Music publisher's son calls Elton John a coward over 'Rocketman' biopic

film 10/06/2019

The son of Dick James, a legendary music publisher from Britain, Stephen James is furious with how his father was portrayed in Elton John's new biopic film, 'Rocketman'.

James lashed out in a new interview denouncing John for turning his back on the people who had helped make him famous. 

He's basically a coward

"He's never been able to really express his emotions properly, certainly not to me," James told Express. "I don't understand why he seems to feel the need to try to destroy everybody who helped him. We only ever tried to do the best for him and to promote his career. I really am very upset that he has turned on people in this way."

Dick James is portrayed as an old-fashioned, hard-nosed music executive. James claims that it was the polar opposite of his father's personality.

Watch the full video below.

"It's rather upset me because my father was a nice guy. Elton's own father had run off and wasn't around. He treated my father at the time as very much a father figure, and my father treated Elton very much as if he was a son. He gave him advice. He was always helping him. My father would always be there."

"They have turned him into this stereotype with a big fat cigar, swearing every other word. He just wasn't like that. He never got aggressive. He never lost his temper. He never swore. But that's how they have made him in the film."

John and Bernie Taupin were caught sneaking into James' studio in 1967 to make demo tapes. When Dick James heard them, the pair was signed on to be staff songwriters and eventually gave John the opportunity to be a recording artist.

Almost 20 years later, the pair sued James to reclaim the rights to their songs, saying that the contract was signed under "undue influence" because they were both under the age of 21. The case was resolved in late 1985 with James retaining the rights but John and Taupin were awarded back royalties. James unfortunately died a couple months later.