The most outrageous moments from Elton John's Me autobiography

22 October 2019, 10:45 | Updated: 22 October 2019, 10:51

From mistaking Bob Dylan for a gardener to crashing a Rolling Stones gig, get the highlights from the Elton John's candid memoir.

Me: Elton John, the legendary artist's first and only memoir was released last week, revealing the truth behind the famous piano man's extraordinary life.

With it came some pretty outrageous tales, which seem to cover every part of the entertainment industry.

From his well documented cocaine habit to his cooled friendship with David Bowie and his opinion on Michael Jackson, get some of the juiciest bits of Elton John's biography here...

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  1. Mistaking Bob Dylan for a gardener during a cocaine binge

    Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan. Picture: Peter Noble/Redferns/ Getty

    Yes, apparently Elton John found Bob Dylan so "scruffy," he thought the Like A Rolling Stone singer was a gardener and tried to stop him "helping himself to a drink".

    “Towards the end of the Eighties, I held an insane party in LA, and invited everyone I knew,” Elton recalled in his book.

    “By mid-evening, I was flying, absolutely out of my mind, when a scruffy-looking guy I didn’t recognise wandered into the lit-up garden.

    “Who the hell was he? Must be one of the staff, a gardener. I loudly demanded to know what the gardener was doing helping himself to a drink.

    “There was a moment’s shocked silence, broken by my PA saying, ‘Elton, that’s not the gardener. It’s Bob Dylan.'”

  2. Wrecking his PA's hotel, taking all his clothes off and punching him in the face

    Elton John in 1970
    Elton John in 1970. Picture: Bob Riha Jr/WireImage/ Getty Images

    Sticking on the theme of Elton's tantrums and misuse of drugs, the singer recalls the moment he had a meltdown on the set of his I'm Still Standing video in Cannes, which involved him taking all of his clothes off and punching his PA in the face.

    And all this apparently occurred before trashing his manager's hotel... which he of course completely forgot the next day.

    All in a day's work for a young Elton John.

  3. Finding Michael Jackson "genuinely mentally ill"

    Michael Jackson in 1988
    Michael Jackson in 1988. Picture: GARCIA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

    Speaking about the late singer, Elton John referred to him as a "walking drug addict" and a "disturbing person to be around".

    He also recalled the time he and his now husband David Furnish invited the Thriller star to a dinner party, but he refused to eat and eventually wandered off - only to be later found playing games with her 11-year-old son.

  4. His "distant" relationship with David Bowie

    David Bowie in 1970
    David Bowie in 1970. Picture: Bob Olsen/Toronto Star via Getty Images

    Elton John describes his strained relationship with David Bowie, and revealed things cooled off when the Ziggy Stardust icon called him "rock 'n' roll's token queen" in a Rolling Stone interview in the 1970s.

    He wrote in his book that "there was always something distant and aloof about him, at least when I was around."

    He added: "Years later he’d always make snippy remarks about me in interviews: ‘The token queen of rock and roll’ was the most famous one although, in fairness, he was absolutely out of his mind on coke when he said it."

  5. Hijacking a Rolling Stones gig

    Rolling Stones performing in 1980
    Rolling Stones performing in 1980. Picture: Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

    Despite being invited to play on stage with The Rolling Stones on their Honky Tonk Women track in Colorado, Elton managed to outstay his welcome.

    He writes: "I decided it was going so well, I'd stay on and jam along to the rest of their set, without first taking the precaution of asking the Stones if they wanted an auxiliary keyboard player".

    He added: "For a while, I thought Keith Richards kept staring at me because he was awestruck by the brilliance of my improvised contributions to their oeuvre. After a few songs, it finally penetrated my brain that the expression on his face wasn't really suggestive of profound musical appreciation.

    "I quickly scuttled off, noting as I went that Keith was still staring at me in a manner that suggested we'd be discussing this later, and decided it might be best if I didn't hang around for the after-show party."

  6. His fight with Tina Turner

    Tina Turner in 1985
    Tina Turner in 1985. Picture: The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

    According to Elton John, Miss Tina Turner had a few choice words for him on the phone.

    He alleges the What's Got Love To Do With It singer called him up and told him how "awful" he was, how she didn't like his hair, and he should change from wearing Versace to Armani so he would look "less fat".

    It all culminated in a spat when he was rehearsing for a joint tour with the legendary singer in the 90s.

    An extract from his book read: "The subsequent debate about whether I knew how to play Proud Mary became quite heated, before I brought it to a conclusion by telling Tina Turner to stick her fucking song up her arse and stormed off."

    Apparently the pair kissed and made up later over dinner at Elton's house, but they never did complete that tour...

  7. Thinking Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was "absolutely ridiculous"

    Elton John and Brian May in 2003
    Elton John and Brian May in 2003. Picture: KMazur/WireImage/ Getty Images

    John Reid - who had managed Elton from 1970 and was the singer’s partner for five years - had recently signed Queen to his management company and was keen to get the musician’s opinion on their ambitious six-minute long epic.

    "We listened to the song and I shook my head, incredulous,” Elton wrote. "'You’re not actually going to release that, are you?'"

    When asked what the problem with the song was, Elton replied: “For one thing, it's about three hours long. For another, it's the campest thing I've ever heard in my life. And the title’s absolutely ridiculous as well.”

  8. Why he fell out with Princess Diana

    Princess Diana and Elton John meet at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium in 1985
    Princess Diana and Elton John meet at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium in 1985. Picture: Ron Bell/PA Archive/PA Images

    In the memoir, Elton reveals the pair became distant after Princess Diana agreed to write the forward featuring almost nude men by fashion designer Gianni Versace for his Elton John Aids Foundation but pulled out at the last minute.

    He patched things up with the Princess of Wales when Versace was assassinated in 1997. Sadly, it was only to be seven weeks before Diana herself lost tragically lost her life.

    Elton claims he's only watched his performance of Candle In The Wind at Diana's funeral once, and he felt guilty the footage was on TV when it went to number one for so many weeks.

Me: Elton John is out now

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