The differences between 'Rocketman' and Sir Elton John's real life

Must See 31/05/2019

If you haven't seen Rocketman, the movie based on Sir Elton John's life and starring Taron Egerton, then you need to add it to your 'must-see' list.

The movie follows Elton John from his early life as Reginald Dwight through to his rise to fame, including all of his highs, his lows and everything in between. But there are a couple of things throughout the film that don't play out the exact way things played out in Elton's life.

However, many did know that this would be the case and that Rocketman wasn't going to be a straight biopic. 

Director Dexter Fletcher, among others, has described it as a fantasy musical, a memory, and not an autobiography of Elton John.

So what were the things in the film differed from the actual real-life events?

John Reid:

Rocketman version: Elton John and John Reid met at Mama Cass’ after-party following his triumphant debut at the Troubadour. The pair became romantically and professionally entwined, leading to Elton splitting from his other management at the time.

At some point, their relationship soured - Reid physically slapped Elton - but the professional relationship continued with Reid boasting that he’ll still be collecting his “20 per cent long after you’ve died”.

Real lifeElton John and John Reid actually met at a Christmas party thrown by Motown Records in London. Soon after, Elton became Reid’s first client.

The pair lived together and were in a relationship from 1970 to 1975.

As for that sex scene in Rocketman between Egerton and Madden, John told The Mirror: “If I am telling my story, it has to be honest. I was a virgin until then. I was desperate to be loved and desperate to have a tactile relationship.

“When they tear their clothes off in the movie, that was how it happened. It was in San Francisco.”

According to the Scottish Daily Mail, Reid had said of that time in their lives: “I remember this hip, shy young man. There was a gawky sweetness about him. He was my first great love and I was his. I went on to become his manager for 25 years.”

John reportedly gave Reid a yacht for his 25th birthday and Reid reciprocated the following year with a huge emerald ring.

When it came to the point where the pair eneded their personal relationship, John Reid revealed it wasn't quite as dramatic as the film made it seem.

“He said he wanted a bigger house and the split happened. There were no dramas.”

Thanks to the movie, it has been made obvious that Sir Elton saw it playing out a little differently, given the portrayl of Reid was callous and cold. Similarly, Reid, as played by Aiden Gillen, didn’t come off very well in Bohemian Rhapsody either.

In 1974, Reid was arrested here in New Zealand and sentenced to a month in jail for assaulting a journalist. He said he did so to defend John’s honour.

After their breakup, Reid and John continued to work together professionally until 1998.

Elton's father:

Rocketman version: In the film, Elton had a tense relationship with his parents, especially his father, Stanley, who was absent and cold. Stanley leaves his family and is later seen being affectionate to his next two sons, Elton’s half-brothers.

Real life: According to an unauthorised biography of John by Elizabeth Rosenthal, the Dwights constantly argued when Elton was a child, and Elton's parents ultimately divorced when Elton was 14 years old.

Elton wrote in The Times that his father never came to see him perform. He wrote: “A tough and unemotional man. Hard. In the RAF. He was dismissive, disappointed and finally absent. I just wanted him to acknowledge what I’d done. But he never did.”

He even wrote that he felt it wasn’t that his father couldn’t relate to children in general, it was that his father couldn’t relate to him.

“He left us, remarried and had another family, and by all accounts was a great dad to them. It wasn’t children. It was me.”

Elton also speculated that homophobia and prejudice may have had a hand in his father’s rejection of him.

It has been reported that Elton and his dad had made peace before Mr. Dwight passed away in 1991.

His marriage

Rocketman version: Elton John’s marriage to Renate Blauel is given short shrift in Rocketman, and according to director Dexter Fletcher, wasn’t even originally in the script.

In a short sequence, Elton meets Renate in a recording studio while recording the 1979 album Victim of Love, and then they are married. They’re shown as sleeping in separate bedrooms and silently eating breakfast while she looks terribly sad.

Real life: Elton John actually met Renate Blauel, a German sound engineer, during the recording of his 1982 album Too Low for Zero. It was when, reportedly, Elton was at the height of his substance abuse.

He had come out as bisexual in 1976 to Rolling Stone, but close friends and fans were shocked when he decided to marry a woman. Rod Stewart reportedly sent a telegram saying, “You may still be standing, but we’re all on the f***ing floor.”

In 1984, while on tour in Australia, Elton proposed. Three days later, the two threw a lavish wedding in Sydney’s Darling Point. It was Valentine’s Day.

During their four-year marriage, there were rumours Elton continued to see men, reported Page Six. He was also frequently away on tour.

The divorce came through in November 1988 and Blauel moved into a cottage in Surrey, England. He came out as gay in the same year.

Elton met his now-husband David Furnish in 1993.


Source: News AU