Why Elton John Refuses to Watch 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

Elton John has not seen Bohemian Rhapsody, and he does not plan on it. The singer is still doing a press tour in promotion of his new autobiography, Me, but in the process he is discussing everything from pop culture to personal issues. In an interview with GQ last week, he explained why he is not seeing the Queen biopic.

Bohemian Rhapsody came out last year, and swept award season. It was a biopic of the beloved rock band Queen, with Rami Malek playing lead singer Freddie Mercury in a hauntingly accurate portrayal. To John, the accuracy was actually what kept him out of the theater.

"I couldn't see it. I couldn't watch it because I'm so close to Freddie," he said. "I've seen snippets of it and I thought that Rami Malek was fantastic, but being Freddie's dearest friend, I couldn't watch it."

John and Mercury ran in the same social and artistic circles in the 1980s, when they were at the height of their fame. They were famous friends at the time, often seen together with fellow British rock star Rod Stewart. Now, looking back on that era is a bit too personal for John, who was portrayed by Taron Egerton earlier this year in his own rock biopic, Rocketman.

In his new book Me: Elton John Official Autobiography, John discusses his early life at length, including his time with Mercury. He did not shy away from the ugly parts either, admitting that Mercury was among the friends that helped snap him to his senses when he was at the worst of his drug addiction.

According to the book, it was a house party in Los Angeles in the 1980s when John's closest colleagues called him out on his behavior. Mercury, along with George Harrison of The Beatles and Bob Dylan, told John point blank that he was out of control. According to John, Mercury even asked a friend to take him to rehab. John fled the scene in anger.

John recounts the final cocaine binge that followed. For two weeks, he wrote, he was locked inside his house in London alone. He recalls doing drugs, drinking and watching adult films non-stop until he could not go anymore.

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


Finally, he checked himself into rehab. There, John wrote letters to the friends that had helped him, which he still has. He also shared a poem from that time, in which he said farewell to "the white lady." John is now 29 years sober.

John's book Me: Elton John Official Autobiography is available now wherever books are sold.