Elton John had a penchant for living life in the fast lane, and he’s all too aware that he could have easily become another rock ‘n’ roll tragedy. Thankfully, he was one of the lucky ones, but the singer knows very well how close up he stared blankly at his own mortality.
For almost two decades of his life, Elton was dependent on cocaine, and the substance made him lose sight of his true self. What began as a frivolous endeavour soon turned into the only thing in life he cared for and the sole agenda that occupied his mind at all times.
At first, John saw the drug as a positive as it allowed him to escape from his social anxieties and become this unstoppable party animal. However, those fun days eventually morphed into a distant memory as he’d spend countless nights on a binge locked inside his four walls.
“I thought, ‘This is the drug that has opened me up. I can converse, I can be verbose,'” Elton explained on Today. “I would have an epileptic seizure and turn blue, and people would find me on the floor and put me to bed, and then 40 minutes later, I’d be snorting another line,” he continued.
Meanwhile, in conversation with Charlie Puth for LadBible, Elton expressed his immense regret over the occasion he first “saw a line of cocaine” and candidly admitted he only “joined in for the sake of it and it became an addiction”.
When Puth asked him about what he’d change about his career, John didn’t have to spend a moment contemplating his answer and told the pop star, “Yeah, I wouldn’t have taken as many drugs. Definitely not, although, I continued to work when I took drugs, [but] I didn’t make my best work some of the time.”
John has now been clean for over three decades, and there was one moment that made him reevaluate his life decisions. A close friend passed away from HIV, and it made him feel like he needed to stop being such a selfish individual on a ruinous path.
“Coming back to the hotel and complaining about the wallpaper, the décor in the room, and thinking, ‘You are the most ungrateful little bastard. You complain about everything,” he remembered to Today. “This boy has never complained about contracting HIV and AIDS from a blood transfusion. He’s never complained, he’s only encouraged people…You are a piece of sh*t.’ And that’s what I felt about myself.”
In the years since Elton decided to clean himself up, his personal life has transformed, and he couldn’t be more elated about it. He now lives a quiet family life as a married man with their children, and it’s a much more desirable existence than fretting about his next line.