Elton John once rewrote ‘Imagine’ to tease John Lennon

News 15/10/2019

While Elton John is well-known for indulging in large-scale shopping trips, he claims that John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono were just as bad in his new memoir, Me.

"Out shopping one day I realized I might have exhausted the possibilities of retail therapy when I found myself buying a cuckoo clock that, instead of a cuckoo, had a large wooden penis that popped in and out of it every hour," John wrote.

"I gave it to John Lennon when I went to visit him. I thought it was a good present for a man who had everything. John and Yoko were as bad as me when it came to shopping. The various apartments they owned in the Dakota [in New York City] were so full of priceless artworks, antiques and clothes that I once sent them a card, rewriting the lyrics to 'Imagine': 'Imagine six apartments, it isn't hard to do, one is full of fur coats, another's full of shoes.'"

Elsewhere in the book, John discussed his cancer surgery and the complications that nearly killed him, while reflecting on how he was "blessed with a constitution that just makes me bounce back from illnesses."

"A few years previously, I'd managed to play nine gigs, take 24 flights and perform with Coldplay at a fundraising ball for the AIDS Foundation — with a burst appendix. I could have died: Normally when your appendix bursts, it causes peritonitis, which kills you within a few days. So I had my appendix out, spent a couple of days in hospital and a few weeks recuperating, then went back on the road. It's just how I am. If I hadn't got the constitution I have, all the drugs I took would have killed me decades ago."