You won't find Elton John, who's drawing raves for his new album, Songs From the West Coast, cozying up to the Dalai Lama and calling for compassion for the terrorists, as Richard Gere has.
"Forget the f---ing Dalai Lama. It's a f---ing joke," the British singer/songwriter tells Us Weekly, when asked about the current world crisis. "The Dalai Lama is all about, supposedly, peace. Now, I love the idea of that. We all would love to have peace. I have contributed to things that the Dalai Lama has been involved with, like there's Trudie Styler, my friend, Sting's wife, who does this Tibetan Peace Garden in London, which is a great idea.
"But you know, in times of war and times of aggravation, where is this peacemaking man when you need him? F---ing nowhere to be seen. And that says it all: F---ing asshole," he says, laughing uproariously.
John, who calls the Taliban "the Anti-Christ" and supports the U.S.-led strikes on Afghanistan, says, "I'm not a Bush supporter, but I wouldn't have wanted to be in his shoes for all the money in China."
‘Music Saved My Life’
He tells Us Weekly that his love of music is what has sustained him through the ups and downs of his career. "I think the secret of why I'm still enjoying [making music] is that basically I've always been a fan. … Music saved my life, you know. I did still go out there and make records when I was at my lowest … when I was at my most addicted, because I wanted to compete, I wanted to hear stuff.
"Music's been my kind of soul mate for the whole of my life. It's been my partner. It's been my wife, really, or whatever it is, since I was three or four," he says.
‘Not Worthy’ of Tributes
However, the 54-year-old says that being honored for his illustrious career makes him uncomfortable. "I hate those things," says John. "They did that at the Music Cares thing. And it was very nice, but I think, "I'm not worthy," he said of the 2000 tribute that recognized him for his philanthropic work in raising money for AIDS research.
Now that he's clean and sober, John says he doesn't regret being a "f---ed-up rock star." "I wasn't the right sort of f---ed-up rock star. Jimi Hendrix could write great things under the influence of LSD or whatever he was taking — but it didn't really suit me."
Perhaps surprisingly, John didn't compare drug experiences with actor Robert Downey Jr., who lip-synchs John's latest, "I Want Love," in the song's video. "Robert's very talented, one of my favorite actors, a brilliant actor. [It] might seem that people should say [to Robert] 'Why don't you just get your act together?' but drugs aren't like that, addiction isn't like that. Only he can do it."