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All In The Family
Posted by editor_usa

Elton’s Half Sibling Grants UK Paper an Interview

Tuesday 7
December 2010 @ 16:39

Elton with his father Stanley Dwight and his sons Simon, Robert and Geoff, then seven-years-old

Elton is seen above with his father Stanley Dwight and Stanley’s sons Simon, Robert and Geoff.

Elton (christened Reginald) was born in March 1947, the only son of Stanley and Sheila Dwight, and bought up in Pinner, Middlesex. It wasnt a happy marriage: Indeed, Elton has said he wished they would divorce because he ”couldn’t stand the rows.” He got his wish when he turned 15.

Stanley, like Sheila, remarried. His second wife, Edna, gave birth to four boys in five years. Stan, now an accountant, was the eldest; next came Robert, who works for the Lottery operator, Camelot; then there was Geoff; and finally Simon, a civil engineer.

It is Geoff who has been speaking about Elton.  His latest interview is with the Daily Mail. He told the paper:

”I first met Elton when I was five he was already a star, which was very exciting. We all went to see him at the Empire in Liverpool I remember thousands of people queuing to get through, but we were VIPs and were escorted backstage.”

Elton also used to pop up and play football with his younger half brothers whenever he was in the area.

”He bought us presents stuff his fans had given him; teddy bears and all sorts. And he always sent birthday and Christmas cards to our dad. He never forgot.”

So the way in which Elton described his childhood in an interview to Playboy magazine in the mid-70s must have come as a shock to Stanley something that today Geoff puts down to Elton taking ”a load of drugs at the time, and not being able to handle his depressing comedowns very well.”

While Elton was topping the charts time and again, Geoff was growing up in Ruthin.

Things started off well. He won a scholarship to the local independent school, but dropped out early and got in with the wrong sort. When he was 18, he was given a four-year prison sentence for a bungled robbery.

”It was a disaster we robbed the wrong house,” he rolls his eyes.

One taste of prison was enough and, determined to go straight, the next ten years were a blur of odd jobs, travelling, dabbling in drugs and religion, and trying to make ends meet.

More recently, Dwight has been working as a software programmer.

”Ive been designing a database capable of ­holding the whole worlds data,” he explains. ”But we were ­burgled recently, and my laptop and all my work was stolen. So now Im making yurts.”

While Geoff seems to have fond early memories of Elton, he admits to feeling resentment.

”I spend my life being called Elton Johns brother, and I just have to grin and bear it. People think I live on handouts from him, but I never have, and I never want to.”

The last time Geoff sought help from his brother was, he claims, in 1995, when his battered old Bedford van broke down near Eltons home in Old Windsor, but he ended up being turned away by the singers security men and sleeping rough on the grass verge outside his brothers enormous mansion.

”Id never been to Eltons house, but I was in the area its not exactly difficult to find so I left my van on the grass verge on the edge of the driveway, went up to the house and explained who I was and that my van had broken down, and that Id be back soon and to pick it up.”

But when he returned, the van had gone. ”So I slept on the grass by the main gate.”

As for the vehicle, Dwight says he learned it had been sent to the scrap yard. He didnt speak to Elton during the episode, and the singer’s publicist denies it ever happened.

Geoff adds: ”I still dont know if Elton was there, or even if he ever knew I was there, but thats the world he lives in. Thats the world that hes built up around himself. Its impossible to get through to him. I dont even have a number for him.”

The only other time hes tried to contact Elton, he says, was in 1991, when their father was losing his battle against heart disease.

”My dad loved Elton very much, ­whatever Elton had said about him, and he was never angry with him, and he never, ever, uttered a word against him.”

Stanley slept with a picture of his famous son, in a silver frame next to his bed, until the day he died.

””I just wanted to give him the chance to come and see dad one last time before he died. I rang his managers office and asked them to pass on the message and my number, but it took over a week until he called back.

”When he did finally call one morning, it was too late: our dad had died the night before.” It was an awkward conversation.

”He was quite distant, but he was in Atlanta, or somewhere, so it might have been the line. But I remember him saying that hed never really connected with our dad, then he just thanked me for calling. And that was that.

”Elton didnt come to the funeral maybe he did us a favour by not coming the media would have made it all about him if hed come.”

And that was the last time they spoke. ”Hes missed out on so much four brothers, a truckload of nieces and nephews that hes never seen ”

And then he talked about adopting a Ukrainian baby, chips in Geoff’s girlfriend, Karen.

”He bloody didnt? Did he? Well, thank God he didnt go ahead. Hes a bit old to become a parent now, isnt he? I wonder if that was ­Davids idea.”

Asked if the two men have anything in common besides their father, Karen replies, ”Music. Musical talent runs through this family.”

”Our dad had his own swing band,” adds Dwight. ”And our grandfather was a champion cornet player. And you should hear our brother Stan on the piano hes the real musical maestro of the family.”

Karen thinks theres more to it than that: ”All the Dwights are very bright lads theyve got a lot about them, so I think theyd get on very well. And they do both seem to have terrible tempers.”

Of course, one glaring difference is their personal wealth. But Geoff insists that envy is alien to him.

”Im not interested in having anything of his. To me, wealth is ­having a family, and being able to clothe and feed and spend time with them. And luxury is having logs to burn in the fire: its not about ­jetting round the world in a private plane.”

He also says:

”Im very, very proud of him, and although Im not holding my breath, Id be happy to see him if he got in touch but I also feel a bit sorry for him.

”To me, he looks a bit lonely and a bit sad, living in his celebrity bubble. When you get to the top of the fame conveyor belt, you lose your support system. You need your family to keep you level and sane thats what families are for.”

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