Elton John is ready to patch things up with Rod Stewart.
The pair have always had a cheeky rivalry dating back years. But after Stewart took their feud a little too far in 2018, he and John had a falling out. Now, John is ready to put the past behind them and mend their friendship once and for all.
“Rod and I have always had this kind of rivalry but it’s always been very friendly and it’s always been funny and I love him to death,” John tells Howard Stern in an in-depth interview covering his career and the release of his new box set Jewel Box on Sirius XM.
The formerly friendly rivalry included everything from tearing down each other’s advertising banners to John once shooting down Stewart’s promotional blimp in London, which John documents in his 2019 biography, Me. But their friendship soured after Stewart said some mean-spirited things about John and his epic farewell concert tour on “Watch What Happens Live!”.
Now, John is ready to bury the hatchet.
“We’ve had this rivalry for a long time and it’s been very, very funny, and I love him dearly, and if I saw him in the street I’d give him the biggest hug,” he tells Stern. “There’s no point in carrying on vendettas in this world. Life’s too short.”
Stewart is also willing to make amends after saying he extended an olive branch to John over the summer, sending an email inviting him, husband David Furnish and their two sons to visit his home in Essex, England. Stewart alleged John never replied, but it sounds like the “Your Song” singer would be willing to accept the olive branch to mend their friendship.
“Honestly, I don’t bear any grudges about him whatsoever. He gets a Christmas card from me and I wish him the best. You can’t erase all those years of great friendship by just one thing that happened, and I’m not going to do that,” he added. “As far as I’m concerned he’s a brilliant artist who’s had a great career, and he’s such good fun.”
The musician also opens up to Stern about another “brilliant artist” and friend – the late John Lennon.
Discussing the time John convinced Lennon to join him on stage during a concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden, John calls the moment “kismet” as the “stars aligned” for them to play three songs together.
“We all cried when he came on. He came on to the greatest reception, the loudest roar I’ve ever heard at Madison Square Garden … I think it really touched him because it showed him how much New Yorkers loved him,” he shares. “Then the tragedy happened and I never really told him how much I loved him—you don’t, do you? And I still miss him.”
Had Lennon’s life not been taken from him in 1980, John believes Lennon would have only furthered his mission of peace.
“I’m sure John would’ve got the Nobel Peace Prize by now because that was his big thing with Yoko [Ono], peace,” he adds.