Time For Incredible Stories From Captain Fantastic!
He was one of the most outrageous Rock Stars of the 70’s – and the most successful as well, and a great biography tells his story – in his own words!
This “Wednesday Bookmobile” has the story of the “Rocketman” himself!
“Elton John’s Stellar Trip Through The 70’s!”
Author Tom Doyle’s refreshingly candid and fascinating biography of Elton John covers the 70’s, when Reg Dwight went from working in a record store to becoming the best selling Artist of the decade, with smash hit songs like “Rocketman”, “Bennie And The Jets”, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”, “Philadelphia Freedom” and so many more…
Doyle was a music Writer during the 70’s, and he interviewed Elton extensively during that time. The Writer used those original interviews – plus new ones with Elton and others as well – to weave together a fascinating tale of how Elton met his writing partner Bernie Taupin, how they struggled to succeed, and how that success tore them apart as well.
Neil Diamond’s Initial Take On Elton!
The book is filled with great stories, like the first time Elton and his band came to the US for a “showcase” at LA’s famous Troubadour club…it was the record label’s one chance to showcase Elton’s talent. If it didn’t go well, his career as an Artist in the US would be over before it started.
On this first big trip to LA, the Manager took the rest of the group to Palm Springs to blow off steam, leaving a very nervous Elton to go a bit mad as he worried about his upcoming performance. He reached out, panicked, to the record label, and they had an idea for him: go hang out with Neil Diamond!
At the time, Diamond was a huge star, and Elton was intimidated to meet him. Here’s what happened:
“As a Uni Records Artist, Elton now shared the roster with Neil Diamond, and so the company arranged for him to go and visit his new label mate at his house off Coldwater Canyon for some encouragement before the first Troubadour show. Upon his arrival, Elton’s nervousness began to get the better of him and he seemed painfully shy and socially awkward. Diamond thought: ‘this kids I never going to make it.'”
Well, Diamond would be proven VERY WRONG.
Elton’s nervousness vanished the moment he took the stage – the small club was packed with celebrities, and he had something to prove. As he told the Author about that night:
“I Was Leaping On The Piano. People Were Going: ‘Oh My God!'”
Yes, Elton put on an electrifying show, which became the stuff of legend. And as for Diamond, the chapter ends with this:
“Neil Diamond was so shocked he spilled his drink.”
The book tells the story of how Elton and Bernie worked on songs: Taupin would write lyrics and send them to Elton, who would put them to music. They never worked together!
Elton also showed early that he was a collector – of everything! On his next trip to LA, here’s what he did:
“In the summer he daily went on money-burning shopping trips around Los Angeles. At the end of the holiday, he’s managed to fill sixty-seven suitcases and thirty-two trunks with his purchases of records books, clothes and jewelry.”
Elton made friends with a lot of rock stars at the time, but he also had an affinity for classic Hollywood – he became close friends with the legendary Mae West. As he told the Author:
“”It was very touching”, he remembers. “I sat there while Mae West was talking, thinking ‘fuck, I can’t believe where I am.’ All I did was listen. You don’t interrupt.”
Elton respected the legends of Hollywood, and treated them with the dignity they deserved…
Elton also became fast friends with Groucho Marx, who was hilariously funny when they were first introduced. As the book notes:
“Once everyone had relaxed, Groucho said to Elton, ‘they tell me you’re number one. But I’ve never heard of you until I went into my office this morning and said I was having dinner with Elton John. They all fainted. After that I lost what remaining respect I have for you.”
Oh, and you can thank Groucho for one of Elton’s most iconic album titles. As the Author writes:
“Elton often found himself impaled on the sharp end of Graucho’s jokes. One night, laughing but exasperated, Elton held up his hands in mock surrender. ‘Don’t shoot me’, he protested, ‘I’m only the piano player.'”
This is a terrific book about an incredible Artist, who was the driving force behind getting John Lennon back on a stage. The book recounts that story in detail:
Lennon was struggling a bit at the time, and Elton bet him that, if the song they did together reached #1, then Lennon would have to join him onstage to perform it live.
The song was “Whatever Gets You Through The Night”, and you can click here to read the entire story of what happened next:
Elton John was in the midst of his farewell tour when the pandemic hit, so we will see when he performs again. The movie about his life came out last year as well:
You can see more about the film, as well as the trailer, by clicking on my story here:
One aspect the book gets into is Elton’s penchant for outrageous outfits:
It was part of his musical madness, and you can see more of those outfits by clicking on my story here:
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