I can’t get it out of my head. I saw Rocketman on Saturday. The rolicking, exhausting biopic musical about Elton John’s life has me replaying Tiny Dancer over and over in my head. I did the same thing with Rocketman on Sunday. His music is the music of my youth, but it’s also poetry that haunts the soul. Tiny Dancer captures the essence of my girlhood fantasies about rock stars and the women they love. Is it the song I can’t get out of my head or the spirit of my youthful dreams?
The movie is not a historical narrative. It seeks to capture the spirit of Elton John’s experience of his life. The music played in many scenes of his younger days was not even written then. But, man, the music and the dancing and the costumes dragged me in to his particular brand of drama. It was wild, over the top, touching and normal all at once. While I never had a rock star life, I could related to the recklessness, addiction and mistakes that landed me later on a path to recovery. By the end of the movie, I was completely exhausted.
This morning I am in Knoxville. I lived here for 10 years in my late 20s and early 30s. Much of my early life drama played out here, and there are happy memories as well as ones I’d just as soon forget. I had dinner with an old friend the other night and we caught up on the past 25 years since we’d worked together. It’s so interesting at this time of life to see “how it all turned out” with people I knew in my younger days. With some, the arc was predictable. Others experienced twists and turns that are completely surprising. But what happens to us is not who we are.
I was not really a huge Elton John fan. I enjoyed his songs but I’m a country music gal. Some of the scenes from his life I did not recognize. But I did recognize his flamboyancy and his costuming. I have been obsessed since Saturday about his life. I’ve watched countless YouTube interviews, music videos and old news reports just to “catch up”. It feels like I reconnected with an old friend who was a bit player in my life at some point but who became someone with whom I have much in common. I am very interested in his story. Apparently, now I’m obsessed with his music. And what is not to love about that sequined Dodger jumpsuit and his unrelenting energy?