Me
In his only official autobiography, music icon Elton John writes about his extraordinary life, which is also the subject of the film Rocketman.Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three, he was on his first tour of America, facing an astonished audience in his tight silver hotpants, bare legs and a T-shirt with ROCK AND ROLL emblazoned across it in sequins. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again.His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with the Queen; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation. All the while, Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade.In Me Elton also writes about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father.

Me Details

TitleMe
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 15th, 2019
PublisherHenry Holt & Company
ISBN-139781250147608
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Music, Audiobook

Me Review

  • Chelsey
    January 1, 1970
    EDIT: I’m changing this to FIVE stars (from four). I keep recommending it and thinking about it and loving on Elton’s infectious and unique personality. I watched the movie last week and kept adding details where I thought they glossed over and narrating to my husband as we watched (haha sorry husband!) and it made me realize how much his book has stuck with me. Then we saw his concert which was phenomenal and now I just can’t get enough Elton in my life which tells me this book deserves ALL THE EDIT: I’m changing this to FIVE stars (from four). I keep recommending it and thinking about it and loving on Elton’s infectious and unique personality. I watched the movie last week and kept adding details where I thought they glossed over and narrating to my husband as we watched (haha sorry husband!) and it made me realize how much his book has stuck with me. Then we saw his concert which was phenomenal and now I just can’t get enough Elton in my life which tells me this book deserves ALL THE STARS!!!!Read the official autobiography: ✅Watch ‘Rocketman’: ✅See Elton John LIVE on his official farewell tour!: ✅“When you reminisce about the good old days, you naturally see it all through rose-tinted spectacles. In my case in particular, I think that’s forgivable, because I probably was literally wearing rose-tinted spectacles at the time, with flashing lights and ostrich feathers attached to them. But if you end up convincing yourself that everything in the past was better than it is now, you might as well give up writing music and retire.”This was marvelous. What an unapologetic, authentic, entertaining autobiography. I literally laughed out loud on more than a few occasions and even shed a few tears. I only wish I was more familiar with artists from the 1960s and 1970s so I could have had more context. I think for anyone who grew up listening to Elton and his peers, and even if you didn’t, this book will blow you away.Here’s hoping our show isn’t a “very occasional” one ☺️“I’ve played with my childhood heroes and some of the greatest artists in the history of music; I’ve played with people who were so hopeless they had no business being onstage and I’ve played with a group of male strippers dressed as Cub Scouts. I’ve done gigs dressed as a woman, a cat, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, a Ruritanian general, a musketeer, a pantomime dame and, very occasionally, I’ve played gigs dressed like a normal human being.”
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  • Shirin
    January 1, 1970
    I rarely give 5 stars to books, but in this case I kinda had to because it was just really damn good. I'm fond of autobiographies in general, even though you always have to be wary of the subject putting themselves in an exclusively good light. Fortunately, not something you really have to worry about with Elton John, as one of the strongest parts of the book was his self-aware humor. Very often he makes fun of himself and acknowledges when he acted horribly, which just makes the book feel more I rarely give 5 stars to books, but in this case I kinda had to because it was just really damn good. I'm fond of autobiographies in general, even though you always have to be wary of the subject putting themselves in an exclusively good light. Fortunately, not something you really have to worry about with Elton John, as one of the strongest parts of the book was his self-aware humor. Very often he makes fun of himself and acknowledges when he acted horribly, which just makes the book feel more honest. It's definitely entertaining and funny as hell, making me laugh out loud several times, no easy feat. But it definitely hits hard at certain points, especially when he describes the end of his relationship with John Reid, his early childhood, the friends he's lost over the decades and the 16 years of addiction he went through. For people who know quite a bit about Elton there won't be that many revelations (although there are probably some), but it still gives you a more comprehensive look at who he is and how his life has unfolded. There were points in the book that definitely hit me as I could connect the feelings and thoughts he's had to the same feelings and thoughts I've had before, which left a personal note for me. Overall, I really loved this book and will probably read it again at some point. I can also recommend the audiobook with Taron Egerton, as he does a great job with it and making the book even more engrossing than it already is.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    Despite the fact that some of hits were recorded before I was even born, I love me some Elton John. I had to stop the book repeatedly to go listen to the songs he mentions, which made this autobiography also turn into an abbreviated discography :)Elton John’s life has been quite the whirlwind, with high highs (figuratively and literally) and low lows. If references to drugs, sex, and eating disorders bothers you - then this book probably isn’t for you. But keep in mind this is also a good Despite the fact that some of hits were recorded before I was even born, I love me some Elton John. I had to stop the book repeatedly to go listen to the songs he mentions, which made this autobiography also turn into an abbreviated discography :)Elton John’s life has been quite the whirlwind, with high highs (figuratively and literally) and low lows. If references to drugs, sex, and eating disorders bothers you - then this book probably isn’t for you. But keep in mind this is also a good redemption story featuring a life of sobriety, marriage, and children. Plus fame and music and name dropping and gossip and an overuse of the word “fantastic”.
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  • Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー
    January 1, 1970
    This is a review that can be followed to the tune of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John. When are you gonna come down?When are you going to write?I should have stayed on GoodreadsI should have listened to my old planIt knows it can't hold me foreverI didn't sign up with youThis review’s one for your friends to openThis girl's too young to be singing the blues(blueeees, aaaaa, aaaa)So hello Elton old friend,You’ve made this girl herself againIt can't plant me in its horror houseI'm going This is a review that can be followed to the tune of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John. When are you gonna come down?When are you going to write?I should have stayed on GoodreadsI should have listened to my old planIt knows it can't hold me foreverI didn't sign up with youThis review’s one for your friends to openThis girl's too young to be singing the blues(blueeees, aaaaa, aaaa)So hello Elton old friend,You’ve made this girl herself againIt can't plant me in its horror houseI'm going back to my penBack to the story of Elton and fameHunting the demons of pastOh I've finally decided my future liesAlong with Elton’s advice(adviiiiice, aaaaaaa, aaaaaaaa)Where does it think I’ve been then? It bets that I’ll shoot down on weight gainIt took Elton more than just vodka and tonicsTo set himself on his feet againMaybe it’ll get complacentThere's plenty like me to get downBut Elton taught me a ‘plentyIgnoring demons like you on the ground(grouuuund, aaaaaa, aaaaaaa)So hello Elton old friend,You’ve made this girl herself againIt can't plant me in its horror houseI'm going back to my penBack to the story of Elton and painHunting the demons of pastOh I've finally decided my future liesAlong with Elton’s advice(adviiiiice, aaaaaaa, aaaaaaaa)I've struggled with demons this year, and I've barely been around Goodreads. What sets Elton apart from other rock stars, is that I can relate to him. He struggled with cold and distant parental figures, unrequited love from men, body image difficulties and an addictive personality. However, he beat his demons and today is happy. He's also got a wicked sense of humour, rare talents and kindness. I feel like his strengths and weaknesses are so akin to mine that I felt writing a review to the tune of one of his songs would be more meaningful than recounting the beauty, sadness, hilarity and evocative nature of this book. Instead, I leave you, my songThis book has brought my life into so much perspective. I may never be able to thank Elton for that, but I could leave it here on Goodreads for you all.
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  • britt_brooke
    January 1, 1970
    I once high-fived Elton John. Colorado Springs, 2009. True Story. Tiny hands. Anyway, this autobiography is super entertaining! There’s so much I didn’t know. With zero sugar-coating, and a lot of humor, Sir Elton takes us through his incredible life. Music, fashion, heartache, addiction, etc. Plenty of name-dropping, which I guiltily devoured. I’d love to have dinner with him. My only complaint is with the audio narration. You can hear the intakes of breath and it’s annoying as shit.
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  • Helga
    January 1, 1970
    Elton John: Fantastical, surreal and over-the-top. Elton John: A great soul with a kind heart; an honest, witty and fascinating human being; a shining star!I remember the day I heard Elton John for the first time and fell in love with him. I was in my early teens and was nosing around my mom’s cassette tapes’ drawer and found his albums. I remember the covers of the tapes; the image of this man wearing outrageous costumes and huge eye glasses. I remember the very first song I heard that pierced Elton John: Fantastical, surreal and over-the-top. Elton John: A great soul with a kind heart; an honest, witty and fascinating human being; a shining star!I remember the day I heard Elton John for the first time and fell in love with him. I was in my early teens and was nosing around my mom’s cassette tapes’ drawer and found his albums. I remember the covers of the tapes; the image of this man wearing outrageous costumes and huge eye glasses. I remember the very first song I heard that pierced my heart. It was Your Song.It's a little bit funny this feeling inside I'm not one of those who can easily hide, IDon't have much money but boy if I did I'd buy a big house where we both could live If I was a sculptor, but then again no Or a man who makes potions in a traveling show Oh I know it's not much but it's the best I can do My gift is my song And this one's for you And you can tell everybody this is your song It may be quite simple but now that it's done I hope you don't mind I hope you don't mind That I put down in words How wonderful life is while you're in the world…The amazing thing is that I still love to hear him sing and incredibly, so does my little daughter! She loves Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and whenever she wants to listen to it, she says “mama, I want that song that goes Aaaa, aaa”. While reading this autobiography, many happy memories surfaced and sometimes the sense of nostalgia was overwhelming. Frequently, I had to stop reading to wipe my tears off.Elton John, thank you for your perseverance. Thank you for being in this world. Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for all you have done for those in need and thank you for making life wonderful for many.Thank you for listening to your gut feeling and trusting fate, even though sometimes you have had to look at the hand you’ve been dealt and had to throw in the cards. “There’s really no point in asking what if? The only question worth asking is: what’s next?”Even if you are not a fan I think you would still enjoy reading this memoir, since the reminiscences involve his friends like Freddie Mercury, John Lennon, Gianni Versace, The Beetles, The Rolling Stones, Princess Diana and even the Queen of England.…“So the music will always surprise you, but after fifty years you do start to feel as if nothing else that happens at a gig can. It’s easy to think that you’ve done pretty much everything it’s possible to do onstage except keel over and die. I’ve performed sober, I’ve performed drunk and I have – to my shame – performed high as a kite. I’ve done gigs that made me feel as elated as it’s possible for a human being to feel, and struggled through shows in the pits of despair. I’ve played pianos, I’ve jumped on pianos, I’ve fallen off pianos and I’ve pushed a piano into the crowd, hit a member of the audience with it and spent the rest of the night frantically apologizing to them. I’ve played with my childhood heroes and some of the greatest artists in the history of music; I’ve played with people who were so hopeless they had no business being onstage and I’ve played with a group of male strippers dressed as Cub Scouts. I’ve done gigs dressed as a woman, a cat, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, a Ruritanian general, a musketeer, a pantomime dame and, very occasionally, I’ve played gigs dressed like a normal human being. I’ve had gigs that were disrupted by bomb scares, gigs disrupted by student protests against the war in Vietnam and gigs that were disrupted because I flounced offstage in a huff and then came scuttling back shortly afterwards, contrite about losing my temper. I’ve had hot dogs thrown at me in Paris; I’ve been knocked unconscious by a hash pipe while wearing a giant chicken outfit in North Carolina – my band thought I’d been shot…”
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  • Jill McGill
    January 1, 1970
    Loved every minute of it!!! I absolutely loved how he didn't hold back anything... told it like it is. And who knew he was so funny?!?!The perfect read for all Elton John fans!
  • Gary
    January 1, 1970
    An entertaining biography that was an easy read filling in a few of the gaps in my memory while growing up during Elton John's life.The book appears to be quite an honest account with mentions of his tantrums, drugs and other vices which makes interesting reading. I preferred the earlier insights, maybe because I couldn't remember too much about the stories rather than the more recent marriage, film and aids foundation anecdotes.A good read.
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  • Ilana
    January 1, 1970
    Admittedly, I’m not the ideal reader for this book. I like a few songs of Elton John’s, and I have memories of him from my childhood in the 70s as an outrageous performer who played piano tunes dressed in garish clothes & accessories and played surprisingly mellow tunes for all that. And that’s pretty much the only impression he left me with since then. His fame grew and grew; there were the tabloid stories about is he or is he not bisexual, or just gay; the drug and alcohol abuses; the Admittedly, I’m not the ideal reader for this book. I like a few songs of Elton John’s, and I have memories of him from my childhood in the 70s as an outrageous performer who played piano tunes dressed in garish clothes & accessories and played surprisingly mellow tunes for all that. And that’s pretty much the only impression he left me with since then. His fame grew and grew; there were the tabloid stories about is he or is he not bisexual, or just gay; the drug and alcohol abuses; the close friendships with Gianni Versace and Lady Di, which both ended so tragically and even I tuned in for her funerals and his performance of the rewritten “Candle In The Wind” in her honour, at which I no doubt shed a tear. I was a twelve year old still starry-eyed girl when her royal wedding was celebrated with all that pompous circumstance, and her horrific death marked the murder of my innocence in countless ways. I cannot decide whether the title of this autobiography, “Me” is an exercise in humility or complete narcissism, and I suspect neither can he, and he’s left it for the rest of the world to figure out. In his one and only autobiography, he gives us a linear narrative of his life, from growing up as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, a boy obsessed with music raised by parents ill-suited for each other and constantly fighting, with a father with whom the only common ground was football, which became a lifelong passion for the singer. He describes being naive and unsophisticated as a young man, who was also asexual, until he suddenly found his libido at age 21. Finding his footing as a performer, he eventually changed his name, became a flamboyant artist and dresser, wildly promiscuous, a coke and booze fiend. He spells out the fact he had no wish to gloss over any of the drug and sex “ugly” bits in the telling of his life story, partly because he eventually found himself at a self-described revolting low which he knew he had to recover from, or die. That, and also because he was aiming for authenticity in his life as a man now more than 30 years free of substance abuse. Having found sobriety after incredible excesses which he talks about without glossing over any embarrassing details (in a way I recognize, because so freeing in their revelation, as someone who doesn't hide from her mistakes and great failings either), he’s been dedicated to helping many others in need of rehabilitation, both well known figures, a few of which he named (Eminem stuck in my mind) and people whose privacy he wishes to keep. One of his most laudable contributions has been to his AIDS foundation, which he started after the death of some of his closest friends, notably of Freddy Mercury, who could have been saved in the year following his his passing with life extending drug treatments. It goes without saying that much of the book is dedicated to his musical career, his relationships with songwriters and musicians, his album recordings and singles, his countless years on the road touring the world, and details about meeting and working with other superstars. He talks about his romantic relationships, and especially that with David Furnish, his longtime partner whom he married in 2014. Then, fatherhood coming in his 60s and how a gay couple managed to achieve that (hint: lots of money, surrogacy), the transformative powers of parenthood, etc. Ok. Fine. Here’s the thing: I don’t really care about famous people. I’m curious about their lives because they get to mix with all kinds of people and have influenced pop culture and mark eras and are part of the zeitgeist and so on. But on the whole, they are rarely people I would want to spend any time at all with. The massive ego, and the insecurity stoking those egos and the narcissism needed to achieve that kind of fame, tend to make for truly unpleasant individuals. Not always. But Elton John doesn't seem to be that exception. By and large, they tend to be narcissistic users (redundant expression—just making a point). He speaks about this aspect of himself as well; Elton John has done a lot of therapy to overcome his addictions and reign in his mercurial temperament, but self-awareness doesn’t change things all that much when a strong temper refuses to be tamed. The superficial aspect of his person also jars greatly for its garish quality. His great love for Versace’s bold, in your face regalia, only worn by a certain type that MUST be the centre of attention at all times, annoys me in the extreme. Versace is quoted as saying, "I don't believe in good taste," and it was said that "Armani dresses the wife, Versace dresses the mistress."As it happens, the only designer piece I own is an Armani dress, as I love beautiful design, abhor bad taste, as well as men who take on mistresses dolled up like expensive whores. On quite a different note, as we near the end, he talks about how fulfilling his role as a parent is, but you don’t hear much about the children. He talks about the boy in an orphanage who initially sparked a burning desire in him to becomes father, but what I read was that the primary goal was fulfilling HIS need when the urge for family struck him, as a sexagenarian. Admittedly, his partner had been wanting children as well, and all parents are following their own needs for having children, but it seemed all of a piece with a general pattern of egoism which I find difficult to translate into actual love. But that is my subjective perception of course. Finally, what tilted the balance to a decidedly negative rating and overall impression was a not inconsequential detail. For the audiobook edition of their autobiographies, not all famous people choose to read what we are led to believe to be their own words, admittedly. That he narrates the opening and closing chapters, and leaves the rest to a professional narrator wouldn't be unusual. Only this book is titled Me , and in it there are a lot of words and sentences and paragraphs and whole chapters to convince us/himself that since his sobriety, he became a much simpler, humbler version of Elton John, the Superstar, and that fatherhood has increased that trend, and he now enjoys just being a parent, who can go to Pizza Express with the kids and be treated like an ordinary person and talk with moms at school events about things having nothing to do with his music, such as school uniforms. All that just made me shake my head and say, Okay, sure thing, Reggie. Gotcha. I originally gave this three stars because it was full of interesting tidbits, but I think I’ll downgrade to 2.5 — “Good in parts but...” because ultimately, I can’t stand the guy. The very least he could’ve done is narrated his own fucking book.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    I love Elton John as an entertainer and musician. The one thing that I love the most is that his songs are so completely original. Some musicians often have all their songs sounding the same but with different words. That isn't so with Elton John. He is a master at music. That talent of his shined in this autobiography. I enjoyed hearing about his coming of age in England and how he ended up in the music world. In this book, Elton John is open and honest about his life....even with the things I love Elton John as an entertainer and musician. The one thing that I love the most is that his songs are so completely original. Some musicians often have all their songs sounding the same but with different words. That isn't so with Elton John. He is a master at music. That talent of his shined in this autobiography. I enjoyed hearing about his coming of age in England and how he ended up in the music world. In this book, Elton John is open and honest about his life....even with the things that lurk in the shadows. There is a lot of detail about his drug use, sex and his different relationships. I appreciated his honesty and tact when talking about these things. I wish there had been more about his music life and those who were around him, but even without all of that, I still enjoyed it. There were two disappointments though. This did feel long at times, especially towards the end....that is never good, and I was disappointed that he didn't do his own audio narration for this. But still.....4 star worthy for me.
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  • Cat
    January 1, 1970
    Shockingly self-aware and funny (often laugh out loud). More about personal and social affairs than any sort of in-depth look at his composition process, but there are already books/documentaries exploring that. It’s a standard celebrity memoir, overall, in form, but there’s a lot of self-deprecating charm, a lot of amusing namedropping, and a ton of description of the gay music milieu of the 70s/80s and drug use—he does not hold back from describing the average night at Studio 54, or getting Shockingly self-aware and funny (often laugh out loud). More about personal and social affairs than any sort of in-depth look at his composition process, but there are already books/documentaries exploring that. It’s a standard celebrity memoir, overall, in form, but there’s a lot of self-deprecating charm, a lot of amusing namedropping, and a ton of description of the gay music milieu of the 70s/80s and drug use—he does not hold back from describing the average night at Studio 54, or getting blackout drunk and naked and assaulting ex-lover John Reid (dressed as a clown), or arranging orgies on his snooker table in LA, or locking himself in an apartment for two weeks to listen to Kate Bush and nearly kill himself with coke and masturbation, or the rough process of getting sober and learning to manage long-term relationships. Petridis did a great job ghostwriting—I hope he got a hefty paycheck for making this as smoothly entertaining as it is.
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  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    My god, he's hilarious. And self-deprecating. And bitchy. My god, he's hilarious. And self-deprecating. And bitchy. 😂
  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    This was fabulous!!! A walk through an incredibwm history of rock and roll, his own career and all the facets of celebrity. Elton does not hold back and really creates a complete picture of a life without compare.
  • F
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED
  • Jeanette
    January 1, 1970
    Note to young celebrities:It's best to wait until you are in your sixties or older before writing your memoirs. It's only then that you will have achieved enough perspective and self-awareness to pen a worthy autobiography.If you like audio books, I highly recommend this one. Taron Egerton's narration is exquisite. He does all the accents and emotions of the various people in Elton's life. It's highly entertaining. But be sure you get a chance to take a quick look at the print copy as well, so Note to young celebrities:It's best to wait until you are in your sixties or older before writing your memoirs. It's only then that you will have achieved enough perspective and self-awareness to pen a worthy autobiography.If you like audio books, I highly recommend this one. Taron Egerton's narration is exquisite. He does all the accents and emotions of the various people in Elton's life. It's highly entertaining. But be sure you get a chance to take a quick look at the print copy as well, so you don't miss out on the superb collection of photographs.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I was thrilled when I learned that Elton John was writing a memoir of his incredible life. And now it’s here and it is funny and sad, self-deprecating and full of fantastic stories. As I read, I googled and you-tubed the events he wrote about. I know it’s cheesy, but Elton’s music HAS been the soundtrack of my life. I clearly remember memorizing and singing Crocodile Rock on the swings at my elementary school. I remember driving my first car with the cassette (yes, pre-CD, I’m that old!) of his I was thrilled when I learned that Elton John was writing a memoir of his incredible life. And now it’s here and it is funny and sad, self-deprecating and full of fantastic stories. As I read, I googled and you-tubed the events he wrote about. I know it’s cheesy, but Elton’s music HAS been the soundtrack of my life. I clearly remember memorizing and singing Crocodile Rock on the swings at my elementary school. I remember driving my first car with the cassette (yes, pre-CD, I’m that old!) of his Greatest Hits playing on repeat. His music has uplifted me and comforted me through my life and now his book has given me a deeper understanding of this iconic performer who is a real and complicated and imperfect person, like the rest of us. 👏👏
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  • Elias
    January 1, 1970
    How could I have given it anything else?
  • Jennifer Thompson-Thalasinos
    January 1, 1970
    If you’re an Elton John fan this is a must read!!!! I loved every minute of it! What makes this book so interesting is that Elton John is completely real and raw. You’ll find yourself laughing, and then near tears as you read about his life from a young boy through today. He delves into his use of cocaine, the AIDS epidemic, and Princess Diana. You also learn why he believes he never contracted AIDS, and having nearly died (not from drugs either). He also talks about John Lennon, Gianni Versace, If you’re an Elton John fan this is a must read!!!! I loved every minute of it! What makes this book so interesting is that Elton John is completely real and raw. You’ll find yourself laughing, and then near tears as you read about his life from a young boy through today. He delves into his use of cocaine, the AIDS epidemic, and Princess Diana. You also learn why he believes he never contracted AIDS, and having nearly died (not from drugs either). He also talks about John Lennon, Gianni Versace, George Michael, and of course Freddie Mercury. So many stories about his famous friends who made them human. I especially loved the stories about Rod Stewart peppered throughout the book. Go buy & read this book now!
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    I have loved Elton John for more than 40 years and have already seen Rocketman twice, so I'm not exactly an objective reader. But I have read autobiographies by some of my favorite musicians that didn't do much for me, like Elvis Costello's Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, so I'm not a pushover. Fortunately, it is easy to love Me. It's fast-paced, moving, hilarious, and pretty damn insightful. Elton is also probably kinder than he should be regarding some of the celebrities who he's I have loved Elton John for more than 40 years and have already seen Rocketman twice, so I'm not exactly an objective reader. But I have read autobiographies by some of my favorite musicians that didn't do much for me, like Elvis Costello's Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, so I'm not a pushover. Fortunately, it is easy to love Me. It's fast-paced, moving, hilarious, and pretty damn insightful. Elton is also probably kinder than he should be regarding some of the celebrities who he's crossed paths with. His stories are funny and entertaining but never vicious or cruel (he doesn't seem terribly fond of David Bowie but that's as far as it goes). Considering one of his better known songs is "The Bitch is Back," he seems to save most of his bitchery for castigating himself about his former drug use (in a very dry, British way). And he could also have been much less charitable towards his late mother, who rarely missed an opportunity to criticize him even after he was one of the most successful rock stars in the world. I haven't really listened to any new Elton music since his heyday of the 70s but this book made me want to check out some of his later albums, especially the ones released after he got sober. I'm so glad he survived the excesses of his younger years and is "still standing" today to tell his story.
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  • Steve Peifer
    January 1, 1970
    I remember working as a college DJ in the 70’s when EJ over saturated the market and we all talked about how sick of him we were. But to a person, each person managed to throw out a song of his they truly loved, and the discussion ended.I have a weakness for British musicians memoirs, and even with all the excesses, it’s pretty funny. Writing about composing for The Lion King: And there was no getting around the fact that I was now writing a song about a warthog that farted a lot. Admittedly, I I remember working as a college DJ in the 70’s when EJ over saturated the market and we all talked about how sick of him we were. But to a person, each person managed to throw out a song of his they truly loved, and the discussion ended.I have a weakness for British musicians memoirs, and even with all the excesses, it’s pretty funny. Writing about composing for The Lion King: And there was no getting around the fact that I was now writing a song about a warthog that farted a lot. Admittedly, I thought it was a pretty good song about a warthog who farted a lot; at the risk of appearing big headed, I’m pretty sure that in a list of the greatest songs ever written about warthogs who fart a lot, mine would come in somewhere near the top.But this book is also about how societal views have changed so much in 50 years. He is refreshingly honest about his journey in his sexuality.The truly surprising part of this book was the redemption piece. Somehow he found out about Ryan White, who contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion, and the shame he feels about how he has lived his life when he sees what a good person White was is really powerful. The parts dealing with getting sober are horrifying and honest.It’s not a great book, and it often goes to the TMI well too often, but it is a good book that is much more touching than I would have ever guessed.
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  • Barb Kelownagurl
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this autobiography, but then I knew I would, and I’m terribly biased so my review isn’t worth much. Instead, I’ll tell you about the most important “Elton John” moment of my life. Elton John is the musician who had the greatest impact on my life and his music was certainly the soundtrack to my teen years. I bought many of his albums in the mid to late 70’s but didn’t have an opportunity to go see him until I was in my early 40’s when he came to Kelowna in 2002. The concert sold out I loved this autobiography, but then I knew I would, and I’m terribly biased so my review isn’t worth much. Instead, I’ll tell you about the most important “Elton John” moment of my life. Elton John is the musician who had the greatest impact on my life and his music was certainly the soundtrack to my teen years. I bought many of his albums in the mid to late 70’s but didn’t have an opportunity to go see him until I was in my early 40’s when he came to Kelowna in 2002. The concert sold out immediately before I could get tickets but I called into a local radio show and managed to name all the song clips they had played, so my name when into the hat. The following Friday, I listened in as they drew a name and I had won!!! I was ecstatic! All my life, I had wanted to go to his concert and now I was finally going to be able to see him in a solo gig in a small venue! I took my mom to the concert with me and she insisted I bring my Yellow Brick Road album I had bought in 1976 when I was 16, in case I could get it signed. We were sitting behind the stage, only a few rows up from where he was playing. I had an amazing view of him playing the entire time and I sang along because, after all those years, I still knew the words to almost every song. The crowd was wild and we gave him a standing ovation after every song as he stood and bowed to each quarter of the venue. Finally, during one of his ovations, when he was facing my section, I held up my YBR album and he pointed up to it in recognition. I mimed asking him to sign it and he mimed he didn’t have a pen. But a stage hand quickly passed him a marker so I ran down to the rail and handed it over to him to sign. Then I stood there and jumped and screamed like a 15 year old girl, as the crowd went wild. I can’t tell you how crazy it was to hold onto my album at the same time as he held it, and to look him in the eye as he passed it back to me. It was one of the most amazing moments of my entire life. I know that probably just sounds ridiculous, and really, I’m not normally impressed at all by famous people. But Elton John’s music played such a huge part of my life, that no other artist signing my album could have come close to the feeling I had that day. When I turned back around, I held up the signed album to my section and they all cheered. So, Elton, I know you have given thousands of concerts, and will not remember that moment in Kelowna, but I will never forget it, and to this day, I still have that album framed and hanging on the wall above my own piano. Thank you!!
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  • Bridget
    January 1, 1970
    A brilliant biography of someone we all kind of feel like we know. This feels very personal, it is well written and it doesn't pull any punches about what Elton John's life has been like. You finish it feeling like you've had a real inside look into his heart and into his life.I loved reading about his early life, how he got started, the relationships in his family and while it isn't a happy childhood he doesn't seem to be too bitter. His fraught relationship with his Dad is quite heartbreaking A brilliant biography of someone we all kind of feel like we know. This feels very personal, it is well written and it doesn't pull any punches about what Elton John's life has been like. You finish it feeling like you've had a real inside look into his heart and into his life.I loved reading about his early life, how he got started, the relationships in his family and while it isn't a happy childhood he doesn't seem to be too bitter. His fraught relationship with his Dad is quite heartbreaking in many ways and his Mum seems to run hot and cold by turns. It is all so interesting. I was always a little in love with Bernie Taupin as a kid and it is great to hear the story of how they got together - pure accident - but how their partnership has stood the test of time despite bad behaviour and tantrums and the extraordinary lives they have led. I loved this book. As celebrity memoirs go, this one is right up there for me. It had lots of favourite parts, I loved the chat about Rod Stewart, the funny moments, the bad behaviour in exotic locations, the love for his partner and children. So many good parts. Highly recommended if you love his music, if you like celeb bios, if you want to read the life story of someone who has spent his entire life in the public eye.
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  • Nicole D.
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not a celebrity biography/autobiography person, but when it came to Chrissie Hynde and Elton John, I felt I should make an exception (plus, I'd seen Rocketman and wanted to know what was real, and what wasn't.)I don't like drugs, I don't like drug culture, I'm not interesting in hearing about the use of drugs, so note to self --- no more celebrity bios. I think this gave a good overview of Elton John's life, and his songwriting process was truly amazing. Imagine just being handed some words I'm not a celebrity biography/autobiography person, but when it came to Chrissie Hynde and Elton John, I felt I should make an exception (plus, I'd seen Rocketman and wanted to know what was real, and what wasn't.)I don't like drugs, I don't like drug culture, I'm not interesting in hearing about the use of drugs, so note to self --- no more celebrity bios. I think this gave a good overview of Elton John's life, and his songwriting process was truly amazing. Imagine just being handed some words on a page (brilliant words, no doubt) and then coming out with Levon or Tiny Dancer in a matter of minutes. Hearing music by seeing words. Mind boggling. As for the rest of the book, Elton's parents were horrible and he had a LOT of celebrity friends, and a lot of them died. And he cried a lot. And he had a temper, and a lot of falling outs. There was a lot of name dropping and a MASSIVE EGO. I think even when he tried to be self-effacing it came across as bragging. Look, I get it - He's Elton John, but I would have been better off NOT knowing all this about him.
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  • Kiley
    January 1, 1970
    By far the best book I've read in 2019 and maybe ever. Elton has lived such an extraordinary life and the details will shock and amaze you. And if you are able, I highly recommend listening to the audio book. Taron Egerton does an incredible job that you forget that it isn't his story. He tells it as if it is his own life. 5 stars I recommend to everyone!
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  • Peter Mueller
    January 1, 1970
    Elton really has been open and upfront during the interviews he has given in his life because I've read or heard just about everything in his new book, which really says something! It is undoubtedly a fast read as he has made sure it is written with few music facts, but this is what I find very disappointing. This is the stuff that I as a long-time fan really wanted more than anything, and nearly 400 pages mostly about drugs and sex makes for a book that is a page turner in that sense but Elton really has been open and upfront during the interviews he has given in his life because I've read or heard just about everything in his new book, which really says something! It is undoubtedly a fast read as he has made sure it is written with few music facts, but this is what I find very disappointing. This is the stuff that I as a long-time fan really wanted more than anything, and nearly 400 pages mostly about drugs and sex makes for a book that is a page turner in that sense but certainly not re-readable for mine, its just not worth going back to, and again I find it extremely disappointing that the music not only played a back seat to the dramas of his life but was treated like a virtual unwanted stepson. Also there is practically nothing whatsoever about his bandmates; most are lucky to have a single sentence written about them and Nigel his drummer got absolutely nothing! Again, a fast, gossip-y type read about his excesses but hugely disappointing in that you wont find any tasty tidbits about your favourite songs or anything like that, and I bet there is a bookful of information Elton could have shared but simply found his recreations more important to discuss.
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  • Onceinabluemoon
    January 1, 1970
    This is my era of music, loved all the tidbits over the decades of other muscians. Most impressed with his 250 million raised for aids, listening about Ryan white had me in tears. I know I have read early books about him, but this was in depth and unputdownable. He has led many lives and still going strong.
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  • Shavawn Berry
    January 1, 1970
    This is the unvarnished, shockingly honest, brutally true, and often hilarious story of Elton's incredible life. I couldn't put it down. I laughed until I was crying. Thank you, Elton, for all the magic you brought to my life. It's been an astounding ride.
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  • Phillip Oliver
    January 1, 1970
    I was headed out on a cross-country flight when I saw this book in the airport bookstore. I did not know that it was out yet and was excited to see it on the shelf. Let me say that if you want a 6 hour flight to go by fast, take this book with you! This is a page-turner and the writing is flawless (I know he had to have had a ghost writer but whoever it is, he/she is not credited. Elton recounts his early years growing up under two difficult parents, his early gift for music (he could hear a I was headed out on a cross-country flight when I saw this book in the airport bookstore. I did not know that it was out yet and was excited to see it on the shelf. Let me say that if you want a 6 hour flight to go by fast, take this book with you! This is a page-turner and the writing is flawless (I know he had to have had a ghost writer but whoever it is, he/she is not credited. Elton recounts his early years growing up under two difficult parents, his early gift for music (he could hear a song and instantly play it on the piano), his rapid rise to fame after a slew of music-related jobs and his life-changing connection with lyricist Bernie Taupin (the story of how they hooked up is fascinating). Elton pulls no punches and gives his honest assessment of people he has worked with, his sex life, his addictions to cocaine, food and alcohol, his AIDS activism and his personal life and relationships. About the only topic he is mum on was his 4 year marriage to Renate Blauel but he does provide many details about their marriage. (Rod Stewart's reaction, via telegram, was hilarious ' "You may still be standing, dear, but the rest of us are on the f'ing floor".)One last thing - the book is hilarious at times and laugh-out-loud funny, filled with anecdotes about famous people he has encountered. This is a book where almost every page reveals a golden nugget of information. A terrific read with lots of revealing information.
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    The only biographies, autobiographies or memoirs that I tend to read are of musicians, rock stars and, occasionally, an actor. To date, the best one I’ve ever read was the outrageously candid and entertaining “Take It Like A Man” by Boy George. When it comes to rock stars of the 70s and 80s, I’ve read most of their books and they all have three things in common: a dysfunctional family, unbelievable amounts of cocaine, and at least one appearance by Rod Stewart. I’ve come to expect these items The only biographies, autobiographies or memoirs that I tend to read are of musicians, rock stars and, occasionally, an actor. To date, the best one I’ve ever read was the outrageously candid and entertaining “Take It Like A Man” by Boy George. When it comes to rock stars of the 70s and 80s, I’ve read most of their books and they all have three things in common: a dysfunctional family, unbelievable amounts of cocaine, and at least one appearance by Rod Stewart. I’ve come to expect these items and I was not disappointed to find them all here in Elton John’s new book about his life. If you’ve seen the film “Rocketman”, you will already know some of this (minus the Rod Stewart stories that, as always, are entertaining). But whereas Rocketman was a musical fantasy inspired by a Elton John’s life, this gets into the particulars - and you soon realize that Rocketman is a mere outline of all that he’s seen and done. The movie barely scratches the surface. I was particularly struck by just HOW MANY celebrities and politicians and royal family members he’s known over the last 50 years. I would almost be confident in saying that he has met all of them. Every single famous person you can think of seems to have crossed his globetrotting path. And, like all great rock n roll memoirs, he’s willing to gossip about all of them. We get stories that range from hilarious to shocking to depressing. (The Michael Jackson anecdote is so very sad). And then there is the cocaine. So much cocaine. I am of two minds when it comes to this amount of candor in a star’s autobiography. While I appreciate someone not flinching from the truth, maybe we don’t actually need to know about ALL of the cocaine benders and EACH of the relapses. It gets a little repetitive reading about someone spinning their wheels and never quite getting over the obstacle. Even when that person is as unusual and flamboyant as Elton John. I felt the same about reading Belinda Carlisle’s book, “Lips Unsealed”. After a while I just want you to get to sobriety, because we already know you survived it and wrote this book about it. The biggest plus for me was gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation for the 70s rock scene in both America and the U.K. I was born in the mid-seventies. So my first encounter with Elton John’s music was probably the truly absurd video for “I’m Still Standing” in the 80s. Although I later discovered that “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was the number one song the week I was born. So perhaps I was destined to be a fan. I’ve enjoyed searching for songs and artists that be mentions throughout the book, and listening to them on Spotify as I read. Final verdict: For people who like this sort of thing, this is definitely the sort of thing you’ll like. It may not rock your world, but it will almost certainly entertain and inform your understanding of several decades of pop culture.
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  • Aimee
    January 1, 1970
    This was absolutely enthralling. I listened to this on audio which, aside from the prologue and epilogue narrated by Elton himself, is narrated by his on-screen counterpart Taron Egerton. The audiobook is fantastic. Egerton is an incredible voice actor and you can really feel his passion when narrating this. Not only was the quality of the audiobook great, but the story is just fascinating. Yes, this is a person's life. But Elton tells his stories with such humor and self-awareness that it This was absolutely enthralling. I listened to this on audio which, aside from the prologue and epilogue narrated by Elton himself, is narrated by his on-screen counterpart Taron Egerton. The audiobook is fantastic. Egerton is an incredible voice actor and you can really feel his passion when narrating this. Not only was the quality of the audiobook great, but the story is just fascinating. Yes, this is a person's life. But Elton tells his stories with such humor and self-awareness that it really does make you feel like you know him as a person. His life also had a ton of heartbreak, addiction, and loneliness. He doesn't shy away from talking about any of it. I don't honestly read a lot of autobiographies, but this one was wonderful.
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