Elton John is looking back at his life ahead of the release of his new memoir “Me” and he’s opening up about his struggles with addiction.
The 72-year-old entertainer opened up to NBC’s Harry Smith about the moment he first encountered cocaine.
“I saw someone doing cocaine and I said, ‘Well, what is he doing?’ and he said, ‘Well, it makes you feel free,’” Elton said. “And I thought, ‘Hmm, I was always on the outside looking in as far as, like, school and I was never a member of the gang, or whatever. So, I thought, ‘I’m going to try that.’”
“I liked it because I could talk,” he continued. “I was very shy, so I thought, ‘This is the drug that has opened me up. I can converse, I can be verbose.’”
Elton abused the drug for ten years until his friend Ryan White died from AIDS in April 1990. He became sober six months later and soon after launched the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
“When he died, being there in Indianapolis,” Elton said. “Coming back to the hotel and complaining about the wallpaper, the décor in the room, and thinking, ‘You are the most ungrateful little bastard. You complain about everything. This boy has never complained about contracting HIV and AIDS from a blood transfusion. He’s never complained, he’s only encouraged people…You are a piece of sh*t.’ And that’s what I felt about myself.”