Duran Duran Nearly Ruined Elton John’s ‘I’m Still Standing’ Video
Elton John found himself in the south of France in 1983, scheduled to shoot a promotional video for his song "I'm Still Standing."
Directed by Russell Mulcahy, the video was shot in Cannes and Nice on the Cote d'Azur, and choreographed by Arlene Phillips. But the colorful location, which yielded an equally bright clip, didn't mean the process was not without mishaps; at one point, some film was lost when Mulcahy and his camera fell into the ocean.
That was just the start. As it turned out, Duran Duran was also in town and ready to cause trouble.
"This was before Elton became teetotal, so he was still a steaming party animal. We went up to see him at his hotel and spent the afternoon getting blasted on martinis," Andy Taylor wrote in his 2008 book Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran.
"We decided it would be a laugh to get him drunk, and we were slinging the drinks down him. 'Ooh, you are lovely boys,' he screeched, loving every minute of it. We got him so drunk that eventually he went upstairs and threw a wobbler in his suite. It caused all sorts of chaos, but it was a great party."
John recounted his side of the story — or what he could remember — in his 2019 book, Me: Simon Le Bon asked him if he'd ever had a vodka martini. "I had not. Perhaps I should try one," he wrote. "Depending on who you believe, I had either six or eight more of them in the space of an hour, and a couple of lines of coke. I then apparently returned to the video set, demanded they begin running the cameras, took all my clothes off and started rolling around on the floor naked."
Watch Elton John's 'I'm Still Standing' Video
The nudity didn't end up in the video; neither did the punch John reportedly landed on his manager John Reid, who attempted to confront the singer about his drunkenness. "Some observers said it looked like I'd broken his nose," John recalled.
John's final escapade of the evening was to trash the hotel room of personal assistant Bob Halley. He saw the damage the following day. "'Fucking hell,' I said. 'What happened?'" John recalled. "There was a long pause. 'Elton,' he said eventually. 'You happened.'"
Seven years later, John got sober and turned his life around.