Did you know that Elton John’s middle name is Hercules? Bet you didn’t! Just like his Grecian namesake, Elton has been through many trials in his life, often involving drugs and flowers. These are 10 of the craziest Elton John facts that we’ve unearthed…
He likes flowers. A lot.
During a court case against his accountants in 2000, it emerged that Elton John had been spending £1.5 million a month on average. According to documents he spent £9.6m on property and £293,000 on flowers between January 1996 and September 1997. When asked to comment on the extravagance he simply said: "I like flowers."
What a hair-raiser
For his 50th birthday fancy dress party Elton John wore a Louis XV style powdered wig topped with a silver ship that spouted smoke from its cannons. The hairpiece was so big that he was delivered to his own party in the back of a removal lorry. We guess he just couldn’t wait to be king…
That's just plane moody
Between 1973 and 1975, Elton John had his own Boeing 720 airplane, which he christened Starship One. It came equipped with its own organ, bathroom, bar and fireplace. He had his 27th birthday party on board but was in such a bad mood he missed the fact that Stevie Wonder had been leading the chorus of Happy Birthday.
A comfy cry for help
In 1969, Elton John was confused about his sexuality and engaged to marry a woman called Linda Woodrow. He ‘attempted’ to commit suicide by sticking his head in a gas oven. He was rescued by his songwriter partner Bernie Taupin, who noted that not only did Elton have his head on a pillow, but also the gas was too low and the kitchen windows were open. Oh Elton…
Against the elements
One time, when he was staying at a London hotel after a gig, Elton phoned reception demanding they do something about the windy weather because he didn't like it and threatened to sue unless they changed it!
When Elton John finally gave up drugs in 1990 the clinic in which he was being treated made him write a farewell letter to cocaine. He wrote: "I sent planes for you, trains, cars, you are my whore, I love you so much but I can never see you again. If I see you in a room I'll leave."
A man of many names
Elton John once checked into a hotel under the name Lord Tiddlywink, but one of his oldest friends, Rod Stewart, has another nickname for him - Sharon. In turn Elton calls him Phyllis. Despite their millions they enjoy buying terrible gifts for each other. For his 40th birthday Rod sent ‘old man’ Elton a Zimmer frame.
A big wardrobe
In January 1991, Elton John was photographed at Heathrow Airport about to go on holiday. The Daily Express noted that he had 42 suitcases with him, each labelled with their contents: "brown footwear", "black footwear", "white shirts". If he saw a Versace shirt he liked he would buy 15 of them - "but not in the same colour". Despite purging nearly all of his possessions in the early 90s he still owned 3,000 pairs of glasses. No wonder he looks so spectacular.
A kingdom for a horse
Elton John's extravagances extended to his pets. In 1993 he spent £20,000 at his Windsor estate building a castle for his two Shetland ponies and two donkeys, complete with drawbridge, battlements and slits for firing arrows from if they ever feel like defending their home. Now that would be something to see.
A costume love affair
In 1974 Elton John's stage wardrobe included silver boots, leopard skin top hats, a Statue of Liberty costume, ostrich feathers and $5,000 spectacles that spelled his name in lights. The garments were custom made by British designer Annie Reavey who had a running joke with Elton to see how zany they could make him look. Today he's auctioned off most of the outfits for his Aids charity.