Monday, December 23, 2019

Me and Elton John

This is sort of a book review.

Many times when I am over at Elton John's house, and we're arguing about soccer and playing charades with the terrible charades player Bob Dylan, and Lady Gaga says something funny, I want to ask Elton John to tell me about John Lennon and Liberace and Groucho Marx and Elvis and Katherine Hepburn. But then Neil Young suddenly starts playing us a new song so I don't ask. The Royal Family shows up from out of nowhere and one of the Rolling Stones asks me something, usually Keith, well, always Keith because I don't think Mick likes me and Keith tries to make up for it, and Charlie Watts is real quiet, but before I can answer I find myself in the middle of an argument between Richard Gere and someone in The Who. So I extricate myself from that and see if there's any food around the place, but there isn't a single bite to eat!

Then Elton comes into the kitchen with Elvis Costello and Cher and Ringo and some politician I think I'm supposed to know, but can't for the life of me place, maybe because he's English, and we're having a kind of actually nice conversation. It's mellow. And I'm just about to say to Elton "Hey, tell us about Lady Di and Freddie Mercury and Gianni Versace and Oprah and Simon and Garfunkel and Franco Zeffirelli and David Bowie and Andy Warhol and Elizabeth Taylor and Rod Stewart and Billie Jean King and Yoko and Cary Grant and The Queen and The Band and Aretha Franklin." But all of the sudden I get too shy and the moment passes.

But I'd kind of like to know, so I say strongly to myself "Next time I'm going to ask!"

Now I don't have to.


  1. Are you going to read it? As a person very fond of Elton's music until Blue Moves came out (tho no doubt he has written some good songs since then), I feel, ironically, not much pull to read about his life. I want to remember it as I remember him as I was when I was in elementary school. But if I could, I would ask him to sit down at the piano and play "Grey Seal" or almost any song from his rich Western album "Tumbleweed Connection," and then we could have some iced tea someone would pick up a guitar and play those lovely intro strums and he'd sing "Captain Fantastic," then conclude with "Razor Face." If you do read the book, can you tell me if he references any of those songs?

    1. I have so far read most of it. So the above really is its own odd sort of tongue in cheek review in that the book is curiously at its best when it is hilariously dishing about all the famous people he knew and met. This is also, naturally enough, kind of ridiculous. The book is sort of at its worst for me when it is a more conventional memoir. There is not much discussion of your above songs as the book is slim on the details of the creation of all his work and, fairly speaking there is just so much of it! Nevertheless you might actually enjoy reading some pieces of it because in the end there's something likeable and even self-knowing about him, and it is at times a bewildering story.


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