Sir Elton John has described his incredible friendship with Beatles legend John Lennon as a “whirlwind romance”.
The musical icons struck up an amazing bond when they met in 1973, embarking on a friendship like no other.
John’s life was tragically cut short in December 1980 when he was murdered in cold blood outside his New York apartment by Beatles fanatic Mark David Chapman.
If he was still alive, John would be turning 80 in just a few short days, and BBC Radio 2 is marking the important date with a series of emotional interviews from those who knew and loved the star.
In a two-part interview, being broadcast this weekend ahead of John’s birthday on October 9, Elton says they had a “whirlwind romance” of love, friendship and music.
Speaking to John’s son and his godson Sean Ono Lennon, 44, Elton said: “That was the kind of wonderful two or three year whirlwind romance we had and it was such such an important thing in my life, Sean, and it just really helped me. It gave me so much confidence. Your dad was as kind and as generous and sweet and we just hit it off immediately.”
The duo met in person for the first time in 1973.
Elton’s breakthrough hit You’re Song had been a top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic, but he was still starstruck to meet one of his heroes.
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And it seems the feeling was mutual.
Sean told Elton: “My dad, when he first heard your voice he was in America I think already, and he was thinking that’s the first new kind of British singing that he really liked and dug. I think he said that he loved your music and the songs and he liked the song, Your Song.”
The friends remained close, spending a lot of time together over the next two years, with Elton even playing on John’s fifth album, Wall & Bridges on his track Whatever Gets You Thru The Night.
John also notably guest starred alongside Elton at his legendary concert in Madison Square Garden in November 1974, where they performed the track together.
Elton said: “It was just, for me, it was a dream come true.
“We laughed so much because we talked about the 50s and 60s and where we grew up, you know, Round the Horne in England, the radio shows we liked, the songs we liked, we didn’t like, and your dad was just a fountain of knowledge. It was a hand in glove thing and I never thought that would ever happen.
“There was no attitude. I hate posers and I hate attitude and your dad didn’t have any of it.”