Captain Fantastic

Elton John coverElton John
Reginald Dwight & Company

I remember saving my babysitting money for weeks to buy Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.  I also remember standing in line to buy Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.  Of course Elton John is a worthy subject for biography! I will leave off the part where I had an argument with my parents over the artistic merit of  Bitch is Back.

Our story begins as poor Reggie Dwight struggles against the expectations of his military father.  Suddenly, he meet Bernie Taupin and the magic starts to happen.  For 2011, I am wondering how many kids will “get” what Elton John was in the mid 1970’s.  I am also concerned that the particular library copy I had access to had some nice looking mold in the bindings and was held together with sticky tape.  (It wasn’t even good book tape) As a highly sophisticated teen in 1976, I know I would have ignored this book simply because it looked like a “kids” book.  My boy Reggie deserves a much better book and something a bit more current and pictures in color, please!


Reginald Kenneth Dwight

Elton John's costumes

Elton John on stage


  1. WTF is with that font on the cover?! It’s like, your name in 1970s lights. I can’t comment on the content though.

  2. There were a whole series of these books on pop stars, all with similar covers including what Lurker called “your name in 1970s lights”. (Well, it *was* the 1970s.) Our library had a lot of t them in the children’s section. Heck, we may still; our Children’s Nonfiction needs a *real*good weeding — you should see our sports books!

  3. @lulu & marykelly : I’ll keep my sister, thanks 😀

    The language used in the legend for the pictures is a bit too hagiographic. Even a hardcore fan would appreciate something more informative and less advertising : every Elton fan KNOWS what a concert with Elton feels like ! A biography should always be centered on information and not elegy.

    The picture of Elton flying while playing the piano is notorious, I have seen it very often. Or maybe he did that in many occasions and there are several of such pictures ?

  4. Use of the word “zany” for anything other than the history of Commedia dell’arte, or in a dictionary, is not a good sign.

  5. Many high-interest easy-reads (in series) are intended to catch the attention of a particular generation. If it’s taped together, it probably has been checked out many times, and therefore, in its time, did its job. You are quite right. It is time for this to be replaced with high-interest biographies about current pop icons. Elton could be covered (and probably is) in an overview of music celebrities written at a higher grade level.

  6. It is interesting to see how Elton John has changed and reinvented himself over the years, but a more up to date bio including some stuff from this period would be better.

  7. My 5th grade French teacher claimed to have been a classmate of Elton John’s.

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