Sir Elton John has credited Zoom for preserving his sobriety by allowing him to stay connected with the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship during lockdown.
The legendary musician entered his 30th year of abstinence in 2020 after giving up alcohol and illegal substances in 1990 following decades of sustained abuse.
Now 73 years of age and a father to young sons Elijah and Zachary with husband David Furnish, Sir Elton says video conferencing software Zoom helped keep him engaged with the AA community while isolating at home with his family.
High praise: Sir Elton John has credited Zoom for preserving his sobriety by allowing him to stay connected with the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship during lockdown
Speaking to Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s first Archewell Audio podcast on Tuesday, the pianist insisted he didn’t know what he would have done had it not been for the increasingly popular piece of technology.
He said: ‘I’m a recovering alcoholic so I have an AA meeting from this house every Sunday. I connect with friends who I’ve known for over 30 years in the programme, and that’s great.
‘If it hadn’t have been for Zoom I don’t know what we would’ve done, I really don’t. Without Zoom… it’s been a lifesaver.’
Opening up: Sir Elton reflected on sobriety while speaking to Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s first Archewell Audio podcast on Tuesday
Sir Elton has been very open about his battle with alcohol and cocaine addiction, a habit which nearly derailed his career and cost him his life.
Reflecting on his wild past during a 2019 interview with Variety, he said: ‘The life I was leading, flying on the Starship, living in beautiful houses, buying things left, right and center — it was not a normal life.
‘I used to have spasms and be found on the floor and they’d put me back to bed and half an hour later I’d be doing the same. It’s crazy.
Old times: Sir Elton has been very open about his battle with alcohol and cocaine addiction, a habit which nearly derailed his career and cost him his life
‘I am a survivor. I’ve survived a lot of things. Life is full of pitfalls, even when you’re sober. I can deal with them now because I don’t have to run away and hide.’
Elton previously opened about his cocaine habit in his memoirs, which were serialised in the Daily Mail in October.
The star wrote: ‘I had started taking cocaine in 1974. I liked how it made me feel. That jolt of confidence and euphoria, the sense that I could suddenly open up, that I didn’t feel shy or intimidated, that I could talk to anybody.
‘That was all bull***t, of course. I was full of energy, I was inquisitive, I had a sense of humour and a thirst for knowledge: I didn’t need a drug to make me talk to people.
He went on: ‘My appetite for the stuff was unbelievable — enough to attract comment in the circles I was moving in.
Grateful: ‘If it hadn’t have been for Zoom I don’t know what we would’ve done, I really don’t,’ he said of his attachment to the video conferencing service during lockdown
‘Given that I was a rock star spending a lot of time in Seventies L.A., this was a not inconsiderable feat.
‘Once again, you might think this would have given me pause for thought, but I’m afraid the next 16 years were full of incidents that would have given any rational human being pause concerning their drug consumption.
‘That was the problem. Because I was doing coke, I wasn’t a rational human being any more. You become unreasonable and irresponsible, self-obsessed, a law unto yourself.
‘It’s your way or the highway. It’s a horrible drug.’
Anyone affected by this article can contact the Alcoholics Anonymous national helpline on 0800 9177 650.