Elton John says that he waited until his mother died to publish his new memoir, titled, Me. The book was co-written by Alexis Petridis, and covers all aspects of the 72-year-old rock legend's life and career. Elton's mother, Sheila Farebrother, died in December 2017 at age 92, with the pair having reconnected after being estranged for years.
During his extensive new chat with GQ, Elton was asked if he held out releasing the autobiography while she was still alive: “That’s right, as it would have been too painful for her. I never responded to all the things she said in the tabloids and all the other things she did, so I thought it was time to address them, to tell a couple of home truths, and it wouldn’t have been appropriate. She died at a good age, 92, and we reconciled in as much as we could before she died and I’m glad we did. We had her funeral at the house and it was very emotional. I cried. I was very emotional because she was my mother. Unfortunately we grew apart, but families do that. The last six or seven years of my relationship with my mother were pretty awful, and it wasn’t great before that. But it was very cathartic for me to write about it.”
Elton went on to say he has no hard feelings towards anyone in his family at this point, explaining, “I don’t have any grievances concerning my father and I’m very happy to have met his wife, his widow, who came to the show with my half-brothers and her grandchildren. Life’s too short. You can’t die hating people. It’s the wrong thing to do. I wouldn’t have got in touch with my mother at all had I not overheard someone talking about their relationship with their father. In Alcoholics Anonymous there’s a thing that says you can’t change people; you have to accept them for who they are. And I thought if my mother died and I didn’t reach out to her, I would feel terrible about it. . . I didn’t want that on my conscience when she died, that I hadn’t tried to reach out and give her an olive branch.”
When asked about how he and co-author Alexis Petridis wrote the new tome, Elton said, “Just like you and I sitting down here with a tape recorder for two or three hours every time, starting at the very beginning. The book was originally going to start at Dodger Stadium (in 1975), but that wouldn’t have appealed to a lot of people, so we started when I was born. The incredible thing is I remembered so much about the early days, about being in Bluesology, because I had such a great time even though I was earning nothing.”
With his recent biopic Rocketman being compared so closely with Queen's global blockbuster Bohemian Rhapsody, Elton revealed he still hadn't seen it: “I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t watch it because I’m so close to Freddie (Mercury). I’ve seen snippets of it and I thought that Rami Malek was fantastic, but being Freddie’s dearest friend, I couldn’t watch it.”
With over 50 years under his belt as a world-class singer-songwriter-performer, we asked Elton John what continues to inspire him: “It's always about tomorrow and not the past. It's lovely to go and to look back, but I'm a person who looks forward. I'm more interested in what's going to happen next. I value the past and my career, and sometimes when I go back. I think, 'Oh, that's pretty good'– but I'm all about what's going to happen next.”
Elton John performs tonight (October 17th) at L.A.'s Greek Theatre.