Sir Elton John may be wildly successful, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have regrets about his past. In a recent interview to discuss his new memoir, Love is the Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS, John opened up about wasting much of his life on drugs, specifically his past cocaine and alcohol addictions, all in the midst of the 1980s AIDS scare.
“I wasted such a big part of my life, when this epidemic was beginning to happen in the early 1980s,” John said in a two-part interview that aired on the Today show this week (July 17 and 18). “And I was a drug addict and self-absorbed. You know, I was having people die right, left and center around me, friends. And yet, I didn’t stop the life that I had, which is the terrible thing about addiction.”
John said that he “never got the memo” that the “me generation” had ended. It wasn’t until the 1990 funeral of his friend Ryan White, the ’80s poster child for HIV/AIDS, that John had revelations that he needed to change his lifestyle and go to rehab.
“You know what? When you take a drug and you take a drink and you mix those two together, you think you’re invincible,” John said. “I came out of this HIV-negative. I was the luckiest man in the world.”
He is making up for lost time since overcoming his addictions, adding “I’m making up for it. There is so much more to be done.”
John is focusing on his family with husband David Furnish and son Zachary, born through a surrogate on Christmas Day 2010. John said he wants more children so that their son can have companions as he grows up in the spotlight, the child of a celebrity.
“When he’s four and he starts going to preschool kids will say, ‘You don’t have a mummy,’” John explained of his son. “And we know that. We talked about this before we had Zachary. And we’re gonna say, ‘Well, listen, there’s gonna be consequences involved in having a child when you’re two gay parents.’ And I want him to have a brother or a sister to go to school with him. And so that he can have someone to play with.”
Love is the Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS is available now, with proceeds benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
- Jillian Mapes & Nee-Sa Lossing, CBS Local