Elton John Talks About Being “Consumed” By Drugs During Onset Of AIDS Epidemic

This week gay icon Elton John talks to Today‘s Matt Lauer about his new memoir and discusses his career, his sexuality and his regret that he was “consumed” by drugs during the beginning of the AIDS crisis.

“I wasted such a big part of my life, when this epidemic was beginning to happen in the early 1980s. And I was a drug addict and self-absorbed,” he told Lauer from his home outside London. “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.

I was consumed by cocaine, booze, and who knows what else. I apparently never got the memo that the Me Generation had ended.

John told Lauer he feels guilty about that time, but “I’m making up for it. There is so much more to be done.”

Promoting his new memoir, Love is the Cure: On Life, Loss and the End of AIDS, the bewigged star also admitted his addictions led him to act recklessly:

“When you take a drug and you take a drink and you mix those two together, you think you’re invincible,” John  said. “I came out of this HIV-negative. I was the luckiest man in the world.”

Proceeds of Love is the Cure benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Elton John’s interview with Matt Lauer airs on NBC’s Today on Tuesday, July 17, and Wednesday, July 18. Photo: NBC