Elton and David both became rock icons in the Sixties, known for their eccentric styles and engaging personas. The British stars are believed to have made a lasting impact on the music industry and still influence today’s musicians. However, the pair were in competition throughout their careers and did not gel well socially.
While David died from liver cancer in 2016, Elton has released his autobiography, ‘Me’ last month, which gives the inside story to the conflict between the two stars.
As The Daily Star reported in October this year, the ‘Tiny Dancer’ singer revealed he and David were never “great friends”.
Elton explained: “I was never great friends with Bowie.
“I loved his music and we socialised a couple of times, visiting the Sombrero with Tony King and having dinner together in Covent Garden while he was rehearsing for the Ziggy Stardust tour.
“But there was always something distant and aloof about him, at least when I was around.”
Elton pointed out David had famously called John “the Liberace, the token queen of rock” in the Seventies during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
Elton said the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ star often made “snippy” remarks about his musical rival in his autobiography.
He said: “I honestly don’t know what the problem was, but there was clearly a problem.”
In 2016, just after David’s death, Elton was still conscious of the competition between the two of them. Discussing his new album, ‘Wonderful Crazy Night’, with the Evening Standard he speculated how his music would do in the charts.
He said: “Well, I’m up against David Bowie, aren’t I? The best thing o happen to your records is for you to die. Death is very popular.
“Obviously no one wanted David to die, but it’s astonishing how many records he’s sold since – something like two million in two weeks. And that’s CDs.”
Still, when Elton learned of David’s death, he was completely taken aback.
He writes in his autobiography: “It was 3am and the phone rang. It was David [Elton’s husband].
“I immediately panicked, as when you get a phone call at three o’clock in the morning you think something is wrong.
“I thought of the kids, something has happened to the kids. And David said, ‘I thought I better let you know, David Bowie has died’.
“And I was shocked… I couldn’t go back to sleep.”
However, the influential star did not just have spats with David Bowie and was known to be on the receiving end of Rolling Stone Keith Richards’ fury too, especially over his elegy towards his close friend Princess Diana.
Elton has been promoting his memoir accompanied by his husband David Furnish in recent weeks.