Elton John Hijacked a Rolling Stones Concert While on Cocaine — and Keith Richards Wasn't Happy
"It finally penetrated my brain that the expression on his face wasn't really suggestive of profound musical appreciation," Elton John writes in his memoir
The legendary musician, 72, opens up in his new autobiography Me, out Oct. 15, about his performance during the Colorado gig, where he was supposed to join the band for a rendition of "Honky Tonk Women" but ended up staying for the remainder of their set, uninvited.
In a passage of the book excerpted in the Daily Mail, John admits he was on cocaine during the show. Had that not been the case, “I might have just performed ‘Honky Tonk Women,’ waved to the crowd and made my exit,” he says.
But instead, “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,” writes John.
“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,” he recalls.
However, “After a few songs, it finally penetrated my brain that the expression on his face wasn’t really suggestive of profound musical appreciation,” the “Tiny Dancer” hitmaker writes of Richards, 75.
John “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,” he adds.
“But there was something more to cocaine than the way it made me feel,” John continues. “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.”
“Pathetically enough, that really appealed to me,” he shares. “I’d become successful and popular, but I never felt cool.”
Elsewhere in the book, John talks about checking into a hospital in Chicago in 1990 in an effort toward being “treated for three addictions at once: cocaine, alcohol and food.”
And it was there that he not only made progress toward his eventual sobriety, but learned how to do tasks that he realized had fallen by the wayside up until then, as he’d “got to the stage where I shaved and I wiped my ass, and paid other people to do everything else for me.”
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“I had no idea how to work a washing machine and had to ask another patient, Peggy, to show me,” John writes. “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.”
Me, out Oct. 15, is available for pre-order now on amazon.com.