• Weird History

14 Elton John Stories That Prove He's A Legend

List RulesVote up the most epic Elton John stories.

There are different types of rock stars - they can be incredibly talented, temperamental, or wild. Elton John in the '70s was all three. The piano-playing, funky-glasses-wearing musician - whose birth name is Reginald Kenneth Dwight - became known around the world, cranking out 12 studio albums in a single hazy decade. The '70s turned out to be the first chapter in a long story for John, as he later became a responsible father and accomplished performer.

The man behind the piano is no stranger to feuds, fury, and fabulous music. These are the wildest Elton John stories from his years of partying as the legendary "Rocket Man." 

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    He Turned His Shyness Into Stage Presence

    In Captain Fantastic: Elton John's Stellar Trip through the '70s, John told writer Tom Doyle that he was a shy, self-conscious child who seldom felt comfortable interacting with people in his daily life. Fortunately, however, he was able to funnel his anxiety into an outrageous, colorful stage persona. 

    Still, John admitted that his success and persona failed to quell his discomfort:

    Although I was having a ball, you're still stuck with the insecure, nervous person inside. Being successful doesn't cure it. In fact, it makes things a little worse because then the difference between your stage persona and your actual, normal persona is so far removed.

    In a 2016 Rolling Stone interview, John said he eventually became more confident in his abilities, largely thanks to the joy he found in being a father.

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    He Once Entered Rehab Wearing A So-Called Chicken Costume

    According to The Guardian, John made at least one attempt to get clean in the early '90s. During this instance, he reportedly arrived at rehab wearing a chicken costume. The musician later kicked his bad habits; he quit using coke and stopped drinking heavily.

    John has claimed his past struggles still affect him, telling NPR:

    I still dream, twice a week at least, that I've taken [coke] and I have it up my nose. And it's very vivid, and it's very upsetting, but at least it's a wake-up call.

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    He Almost Formed A Supergroup With Freddie Mercury And Rod Stewart

    According to the New York Post, John once attended a dinner party in the 1980s with fellow music stars Freddie Mercury and Rod Stewart. While reviewing artists they did - and didn't - admire, Stewart reportedly suggested that the three form a supergroup, which he jokingly called "Nose, Teeth, and Hair." The name was meant to poke fun at Stewart's large nose, Mercury's prominent teeth, and John's thinning hair.

    In Rod: The Autobiography, Stewart recalled his discussion with John and Mercury:

    The general idea was that we could appear dressed like the Beverley Sisters. Somehow this project never came to anything, which is contemporary music's deep and abiding loss.

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    He Dedicated A Show To Artist-Activist Ai Weiwei

    At the start of a 2012 concert in China, John announced that he was dedicating his show to the "spirit and talent" of Ai Weiwei, a famous Chinese artist and voice of dissent. While confronted by jeers and groans from the audience, the musician refused to back down, calling Weiwei a friend.

    According to The Guardian, as a result of the dedication, John's tour manager spent three hours being interrogated by Chinese authorities.

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