PERFORMING ARTS

Me: Elton John Official Autobiography

Holt. Oct. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9781250147608. $30. MUSIC
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John has entertained fans and shaped the musical landscape for 50 years with poignant ballads, energetic pop songs, and memorable show tunes. Now the iconic singer/songwriter turns inward, with this self-aware, revealing memoir. John deftly sets the scene, describing his childhood in staid, suburban 1950s Britain. His life was changed by rock and roll, and he began playing in bands, backing established acts such as the Isley Brothers and Patti LaBelle. In 1967, he met lyricist Bernie Taupin, which launched a songwriting partnership that would last decades. John chronicles years of writing, recording, and whirlwind touring. With unflinching detail and touches of self-deprecating humor, he also discusses his contentious relationship with his parents, his sexuality, the years of drug and alcohol abuse, and his stint in rehab (he includes his devastating farewell letter to cocaine). John concludes by reflecting on his relationship with husband David Furnish, his recent fatherhood, and what he still hopes to accomplish.
VERDICT Intimate, with brushes of gossip and hard-won wisdom, this compelling work joins the ranks of other masterly rock memoirs. A must-read for John’s many devotees, it will also make fans out of those new to his music.

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