The 55-year feud between Elton John and Rod Stewart – mean pranks, nasty taunts and a huge bust

On the occasion of his 75th birthday, we take a look back at Elton John’s love-hate relationship with fellow rocker Rod Stewart

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Rod Stewart calls Elton John’s resignation statement ‘dishonest’

Elton John and Rod Stewart have sustained one of the longest running fallouts in show business.

Though the veteran rockers have known each other for over 50 years, they are locked in a feud that has evolved from childish pranks to full-blown character assassination.

The feline couple have been handbags at dawn over the years and engaged in some spectacular altercations in a seemingly never-ending exchange of words.

As Elton celebrates his 75th birthday this weekend, let’s take a look at why Rod might not be one of the famous snakes to wish him well.

Elton John and Rod Stewart in happier times


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The football loving couple were pictured on the grounds of Vicarage Road, Watford in 1973


(Getty Images)

After launching their music career in the Swinging Sixties, Elton and Rod went from chart rivals to friends before amusing fans with an escalating series of pranks.

Rod said he considered Elton a “bitter enemy” but described their jibes started out on a “playful” level before things really got sour.

When Rod was hosting his Blondes ‘ave More Fun Tour in the 1970s, Elton made sure to put up billboards across the street that read “But Brunettes make more money.”

In another incident, Elton hired a sniper to shoot down zeppelins that Rod had hired to promote his music.

The couple loved to play pranks on each other


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“We had the worst fight, like a married couple. It went on forever,” Rod admitted beforehand, holding up his hands.

In the paperback version of his 2019 autobiography Me, Elton devotes an entire chapter to disliking Rod, and he gets some incredible digs at him along the way.

Elton told readers their disdain for each other reached boiling point when Rod plotted it during a TV appearance.

Elton devoted an entire chapter to the paperback version of his autobiography, Me on his dislike of Rod


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The crooner described Elton’s 300-date Farewell Yellow Brick Road farewell tour as “dishonest” and “stinks of ticket sales.”

Rod added that he would never dream of announcing his retirement from music so publicly as it’s not very “rock and roll.”

The public dig rocked Elton for months, and some time later he exacted his revenge in his uncompromising autobiography.

As he put pen to paper, he flinched: “I certainly didn’t feel like I needed a lecture on the wild spirit of rock ‘n’ roll from someone who’d spent the better part of the last decade basing himself on it.” singing through the Great American Songbook and Have Yourself A Merry Christmas.”

And he didn’t stop there…

“I certainly didn’t feel I needed a lecture on the wild spirit of rock ‘n’ roll from someone who’d spent most of the last decade singing his way through the Great American Songbook.”


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“He accused me of being dishonest about one of the biggest decisions of my life,” the hitmaker said.

“Also, I thought he had a damn cheek when he complained about me promoting a tour while he was on a TV show promoting his own tour.”

When the book came out, Rod apologized…in a way.

“She (Elton) doesn’t like me at the moment. I was completely out of order. Right, but completely out of order,” he told reporters.

Rod admitted his digs at Elton’s retirement tour were “out of order”.



Rod blamed his loose tongue on TV producers for dousing him with too much alcohol before the show.

“Four big shots of decent vodka and being a butcher I blew them all away.

“I said 300 dates in three years sounds a bit greedy to me. Look, I know where he’s from.

“He didn’t have two kids until very, very late in life, but I plan my tours around my kids. I think he will miss it. I can’t wait for the next show.”

Rod said Elton resents his kids coming and playing football on his pitch


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Rod didn’t want to take Elton’s calls


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Rod pleaded for peace by inviting Elton’s young sons to play soccer at his personal pitch, an olive branch, which the Rocketman singer flatly refused.

In November 2020, a small thaw appeared in Elton’s resentment when he said he hoped to end disagreements with his old pal in time for Christmas.

He promised to send Rod a card and give him a “big hug” but later admitted, “I ended up just emailing his assistant.

“It said, ‘I wanted to pee at first, but we’ve known each other so long it’s water under the bridge. Who cares? Good luck with your new album’.”

Any hopes of speaking face-to-face were quickly dashed when Rod retorted that he would now only speak to Elton in interviews.

“I’ve published something and it’s going to be in the evening papers and he’s going to say something in our morning papers. That’s how we fight our battles,” he explained.

There is still hope for the couple….


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Elton said he tried speaking to Rod in person to smooth things over, but received a message from Rod’s manager that he had “constant voice silence” between his shows and was unable to speak.

“That seemed fair enough until I realized that his complete voice rest didn’t stop him from going on more chat shows and radio programs that labeled me a ‘moneymaker’ and a slag [my film] Rocketman,” Elton scolded.

“He was happy enough to chat about Loose Women, he just didn’t want to talk to me.

“I haven’t heard from him since… It just seems very strange and sad, not least because it took away an opportunity to point out how much better my tour is selling.”

In another glimmer of hope for the two friends’ reunion, just before New Year’s Day 2021, Rod was asked what he would say to Elton while he was appearing on a US chat show.

“I love you baby,” Rod replied.

“Just good luck and I’m so damn annoyed you have a number one album.”

The Maggie May star, 76, told viewers: “I miss him. He just had hip surgery so I wish him the best. We still love each other.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/elton-john-rod-stewarts-55-26556867 The 55-year feud between Elton John and Rod Stewart - mean pranks, nasty taunts and a huge bust

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