It’s tough to fathom that [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Elton John[/lastfm] and guitar player Davey Johnstone partied at all in the 1970s, let alone “twice as hardcore” as most other rock groups, as the guitarist claims.
Johnstone sat down for a Q&A with MusicRadar.com about his lengthy career as Elton John’s guitar player and his wide-ranging influences. But the most eye-popping remarks of the interview came when Johnstone was asked if Elton, the band and he ever indulged in the many excesses readily available to famous rock stars during the 1970s.
“Oh, we enjoyed ourselves, of course!” he joked. “And believe me, there were many ‘never again’ nights. Many ‘never again’ three nights – 72-hour stretches where you literally never went to sleep. And then, what did you do? You did it all over again, twice as hard!
“Yeah, we did as many drugs as you can imagine, and drank as much alcohol as we could possibly pour down our throats.”
Johnstone said the band never fell under any sort of major scrutiny for their partying, mostly because they didn’t play the kind of dirty, hard-hitting rock n’ roll that inevitably connected bands like [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Rolling Stones[/lastfm] to drug and alcohol use.
“We were never linked to the drug culture like, say, The Rolling Stones. People didn’t assume we could be decadent, even though we were,” he continued. “We never got hassled, and we were twice as hardcore than so many other bands.”
Through all the excess, Johnstone concluded that he’s grateful to be alive today and have his health. More importantly, he and Elton are still able to do what they do best, entertain fans all over the world!
“Levon” Live in New York City, 2004: