- Title Me
- Author Elton John
- Year 2019
- Genres Memoir, Music
In his first and only official autobiography, music icon Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, which is also the subject of the smash-hit film Rocketman. The result is Me - the joyously funny, honest and moving story of the most enduringly successful singer/songwriter of all time. Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three, he was performing his first gig in America, facing an astonished audience in his bright yellow dungarees, a star-spangled T-shirt and boots with wings. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again.
I heard a lot of good things about this book but I had to go for the audiobook option, read by Taron Egerton. Elton introduces his memoir by reading the introduction (and he voices the epilogue as well), but soon we are into the heart of the story with Taron doing an incredible job guiding us through Elton’s difficult early years, exciting early success, troubled drug decades, and post-sobriety contentment.
This is such a wonderful memoir – it’s hard in places, Elton is no angel, but he’s completely upfront, tells it how it is, knows his own weaknesses and flaws and isn’t shy about opening up on the good, the bad, the embarrassing, the genius. And from such a superstar, it’s incredible how humble the story sounds – how Elton harks back to “what if I had never got together with Bernie”, or “what if I had steered clear of cocaine”. He ends up with the best advice though, that it’s not about what if, it’s about what’s next.
There are two things about this story that really touched me – Elton’s difficult relationships with his parents, and his experiences losing close friends. I wouldn’t say I was in a particularly close family but I always know they’re there for me and to not have that must be really hard. And the moments where Elton talks of losing Diana, John Lennon, and oh my god, Freddie. Just raw and engaging and really wonderful storytelling.
Rating: 5 / 5