Thursday, February 18, 2010
Elton's Parade Interview
In this week’s issue of PARADE, Elton John talks to Dotson Rader about the transition from his raucous rock-star years to becoming a committed philanthropist. In the web exclusive below, the music legend opens up about the life-threatening downside of fame, his partner David Furnish and his take on Jesus.
Making early mistakes in love.
“I’d always choose someone younger. I wanted to smother them with love. I’d take them around the world, try to educate them. One after another they got a Cartier watch, a Versace outfit, maybe a sports car. They didn’t have jobs. They were reliant on me. I did this repeatedly. In six months they were bored and hated my guts because I’d taken their lives and self-worth away. I hadn’t intended to.”
Love and drugs.
“Just about every relationship I ever had was involved with drugs. It never works. But I always had to be with someone, good or bad, otherwise I didn’t feel fulfilled. I’d lost the plot.”
It’s all or nothing when it comes to drugs.
“For some people a gram of cocaine can last a month. Not me. I have to do the lot, and then I want more. At the end of the day, all it led to was heartache.”
Why fame has lost its appeal.
“Princess Diana, Gianni Versace, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, all dead. Two of them shot outside their houses. None of this would have happened if they hadn’t been famous. Fame attracts lunatics. I never had a bodyguard, ever, until Gianni died. I don’t like celebrity anymore.”
Remembering friends lost.
“Every time I sing ‘The Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes’ onstage, I say that this is a song written about a time when people in America started getting AIDS and your president, Ronald Reagan, did nothing about it. I get boos. There’s a lot of hate in the world.”
His take on Christianity.
“I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don’t know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East — you’re as good as dead.”
He’ll never stop helping.
“I set up my foundation because I wanted to make amends for the years I was a drug addict. People with HIV are still stigmatized. The infection rates are going up. People are dying. The political response is appalling. The sadness of it, the waste.”
Finding new relationships.
“In 1993 I went back to my house in Windsor for a while. I wanted meet new people so I rang up a friend in London and said, ‘Could you please rattle some new people together for dinner here Saturday?’”
An instant connection.
“I was attracted to David immediately. He was very well dressed, very shy. The next night we had dinner. After it, we consummated our relationship. We fell in love very quickly.”
Keeping the love alive.
“Every Saturday for 16 years, we’ve sent each other a card, no matter where we are in the world, to say how much we love each other.”
Communication is key.
“We’ve never been jealous. We talk about the sexual side of things, things that normally would have frightened me before.”
For the full interview, check out Parade.com.