Review of 'Me'

Me by Elton John

me.jpg “Me” is an autobiography from one of the biggest names in music, Elton John. Throughout his life he struggled to connect with his father while his mother grew increasingly more erratic until her death in recent years. “Me” traces his early days trying to understand his place in the world eventually performing in a small group with their own material that never really went anywhere. It is only when he abysmally failed at an audition that he was thrown a lifeline by being given an envelope full of Bernie Taupin's unused lyrics – a relationship that would last throughout Elton's career, pushing him into the stratosphere of stardom. Elton is able to immediately put the lyrics to music and, really, that was it as far as him becoming the music superstar he is now, going from strength to strength originally as a pop star then later as the successful songwriter for films such as The Lion King.

The joy of “Me” is not only reading about John's outrageous excess but also of the numerous incredible tales he has about so many famous people: Michael Jackson, Princess Diana, Prince, Sting, John Lennon, etc, etc. This life has been a part of Elton for so many years that it simply comes across as a matter of fact as he has pretty much not known any different a life since he was in his early 20s. It is amusing to read of his unapologetic attitude to spending and gift giving, paying little heed to what things cost and filling his houses with bits and pieces which he eventually sells off at auction more for space than for any attempt at down-sizing.

Here he is candid about his days addicted to cocaine, alcohol and sex as he lived an incredibly flamboyant lifestyle that ultimately cost him dearly. We read of his joy at finally finding love with his husband David Furnish and their two sons born via surrogacy (from the same mother) Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John and Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John as well as him finally making his piece, as much as he could, with his father and mother before they passed.

“Me” does get a bit tiresome in places as it digresses slightly into the realm of name-dropping but for the most part it is told in a matter-of-fact way that quite endears Elton to the reader. He never really seems to blow his own horn but rather simply states what is manifestly the case of his extraordinary life and in doing so admits that there may never be another quite like Elton John.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2022-01-02

Genre: Autobiography

Publisher: Macmillan

Publication Date: 2019

ISBN: 9781509853311