Next week ‘Today’ will make another play at recapturing morning show domination by airing an interview between Matt Lauer and Sir Elton John. The interview, which will promote John’s memoir “Love Is the Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS,” will air in two parts; Tuesday, July 17 and Wednesday, July 18. In the chat, prerecorded in England, John talks about his struggle with drugs, alcohol and bulimia and discusses coming out about his sexuality.
John talks to Lauer about his experience of the AIDS epidemic. “I wasted such a big part of my life, when this epidemic was beginning to happen in the early 1980s,” John tells Lauer. “And I was a drug addict and self-absorbed. You know, I was having people die right, left, and center around me, friends. And yet, I didn’t stop the life that I had, which is the terrible thing about addiction. It’s that– you know, it’s that bad of a disease.”
On the topic of his coming out, John says his homosexuality only impacted his career ” a little bit.” “In America, people burned my records for a second and radio stations didn’t play me. It didn’t have any effect like the Dixie Chicks had when they made the anti-Iraq statements and their career was ruined. So by me saying gay in the 1970s– it didn’t have a big effect on me whatsoever.”
John also explains why, even as his friends were dying of AIDS, he didn’t practice safe sex. “You know what? When you take a drug and you take a drink and you mix those two together, you think you’re invincible,” he says, adding that he “came out of this HIV negative… I was the luckiest person in the world.”
On a lighter note, John says he’d “love to have more children” in addition to his son, Zachery. “And also… being the child of a famous person is hard. And I would like him to have– you know, when he’s four and he starts going to preschool kids will say, “You don’t have a mummy.” And we know that. We talked about this before we had Zachery. And we’re gonna say, “Well, listen, there’s gonna be consequences involved in having a child when you’re two gay parents.” And I want him to have a brother or a sister to go to school with him. And so that he can have someone to play with…It’s going to be heartbreaking for him to grow up and realize he hasn’t got a mummy. But he’s so happy. I’ve never seen a more contented child. And you have never seen two more contented people as David and I.