With his autobiography Me set to hit bookstores next week, Elton John sits down with “CBS Sunday Morning” for a wide-ranging interview that touches on everything from his well-publicized battles with drugs to his fraught relationship with his mother, whom he describes as “a sociopath.”
Chatting with “CBS This Morning” correspondent Tracy Smith during the Vancouver stop on his three-year farewell tour, Sir Elton discusses his lifelong struggle for acceptance from his mother, which he eventually realized would never happen.
“She never liked David. She never liked anybody. She never asked to see the children,” John says, referring to husband David Furnish and their two sons.
“But I’m glad they didn’t meet her, because she would have criticized them, like she criticized me,” he says. “She couldn’t help herself. She’s a sociopath.” According to John, he and his mother would go for extended periods without speaking, although he revealed they managed to reconcile before she passed away in December 2017. However, he admitted that their relationship remained more or less unchanged.
“But the only thing that changed was I didn’t lose my temper,” John says. “I knew what was coming, and I let her get on with it. And I just said, ‘I love you, Mum,’ and she said, ‘I love you, too. I don’t like you, but I love you. But I don’t like you.’”
His biggest regret, John tells Smith, was sampling cocaine for the first time in 1974, quickly developing an expensive habit that took a bite out of more than just his bank account. “It nearly destroyed my soul,” he says. “My soul was black, like a charred piece of steak, until I said, ‘I need help.’ And suddenly a little pilot light in my soul came along going, ‘Yes, I’m still here. I’m still here.’”
That was 29 years ago, he says, and he’s been sober ever since.
Discussing his memoir, the 72-year-old rocker explains that he wrote it so his sons would have some insight into their father’s life.
“I wanted my boys to know what I was like and what happened, so that when I’m not here, they can read the book and read the truth,” he says. “I just want them to understand what I was like when I went through the journey I had before I had them. How they made my life complete. How they’ve, you know, finished the circle. And that, you know, they were the last chapter in an incredible life.”
Fans can catch more with Sir Elton on “CBS Sunday Morning”, airing on Sunday, Oct. 13.