The Elton John Story
Confession: I was once paid twenty quid to be in an Elton John video.
Twenty of your English pounds for a day which left me with mental scars of rejection and sexual deviancy that I fear will never heal. Damn you wiggy!
I was fourteen and in the scouts, camping out in a wood just outside Oxford with dozens of other scout troops from all over the country. It was one of those dodgy scout camps where the swimming pool was green, the climbing wall hadn't killed anyone for at least three weeks, and the camp fire talk was on the quality of the weed rather than ging-gang-goolies.
While our glorious leader played with his girlfriend's tits in a securely fastened bell-tent, we spent our time setting fire to things and trying to appear attractive to the neighbouring Girl Guide troop. In particular, there was a rather comely young thing called Sharon, who would meet your humble narrator in a quiet hollow for intense discussions on the state of the nation and the need for an increased morality in the nation's youth. And, following Skip's example, try to play with her tits. Baden-Powell would have had kittens.
And I might have gotten away with it too, if it were not for Elton Hercules John and his meddling ways! The Rocket Man had a single coming out, and in this MTV age, he needed a video to promote it. And, somewhere along the line, he decided that it would have teenage boys in it. Teenage boys in uniform, of which Boars Hill Scout Camp just outside Oxford had a plentiful supply running around trying to get off with Girl Guides.
A flunky turned up with a fleet of coaches at some ungodly hour of the morning, and after an endless drive into the countryside, we were herded into an aircraft hangar in the middle of nowhere. Once there, we were forced to run about in ancient scout uniforms - baggy shorts and wide-brimmed hats that smelled like they'd been rescued from the bottom of a swamp - for the cameras for about six hours by a bunch of luvvies wielding their best grooming poles.
To be frank, I wasn't entirely sure if there really WAS a pop video, but a grown man had thrust a newly-printed twenty pound note into my hand and that would go a long way toward impressing Sharon from Luton. And Elton, being virtually royalty, can be forgiven almost anything. The old queen.
It was all to no avail. The great man threw a hissy fit and didn't make an appearance - he famously loathes video shoots - and apparantly changed his mind about the whole thing soon after. I think he expected more nudity, dyb-dyb-dobbing and woggles, and the entire day's footage went unused. Unless you count its recent re-appearance on websites of a specialist nature.
My bid for stardom was thwarted, as were my chances with the lovely Sharon from 2nd Luton Guides, who had neglected to tell me that her troop had signed an exclusive deal with Whitney Houston, and would be striking camp immediately for the fresh fields of Bedfordshire.
I took the rejection like a man - the timely discovery of a stash of hardcore pornography works wonders for the broken-hearted. And good God, have you ever been to Luton?
Year down the line, however, it still rankles that Elton deprived me of a red hot summer of lust ...err... love where I too may have got my turn in the bell tent. I really feel I should be informing not only the Police over the nature of this episode, but also The News of the Screws and Popbitch.