Elton John still feels he might “explode at any moment”.
After rising to international fame in the 1970s, Elton became famous for his tantrums and eccentric antics, as well as battling alcohol and drug problems.
Although he’s now settled down with husband David Furnish, with whom he shares two sons, and acts as a stabilising mentor to troubled stars, the Rocket Man singer revealed he still fights with his old demons.
“My behaviour was so erratic and so unpredictable,” the 74-year-old rocker told The Guardian. “And it’s still in me, to explode at any moment. I’ve been trying to work on that for a long time and I’ve got a wonderful husband who knows how to get me out of that stuff.
“I think it’s an artistic thing – artists can be so self-destructive sometimes, for no reason. I can have a day when everything in my whole life is going so well, and I get up and I feel like the world is against me. Why, I do not know.”
Elton went on to reveal that treatment for his addictions had helped him deal with a long battle with social anxiety.
“All my life, until I became sober, I was afraid of talking to anybody,” he said. “They asked me when I went to treatment how I felt and I said: ‘I don’t know, I don’t feel anything.’ I came to defrost, as it were, and discovered I did have feelings, and they went back a long time. And I think it stays with you for the whole of your life … I just have terrible feelings about myself; I feel bad about myself sometimes.”
Elton puts his mental struggles in part down to a difficult relationship with his parents, and is determined his own children – Zachary, 10, and Elijah, eight – will grow up in a loving, stable environment.
“When they’re bad, they lose their pocket money, or their electronic stuff for a week – but they don’t get punished physically or mentally,” he added. “We talk it through with them. And they’re very happy children. I was always afraid of my parents, and I didn’t want my children to ever be afraid of me.”