Elton John mistook Bob Dylan for a gardener during cocaine binge

19 October 2019, 08:00 | Updated: 19 October 2019, 08:01

Elton John in 1988
Elton John in 1988. Picture: Shutterstock

In an amazing anecdote from his autobiography, the superstar recalls how former Beatle George Harrison warned him about his substance abuse after a celebrity faux pas.

Elton John has revealed that he was so out of it on cocaine that he mistook the legendary Bob Dylan for a member of staff.

In his new autobiography, Me, the superstar remembers “an insane party” at a rented house in LA in the late 1980s.

Elton admits that his romance with the drug was at its height, which casued an incident so embarrassing that former Beatle George Harrison warned him to “go steady” on the coke.

Beatle George Harrison Pictured Performing At The Prince's Trust Concert In 1988
Beatle George Harrison Pictured Performing At The Prince's Trust Concert In 1988. Picture: Lynn Hilton/Mail On Sunday/Shutterstock

The Rocket Man legend remembers: “By the middle of the evening I was flying, absolutely out of my mind, when a scruffy-looking guy I didn’t recognise wandered into the party.

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

The star then remembers a “moment of shocked silence” before one of his associates whispered: “Elton, that’s not the f**king gardener. It’s Bob Dylan.”

Bob Dylan in the film Hearts Of Fire, 1986
Bob Dylan in the film Hearts Of Fire, 1986. Picture: 20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

Elton then attempted to invite the legend upstairs to pick out some new clothes from his own extensive - and flamboyant - wardrobe. “Bob stared at me, horrified,” he went on.

“As I continued propelling him out of the garden, I heard the unmistakable sound of George [Harrison]’s mordant, Scouse-accented voice calling out to me.

“‘Elton,’ he said. ‘I really think you need to go steady on the old marching powder’.”

The musician claimed he “laughed off” the clanger, but it was one of a series of embarrassing incidents that ultimately led Elton to seek professional help. He’s been sober since 1990.

Elton John’s official autobiography, Me, is out now, published by Pan Macmillan

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