The colorful and kaleidoscopic life of one of the world’s most original and talented musical artists.
Here’s the book every pop music lover has been waiting for—full of the scandals, addictions, affairs, and tantrums that underscored the life of arguably the world’s greatest pop musician. Flamboyant, iconic Elton John is as much part of the American musical landscape as he is in his native England.
In the 1970s, when popular music on both sides of the Atlantic fragmented into disco, soul, hard rock, pop, and folk, Elton John embraced them all with his signature creative panache. Emerging in the late 1960s as a singer/songwriter, Elton was widely acknowledged as the most prolific pop and rock star of the decade by the mid-1970s. His peerless musical style and ability to jump from sensitive ballads to bawdy rock anthems to campy pop have made him a musical superstar for the ages.
From his heartfelt ballads like “Tiny Dancer” and “Your Song” to his rock & roll hits including “Bennie and the Jets” and “Crocodile Rock,” Elton has lived one of the most outrageous and colorful lives in show business.
Having met the “Rocket Man” the first time in the 1980s, Bego has drawn upon his personal observations and vast research, and has been able to interview dozens of Elton’s collaborators and lifelong friends to produce the the ultimate story on the amazing and larger-than-life Elton John.
Bego (Michael!) narrates the ups and downs of musician Elton John's career and music in this fawning set of fan's notes. Drawing on interviews with John's colleagues and on archival research, Bego chronicles Reginald Dwight's (he would become Elton John in 1967) childhood in 1940s and '50s Middlesex, England, where he developed a love of piano and rock and roll, and overcame his shyness through his outrageous performances. He experienced early musical success in the late 1960s with Long John Baldry and Rod Stewart, before gaining international acclaim in the 1970s, fueled by albums such as Madman Across the Water, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and 11-17-70. In the 1980s, John fell into alcohol and cocaine abuse, encountered financial problems, and struggled in his relationships; by the 1990s, however, he recovered and began playing sold-out stadium tours with Billy Joel, and found a younger audience when he performed "Candle in the Wind" at Princess Diana's funeral in 1997. Bego marches rapidly through John's career in the 21st century, highlighting albums such as 2004's Peachtree Road and the 2019 biopic Rocketman. In breathless prose, Bego cheerleads for John: "Is he a musical genius? Definitely. Is there more great music coming from Elton John? Years worth... Is he a mad genius'? Absolutely." This will be of most interest to diehard John fans.