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Posted: 11 Jan 12, 14:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

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Elton John to remember Queen's Freddie Mercury in his book about AIDS Singer says he hopes 'to break down social barriers and to build bridges of compassion
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Elton John news RSS FeedPhoto: PAElton John has announced that he is to write a book, which will be a collection of memories and meditations on the fight against AIDS.

The book, which is set to be titled Love Is the Cure: Ending the Global AIDS Epidemic, will be published in July and will include John's memories of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991 from an AIDS related illness. The book will also include John's memories of Ryan White, a teenage activist who fought a high profile legal battle against his own US high school after they tried to expel him upon discovering he was HIV positive.

Elton John wrote of his plans for the book: "AIDS is a disease that must be cured not by a miraculous vaccine, but by changing hearts and minds, and through a collective effort to break down social barriers and to build bridges of compassion."

He continued: "Why are we not doing more? This is a question I have thought deeply about, and wish to answer – and to help change – by writing this book."

Elton John recently revealed that he wants Justin Timberlake to play him in a biopic about his life.

Speaking about Rocketman, the planned film of his life, John said of his choice to play him: "I've got a wish list of people. Number One on my wish list is Justin Timberlake, because he played me before in a David LaChapelle video of 'Rocket Man' and was superb."

source: http://www.nme.com/news/elton-john/61345

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Posted: 11 Jan 12, 16:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

So, then, we're likely to hear some private bits about Fred as Elton knew him.  I'm going to guess, perhaps wrongly, that the several folks here that are really tough on Jim H. and Peter F. for aspects of their books will see this in a better light.  For the sake of conversation, I'll ask, if this is the case, why?  Tough when nobody has seen the book or the tone I know...

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Posted: 11 Jan 12, 17:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't know why they need to use Freddie's name to sell the book.

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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 07:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



GratefulFan wrote: So, then, we're likely to hear some private bits about Fred as Elton knew him.  I'm going to guess, perhaps wrongly, that the several folks here that are really tough on Jim H. and Peter F. for aspects of their books will see this in a better light.  For the sake of conversation, I'll ask, if this is the case, why?  Tough when nobody has seen the book or the tone I know...


It really makes no sense to judge a book that has not even been published :-) There is one big difference between Elton John and poeple like Jim Hutton or Peter Freestone: Elton John is a huge star, a big artist, oustanding composer and - last not least - a humanitarian, who does not need to exploit other peoples's lives to sell a book. The EJAF has generated more than 120 million $ over the years, his contribution to help fighting AIDS is outstanding.  Certainly people will buy and read his book even if he does not mention any of his celebrity friends who suffered and died from AIDS. The difference between him and people like JH and PF - whose books nobody would even print if not for their knowledge of Freddie's private life -  is so ovbvious, it should not even need to be pointed out.


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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 09:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Side Note:  Who's the investigative genius that came up with this Queen related story.  Elton John is writing about AIDS.  Hmm, chances are pretty high that he's going to talk about Freddie.  Duh.  Maybe do a little more research before breaking this story?

I'm going to write a book about Steroids in baseball.  BREAKING NEWS:  Barry Bonds will be discussed.

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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 11:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Barry Bonds did steroids? I thought the 40 pounds of extra muscle were from the all-steak diet. At least, that's what his publicist said..


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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 12:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That was flaxseed oil.

:)


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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 15:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



YourValentine wrote: It really makes no sense to judge a book that has not even been published :-) There is one big difference between Elton John and poeple like Jim Hutton or Peter Freestone: Elton John is a huge star, a big artist, oustanding composer and - last not least - a humanitarian, who does not need to exploit other peoples's lives to sell a book. The EJAF has generated more than 120 million $ over the years, his contribution to help fighting AIDS is outstanding.  Certainly people will buy and read his book even if he does not mention any of his celebrity friends who suffered anddied from AIDS. The difference between him and people like JH and PF - whose books nobody would even print if not for their knowledge of Freddie's private life -  is so ovbvious, it should not even need to be pointed out.


Whether he needs to or not - and I'd argue that maybe he does, because if he exploits private memories of Fred and Ryan White (recalling that one meaning of exploit is to advance or propell forward some cause)  to 'build bridges of compassion' to further readers' engagement with AIDS issues, maybe he does need to co-opt Fred's memory to humanize the disease in just that way to reach his specific goal.  Anyway, whether he needs to or not it seems he has.  So then it's not the potential breach of any presumed privacy that is the issue - the basis of the usual disgust with the other books - but the context of the breach?  Or assumptions about pure vs. impure motivations?  What if the purpose of the earlier books was to exploit (as in advance) the cause of Freddie himself - the fullness of his character and his memory?  That's my general sense, as ham-handed, fluffy and occasionally sensational as the efforts might have been.

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Posted: 13 Jan 12, 02:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Again - it's impossible to judge a book I have not even read but yes - maybe it is the context or the goal of the book that makes the difference. For example, I was not offended by Roger's and Brian's telling about Freddie's illness in greater detail than ever before in the recent DOOL documentary because it was a very important part of their lives and they did not betray any privacy imo. No personal photos, no dirty little details which are nobody's business. Everything was quite diginified and very affectionate imo. The same for Elton John who once told on TV how moved he was when he received a painting from Freddie after his death because he knew that Freddie still thought of him although he was so ill. It was about Elton's feelings and not giving away private details of Freddie's illness.

The Jim Hutton book in particular could not be more different. Why do we need to know stories about undignified ugly fights and arguments in Freddie's house? If I had such fights with my husband I would not tell close friends about it let alone any outsider.  We really do not need to know about personal hygiene, eating habits, fights amd all these everyday life stories Freddie would probably never had told anyone himself. And that is the purpose of this book. It is not about Freddie Mercury the artist or singer - it is all about selling private and personal issues - things that are nobody's business. I hardly remember Peter Freestone's book but it had many of the same: pages and pages about tapestry and furniture in Garden Lodge, detailed description of fights and fall outs etc. I am not saying that Jim Hutton was bad person, he probably did not quite realise the kiss-and-tell nature of the book and Peter Freestone is an extremely nice and friendly guy when you meet him who unfortunately does not seem to have managed to establish a new life away from the Freddie hype.That does not excuse the sell-out nature of these books imo.


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Posted: 13 Jan 12, 13:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

^ what she said.


"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



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Posted: 17 Jan 12, 11:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes and no.  I think people draw quite a bit more distinction between the revelations of Hutton/Freestone and other band members or Mary Austin for example than is really there.   Particularly Mary Austin...that's the one that is the most perplexing to me.  I think people start quite correctly with a natural visceral disgust at the idea of disloyalty, but then never quite get past that enough to see if that's what this really was.  The expectation of loyalty and discretion that is implicit with the sharing of any aspect of a private life does evolve after death, and, probably more importantly, the narrative of the vast majority of us is not under threat of being almost wholly defined by a tabloid press.

Certainly many critically acclaimed and culturally significant biographies contain personal and private information not normally available to the public.  Wikipedia defines biography like this: A biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life. More than a list of basic facts (education, work, relationships, and death), biography also portrays the subject's experience of those events. Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae (résumé), a biography presents the subject's life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the subject's personality.

Now neither of these books were either critically acclaimed or culturally significant, but it's not because they didn't contain elements of others works that were.  As unknowns they attracted only very ordinary writers who clearly aimed their work at a very ordinary audience.  The writing was not sophisticated, but certainly some of the insight was.  The anecdotes and descriptions almost always had some larger goal beyond gawking or gossip.  The descriptions of the house focused on Freddie as a man of exquisite taste with an appreciation for fine quality things as things of beauty rather than status, for example, as well as providing a story telling device for the Freestone book.  His struggles near death we're very deliberately cast to paint the picture of a stubborn and courageous man facing a truly horrible fate with grace and determination.  And so on.

The works are pedestrian and written with what was sometimes imperfect judgement by imperfect people, but I think if you read the vast majority of the reader reviews of these books on sites like Amazon etc. you will see how well they served their subject's memory - much more and much better than they served any other motivation like monetary gain or a wish for celebrity, or for Jim I think, affirmation.  I have zero doubt that in all their imperfection they were written with love and with good intent by decent people.  There are some who dismiss them as sell outs and disloyal opportunists and call them harsh names without even bothering to build a justification. That position bothers me because it is in essence a short cut to inflate one's own character on the back of somebody else without ever having to actually demonstrate anything we usually value when we judge the judgement of others.