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Elton John: The Biography de David Buckley
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Elton John: The Biography (edição: 2019)

de David Buckley (Autor)

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321617,395 (4)Nenhum(a)
One of music’s true global superstars and most admired figures, Elton John has sold an estimated 200 million albums worldwide to date, and continues to appear regularly in the singles charts, thanks largely to a series of high-profile collaborations with new faces.             But he is loved as much for his outrageous personality and witty outspokenness as for his music: recent memorable outbursts have included a public comment that "people who charge #65533;75 and lip-sync should be shot” and calling some pushy photographers "rude, vile pigs.” He has even admitted that, in one of his more comedic cocaine-fueled moments, he phoned one of his management team "to tell him to do something about the wind outside my hotel room.” Such shamelessness and sheer silliness rivals anything uttered by punk rockers, yet it is so typically Elton: honest and wittily intemperate.             Tragedy and heartbreak have played a large part in his life too. Behind the parties, the hedonism, the lavish stage costumes and silly glasses lies a more somber story. There have been disputes with managers, legal wranglings, splits with partners, and a divorce. Added to that there have been serious health problems, a very public battle with his expanding waistline and receding hairline, drug addictions, and spells when he wanted to quit the music business altogether.             But now, at 60 years old, Elton enjoys a stable relationship with his husband David Furnish. His demons have been overcome. His commercial and critical stock is rising. With popular acts like the Scissor Sisters sounding more like Elton than Elton himself, Elton John is finally cool again.             Drawing on many firsthand interviews with his associates and musical collaborators, this page-turning story of high drama and prodigious talent traces Elton’s astonishing journey through life as the colossus of camp, while also offering a critical history of his work and analyzing afresh his contribution to popular music.… (mais)
Membro:gey57
Título:Elton John: The Biography
Autores:David Buckley (Autor)
Informação:Welbeck Publishing (2019), Edition: First, 448 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:*****
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Elton: The Biography de David Buckley

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Ah, Elton. I'm with the author in that I like some of Elton's songs, which are like radio wallpaper (depending on which station you listen to, of course), but I've never really been a fan. Then the teen invasion of the Queen fandom put me off my usual music, so I drifted sideways into Elton (and Bernie, his songwriter), who was a good friend of Freddie's (they called each other Sharon and Melina!) Now I'm buying LPs and waiting eagerly for the film, Rocketman later this year!

So, what did I know about Elton, apart from his best known hits? I knew he was gay but that he'd married a woman (although I thought that was before he came out), and that he's now married to a guy called David Furnish and they have two kids. I knew about his Liberace style stage costumes, his reputation for being a diva, and that he's also written songs for musicals, like Disney's The Lion King. And, thanks to his book Love Is The Cure, I know he runs a charity for people with HIV/AIDS. So what did I learn from this biography, which is not 'official' but seems like a well-researched and objective story-so-far (2006), with firsthand accounts from people close to Elton and quotes from the man himself?

Well, first that Elton - born Reginald Dwight, then changing his name by deed poll in 1972 - was a shy child who spent a lot of time in his room playing records, and that he is still shy off stage. I seem to be drawn to performers who somehow overcome personal insecurities to entertain an audience - Freddie Mercury was also a larger than life frontman but quiet and reserved in his private life. Elton met his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin - I love Bernie, I think that's what I really learned! - in 1967, when they both answered an ad in the NME from a new record company. Elton could write music but not lyrics, and didn't think he could sing (even though he was in a band at the time, Bluesology), and Bernie could write poetry but not set his words to music. Magic happened and the two were paired up, even though 'we wrote our first 20 songs together before we even met', Elton recalled. Their partnership and friendship has endured for over 50 years, bar a small blip in the 70s, and I love how Elton describes his feelings for Bernie: 'I did [love him]. But it was never a sexual thing. I would never leap on him. I just adored him, like a brother. I was in love with him, but not in a physical way. He was the soulmate I'd been looking for all my life'.

Whereas I knew that Elton is gay (like Freddie, ahem), I didn't know that he'd been engaged to a woman in the 70s until Long John Baldry, who was also gay, talked him out of 'ruining two lives'. HIs former fiancee, Linda Woodrow, said, 'Looking back, I realised that something was not right with that side of things ... He didn't show much interest in me sexually, and he didn't pay me much attention'. (Again, like Freddie and Mary Austin.) Elton then moved in and started a long relationship with his manager, John Reid, who also managed Queen for a while (Brian May binned him off because he was only interested in Freddie), but I was surprised to learn that he then married a woman, Renate Blauel, in the 1980s! Elton was openly gay, so I don't know how he expected that to work, and it didn't. As David Buckley writes, Elton wasn't bisexual like he claimed in the early days - 'in the early days, an admission of bisexuality was a halfway house', a 'code' used by gay men to admit their sexuality in public.

Again, from reading Love Is The Cure, I knew that Elton nearly killed himself with various addictions and disorders - alcohol, drugs, bulimia - and that he was saved by the death of a young boy in America, Ryan White, who was also the reason Elton started his AIDS charity. What we get here is simply more details about how out of control Elton was, and a reinforcement of the miracle that he actually survived. Elton was just as promiscuous as Freddie Mercury, but Freddie died in 1991 from AIDS-related complications (there's a nice story, not told here, about how Freddie gifted a painting by Elton's favourite artist to his friend 'Sharon' after his death, and reduced Elton to tears), and Elton lived to start an AIDS foundation.

What I mainly took from David Buckley's biography, however, is MUSIC, which is how it should be. I was scribbling down recommended album titles and then hunting them down on eBay - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 17/11/70, Honky Chateau, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. I didn't know just how successful Elton was in the 1970s, and how quickly success happened for him - by the mid-70s, he was a pop icon with 10 studio albums and his own record company, performing with the former Beatles and friends with Marc Bolan. I mean, what? But I can definitely say I'm well on my way to being a fan now. Thank you, Mr Buckley! ( )
1 vote AdonisGuilfoyle | Jan 26, 2019 |
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One of music’s true global superstars and most admired figures, Elton John has sold an estimated 200 million albums worldwide to date, and continues to appear regularly in the singles charts, thanks largely to a series of high-profile collaborations with new faces.             But he is loved as much for his outrageous personality and witty outspokenness as for his music: recent memorable outbursts have included a public comment that "people who charge #65533;75 and lip-sync should be shot” and calling some pushy photographers "rude, vile pigs.” He has even admitted that, in one of his more comedic cocaine-fueled moments, he phoned one of his management team "to tell him to do something about the wind outside my hotel room.” Such shamelessness and sheer silliness rivals anything uttered by punk rockers, yet it is so typically Elton: honest and wittily intemperate.             Tragedy and heartbreak have played a large part in his life too. Behind the parties, the hedonism, the lavish stage costumes and silly glasses lies a more somber story. There have been disputes with managers, legal wranglings, splits with partners, and a divorce. Added to that there have been serious health problems, a very public battle with his expanding waistline and receding hairline, drug addictions, and spells when he wanted to quit the music business altogether.             But now, at 60 years old, Elton enjoys a stable relationship with his husband David Furnish. His demons have been overcome. His commercial and critical stock is rising. With popular acts like the Scissor Sisters sounding more like Elton than Elton himself, Elton John is finally cool again.             Drawing on many firsthand interviews with his associates and musical collaborators, this page-turning story of high drama and prodigious talent traces Elton’s astonishing journey through life as the colossus of camp, while also offering a critical history of his work and analyzing afresh his contribution to popular music.

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