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Elton John Says His Parents’ Arguments Led to ‘Big Spender’ Habit

Elton John said the roots of his “big spender” habit lay in the way he dealt with his parents’ frequent arguments growing up.

In a new interview with The Guardian, he looked back at the way collecting things offered him “solace” from the negative environment of an unhappy household when he was young.

“I’ve always been a big spender; I’m not ashamed of it,” John said. “It’s basically because I collect things, and I’ve loved decorating and putting things in rooms since I was a kid. … My parents argued a lot, so I was always coming down the stairs and wondering what the atmosphere might be in the living room, and I found refuge in the sanctuary of my bedroom, where my comics, my toys, my records, my books, all were pristine.”

He admitted that he “found incredible solace in inanimate objects, and I know it sounds crazy, but I wasn’t fearful of them. I felt safe with them. I felt completely happy in my bedroom with my things, and that stayed with me for the whole of my life. I envy people who can be minimalist. I go to someone’s minimalist house and I think, ‘This is incredible, but I just can’t do it!’”

Asked about his high-profile activism in support of LGBTQ+ issues, John stated: “I know I’m an oddball to have never felt any shame about who I am, to have never felt any fear, when a lot of people have such a hard fucking time of it because of their parents or the church or the culture they come from. … My activism is something that I can contribute, and it’s really important that music about gay subjects is heard, too. Pride month is really important for that, because people go out and celebrate their sexuality.”

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