Rod Stewart’s outrageous reaction when Elton John married ex-wife Renate Blauel
Rod Stewart had a few choice words when Elton John phoned him to say he’d tied the knot with Renate Blauel in 1984
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Over the decades, Rod Stewart and Elton John have made no secret of their rivalry, which often veers between friendly ribbing to all-out feuding.
Their most recent spat kicked off two years ago when Rod, 75, accused Elton, 73, of trying to cash in with one last tour before he retires.
“It’s dishonest. It’s not rock and roll,” Rod sniped.
Elton raged about the fall out in his autobiography, Me – calling Rod a hypocrit.
“I certainly didn’t feel like I needed a lecture on the feral spirit of rock and roll from someone who’d spent most of the last decade crooning his way through the Great American Songbook and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” Elton said.
“What’s more, I thought he had a f***ing cheek, complaining about me promoting a tour while he was sat on a TV show promoting his own tour.”
Their friendship was first formed in the Seventies, when Rod – who married second wife Rachel Hunter 30 years ago today – and Elton were pop stars on the ascendant.
And in a groundbreaking and unapologetic interview with Rolling Stone in 1976, Elton hinted at being bisexual.
“I’d rather fall in love with a woman eventually because I think a woman probably lasts much longer than a man,” he said.
“But I really don’t know. There’s nothing wrong with going to bed with somebody of your own sex. I think everybody’s bisexual to a certain degree. I don’t think it’s just me.”
Then in 1982, Elton met German sound engineer Renate Blauel while working on his album, Too Low for Zero.
After 18 months he reportedly popped the question over curry at a restaurant in Sydney, Australia, and they married a week later at St Mark’s Church in nearby Darling Point.
Oysters were flown in from New Zealand for the extravagant event where the menu included lobster, prawns, scallops, salmon, and a 1978 Le Montrachet Chateau des Hebeaux Jacques Prieur.
The bride wore a white satin gown with a heart-shaped pendant containing 63 diamonds which Elton gave her as a wedding present.
Rod wasn’t invited to the nuptials and was floored by the latest development in his friend’s life when he found out.
Revealing his incredulous reaction in his 2012 autobiography, Rod wrote: “Elton rang me and said, ‘I’ve got married dear. To a woman.’
“To which the only possible response was, ‘what the f***?’
“He said, ‘I thought it was the right thing to do dear.'”
Elton and Renate’s marriage lasted just four years, with the Tiny Dancer singer later stating his drug addiction was partly to blame.
After quitting drugs through a 12-step programme in the early Nineties, he told the Los Angeles Times: “Even though I knew I was gay, I thought this woman was attractive and that being married would cure me of everything wrong in my life…
“When you take that amount [of drugs and alcohol], you can’t have any relationship.”
But his love for Renate, he said, had been deep and completely genuine.
“I loved Renate. She’s a great girl. I really, really loved her. But, you know. It is one of the things I regret most in my life, hurting her,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2007.
“She was the classiest woman I’ve ever met, but it wasn’t meant to be. I was living a lie.”
Elton went on to marry David Furnish in December 2005 before they welcomed sons Zach, nine and Elijah, eight.
Meanwhile, Renate retreated from the spotlight to live anonymously and recently settled a £3million lawsuit with Elton after she accused him of breaking the terms of their divorce deal by discussing their marriage in his autobiography, Me, and the film Rocketman.
In defence, he said the details covered were public knowledge and that the agreement only covered “private and confidential matters.”
A joint statement on behalf of the former spouses read: “The parties are happy to announce that they have resolved this case, in a way that acknowledges Renate’s need for privacy.
“For her part, Renate acknowledges that Elton has acted in a dignified and respectful way towards her in the last 30 years and has been always happy to help her.