Renowned singer-songwriter and addiction recovery advocate Elton John gave a candid interview on CBS Sunday morning this past week ahead of what he says are the last of his tour dates and the release of his new memoir. His Goodbye Yellow Brick Road tour began last month, and has included epic three-hour performances that span his decades-long catalog of music. During the interview, the Rocketman discussed the triumphs, trials, ups and downs of a life in the pubic eye and in front of the piano, including his battle with addiction, subsequent recovery, his role as a family man and his legacy of creating some of the most unforgettable songs in the modern music canon, and claimed addiction “nearly destroyed his soul.”
“Farewell, Not Goodbye”
As someone with 29 years of sobriety under his studded and rhinestone belt, Elton John understands the challenges and fluid nature of the future, but also recognizes one’s ability to make their own reality. It’s in this spirit that he insists that, while he’s finished with touring around the world, we haven’t seen or heard the last of him (he has no plans to stop recording or performing in the UK or US). It was always his intention to “die onstage”, however, his two sons have somewhat recalibrated his future plans. While he is planning to slow down, he’s keeping his platform shoe steadily on the gas.
The New and Old “Me”
In his recent book aptly title “Me”, John is uniquely candid about his career, addiction, recovery and family relationships. The unusually raw warts-and-all autobiography is the first one released by the pop legend, and discusses everything from his emotionally distant relationship with his mother to his musical evolution to the evolution of his onstage wardrobe to his drug addiction to his changing perspective due to his relationship with this family. It’s also a reminder that life doesn’t have to be determined before it begins and reinforces the lifechanging value of addiction treatment and recovery.