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Elton Gets a Few Mentions in Norman's New Bio

Tuesday 25 November 2008 @ 15:42 - GMT

Philip Norman, whose previous biographies have included one about Elton, has completed a new tome.

John Lennon: The Life has a bit about the Rocket Man. Besides carrying a photo of the two icons together at Madison Square Garden in the seventies, the book offers a quote from Yoko Ono concerning Elton.

She says that the former Beatle ''wanted the gay crowd to love him. But he picked up a little bit from Elton and the others in L.A. When he came back, they'd given him a woman's name, too. He was Catherine.'' . . .  Norman explains that Elton's circle tended to refer to men as ''she'' and bestow nicknames.

The author discusses how the pianist decided to record Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds at Caribou Studios, which John was at.

Lennon loved his friend's reggae-influenced version so much he joined the studio band, credited at ''the Reggae Guitars of Dr. Winston O'Boogie.''

As a memento of their partnership, the former Reg Dwight gave John an onyx pendant outlined in gold with a bridge in platinum and WINSTON/BOOGIE spelled out in diamonds.

Of course, the famous Thanksgiving night in 1974 is covered. Elton wanted his compatriot to sing Imagine, but John ''didn't want to come on like Dean Martin, doing my classic hits.''

Lennon continued: ''I wanted to have some fun and play some rock 'n' roll, and I didn't want to do more than three because it was Elton's show after all.''

Although there had been no official announcement of Lennon's appearance, rumours were swirling, and Elton's right-hand man, Tony King, was besieged by requests for the VIP front row. One of the first calls was from Ono, who was then separated from her spouse.

And later on, John asked Elton to be the godfather of his son, Sean, ''in recognition of the supportiveness and generosity that had helped bring about his reconcilation with Yoko.''