Elton John and David Bowie epitomized glam rock in the 1970s with their friends, Marc Bolan and Queen. The pair were pals for a time in their early careers. However, that quickly changed. Elton John admitted that he and Bowie didn't have the best relationship.
Elton John and David Bowie became friends as teenagers
The English rock scene was a small world in the 1960s. Bowie grew up with Peter Frampton. Both future singer-songwriters attended Bromley Technical High School, where Frampton's father was the art teacher.
Bowie also met Elton John as a teenager. In 2016, Elton John told the Evening Standard that he and Bowie "started out being really good friends." Even into their early careers, the pair remained friendly.
Elton John said it was 'snooty' of David Bowie to call him 'rock 'n' roll's token queen'
Elton John and Bowie started out as friends, but their relationship soured going into the 1980s. The "Rocket Man" singer revealed to the Evening Standard that he and Bowie "were not the best of friends towards the end." Elton John never forgot when Bowie called him "rock 'n' roll's token queen."
"We used to hang out together with Marc Bolan, going to gay clubs, but I think we just drifted apart," Elton John explained. "He once called me 'rock'n'roll's token queen' in an interview with Rolling Stone, which I thought was a bit snooty. He wasn't my cup of tea. No, I wasn't his cup of tea."
Even though Elton John and Bowie hadn't talked much for 40 years, the "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" singer was in awe of the "Starman" singer. He called Bowie "irreplacable."
Elton John was in awe of how Bowie dealt with his death
The "I'm Still Standing" singer said he was in awe of how Bowie dealt with his death in 2016. He went to his treatments while he was ill without anyone knowing. He also made two albums in the meantime without anyone finding out either. It added to the mystery that was David Bowie.
Elton John was grateful Bowie died in a dignified way. He said, "Bowie couldn’t have staged a better death. It was classy."
The singer was in Los Angeles when he heard the news of his one-time friend's death. His partner of 23 years, David Furnish, called him at 3 a.m. Elton John panicked. Getting a phone call that late at night could never be good. He thought there was something wrong with his children.
"And David said, 'I thought I better let you know, David Bowie has died.' And I was shocked… I couldn't go back to sleep," Elton John revealed.
Elton John and Bowie weren't the best of friends throughout most of their careers, but that, unfortunately, happens a lot in music. At least Elton John respected Bowie. We don't quite know Bowie's side of the story, although that's typical. Bowie was largely a mystery.
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