Back in 1968, Reginald Dwight was in a fix. The pub band he played in was taking him nowhere. And he was engaged to marry a woman who wanted him to settle down and put aside his music in favor of a “proper” career.
Everyone around him could see that this was plain wrong. Musical mentor Long John Baldry spelled it out for him. “If you marry this woman you’ll destroy two lives—hers and yours.” Baldry, you see, was gay, and he had probably already guessed that Reg was, too.
Elton got the message, though, and 7 years later he would sing that it ‘saved’ his life that night.
“He knew I was gay and told me to get used to it or it would destroy my life,” Elton has said. But at the time he retreated into his music instead. Literally. Elton claimed that the prospect of marriage “frightened me off sex for...I don’t really remember how long. I think it was probably a good year or two.”