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Credit: Heinrich Klaffs

Music

Why Elton John feels duty-bound in helping younger musicians

Elton John received a resurgence of public exposure following Dexter Fletcher’s 2019 biopic, Rocketman. The film visited the pivotal moments of Elton’s life and brought the audience through the ecstatic highs and darker depths of the singer’s life. 

Naturally, making and watching the film was a deeply emotional experience for the Rocketman himself as he exposed his life, warts and all. Despite feeling deeply saddened by some of the more candid parts of the film that depict, Elton maintained that he “wouldn’t have changed a thing about it”.

Speaking on The Jonathan Ross Show about the film last year, Elton said: “I was in bits. It was exactly how I wanted it to be. David [Furnish], my husband, was a producer on it. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it. I thought it was honest.”

Adding: “I didn’t want it to cover anything with saccharin or anything like that. It was true, and it ended when I got sober. I was really affected by it. The early bits with my family, it made me weep.”

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Regarding his battle with addiction, Elton said: “I had a lot of support when I was ill and [in] rehab. You support your friends through thick and thin. I had a lot of support when I went through the thin end of the wedge, and I never forget that.”

Continuing, Elton explained that he now likes to return the favour by looking out for others in the same situation he was in. “I just ring them up and offer them my support, basically,” Elton said. “There’s been two or three recently, one young and one old, and they’re doing OK, doing really well. I’m a recovering alcoholic. [You learn to] pass the message on and help people when you can.”

“You call them up and give them some support,” he added. “That’s what happened to me… people were so kind to me.”

Elton explained that he tries to support musicians fallen on hard times as a form of payback for the help he received while he was in rehab. He also likes to keep his finger on the pulse for up-and-coming stars so he can offer his mentorship where accepted. 

Using his Apple Music Rocket Hour radio show, Elton keeps “in the loop with new artists” and broadcasts their music to provide a promotional platform. Meanwhile, he keeps in close contact with them to offer career advice. 

Speaking to Jonathan Ross, Elton remembered the support he had received from other iconic artists, including Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond when he was a rising star. “All these people who were heroes to me and were so nice to me,” he opined. “That kind of verification means so much to you. [You think] ‘If they think I’m OK then I may be OK’. That taught me to say, ‘Listen if that happens to you, you’ve got to give it back to someone else when you get older.’ It’s part and parcel of who I am.”

Watch the trailer for Rocketman below.