Sir Elton John has performed for years and has become known for his outlandish outfits, accessories and performance style. However, the young man from northwest London was not always Sir Elton John but instead had a very different name as a child. However, he chose to change it into something few could have seen coming.
What is Sir Elton John’s real name?
Sir Elton was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947.
However, after what Sir Elton called “unhappy memories,” he wanted to change his name as he grew to “dislike” his old name.
In a 1987 interview, Sir Elton said: “When I became Elton John, it was like a new lease on life.
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“I didn’t particularly like being Reg Dwight. It had too many unhappy memories.
“I hated the word ‘Reg’, anyway. It was just a horrible name.
“As soon as I was Elton, it was just great. It was like a new personality.”
Sir Elton legally changed his name to Elton Hercules John on May 7, 1972.
In the movie Rocketman, the genesis of Sir Elton’s name was explored, though not quite in the way which actually happened.
In the film, Sir Elton (played by Taron Egerton) told one of his bandmates in backing group Bluesology about his intended name change to Elton Dean.
As it turns out, one of those bandmates is called Elton Dean, and in the film this member responded with some concern.
Later in the film, however, when Sir Elton was asked about his stage name, he chooses Elton, but then, on looking at an image of the Beatles’ John Lennon, chooses John as his last name.
This, according to various interviews, is not entirely accurate, as his name change came from other sources.
Though it is true Sir Elton copied the name of his bandmate, Elton Dean, to come up with his first name.
He told Rowan Atkinson in 1991: “I used to be in a band, and I wanted to become a singer in my own right, and I wanted to choose a name.
“And the saxophone player in the band was called Elton, so I chose that name.”
However, his last name is not believed to have come from John Lennon, and the moment in the movie is more likely a tribute to the Beatles star.
In fact, the band which Sir Elton began his life, Bluesology, was the support act for performer Long John Baldry, which is believed to be where his surname came from.
Baldry’s obituary in The Guardian reads: “Baldry formed Steam Packet with organist Brian Auger, and later hired, as his backing group, Blues-ology, whose pianist Reg Dwight chose the stage name of Elton John by combining the first names of Baldry with that of the group’s saxophonist, Elton Dean.
“Baldry’s sage advice, when Dwight was experiencing a sexual identity crisis, is commemorated in the Elton John song, Someone Changed My Life Tonight.”
Bluesology became Long John Baldry’s supporting band in 1966, and they played 16 times at the Marquee Club with Baldry.
As for his new middle name, Smooth Radio reported his middle name of Hercules was named after a horse in British sitcom Steptoe and Son.
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