Julie Burchill Julie Burchill

The old monster Elton John appears charmingly self-deprecating

Halfway through his autobiography, Elton hits rock bottom — but thanks to its ghost writer, Me ends up, in every sense, fabulous

I don’t care for Elton John. A cross between Violet Elizabeth Bott and Princess Margaret, his temper tantrums are legendary, whether asking fans on to the stage to dance and then screaming at them not to get so close, or demanding that an employee do something about the blustery weather keeping him awake. They say you get the face you deserve after 50, and he looks every inch the bitter old busybody who divides his time between twitching the curtains and gossiping over the fence about the behaviour of those younger and prettier than himself.

He has now become drearily bound into the liberal establishment — see his recent puffed-up pronouncement about Brexit: ‘I’m ashamed of my country… I am sick to death of Brexit. I am a European. I am not a stupid, colonial, imperialist English idiot.’ It thus makes perfect sense that he has become chief showbiz sucker-up to the Sussexes; like them, he demands alternating attention and privacy, with all the logic of a stripper complaining about those horrid men staring at her.

Uniquely of the glam rockers who shaped my adolescent fantasies, he never had any sex appeal — and if you’re not a sexy pop star you’d better be profound, which he also isn’t. Always unoriginal, he changed his name from Reg Dwight  (which actually suits him) and called himself after his early bandmates Elton Dean and Long John Baldry. He was probably the only musician ever to return from a residency on the Reeperbahn a virgin, as inept a lyricist as he was a lover — ‘We could be such a happy pair/And I promise to do my share’. So he was lucky to meet the imaginative teenage songwriter Bernie Taupin and find fame at the age of 23.

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