Elton John on his estrangement from his mother, Sheila Farebrother:
"It upsets me, but to be honest with you, I don't miss her," Elton says at his Beverly Hills home. "When she says things in the press, like last year: 'I haven't spoken to Elton since he married that fucking asshole David Furnish...'" He shrugs his shoulders, paraphrasing many of her comments since the feud started. "That was pretty hard to take." He sent her flowers for her 90th birthday, but there was no call. "I don't hate my mother," Elton says. "I look after her, but I don't want her in my life."
On his father:
"I was afraid of my father. I was walking on eggshells the whole time trying to get his approval. He's been dead for a long time, and I'm still trying to prove things to him."
On being a dad:
"Years ago, I didn't have anything," Elton tells me quietly. "I wanted to die on the stage. That's all I had. Now I don't. I've got children. I want to come off the road. I want to be there, I want to take them to baseball, I want to take them to soccer games. My life is completely changed."
On Janet Jackson:
"You know, fucking music magazines writing a review of Janet Jackson saying, 'This is the greatest show - four and a half stars.' It's fucking lip-synced! Hello! That's not a show! I'd rather go and see a drag queen. Fuck off."
On not stepping up during the AIDS crisis:
"I should've been there at the ACT UP marches," he says, his voice a mixture of guilt and fact. "I should've been there and I wasn't. I know I did the fucking record with Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight. I wasn't omnipresent, and I've felt a lot of guilt about that." He rubs his hands over his face. "I've tried to make up for lost time."
On David Bowie:
"We know David Bowie, the singer, the outrageous performer," says Elton, "but actually we don't know anything about him. And that's the way it should be in music."