bernie wrote the lyrics to “Your Song” over breakfast in 1969, it was a turning point. He wrote it down and gave it to Elton. Elton, amazingly, took only 15 minutes to compose the tunes for them.
A record company shortly after provided them with £6,000 to record an album, a considerable amount of money even by today’s standards. This album was the Elton John album, which became a resounding success. It was nominated for a Grammy in 1970.
Lesson 4: Because of his celebrity, Elton has found himself in some unusual social situations.
It’s like Bob Dylan showing up at your house party. Now imagine that you are so addicted to cocaine that you can not recognize his face. As a result, you mistakenly think Bob is one of your gardeners and allow him to crash your party. Imagine telling your gardener to leave in front of your guests.
This story is not made up, it actually happened to Elton John.
Think about the simple lunch Elton gave for his mother and David Furnish in the 90s.
A psychiatrist was also present at that meal. He had asked at the last minute to bring one of his patients. It turned out that Michael Jackson was indeed that patient. Michael arrived with a face full of poorly applied makeup and insisted that everyone stay inside, behind closed curtains. He remained virtually silent throughout lunch and then left. Two hours later, he was discovered playing video games with the housekeeper’s son.
Or there was the time Elton ran on stage dressed as a gorilla at an Iggy Pop concert. Iggy Pop was so drugged up that he mistook Elton for a real gorilla and ran away in fright. A short time later, Elton was in the air. Iggy had been thrown off the stage after his security guard panicked and threw him.
If you think these stories are hair-raising, just wait until the Royals and the Hollywood Royals meet.
Elton learned this the hard way when he invited Richard Gere, Sylvester Stallone and Princess Diana to dinner. Elton and his dinner guests were disappointed that neither Sylvester Stallone nor Richard Gere showed up. Instead, they found themselves in the hall and wanted to start a brawl.
Apparently, both men felt that the other wanted to take Princess Diana away from them. Stallone ended up storming out of the hall in a huff. Richard Gere seemed to be Diana’s first choice.
The most extraordinary thing that ever happened to Elton was when he arrived at Windsor Castle for Prince Andrew’s 21st birthday party. The DJ had turned the volume all the way down for fear of upsetting the Queen. Here in this quiet disco, Her Majesty decided to drop in and dance with Elton.
Therefore, Elton was careful to move as little as possible so that the sound of the music would not be drowned out by the squeaking floorboards.
Elton, who came from a working-class family, was bemused as he shuffled across the dance floor with the royals.
About The Author
In August 2018, Elton John was named the best-selling male solo artist in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Elton has won numerous awards, including two Academy Awards, six Grammys, thirteen Ivor Novellos and one BRIT Award.
When not in the studio or on tour, Elton is tirelessly committed to a number of projects, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which has donated over $450 million to the global fight against HIV/AIDS.
In 2019, he was awarded France’s highest civilian honor, the Legion of Honor, and the UK’s highest civilian honor, the Companion of Honor, for his services to the arts and community. The couple, which also includes David Furnish, are the proud parents of two young men.
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