Mark Holden has had his fair share of knockdowns, but a chance at superstardom via pop legend Elton John - which was snatched from him after a nasty feud - might have been the biggest letdown of all.
A few years after the arrival of his son, he headed over to LA to be managed by John Reid, who also managed pop icon Elton John. Before he knew it, John has scouted the young Aussie expat.
'[Reid said] "Elton’s got a label called, Rocket Records, and would you be interested in signing,"' Holden told WHO's interview podcast, WHO ARE YOU. 'And I thought, "F--king hell, are you kidding?"'
But the excitement was short-lived after Holden – who admits he 'was unmanageable' flew to London and offended the Tiny Dancer singer immediately.
'[My manager Ricky and I] were picked up by a white Rolls-Royce at Heathrow and taken to Elton’s place and it was all going beautifully and then he was playing at the Wembley Stadium with the Eagles on their Hotel California tour, at their height.'
Following John’s gig, Holden and his manager made their way to an after-party. 'Everyone was asking, "What’d you think?" And everyone was going on about how fantastic Elton was – I thought the band was fantastic. I don’t think ... not so much about the piano player [Elton],"' Holden reveals. 'They never spoke to me again. I’d f--ked the whole thing up in less than 24 hours."'
Does he have any regrets?
'When I look back at it now, I go, "Oh my God, what a loss." To have Elton John writing for you, holy s--t."'
As a result, Holden looked for a career move miles away from London, this time in LA where he ended up writing songs for stars such as Belinda Carlisle, Donny Osmond and Fleetwood Mac.
Fast-forward to the Noughties and Holden had returned Down Under, working on Australian Idol for 10 years. But despite the tension between himself and Ian “Dicko” Dickson, Holden says, “I thought he was a bloody wanker to be honest ... [After] a night or two, of course, I loved the dude.
He was just trying to provide for himself and his family as I was trying to provide for myself and family.”
Hear Mark Holden's full interview via the WHO ARE YOU podcast.