In 1984, a then 36-year-old Elton John got married to German sound engineer Renate Blauel, which seemed to be a whirlwind romance for both of them, considering the couple had just met only a year earlier while working on his Too Low for Zero album. The news of John’s marriage came as a total shock to the world, for not only had he come out as bisexual in a 1976 interview with Rolling Stone, but the musician had also once shared a five-year relationship with his manager John Reid. About his sudden nuptial, John explained, “I’d rather fall in love with a woman eventually because I think a woman probably lasts much longer than a man.”
Elton John and Renata Blauel kiss after getting married at St. Mark’s Church, Darling Point, February 14, 1984. Photo by Rick Stevens.
“It was Valentine’s Day, and Elton John was making one last attempt at being heterosexual” was the Daily Australian’s reflection upon the singer’s wedding. The couple’s marriage lasted four years, during which Blauel coped with the public eye while John struggled with his alcohol and drug addiction and sexuality. On their divorce announcement, People reported that both of them “genuinely intend to remain best of friends,” but that was only a vain hope as John confessed in the 1997 documentary Tantrum and Tiaras. “Even though I knew I was gay,” shared John in a 1992 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I thought this woman was attractive, and that being married would cure me of everything wrong in my life…”
Here are some photographs of John and Blauel on their wedding day in Sydney: