CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: Elton John's Stellar Trip Through the '70s

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC                                   TOM DOYLE

In August 1970, Elton John achieved overnight fame with a rousing performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Over the next five years, the artist formerly known as Reginald Dwight went from unheard of to unstoppable, scoring seven consecutive #1 albums and sixteen Top Ten singles in America. By the middle of the decade, he was solely responsible for 2 percent of global record sales. One in fifty albums sold in the world bore his name. Elton John's live shows became raucous theatrical extravaganzas, attended by all the glitterati of the era.

But beneath the spangled bodysuits and oversized eyeglasses, Elton was a desperately shy man, conflicted about his success, his sexuality, and his narcotic indulgences. In 1975, at the height of his fame, he attempted suicide. After coming out as bisexual in a controversial Rolling Stone interview that nearly wrecked his career, and announcing his retirement from live performance in 1977 at the age of thirty, he gradually found his way back to the thing he cared about most: the music.

Captain Fantastic gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the rise, fall, and return to glory of one of the world's most mercurial performers. Rock journalist Tom Doyle's insider account of the Rocket Man's turbulent ascent is based on a series of one-pn-one interviews in which Elton laid bare many previously unrevealed details of his early career. Here is an intimate exploration of Elton's working relationship with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, whose lyrics often chronicled the ups and downs of their life together in the spotlight. Through these pages pass a parade of legends whose paths crossed with Elton's during the decade--including John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Groucho Marx, Katharine Hepburn, Princess Margaret, Elvis Presley, and an acid-damaged Brian Wilson.

A fascinating portrait of the artist at the apex of his celebrity, Captain Fantastic takes us on a rollicking fame-and-drug-fueled ride aboard Elton John's rocket ship to superstardom.


This is a good book into the rise of Elton John from his childhood to his chart success from “your song” and throughout the 70’s. The author takes you through the different bands he joined and how he began writing music until he met Bernie Taupin. Together they would have some of the biggest hits not only of the 70’s but of all time. “Candle in the Wind” for instance is originally off 1973 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album and Elton John asked Bernie to rework some of the lyrics for Diana which he did. Things like that unless you are a true fan you may not know. I spent the 70’s buying albums, records, and Elton Johns were some of the ones I always bought. I liked his music so finding out about the different tours and all of the people that would go to see him was an added plus to the book, also finding out that he made it here in the U.S first before England was also a plus. Like I said this book only takes you through the 70’s ends with album 21 at 33 which I thought was still a good record at the beginning of 1980. The author goes into different people’s reviews of his albums but even for me back then I never paid too much attention to those because a lot of them did not like certain groups when they first came out but after a few records they would change their tune. I will say the one time I saw him in concert was on his “One” tour, which was right after he got out of rehab and the music was great. Back to playing the piano like he used to but he was not flamboyant with his dress, but he did play over 2 hours’ worth of music. Over all a good book and for most people I think they will find out things that they don’t know. I got this book from I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at 

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