Love Is The Cure
Subtitled On Life, Loss and The End Of AIDS, Elton John’s book would be a disappointment to anyone expecting a memoir that hurtled through his career of hits and looked at his prodigious drug taking and reckless lifestyle. Instead, the Rocket Man tells of the time he was inspired to create his charity, The Elton John AIDS Foundation. He tells of losing friends to the disease, of being inspired by meeting a young boy who had contracted HIV through a blood transfusion.
Love Is The Cure is a book about AIDS – about what has been done and about what needs to be done to try to control and slow the spread of the disease. It is not a book about Elton John’s music. But it is still a book about Elton John.
It’s unlikely that every Elton John fan will want to take on this book but many will find it an interesting survey of the AIDS epidemic – and I was impressed with Elton’s efforts in writing the book; a book that details the efforts he has made to fight back against AIDS. But this is not a self-serving account, this is not a back-pat, nor a plea to have anyone applaud Elton for his efforts. It’s a tale of concern; it’s an account of how meeting Ryan White changed Elton John. Ryan White was the young boy who had contracted HIV due to a contaminated blood transfusion. In 1985 White was the subject of a magazine article. He died in 1990. When he died Elton decided to clean up his own act, to kick his lifestyle of booze and drugs, to get help for his depression. Elton had befriended Ryan and his family; he had been so inspired by the strength that Ryan had shown in the face of extreme prejudice.
Love Is The Cure doesn’t have all the answers – but it’s a well-intentioned book. And it’s a strong message from a superstar using his name and money for a cause he believes in. For that it’s a worthy book.