Sir Elton John has joked he’d “kill (himself)” if he has to perform Crocodile Rock again.

The Rocketman star is retiring from touring and once his final concerts ” which have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic ” have taken place, he wants to take on a small residency somewhere and play the more obscure tracks from his back catalog because he’s tired of playing the same hits night after night.

“I’m lucky to have so many great songs to play every night. But there is a point in time where you think, ‘I don’t really want to play this anymore’,” he told Record Collector magazine. “There are things like Original Sin or (Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket that I haven’t really played before – not enough anyway. But if I have to go back and play Crocodile Rock again, it’s like, ‘I’m gonna kill myself.’

“So, after I’ve finished this tour, I don’t want to play some of these songs any more. I’d like to do something like Kate Bush, where I can do a show and play some of these songs that are deep cuts.”

The Tiny Dancer hitmaker has performed with a number of huge artists over the years, and remembers being in the presence of “true greatness”, which was often so overwhelming, he was “frightened”.

“I just loved (Aretha Franklin). She sang her last show at our AIDS Foundation event in 2017, at St. John The Divine Cathedral,” he recalled. “I’ll never forget it, because I was standing by the stage with Roseanne Cash and Sheryl Crow and we were just crying because she was playing the piano and she was so ill and yet she came on and did Bridge Over Troubled Water.

“And afterward, she said, ‘This is it I’m never going to sing again – this is the last thing I’ll ever do.’ “But those are the moments you know you’re with true greatness. Sometimes that’s frightening.”