Me by Elton John
As far as I am concerned, the rocket man has always been around and once I overcame the self-imposed stoic juvenile orthodox phase of not being interested in anything else than what emerged from the confines of the punk rock ghetto, I was quite delighted to delve into Elton John’s back catalogue and scratch the surface of the public image he had cultivated over the decades.
Now, chances are that if you made it that long in showbiz there are reasons for it that transcend musical and pop cultural trends, which is where things get interesting when memoirs emerge that are paved with anecdotes and stories of an illustrious rollercoaster of career – even more so when the author has a self-awareness, honesty and self-deprecation.
With Elton John there is no shortage of public feuds and at times bizarre private eccentricities, ranging from debauchery with drugs – and we talk about delusions of Howard Hughes-like grandeur - to the evolution of becoming the elder statesman of British pop music whose country has released a collection of stamps in his honour.
The mere description of some of the excesses he indulged in, his narcissism – keep in mind that his husband titled a documentary on him “Tantrums and Tiaras” and the ups and downs of his career would be entertaining enough, but again, his level-headedness, wisdom and refined ability to spin a yarn make this an engaging and fun read, which is enhanced by the view from his cemented status he has achieved in the world of A-Listers that was never merely provisional.
It is great to see that the book avoids the pitfalls of most autobiographies in terms of self-parody and revisionism and that the one being made most fun of is Elton himself, which shows a man that has come full-circle detailing the life of someone who has done it all and lives to tell the tales in an accessible of self-lacerating, clear-eyed entertaining voice.