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Elton John confesses his ‘very real fear’ of his wig flying off mid-performance came dangerously close to a reality

Reiss Smith October 13, 2020
Elton John performing Auckland, wig intact

Elton John performing Auckland, wig intact. (Getty)

Elton John has recalled the time that he almost lost his hairpiece in the middle of an Australian concert earlier this year.

The singer recounts his wig’s “bid for freedom” in a new chapter of his autobiography Me for the book’s paperback release.

It came during a concert in Yarra Valley, Australia, this January, which was cut short after a heavy downpour hit the stage, damaging instruments and equipment and forcing John offstage.

“I’d just come back onstage to play ‘Funeral for a Friend’ — yes, that again — when I felt a spot of rain on my face,” Elton reads in an Instagram video.

“I would have have cursed the predictive powers of the region’s weathermen, but I suddenly found myself preoccupied by the challenge of attempting to play piano in the middle of the most torrential downpour I’d ever experienced in my life.

“Then the gale stared, which turned the rain horizontal. I could hear screams in the crowd, there were picnic baskets and chairs in the air.”

There seemed every chance that before the song was over, someone in Tasmania was going to find themselves wearing my wig.

Elton continued: “For the first in my life I became incredibly conscious of the fact that I was wearing a hairpiece. There seemed every chance that before the song was over, someone in Tasmania was going to find themselves wearing my wig.

“The very real fear that my hair was about to make a sudden bid for freedom was supplanted by confusion. What the hell was that noise coming out of the PA? I realised with horror that I was making it. I’d never heard what a grand piano filled with water sounded like before – I wasn’t missing much.”

Elton John’s hairpieces are legendary.

The singer writes in his book Me about the trials and tribulations of his hairline. He explains how he began wearing wigs after two botched hair transplants, and about how going bald left him hugely self-conscious.

In one notable passage, Elton shares an anecdote about waking up thinking he was being burgled.

As he went to confront the men he heard downstairs in his home, he rushed back to his bedroom to put on a wig, because “if I was going to be bludgeoned to death by intruders, at least I wouldn’t be bald when it happened”.

“Wig on, I went into the kitchen to find two workmen who’d been sent up to fix a leak,” he continues.

“They apologised profusely for waking me up. I couldn’t help noticing they were staring at me. Perhaps they were starstruck, I thought, as I headed back to bed.

“Stopping off in the bathroom, I realised that the workmen weren’t bedazzled by the sight of the legendary Elton John. They were bedazzled by the sight of the legendary Elton John with his wig on back to front.”

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