A million selling National Treasure and worldwide megastar. A flower loving Charity founder. A close friend of Royals and a Sir into the bargain. A frequently used selection of colourful and pertinent epithets. Now, wind the clock back many decades - to the early seventies, when his own yellow brick road to stardom was just beginning. Reg Dwight - aka Elton John - was one of a then emerging flock of singer-songwriters.

Studious and incredibly talented.

A shy and almost vulnerable musical half of a potentially prolific partnership. Just a normal bloke. Just like you and me. Perhaps someone we'd like to make friends with. But he was hardly the hero. Then, in an effort to cast off any self-doubt and slowly emerge from deepest obscurity, he set about transforming his eyewear from the simple to the simply spectacular.

From Benjamin Franklin to horn rims

Gone was the Benjamin Franklin style of Empty Sky. Gone were the horn rims of his self-titled breakthrough album and the square dark tints that soon followed. In their place, a kaleidoscope of every conceivable colour, with styles that made you look more than twice. A once shy superstar in the making or was this an envoy from another world? You choose.

But in starting to climb his long, lonely and often precarious slope of pending stardom, I'll bet even the young Elton couldn't predict the vast array of future optical variations his world wide success would allow him.

Bucking the accepted trends of what was in and what was not, Elton set out to simply make a self-styled fashion statement. One which firmly became his trademark.

Wrong shape to be a rock idol

By his own admission, he was the wrong shape to be a rock idol. For a piano player, he had hands like a midget boxer and could barely stretch an octave. Yet in the years that followed, he shrugged off his shortcomings, stamped his own six inch heels on a musically sceptical world and never forgot to laugh at himself in the process.

Yet beneath all the glam and those huge glitzy frames and rainbow lenses, there was always that undisputed bedrock of immense musical talent. Success would've been impossible without it.

And Elton, the emerging star, effectively mixed both into a melting pot of optical showmanship and hard rock. Taking to the world's stage in massive white oval frames, what else could he choose other than bright orange lenses.

This, however, was only the beginning. Into his world came the Optique Boutique in Los Angeles and Elton had found the very establishment that would provide him with a collection of eyewear guaranteed to turn more than a few heads.

This was the ultimate toy shop and Elton owned all the keys to wind them. Making specs to order, no matter the style, the company supplied him with ski goggles, diamond encrusted frames, patriotic red white and blue lenses, and frames shaped like butterflies.

ZOOM, pianos, poodles and stars

Frames which proclaimed ZOOM, frames shaped like pianos, poodles and stars. Lenses shaped like hearts. But possibly the ultimate creation was the pair that spelled out his first name in tiny lights which flashed on and off. Glasses which proclaimed him as the indelible showman, and ones he was later to describe as the most uncomfortable ever owned because they weighed a ton. Diamonds, feathers, mink and solid platinum frames, Elton wore them all.

But if you think back to long before his beginnings as a pub pianist, he was a schoolboy who only began to wear glasses to emulate his idol of the moment - Buddy Holly. Could this have been the catalyst which decades later, transformed him from short sighted introvert to all-out optical extrovert.

Chances are we may never know. Yet one fact is crystal clear. At an age where he qualifies for a bus pass, but showing no signs of slowing down, his choice of eyewear has mellowed somewhat. His optical trademark has settled into maturity with "EJ" written in diamonds and inlayed into purple lenses. Too old to rock and roll?

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