MOLLY: In a village in the south of Germany...I'm meeting an old friend...along with a few thousand fans. I've known Elton for decades. (TO ELTON) I'm not stalking you.
ELTON: Goodness. How are you?
MOLLY: Good. There's no doubt he's a brilliant performer...an incredible singer-songwriter. But that's just the half of it.
ELTON: It breathes. It walks! (LAUGHS) Oh! How are you?
MOLLY: Good! He's also got a big heart...
ELTON: You look great.
ELTON: Wow. Silly cow.
MOLLY: ..and was one of the first to call after my accident.
ELTON: Without making people, you know, dissolve into tears, you are the best thing that ever happened to Australian music and you're a legend and you're a friend and you've stuck by me through the good times and the bad times and now the good times again. Because you are an institution and it's great to see you back - a mental institution but you're an institution.
MOLLY: (LAUGHS) Right. OK.
ANNOUNCER: The gentleman you've all been waiting for, the biggest, most colossal, gigantic, fantastic Elton John!
MOLLY: Elton has crammed a lot into four decades of stardom.
ELTON: (SINGS) # I'm still standing better than I ever did # I'm looking like a true survivor # Feeling like a little kid... #
MOLLY: But I've never seen him more proud than this.
ELTON: Hey, Australia, there's my little boy.
MOLLY: Oh, wow! Oh, that is cute. God... It's his son, Zachary, who he's raising with partner David Furnish.
ELTON: Very proud dad. No wonder. Yeah. Daddy's very proud. Soon to be hitting your shores - the new Justin Bieber.
MOLLY: Having a son, that must be an absolute buzz.
ELTON: Well, that's...I always say it's been the icing on the cake. Again, it's fate. It took a big hand in my life.
We went to Ukraine to an orphanage that we funded in Donetsk for the AIDS Foundation and this little boy gravitated towards me and stayed with me for the whole of the press conference and they said to me during the press conference, "You seem very enamoured with this little boy. "Would you love to adopt him?" Of course, me and my big mouth said, "Yes, I'd love to," not knowing that it would go straight round the world - "Elton John wants to adopt Ukrainian baby."
Well, it was impossible for us to adopt him - I'm too old in Ukraine, we're a gay couple - and then David and I sat down two Christmases ago and he said, "What do you think about having your own child?" And I went, "Well, you know I've always said no'cause I'm too selfish, too set in my ways," but that little boy was sent as a messenger to me to say, "You know what? It's time for you. You can do this." I said yes and now we've got this incredible 19-month-old boy who is the light and he's just... ..I'm obsessed with him. I love him so much.
MOLLY: On Christmas Day 2010, a surrogate mother gave birth to Zachary from sperm donated by Elton and David.
ELTON: We kept it so secret to protect our surrogate and when it happened and we announced it, everyone was so shocked and we got away with it. It was a military operation.
ELTON ON VIDEO:(ZACHARY LAUGHS) My go. My go. Ready? Yeah! OK. And again? (LAUGHS) OK. One last time. Ready? (LAUGHS)
ELTON: He's like that. He just laughs. He's just so happy.
MOLLY: In a short time, this doting dad has come a long, long way.
ELTON: Listen, I get up 7:00 in the morning to get here and one (BLEEP) person leave my (BLEEP) clothes in the car. All these months work that I've put in and someone leaves a (BLEEP) bag in the car?!
I look back on those days with sheer horror and think, "How could I do that?"
You put months and months of work into this. (BLEEP) bollocks. (BLEEP) videos - I don't MAKE (BLEEP) videos!
You don't think in any real commonsense way at all. All you're obsessed with is your next hit, or, you know, you're obsessed with yourself - you're so self-obsessed - and that's how I became. You saw me at the worst of my times and the excesses and you tried to tell me about it and I wouldn't listen and that's how I was. I wouldn't listen to anybody in those days.
MOLLY: Then meeting someone like David, your partner, changed your life.
ELTON: When I got sober, all good things started to happen to me and it's 19 years this October that we've been together and he's the person I was looking for all my life but tried too hard to find and when I wasn't looking, he walked into my life and that's another gift that my sobriety has given me — the most incredible relationship with someone I completely love and adore and who's helped me really improve myself as a person and come to terms with my own weaknesses.
(SINGS A CAPELLA)
- Goodbye, Norma Jean
- Though I never knew you at all
- You had the grace to hold yourself
- While those around you
MOLLY: I've never really asked you this before, ever, but what two songs - one, your favourite, and one you feel when you're playing it, "I'm so satisfied I wrote this song"?
ELTON: Gosh. You know, if you're going to say favourite song, it would have to be 'Your Song' because it started everything off, really.
(SINGS) # It's a little bit funny
- This feeling inside
- I'm not one of those
- I don't have much money but
- Boy, if I did
- I'd buy you a house for
- A couple of quid... #
Satisfaction and pride? I don't know. 'Someone Saved My Life Tonight'. It's about me, it's about me, so, you know, it's very personal so I love singing that.
- Someone saved my life tonight
- Sugar Bear
- Sugar Bear
- Almost had your hooks in me
- Didn't you, dear? #
MOLLY: Over the years, Elton has shared the limelight with almost everyone who is anyone in the music business.
ELTON AND MISS PIGGY:
- Right from the start
- I gave you my heart
- Elton... #
MOLLY: But not all duets end the way you hope. In happier days, Elton and Madonna hammed it up for all the cameras...
MADONNA: Is this what I have to do to sell records?
ELTON: Oh, please. Yeah.
MOLLY: Now, they're embroiled in a bitter feud.
ELTON: She's such a nightmare. Sorry. Her career's over - I can tell you that - her tour's been a disaster and it couldn't have happened to a bigger (BLEEP).
I love Gaga. She's the real deal. She can actually sing.
Katy Perry is a great one, as well. Katy Perry's fabulous. She sat with me at the Oscar party. I love her and I love Rihanna. If Madonna had had any commonsense, she wouldn't have made a record like 'Ray Of Light', stayed away from the dance stuff, and just been a great pop singer and made great pop records, which she does brilliantly.
But, no - she had to prove that she was, like... And she looks like a (BLEEP) fairground stripper. She's been so horrible to Gaga.
MOLLY: Gaga is Lady Gaga, Zachary's godmother.
ELTON: She absolutely adores him as well. Wherever she is in the world, she sends texts saying, "How is he?" She comes and bathes him. She sings to him. She is a good godmother. She really pays attention.
MOLLY: With Zachary, would you and David have another one?
ELTON: We're thinking about it, very much so. In the future - we want to have another kid. We don't want him to be an only child. It's hard enough being the child of someone famous. I want him to have a relationship with a brother and sister, without question.
MOLLY: Elton also hopes to be a better dad than his own father. The pair had a difficult and distant relationship.
ELTON: I was frightened of him.
MOTHER: He was frightening.
ELTON: He wasn't overly vicious to me, at all, but he was very strict.
MOTHER: I don't think he liked you very much.
- So goodbye, yellow brick road Where the dogs of society howl... #
MOLLY: I'd like to give you something for Zachary.
ELTON: Alright. Yeah. Oh, my...What is that?
MOLLY: It's a little piano for him.
ELTON: Oh, fantastic. Are you kidding me? I might use this tonight. (PLAYS 'WALTZING MATILDA')
ELTON: # Why won't you waltzing Matilda with me? # (PLAYS 'WALTZING MATILDA' IN BAROQUE STYLE) Marie Antoinette's version. I've always been an Australian at heart, you see.
MOLLY: Well, you have a special heart with everyone in Australia - there's no doubt about that.
ELTON: So, are St Kilda doing alright?
MOLLY: Yes, they are, at the moment.
ELTON: Great. Good. I always want them to win for you, Molly. It's been so near and yet so far.
MOLLY: (LAUGHS) And so long!
ELTON: I know! (LAUGHS) It will happen.
ELTON: (PLAYS 'BENNIE AND THE JETS')
- She's got electric boots
- A mohair suit
- I read it in a magazine
- Oh, oh
- B-Bennie and the jets... #
MOLLY: Is it true that there may be a documentary or a film done, a musical on yourself or something like that?
ELTON: There's going to be a film about my life.
MOLLY: Hooray! Finally!
ELTON: Yes. Yes. Written by Lee Hall, who wrote 'Billy Elliot', and that's gonna be made, maybe, next year.
MOLLY: So with all of this, the awards and everything you've received, do you have that yearning that, "I've only just started"?
ELTON: I always have. It's always about tomorrow and not the past. I mean, it's lovely to go and to look back but I'm a person who looks forward.
I'm...I'm more interested in what's going to happen next. I value the past and my career and sometimes when I go back, I think, "Oh, that's pretty good, that's not bad," but I'm all about what's going to happen next and that keeps me on my toes and it keeps me young and I'd rather do that than luxuriate in what was. I'm more interested in what's going to be.
MOLLY: Thank you.
ELTON: Alright, darling. Thanks, everyone. Molly, thank you for coming all this way.
MOLLY: It's a pleasure. Is David here?
MOLLY: Give him my love and I'll catch you when you come to Melbourne.