Romeo resplendent on an orange case

Originally released as a single (somewhere between Blue Moves and A Single Man), Ego is one of those obscure songs to which I tend to gravitate.  It’s about rock stars, fame and, of course, ego – something the boys know a little bit about – and evidence that they have a sense of humor about it all and can laugh at themselves.

Says Elton: “Ego was just something I had lying around, and I wanted to release it for a long time. Unfortunately, the time wasn’t right. It’s been disappointing. I really had hoped it would do well because I really liked it. I wrote the song jointly with Bernie Taupin, and we never thought of it as an autobiography until it came out. It’s about the silliness of rock ‘n’ roll stars, and the video film was supposed to show just how stupid rock ‘n’ roll can be. It’s the grotesque side of rock ‘n’ roll. And it’s turned out to be one of the most sincere songs we’ve ever written.”

The lyrics are actually quite biting, if you ask me:

Take a look at me now and take a look at my billing
I’m not in it as an extra, I’m in it for the killing
Inflate my ego gently, tell them heaven sent me
‘Cause I’m so expressive and I’m so obsessed with my ego
My ego and it’s message
Oh inform the press, invite the guests
I need the press tonight

Though most of us will never be rock stars (not even close), we’ve all experienced an ego moment or two:

Well maybe it was childish, foolish, before schoolish
Immaturish, lose your coolish
But I had to grow and prove my ego

My favorite lines from this tune (thank you, Bernie, for the eloquence of the line I chose for the title of this post):

Do you remember acting out your youth
A Romeo resplendent on an orange case
Do you remember how I would recite
And how I’d blow my lines and hide my face

(Don’t you just love his facial expressions?)

Ego (1978)