He made a name for himself as the flamboyant successor to Liberace and Little Richard and he did so much cocaine in the 70s and 80s that he damaged his voice and now needs a pacemaker. Yes, Sir Elton lived the (very) high life of a gay pop icon long before he ever came clean about the gay part. So how did mainstream America not pick up on this?
The Evidence Mom Ignored
Occupation: flamboyant musician who played the piano, occasionally with a candelabra atop it:
9.5 out of 10 gay points (not quite Liberace, but only a few sequins away)
Appearance: crazy-ass costumes including sequined capes and huge glasses which were often jewel-encrusted and sometimes lit up; was thin while on the blow but lately tends looks like an old lesbian. 9/10
Demeanor: never super femme-y and always had that English reserve; but he spent a half-mil on flowers one year and dressed as Louis XIV for his 50th birthday for fuck’s sake. 8/10
Beards: lost his virginity to a man at age 23, but after copping to “bisexuality” in a 1976 Rolling Stone interview he decided to marry a woman in 1984, a decision which likely involved a publicist and MOUNTAINS of cocaine. 9/10
Minstrelsy: Doesn’t minstrelsy involve over-dressing for the part and making stereotypes of an “other” grotesque in the name of amusing a mass audience? Then again, it did get him Knighted. 9/10
Total: 45.5: High Flame (see scale)
To Elton’s credit, he did begin trying to come out in 70s, and he finally said he was gay around ’92 after he got out of rehab and started the AIDS foundation. But particularly at the height of his early fame, from 1970-75, how did anyone figure that this guy, dubbed “the Liberace of Rock and Roll” was anything but a screaming queen?
This montage featuring the song “Benny and the Jets” shows a good selection of Elton wearing a bunch of his “colorful” (read insanely gay) fashions on stage, both with and without Muppets.
There was nothing particularly gay about the Pinball Wizard role in The Who’s Tommy, but Elton still managed to gay it the fuck up with a beanie an enormous pair of bedazzled rhinestone glasses.
And we save the best for last… this clip comes from 1986, featuring Cher about three surgeries ago and Joan Rivers about 18 surgeries ago when she still looked human, if a little bit canine, and Elton with a fucking bow in his hair singing “The Bitch is Back” on Joan’s short-lived Fox late-night show. Please take note at about 2:30 of the GAYEST studio audience ever to attend a taping. Oh, and Pee-Wee Herman/Paul Rubens is in this too. You’re welcome.
When Elton Met Jake (Guardian Music[UK])
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