Elton John reveals a wild story about himself, the Rolling Stones and a whole bunch of drugs in his new autobiography, Me. John writes that he was supposed to join the Stones on stage for one song but ended up way overstaying his welcome thanks to partaking in too much of cocaine.
The incident happened in 1975 at a concert in Colorado. John was going to play “Honkey Tonk Women” with the Stones, which he did, but then instead of exiting the stage he stayed out to continue playing with the band.
“I decided it was going so well, I’d stay on and jam along to the rest of their set, without first taking the precaution of asking the Stones if they wanted an auxiliary keyboard player,” John writes. “For a while, I thought Keith Richards kept staring at me because he was awestruck by the brilliance of my improvised contributions to their oeuvre.”
Finally, John started to get the hint that he wasn’t welcome on the stage.
“After a few songs, it finally penetrated my brain that the expression on his face wasn’t really suggestive of profound musical appreciation,” John writes. He says he “quickly scuttled off, noting as I went that Keith was still staring at me in a manner that suggested we’d be discussing this later and decided it might be best if I didn’t hang around for the after-show party.”
John goes on to explain the allure of cocaine in particular. “There was something more to cocaine than the way it made me feel. Cocaine had a certain cachet about it. It was fashionable and exclusive. Doing it was like becoming a member of an elite little clique that secretly indulged in something edgy, dangerous and illicit.”
In 1990, John was checked into a hospital for drug, alcohol and food addiction. He writes that he quickly realized he didn’t know how to do anything on his own.
“I got to the stage where I shaved and I wiped my a--, and paid other people to do everything else for me,” he writes.
“I had no idea how to work a washing-machine and had to ask another patient, Peggy, to show me,” John continues. “After she realized I wasn’t joking, she was helpful, but that didn’t change the fact that I was a 43-year-old man who didn’t know how to clean his own clothes.”
In a previously released excerpt from the book, John tells the story of watching Queen Elizabeth slap another member of the royal family.
Me comes out on Oct. 15.