Some time ago, this Web site announced that in America, Mark Bego's Elton John: The Bitch is Back would be out this fall. It is being published by Phoenix Books.
Also in October, Bego's latest will be released in England. However, JR Books plans a different title--The Elton John Story.
Mark Bego told EJW:
''This new book is my 52nd, as I just had Number 51 released in December of 2008. That particular title is Macho Man: The Disco Era and Gay America's Coming Out, which I wrote with Randy Jones, the original cowboy from the Village People (Greenwood Publishers).
''The book that I wrote with Randy is not only about his life in the Village People, but he wanted to write a book about gay pop culture, and together we did exactly that. It is currently in stores, and there is a whole section on Elton John, and he is also featured in the section on the most important gay rock songs of all times (Big Dipper, All the Young Girls Love Aliceetc.).''
As for Elton John: The Bitch is Back, the writer considers this the biggest and most important release in his ffour-decade career.
Besides being put out in the U.S. and UK, editions are coming out in Denmark and Russia.
The very first country, though, to release the book, won't any of the above.
A German language version entitled Elton John: Die Story, published by Hannibal Books of Austria, will officially be out on June 22, 2009. It will primarily be distributed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. However, American fans can purchase it on the internet.
''It is the German version of the book which is the biggest one. It is a full 536 pages in length, and contains 100,000 more words than the other editions will. The English language versions (America and Britain), as well as Russia and Denmark, will have a more concise version. The German one primarily finds me writing much more about Eltons music, while the other editions focus more closely to his personal life.''
Mark says the original manuscript was over 680 pages long. His biggest problem wasn't figuring out what to write about, but finding a way to say it concisely.
''There is simply sooooooooo much to say about Elton John, where do you draw the line?!? Here's what happened: Hannibal Books wanted to make certain to have their version of the book in the German stores, to coincide with Elton's forthcoming concerts in Germany: Wiesbaden (June 30), Dresden (July 3), Nurnberg (July 4, 2009), and Stuttgart (July 5, 2009). They wanted the most information, and they wanted to make this the most complete German book on Elton, so they decided to publish it in its entirety. Also, there is the fact that converting English to German, adds even more to the length of the manuscript.''
Mark, who met Elton backstage at Madison Square Garden in the eighties, was there with Andy Warhol and a group of friends. He recalls that the headliner came on stage for the show's finale dressed as Tina Turner, and has included the episode in the biography.
Bego decided to include interview subjects not normally part of books on Elton.
''These people's insights into Elton make this quite exciting.''
Among those in the book are Alice Cooper, Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Angela Bowie, Sarah Dash of LaBelle, Randy Jones, Duncan Faure of the Bay City Rollers, RuPaul and Gary Brooker of Procol Harum.
''I also got some great stories from Danny Hutton and Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night.''
Bego says folks may not realise that the band recorded Lady Samantha, which was the version many in the States first heard.
The author considers his work on the five editions ''an adventure.'' He has provided EJW with a cover photo of Elton John: Die Story as well as one for The Elton John Story.