The 'Your Song' singer - who has been sober for 29 years - was stunned when he saw the state of Bob Halley's room the morning after he'd been out with Duran Duran in Cannes, France, in June 1983, and even more shocked when his PA told him he was responsible for the damage.

He recalled: "[Bob] opened the door to reveal a scene of total devastation. There wasn't a single piece of furniture left intact, except the bed.

"Everything else was on its side, or upside down, or in pieces. Sitting among the splinters was a cowboy hat that Bob liked to wear. It was completely flat, like Yosemite Sam's after Bugs Bunny drops an anvil on his head.

" 'F***ing hell,' I said. 'What happened?' There was a long pause. 'Elton,' he said eventually. 'You happened.'

"What did he mean, I happened? I couldn't see how this had anything to do with me. The last thing I remembered, I was having an absolutely marvellous time. So why would I smash anything up? 'I was in the bar,' I said indignantly. 'With Duran Duran.'

"Bob sighed. 'Yes, you were,' he said. 'At first.' "

Elton - who was in Cannes shooting his 'I'm Still Standing' video - was advised by his new friend Simon Le Bon to order a vodka martini and he quickly got a taste for the drink, but it made him shed his inhibitions entirely.

He recalled in an extract from his new autobiography 'Me: Elton John' published in the Daily Mail newspaper: "Reports vary about precisely what happened next. I'm afraid I can't confirm or deny them because I don't really remember anything beyond thinking Duran Duran were enormously jolly company and noticing that the vodka martini had slipped down remarkably easily.

"Depending on who you believe, I had either six or eight more of them in the space of an hour, and a couple of lines of coke.

"I then apparently returned to the video set, demanded they begin running the cameras, took all my clothes off and started rolling around on the floor naked.

"My then manager John Reid was there, performing as an extra in the video, dressed as a clown. He remonstrated with me, an intervention I took very badly.

"So badly, in fact, that I punched him in the face. Some observers said it looked like I'd broken his nose. That explained why my hands hurt, but I was quite shocked. I had never hit anyone in my adult life before, and I never have since. I hate physical violence to the point that I can't even watch a rugby match."

Elton was eventually forced to get dressed but when Bob took him out of the studio and back to the hotel, he "smashed up" his assistant's room before "passing out" in his own.

After surveying the damage, the pair broke into laughter and the 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' hitmaker admitted he had no lasting consequences to his antics.

He continued: "Bob and I sat on the bed in hysterics. There was nothing to do other than howl with laughter at the awfulness of it all, and then make some apologetic phone calls.

"It was a day that should have made me think long and hard about how I was behaving.

"But, and you might be ahead of me here, it didn't work out that way at all.

"The main impact the events in Nice had on my life was that -- wait for it -- I decided to drink more vodka martinis."