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Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. From his effortless melodicism to his deliciously campy fashion, the world has known Elton John for the better part of a half century. But given that many of his best-known hits feature lyrics from longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin Sir Elton is the musical half of their geniusfans cracking open Elton's new memoir Me might be curious to see what he himself can do with the written word.
Well, much like the man himself, Me is a warm, candid, dryly witty and oftentimes heartbreaking of a life that's as inspiring as it is unlikely. From his childhood to becoming a father himself, Elton John unspools the story of his life at a brisk pace. And as one of the most internationally visible members of the LGBTQ community, there's a fair share of queer history in the s of Me. While by no means comprehensive, below are 10 moments in the book where Elton talks about everything from coming out publicly to his marriage to David Furnish to his last meeting with fellow U. But for the full story?
Well, ya gotta take a literary trip down Elton's Yellow Brick Road in the book itself. Elton, who has been candid about sleeping with both men and women in his past, writes in Me that he "wasn't really interested in [sex] at all until I was well into my twenties. At twenty-one, I suddenly seemed to be undergoing some kind of belated adolescence.
There were suddenly a lot of quiet crushes on men. And the town hit back. Shockingly, the bar actually turned them away. Fuckin' Halloween? Elton John famously came out as "bisexual" in a interview with Rolling Stone. As John tells it in Methe journalist, Cliff Jahr, had "an elaborate plan to wheedle the information out of me," but John volunteered what was then a bit of an open secret in the music industry.
Elton, who would later specify that he identifies as gay, also explains labeling himself bisexual at the time. You can see that as fudging the issue if you want, but in fairness I'd had a relationship with a woman before, and I had a relationship with a woman afterward.
Elton John married friend and sound engineer Renate Blauel in ; the two divorced inand in Mehe has only good things to say about her. One surprise, though, is that when he proposed to Blauel, he was dating a man, Gary, at the time. Of the marriage announcement to his friends: "It was greeted by a sea of aghast faces, not least Gary's, who'd travelled to Australia with us and now suddenly found himself my ex-boyfriend once more.
The U. John, who was in New York at the time and had receipts to prove it, sued the paper. They continued to go after him, eventually publishing some year-old Polaroids of him they had acquired. They printed them in the paper, which was mortifying," John recalls. Despite that trauma, Elton concludes that episode with characteristic wit: "Gay man sucks penis: It's not exactly a Pulitzer-winning scoop. How did he celebrate? As any queer icon might: Going to a drag show.
John went to see Barry Humphries, who has sizzled as the outlandish, caustic Dame Edna Everage for decades, and "laughed myself stupid. While future husband David Furnish wasn't interested at first "he'd heard a lot of gossip on the London gay scene about the inadvisability of having anything whatsoever to do with Elton John," he writesthey started dating in and entered into a civil partnership inthe first day it became legal in the U. Their t stag party is the stuff of dreams. Sir Ian McKellen came dressed in drag. Bryan Adams performed. Best of all, John writes, "Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters got so overexcited he ended up taking all his clothes off and demonstrating the pole-dancing skills he'd learning working in New York strip clubs before the band became successful.
Elton has taken some flack over the years for performing with Axl Rose Guns N' Roses' "One In a Million" has homophobic lyrics and Eminem, who's dropped the homophobic f-word more than a few times. John explains his decision to work with them: "It was obvious that his lyrics were about adopting a persona — a deliberately repugnant persona at that. I didn't think either of them were actually homophobes and more than I thought Sting was actually going out with a prostitute called Roxanne, or Johnny Cash actually shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. At its 25th anniversary gala at a New York cathedral, John recalls watching a "frail and unwell" Aretha Franklin summon her substantial vocal prowess for one final "astonishing" public performance.
John also writes about visiting fellow queer pioneer Freddie Mercury while the Queen frontman was dying in the early '90s. And even though Mercury couldn't get out of bed, John shares that "he was still definitely Freddie, gossiping away, completely outrageous: 'Have you heard Mrs. Bowie's new record, dear? What does she think she's doing? Search term. Billboard Pro Subscribe In. Top Artists. Top Charts.
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Gay Awakening Elton, who has been candid about sleeping with both men and women in his past, writes in Me that he "wasn't really interested in [sex] at all until I was well into my twenties. Fighting Tabloid Homophobia The U. Controversial Co-s Elton has taken some flack over the years for performing with Axl Rose Guns N' Roses' "One In a Million" has homophobic lyrics and Eminem, who's dropped the homophobic f-word more than a few times. Watch Now.Women want sex Elton
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