Elton John is the man of the moment yet again with a film, autobiography and a final tour (yes- he really does mean it this time). But I am not new to joining this wave of approval. I have been an overenthusiastic fan since I was 14. I even have that album… you know.
But it’s not just the music. There is a gritty, unpolished determination about the man that has served as an inspiration throughout my own life. As a teenager struggling to give voice about being Gay it was his struggles with internalised homophobia that enabled me to find compassion for my own.
‘I’m Still Standing.’
He certainly is. A song this well-known could be seen as vapid chest thumping but there is a conviction that transcends Elton John as artist, Bernie Taupin as a lyricist and his band as fine musicians. He calls to one’s inner strength and resilience.
Even though he is 72 audiences and able to pack out stadiums who want to hear his greatest hits he is still first and foremost a songwriter with new material that has something new to say.
The word survivor is so overused in the media but he really is an example. He courageously lives life on his own terms, and only acts from his core beliefs. He has paid the price for that, and heaven knows I can again identify with that as well.
Forget about him being the ‘nations treasure’ and those other disingenuous platitudes that could reduce such a talented man into being the UK’s house pet. He lives an open, truthful life with faults on show, just like the best of us should.
When I look at my own life, founder with a start-up business, writer striving for something pertinent to say whilst looking for a readership, a middle-aged man striving for purpose, Elton John’s life and art motivate me.
So, thank you Elton. For keeping me real. From a boy to a teen, and now an ageing man.