Elton John: “I’m not interested in the past”

Music icon Sir Elton John has sold over 300 million records worldwide and is one of the best selling artists of all time.

Throughout Elton John‘s career he has performed over 4000 times in 80 countries, and in 2019 the film Rocketman, which is based on his life, hit the big screen.

Elton John once said he couldn’t imagine playing rock’n’roll after the age of 35. “Ha!” the 75 year-old who recently worked with Britney is still going, despite Elton John’s net worth estimated to be $500 Million.

Career beginnings

Reggie learned to play the piano as a very young child, and could play songs fluently by ear after hearing them only a couple of times, soon winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London. Although he enjoyed the music, he wasn’t particularly interested in classical, and left school at the age of 17 just before his A Levels to pursue a career in music – something his RAF father tried to dissuade him from. He fell in love with rock ‘n’ roll after his mum Sheila brought home Elvis Presley records. He also played piano in local pubs as a teenager.

More recently, his collab-packed 32nd studio album ‘The Lockdown Sessions’, sold well globally and with the star meeting Lancashire lyricist Bernie Taupin through an advert placed in the New Musical Express by Liberty Records. Reg had become Elton, the pair had well-established a world-beating songwriting partnership and would soon unleash upon the globe ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, their glorious, gargantuan seventh album, a 30million-selling ticket to all-time greatness that Elton has described as “an incredible time” in a life packed with them.

It’s the future I’m interested in. I’m not interested in the pastnot even Elton John’s past. I know I have to sing what I do onstage”

On his last album, he said: “It was never an album I was gonna make,” Elton says, explaining that work began unexpectedly when the pandemic curtailed the Australian dates of his ongoing last-ever world tour in early 2020. He might have been named the most successful male solo artist in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, having shifted more records worldwide than he ever could have imagined, but as he returned home from that tour, Elton Hercules John found himself at a loose end just like the rest of us. Like some of us, too, he got to know his neighbours a little better while he was homebound. It’s just that Elton was watching Tiger King in his Beverly Hills mansion and his neighbour was global pop star Charlie Puth.

“He had a studio at his house,” Elton says. “He lived four doors away from me, so he invited me up to write a song – and we did.” That song became the stadium-sized ‘After All’, a bombastic weepie that they performed to a combined IRL and online audience of over a billion at the Global Citizen Live concert in Paris last month. And the offers of work kept coming, he explains, as he wound up joining cult Texan duo Surfaces on the serene ‘Learn To Fly’: “The next day I did [that] song via Zoom – I’d never done that before, and I was playing and singing on their record. And then I came back to England and lots of people asked me to play on records.”

“I love playing on other people’s records”

Elton adds “I’ve never lost the desire to hear new music,” he says, explaining that the show has introduced him “to a whole ballgame of new artists – music that I wouldn’t otherwise necessarily have heard because Apple send me a lot of stuff.”

I’ve become friends with most young artists on the record, and I just love promoting new records.”
On his career: “Everything’s been a bonus with this record. Whether it sells one copy or a million copies, it doesn’t matter to me. I had so much fun and I learnt so much from doing it.”

2022: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road documentary announced

In May, it was announced that footage was being captured from Elton John’s ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour as part of a new documentary called Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: The Final Elton John Performances And The Years That Made His Legend.

The documentary will also show performance footage from over the past 50 years, as well as prominent moments from the start of his career, and a look into his personal life and career in the present day.
What’s next? “I’ve had enough applause. I wanna be with my family. I wanna be with my boys”

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Mark Meets
Mark Meets
MarkMeets Media is British-based online news magazine covering showbiz, music, tv and movies
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