Elton John Reveals What Happened to Him the First Time He Tried Cocaine

Elton John's new autobiography, Me, includes some shocking revelations about the singer's personal life, including his battle with cocaine addiction. In the book, John revisited some early and perhaps painful memories of that dependency, including his very first experience with the drug.

Me: Elton John Official Autobiography was released on Tuesday, Oct. 15 after months of anticipation. As fans and critics pick through the book, they are finding never-before-seen snapshots of John's life, even in his biopic and other confessional works. This included some unflinching looks at his cocaine addiction, including his recollection of the first time he tried it.

John wrote that he first did cocaine in 1974, while recording his album Caribou. At the time, he was dating his manager, John Reid, and he walked in on Reid snorting cocaine through a straw.

"I asked what it did and he said, 'Oh, it just makes you feel good.' So I asked if I could have some, and he said yes," he recalled.

Immediately after taking the drug, John wrote that he ran to the bathroom and threw up, unaccustomed to the feeling it left in the back of his throat. However, even then he had no doubt that he liked how it made him feel. "And then I immediately went back into the room where John was and asked for another line," he wrote.

John's cocaine addiction features heavily in his new book. He writes about his years of addiction, growing over time until he completely lost control of his life. Later on, he bookends this saga with the story of his final cocaine binge before rehab, which reportedly lasted about two weeks.

According to John, his addiction had gotten so bad in 1990 that people did not want to party with him anymore. After being called out by his friends and colleagues, he returned to his home in London and locked himself inside, alone. During that time, he wrote that he was "snorting cocaine and drinking whisky," and watching adult films constantly.

"I didn't wash, I didn't get dressed. I sat around, wanking, in a dressing gown covered in my own puke," he wrote.

John noted that some of the other stars to call him out on his problem were George Harrison of The Beatles, and Bob Dylan, among others. His book also included a three-page letter he had written during his rehab stint, where he reflected on his addiction and said farewell to cocaine, referring to it as "the white lady."

After this episode, John finally agreed to enter rehab. He broke a 16-year-long addiction there, and is now 29 years sober.


Me: Elton John Official Autobiography is available now.