Yesterday Elton was on Howard Stern's show, and the radio host's Web site has a recap of the interview.
Bernie Taupin was among the topics. Elton knew right away that he loved the lyrics, even if they were ''very simple'' when they started out. He considers them to be best friends, and points out that it's not necessary to constantly be around someone to enjoy a close relationship.
''We're best friends and the distance has kept us close,'' he declared.
Bob Dylan is another lyricist he admires, but he ''wasn't any good'' when they got partnered up when playing charades at Neil Diamond's house. He recalled another Neil--Neil Young--annoying his neighbours by playing his entire album, Harvest, on the piano. He also remembered the two getting drunk together in Honolulu, where they did ''silly covers'' of each other's songs.
While Elton wasn't happy when Rod Stewart suggested his farewell tour was just a way to make money, he isn't holding a grudge. They've had a friendly rivalry for years.
''It's been very, very funny, and I love him dearly.'' In fact, he'd give Rod a huge if they ran into one another. ''There's no point in carrying on vendettas in this world. Life's too short.
''He gets a Christmas card from me and I wish him the best. You can't erase all those years of great friendship by just one thing that happened, and I'm not going to do that. As far as I'm concerned he's a brilliant artist who's had a great career, and he's such good fun.''
Another pal was John Lennon. Elton said they were thick was thieves for a couple of years until the former Beatle got back together with Yoko Ono and the couple welcomed their son, Sean. ''Then the tragedy happened and I never really told him how much I loved him--you don't do you?'' he mused. ''And I still miss him.''
As for retiring, the musician told Howard that the day he doesn't sing or play well is the day he's going to give up.
''I don't want to go out being mediocre. I want to go out as good as I am or even better than I was.''
He added, ''I think I'm singing better now at 73 than I have ever done in my life and the moment that starts to crack, I'm off.''