I’m sitting in front of the keyboard at fifteen minutes to midnight, racing to empty my head. I guess this is one of those times where you realise you really are a writer of sorts – or a diarist, or a journaller, or whatever other label you might attach. We just got back from the cinema, and I want to get these words down before everything fades.
So yes. We went to the cinema tonight. A couple of hours without the children, in a wonderfully quirky cinema in a nearby town. A few of our friends gathered on the green outside our house earlier, and we wandered over for a drink with them before leaving. While walking across in the early evening sunshine, cat-calls were made at my embroidered shirt, jeans, and boots. It’s rare that I ever dress up.
“Look! He’s got his date clothes on!”
I grinned, and sat down among a group of the best neighbours you could wish to have – sitting in the grass and laughing, drinking, and sharing stories with one another. We could have stayed with them all night, but like I mentioned – we had tickets for a movie.
Rocketman. The biographical movie about Elton John. I don’t really remember the first time I heard Elton John’s music – but I suppose that’s the thing – for my generation his songs have become a part of our lives. I love that music connects with memory in such a visceral way. When I hear “Your Song”, I think of somebody. When I hear “I’m Still Standing”, I think of difficult times in my life. When I hear “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” I think about the endless nights spent in foreign cities, burning the midnight oil. “Candle in the Wind” always takes me back to my final year of college, and the discovery of Marilyn Monroe while working on an art project.
What a movie though. Emotional, gripping, exciting, enthralling – kind of like being hit by the kitchen sink at times. By the time the lights came up at the end I had tear stained cheeks, and a new appreciation for the darker side of fame. I remember hearing Duran Duran being interviewed years ago – about why they broke up while at the top – and them saying they realised how far down the ground had become, and that they were petrified. Elton didn’t stop though – he rode a fiery comet of his own making straight into the ground, and is pretty lucky to still be here. The movie doesn’t glamorise, or pull any punches.
The music though – and the arrangements – and the performances. Just wow. I want to write so much about it, but I don’t want to ruin the movie for you if you’ve not seen it yet.
If you’ll excuse me I have to go and find my copy of “Madman Across the Water”, switch the record player on, and go sit with a beer or two for a couple of hours.