'Elton John: The Bitch is Back'
By: Mark Bego
(Hardcover / 368 Pages / Phoenix / ISBN: 1597776327 / $22.95)
Description: Here’s the straight (and not so straight!) scoop that every Elton John fan has been waiting for—from the addictions, toupees, affairs and scandals to the triumphant later years. Elton John has sold over 200 million records and has more than 56 top-40 singles. He has won five Grammy awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Tony. Rolling Stone ranks him #49 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time. Yet no book published in the U.S. has so successfully captured the passion and complexity of Elton John’s life, much less his music. His stylistic versatility, combined with his flamboyant stage shows and memorable costumes, make him an unlikely combination of John Lennon, Noel Coward, Barry Manilow and Liberace.
Verdict: As far as we're led to believe, as I've not read them all to this point, no book published has successfully captured Elton John's devotion, behind-the-scenes passion and passionate outlandishness for the truth in his private life. Sure there have been many books that have included his life and times (thus far) like some form of freakish gay panto, but in reality, Elton's life embodies way more personal, private, quaint moments than his stage persona would/should allow!
In front of the camera Elton has been wild, glitzy, boozy, bawdy and unconventional (even recently trying to adopt a baby with his long-term partner). And it is obviously all this that has brought his legion of fans to his thousands of concerts, and to the book stores to buy his previous autobiographies and unauthorized revealings.
This book features many a fascinating group of interview subjects, all from people that personally know the great man himself. Many insights into Elton make this book engrossing. Interviews with such stars as Alice Cooper, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Angela Bowie, Sarah Dash of LaBelle, Randy Jones of the Village People, Duncan Faure of The Bay City Rollers, and Gary Brooker of Procol Harum. But, behind the main stars come some lesser ones such as those with Danny Hutton and Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night.
Elton John: The Bitch Is Back' is chock full of his good, bad and ugly moments, sometimes straight from the horses mouth, sometimes tales told out of school. All his addictions, his self-doubts, his collection of glasses (for both on and off stage events), his good/bad toupées, the truth behind his affairs/scandals, and, importantly, his successful years. Those in the later years where he came to terms with the way his manhood would swing, and the wonderment of his long term relationship with David, and the happy/healthy life that has evolved therein.
Reviewed by Jon Garner