The Today Show is running a two-part interview with Elton tomorrow and Wednesday morning on NBC.
The singer’s first book, Love is the Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS, is being published on July 17. Elton spoke candidly to Matt Lauer about the decades leading up to where he is now, saying that he “wasted” much of his time on drugs and addiction, especially during the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.
“I wasted such a big part of my life, when this epidemic was beginning to happen in the early 1980s. And I was a drug addict and self-absorbed,” he confessed. “You know, I was having people die right, left and center around me, friends. And yet, I didn’t stop the life that I had, which is the terrible thing about addiction. It’s that — you know, it’s that bad of a disease.”
In his book — sales of which will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation — the star writes, “I was consumed by cocaine, booze, and who knows what else. I apparently never got the memo that the me generation had ended.”
Elton told Matt he feels guilty about that time, but “I’m making up for it. There is so much more to be done.”
The two men also spoke about Elton’s sexuality, and his fears — or lack thereof — about living publicly as a gay man, even though coming out impacted his career.
“In America, people burned my records for a second and radio stations didn’t play me. It didn’t have any effect like the Dixie Chicks had when they made the anti-Iraq statements and their career was ruined,” the songwriter said. “So by me saying gay in the 1970s — it didn’t have a big effect on me whatsoever.”
Elton went on to say that he didn’t fear AIDS during his time of living more recklessly.
“You know what? When you take a drug and you take a drink and you mix those two together, you think you’re invincible,” he said. “I came out of this HIV-negative. I was the luckiest man in the world.”
The 65-year-old’s lifestyle is now vastly different from the way he lived in the 1980s. Not only is he sober, but he has been with David Furnish for many years. They have a son, who was born via surrogate on Christmas Day 2010.
“I’d love to have more children. And also Zachary, being the child of a famous person is hard. And I would like him to have — you know, when he’s four and he starts going to preschool kids will say, ‘You don’t have a mummy.’ And we know that. We talked about this before we had Zachary. And we’re gonna say, ‘Well, listen, there’s gonna be consequences involved in having a child when you’re two gay parents.'” he explained. “And I want him to have a brother or a sister to go to school with him. And so that he can have someone to play with.”
A look at the Love is the Cure‘s cover photo is below.