At age 73, musical genius Elton John is still on a roll. The singer recently sat down with Howard Stern on Sirius XM's "The Stern Show" for a 90 minute interview to talk about his career, sing a couple songs, and promote his new boxset.
You may recall the fascinating life of stardom and turmoils Elton has lived if you saw the 2019 biographical film, Rocketman. The movie starred Taron Egerton and tells the story of Elton's life from a young dreamer to an international success.
Elton John reveals more personal stories and moments with Howard Stern in the latest episode of "The Stern Show."
Elton: Jewel Box
His new boxset, called 'Elton: Jewel Box" has eight discs containing all of his best music, special demos from the past, and more- all hand picked by the singer. The collection is available to order now, just in time for the holidays!
While the set spans work from his entire career, nothing beats hearing about it from the man himself...
Elton John on Meeting Bernie Taupin and Their Songwriting Process
Elton began his career with songwriter Bernie Taupin whom grew to be his life long best friend. The pair faced many ups and downs together to which Elton owed Bernie many thanks.
"It's been the longest relationship I've had with anybody really- except my family. Out of all the craziness going on, there was Bernie. He was there, he was there. He came to the treatment center, he came with the lyrics, he did that. He was the thing- the glue that held me together."
Their work and love for music has always kept them side by side even when on other sides of the globe.
"Even though we weren't together, living together...I'm so lucky to have had that kind of a relationship with someone. You know you don't have to be around someone all the time to be best friends. We're best friends and the distance between us has kept us close."
Elton John Remembers His Friendship With John Lennon
Elton also had a special friendship with member of The Beatles, John Lennon. The two put out a song together in 1974 titled 'Whatever Gets You Thru The Night.' Though it was Lennon's single, Elton provided backing vocals and the piano track.
While talking with Stern, Elton recalled how he convinced Lennon to play a show with him.
"I sang on it and I played on it. I said "listen, if this gets to number one ..." and he said "no no it's not gonna get to number one." And of course ultimately it did. He agreed to come on stage on Thanksgiving night of '74 and play with us at Madison Square Garden. It was probably the greatest night of my professional career. I remember how the audience reacted, because he hadn't been on stage in New York since Chase Stadium. He hadn't done a show up to that point except the peace concert in Toronto with Yoko. And he was physically sick before he came on because he was so nervous."
He emphasized how big that moment was for both him and the audience.
"We all cried when he came on. He came on to the greatest reception- the loudest roar I've ever heard in Madison square garden and I've been there a lot."
Why Elton John Is Releasing His Previously Unheard Demos
Included in the boxset, Elton has selected a few never before heard demos of some of his most popular songs. They give fans a rare look at how each song came to be and where the famous melodies began.
"I had a lot of trepidation because I thought oh, they're gonna sound awful. They're gonna sound terrible. And what they do sound is naive and sweet and it's like I describe- it's like an embryo. Demos are the embryo of a relationship with songwriters. And then we made those demos and recorded an album called 'Empty Sky' and then 'We Were Born.' And then we made 'Elton John' and started to walk, and then we made 'Tumbleweed' and we ran and then we flew. And so, it's the hatching of an egg. And so it's like baby steps learning to walk."
Each of those demos hold a lot of meaning for the singer who over the years has charted nine number on songs.
"It was great to go back and really appreciate where we came from, how hard we worked, the disappointments that we faced when we wrote some of these songs and nobody wanted to hear them. Nobody wanted us to do anything with them. I don't regret any of it whatsoever."
Still, there is no end in sight for Elton as he continues to find joy in performing. He told Stern he loves doing what he does and will continue as long as he can. But, he knows exactly when he'll retire
"The day I start not singing well and not playing well is the day I'm going to give up. I don't want to go out being mediocre. I want to go out as good as I am or even better than I was...I think I'm singing better now at 73 than I have ever done in my life and the moment that starts to crack, I'm off. I'm truly serious about that."
You can listen to the full interview including some live performances on Sirius XM!
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