Once his little rocket man… now worlds apart: How a young Elton John invited his five-year-old half brother – and biggest fan – to meet him backstage in the 1970s… before their lives took dramatically different turns
When Elton John catapulted to superstardom in the 70s, there was one tiny fan who was developing his own passion for music and dying to meet him; his half-brother, Geoff Dwight.
And that meeting did come when Geoff was five and Sir Elton 25, in Liverpool where Elton treated his estranged family to VIP backstage treatment at one of his shows.
Little else came of it. With a pair of mothers who didn’t get along and a 20 year age gap, it’s no wonder the half-brothers aren’t closer.
Their lives couldn’t be further from each other now. While Elton spends his days working closely with charities close to his heart, walking red carpets and attending royal weddings, Geoff lives hand to mouth in an alternative community in Ruthin, North Wales.
He faced Llandudno Magistrates’ Court yesterday where he was slapped with a £120 fine after he was found to be in possession of magic mushrooms.
Geoff Dwight (pictured), 56, of Borthyn, Ruthin, North Wales, pleaded guilty to possessing ‘magic mushrooms’ yesterday after they were found at his home in December 2021
Geoff Dwight (circled age seven) has barely been in contact with his famous half-brother Elton (right). Pictured with their father and siblings in 1973
Elton spends his days working closely with charities close to his heart, walking red carpets and attending royal weddings
Geoff was self-employed and earned an estimated £6,000 per year, but last year his income reduced to zero after his phone and computer were seized by police.
It’s unclear what he was doing for work, but over the years he’s told Daily Mail of the odd jobs he took to get by and feed his family.
He leads an alternative lifestyle in the picturesque vale of Clwyd making harps and yurts, as well as organising music festivals.
Money was once so tight he rented out his home and built a shed in the garden to live in for a year, worshipping Hare Krishna and living on vegetables donated by friends.
Geoff is happy with the life he leads. In 2010, he said he’d much rather ‘be Geoff Dwight than Elton John’, adding he had ‘all the riches’ he could want.
In 2021, Geoff was fined £200 for breaching coronavirus rules. Pictured: Outside his garden shed
Money was once so tight he rented out his home and built a shed in the garden to live in for a year, worshipping Hare Krishna and living on vegetables donated by friends
But as a teenager, he initially seemed poised to emulate his brother’s wild success.
He loved music – guitar, mainly – and earned an academic scholarship at an independent school but dropped out before graduating and fell in with the wrong crowd.
One bad decision led to another and, at 18, Geoff was given a four-year sentence for a bungled robbery.
Geoff wound up before the courts again in 2021, when he was fined £200 after breaching coronavirus rules by going to an illegal ‘rave’ with more than 200 revellers in the Welsh countryside.
At the time, he insisted the ‘Blackpearl’ event near Llandrillo was a private spiritual gathering that he had attended for many years.
His most recent infraction dates back to December 2021 but only made its way through the courts this week.
Appearing at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court, Dwight was fined £120 and ordered to pay £119 costs
Carrying a trident on his shoulder as he made his way into court, Geoff pleaded guilty to possessing the Class A drugs at his home. He was fined £120 and ordered to pay £119 in costs.
His defence solicitor Nia Dawson told the court: ‘A small amount of mushrooms were found in his premises. He had forgotten they were there. They are against the law.’
Geoff said his trident was a ‘religious’ pole representing Sheba and Britannia. It was not permitted inside the building. He did not speak about his famous brother.
And while it’s true that Geoff and Sir Elton have led hugely disparate lives and make for unlikely siblings, Geoff’s partner Karen told The Daily Mail in 2010 there is one thing they have in common; music.
‘Musical talent runs through this family,’ she said in the interview.
Sir Elton has never shied away from discussing his difficult relationship with his father, and some of his most heart wrenching childhood memories were documented in his biopic, Rocketman
Dwight criticised Rocketman, the biopic starring Taron Egerton (right) as Elton John, saying that their father (played by Steven Mackintosh, left) was portrayed as ‘cold’
Geoff added: ‘Our dad had his own swing band and our grandfather was a champion cornet player. And you should hear our brother Stan on the piano — he’s the real musical maestro of the family.
‘He once played one of Elton’s songs — I think it was Your Song, the best he ever did — and he was brilliant. You could put them back to back and you wouldn’t know the difference.’
But their taste in music differs. Geoff said at the time Sir Elton’s music wasn’t ‘exactly his cup of tea’, adding he only listened to his brother’s music when it inevitably comes on during a grocery shop or at the local pub.
‘There’s no ill feeling from me towards Elton,’ he said in a follow up interview in 2019. ‘Far from it. I love him but our paths have gone in different directions.’
His recollection of interactions with the star changed over time, too.
Geoff Dwight pictured at his home in Ruthin Denbighshire. Geoff is happy with the life he leads. In 2010, he said he’d much rather ‘be Geoff Dwight than Elton John’, adding he had ‘all the riches’ he could want
In the same interview he recalled that first encounter with his half-brother in 2010, he detailed the letters and Christmas cards Sir Elton would send their father and memories of the star popping around to play football with his siblings whenever he was in the area, bringing along with him gifts for the children.
In a subsequent interview, he said Sir Elton visited just once, arriving in a chauffeur-driven, cream-coloured Rolls-Royce.
They have spoken once in recent years, according to Geoff, when their father Stanley died.
Sir Elton had a well-documented strained relationship with their father, who walked out on Sir Elton and his mother when he was 14.
Pictured: Sir Elton in 2019
Geoff recalls going through ‘the rigmarole’ of tracking Sir Elton down through his label and management, hopeful of setting up a reunion for the father and son on Stanley’s deathbed.
It did not happen.
Sir Elton never attended his father’s funeral, though Geoff claims he was invited.
Sir Elton has never shied away from discussing his difficult relationship with his father, and some of his most heart wrenching childhood memories were documented in his biopic, Rocketman.
Geoff sees things differently, even though he hadn’t even been born during most of the moments Sir Elton recalls. He said: ‘My dad loved Elton very much, whatever Elton had said about him, and he was never angry with him, and he never, ever, uttered a word against him.’