Elton John mistook scruffy Bob Dylan for his gardener

Elton John mistook scruffy Bob Dylan for his gardener

Elton John offered Bob Dylan a wardrobe makeover after mistaking the folk rock icon for his gardener.

In his new memoir, Me, the British rocker recalls Dylan showing up at a wild 1980s garden party Elton was throwing for his celebrity pals in Los Angeles and helping himself to a drink.

"I invited everyone I knew," Elton writes. "By mid-evening, I was flying, absolutely out of my mind, when a scruffy-looking guy I didn’t recognise wandered into the lit-up garden.

"Who the hell was he? Must be one of the staff, a gardener. I loudly demanded to know what the gardener was doing helping himself to a drink. There was a moment’s shocked silence, broken by my PA (personal assistant) saying, 'Elton, that’s not the gardener. It’s Bob Dylan!'

"Coked out of my brain and keen to make amends, I rushed over, grabbed him and started steering him towards the house, (saying), 'Bob! Bob! We can’t have you in those terrible clothes, darling. Come upstairs and I’ll fit you out with some of mine at once. Come on, dear!'"

Elton recalls Dylan was far from amused: "His expression suggested he was trying hard to think of something he wanted to do less than get dressed up like Elton John, and drawing a blank."

Despite the mix-up, Elton and Bob became unlikely friends and Dylan returned to the pop star's pad for a dinner party and a game of charades with Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

"He couldn’t get the hang of the 'How many syllables?' thing at all," Elton explains. "He couldn’t do 'sounds like' either, come to think of it. One of the best lyricists in the world, the greatest man of letters in the history of rock music, and he couldn’t seem to tell you whether a word had one syllable or two syllables or what it rhymed with!

"He was so hopeless, I started throwing oranges at him. Or so I was informed the next morning by a friend."

Elton’s new memoir will be released on 15 October (19).


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