Born to Rock - A Rocky Marriage
A Rocky Marriage
By the time Reggie was seven, his parents' marriage was beginning to fall apart. His father, Stanley, was rarely home because he had been promoted to squadron leader, which meant that he traveled most of the time. During the brief times Stanley was home, he did not actively participate in Reggie's life. Rather, Stanley was very quiet and withdrawn, rarely talking to Reggie or Sheila. In fact, even now Elton John regrets not having a close relationship with his father.
In effect, Reggie and his mother turned to one another for companionship. She was his biggest fan. They spent countless hours listening to the radio and practicing the piano. She would sit with him on the bench and cheer him on as he learned a new song. Even now, their relationship is one that they both cherish.
When Reggie was not practicing the piano, he was listening to the radio or watching television. During the mid-1950s, television boomed with great pianists, like Joe “Mr. Piano” Henderson and Russ Conway. But Reggie's favorite pianist was Liberace, from America. Liberace was known for his gaudiness, being flashy, colorful, and extravagantly dressed, and Elton John would later credit Liberace for his own outlandish flair.