Sunday, September 30, 2007
Michael Chugg is thrilled to announce that Melbourne teen and local soul sensation, Eran James, has been confirmed as the support act for Elton John’s upcoming solo tour of Australia – dubbed “A Knight Under the Stars”. Eran will be joining the Rocket Man himself on stage for 10 shows as he plays some of the countries most spectacular venues this November and December.
Eran, known for his honest and heartfelt tunes, was selected from a number of hopeful local and international artists vying for the coveted spot, and for an opportunity to share a stage with one of the greatest pop musicians of our time.
And the timing couldn’t be better for Eran, who is due to release his much anticipated sophomore album, “Ten Songs About Love” on 6th October.
Eran’s debut album “Reviewing The Situation” caught the attention of some of the worlds best record makers who couldn’t wait to come on board to work on “Ten Songs About Love”. At 18 years old, who could turn away offers of work from acclaimed producers Jay Newland (Norah Jones, Missy Higgins) and Tom Nichols (Celine Dion, Britney Spears).
Newland, who helmed Norah Jones' 20-million-selling debut album “Come Away With Me”, described Eran as ‘the authentic article, the real deal’. Collaborating with songwriters and musicians who have worked with the likes of Al Green, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley, Eran’s growth as an artist is clear. His understated soul-pop vision and incredible voice are set to win him new fans across the nation when he opens for Sir Elton John.
Eran is understandably thrilled at the opportunity; “Singing alongside the legend Sir Elton John is going to be a career highlight”, he said. “I feel very lucky & privileged to be sharing the stage with him…. It really is surreal to have been chosen as the support... Elton is a musical legend & inspiration. This tour is going to be amazing.”
The final itinerary for the Elton John tour took some time to roll out, with just five shows confirmed when Sir Elton’s visit was first announced on 29th July. With early sell out shows for the Hunter Valley and Victoria, and passionate demands from Queensland and Tasmanian locals it was only a matter of time before those five shows became ten.
Michael Chugg has been elated at the response from the fans; “It is truly an exciting occasion to take an icon, Sir Elton John, to parts of Australia who never get to see acts like this. The fans wanted it, and with the nod from Elton, we answered the call. These are going to be very special shows.”
This is a rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s greatest pop musicians, with one of Australia’s most exciting emerging talents - If you’ve secured your ticket; it’s time to get excited. It you haven’t yet, be quick, you wouldn’t want to miss this.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Women sported giant flashing glasses and pulled feather boas from around their necks to wave at the stage. Men - well, men didn't.
But they all stomped their feet, hooted and swayed Friday night to Sir Elton John, who put a grand piano through a test-drive like no other and brought nearly 8,000 people to their feet countless times in a concert at a sold-out Adams Center.
From “Rocket Man” to “Philadelphia Freedom” to “Levon” to “Bennie and the Jets,” the thousands lucky enough to get tickets - i.e., those who didn't stand in line at ticket outlets - cheered loudly as John and his five-member band performed under an umbrella of red, white and blue (and yellow and purple and green and pink and turquoise) lights.
The Missoula concert kicked off John's latest tour, which will take him to Bozeman Saturday; Casper, Wyo., Sunday; and Tokyo, Sydney, Cape Town and Johannesburg before it's over.
“It's only taken us 38 years to get to Montana, but I suspect it was worth it,” John told the crowd. “It's been on my things-to-do list.”
Taking the stage at 8:01 p.m., John - decked out in a sequined black duster, red blouse, large cross and very ordinary sized pair of glasses - opened with “Funeral for a Friend,” then launched the crowd into a frenzy with “The Bitch is Back.”
Taking it all in from the two best seats in the house were Brian and Tifeny Solan of Kalispell.
What strings did they pull to get Row 1, Seats 1 and 2, about 10 feet from Elton John's piano bench?
“We didn't even have tickets five days ago,” Tifeny said.
“We went online (when tickets went on sale Sept. 5) but had no luck,” Brian said.
Then, a few days ago, a “friend of a friend” offered to sell them two extra tickets.
“They were way up there,” said Tifeny, turning to point to the far reaches and nosebleed section of the Adams Center.
As they made their way to their seats, a man with a handful of tickets stopped them.
“He said, ‘You look like you like to have fun,' ” Brian said. The man, who works for John and the band's Rocket Man Tour, handed the Solans tickets to the first two seats in the front row.
“I'm still not sure if I believe it,” Tifeny said.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Elton John and Madonna are set to collaborate on a new record to mark their recent reconciliation.
Elton, who recently apologised for accusing Madonna of lip-synching during her world tour, now hopes they can work together in the recording studio.
He is quoted as saying: "Madonna is a great artist and I think I shoot my mouth off too much really. Who wouldn't want to work with her?"
A music insider said: "If Elton and Madonna did decide to work together, anything they recorded would be a sure-fire hit. Let's hope they really have managed to put their differences behind them for good."
Elton and Madonna revealed they had healed their rift at GQ magazine's Men of the Year Awards earlier this month.
As he introduced Madonna at the ceremony, Elton said: "This is a moment you thought you'd never see".
Elton and Madonna then hugged, before he added: "I have written a grovelling apology and offered to join the Kabbalah!"
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Rolo Producciones and Rider Producciones, the production companies for the concert, announced Monday that, while the British singer will not be performing in Tenerife in November, as was previously foreseen, he will perform in Tenerife next year.
The reason for the postponement, says the release, is due to a change in the venue for the concert, made after conversations with the artist's representatives, who visited Tenerife recently to finalize preparations.
Last week, the technicians who accompany John on his tour agreed with the production company to change the venue to the Institución Ferial de Tenerife (International Fairs and Congress Center), in Santa Cruz.
Once all the details have been worked out and they synchronize diaries to find the dates that both the Fairs and Congress Center and Elton John are available, it's expected that they will communicate the new date.
PLEASE BE ADVISED: THIS EVENT IS NOT OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED.
Elton John fans have a new and improved social networking outlet for keeping up with their favorite performer.
Elton's MySpace page (www.myspace.com/eltonjohn) has launched and has everything the new-millennium Elton fan could ask for, including Elton desktop wallpapers, Instant Messenger icons, videos, song clips, news, tour dates and more. It is the only MySpace page affiliated with Elton and eltonjohn.com.
Sign up as a friend and you'll get the inside track to all the important Elton information that's out there.
Then keep checking back and watch as Elton's MySpace presence continues to grow.
Before they got to the business agenda at this week’s Elton John AIDS Foundation board meeting in New York, long-time friends Billie Jean King and Elton John took care of some important tennis business. King and John selected their teams for their upcoming charity tennis event – Advanta WTT Smash Hits on October 10 at Villanova University near Philadelphia.
The 15th annual Advanta WTT Smash Hits is a co-ed tennis event utilizing the WTT format. Elton John will open the evening with a celebrity doubles match before the two teams of top professionals hit the courts for five sets of WTT action. John and King will each coach a team.
“My team has been on a winning streak for five years so Elton really wants to beat us this year,” said King. “He loves tennis and knows so much about the game so he was very focused on putting together a winning lineup. Of course, I think I’ve got a team that can beat him. We’re close friends, but very competitive. It will be a great night of tennis.”
Elton John went for power and experience in his lineup. American newcomer John Isner and his 140mph serves will join veteran Lindsay Davenport on Team Elton. Davenport, who gave birth to her son Jagger in June, has staged an impressive comeback this summer. The new mom played World TeamTennis for the Sacramento Capitals just six weeks after giving birth. In her first singles competition since her son was born, Davenport, a former number one and three-time Grand Slam singles champion, won the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event in Bali earlier this month.
Two-time doubles Grand Slam champion Anna Kournikova and US Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe round out the music superstar’s team.
The lineups will set the stage for some interesting matches, especially in singles. King will rely on Andy Roddick to out duel Isner in a serving showdown. Roddick, who last weekend led the US Davis Cup team to a semifinal win over Sweden, holds a 1-0 edge over Isner on the ATP Tour. He defeated Isner in the finals of the Washington, D.C. ATP event this summer.
The WTT co-founder also selected an American up-and-comer, 17-year-old Madison Brengle of Dover, Del. Brengle, who recently turned pro, reached the girl’s singles final at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2007.
Joining Roddick and Brengle on Team Billie Jean are doubles standout Corina Morariu and former French Open doubles titlist Luke Jensen.
In its 15-year history, Advanta WTT Smash Hits has raised more than $8 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Proceeds from this year’s event and a pre-match auction will also benefit a Philadelphia area charity, ActionAIDS. Tickets for the event are available at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (215) 336-2000.
TEAM ELTON: Elton John (coach), Lindsay Davenport, John Isner, Anna Kournikova and Patrick McEnroe.
TEAM BILLIE JEAN: Billie Jean King (coach), Andy Roddick, Madison Brengle, Luke Jensen and Corina Morariu.
The trouble with hosting the Enduring Vision/Elton John Aids Foundation gala at the Waldorf-Astoria this year was that President George W. Bush was staying there after speaking at the United Nations, and a few of the guests seemed to go through the wrong entrance.
“Little did we know he was here,” said Sharon Osbourne of the president . “We went down his red carpet. There was all this military with nice shiny badges—“
“Nice guns,” said Ozzy.
“I thought, ‘Oh, this is posh.”
Fortunately the couple made it to the correct side of the hotel, where they, along with Harry Slatkin and Chopard’s Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele were honored for their support of the EJAF (“All we do is buy a table every year and have a f---ing good time,” Sharon said modestly). The rest of the crowd, including Deeda Blair, Vera Wang, Blaine Trump and Steve Schwarzman was treated to a powerful performance by K.D. Lang, who nearly brought the house to tears with her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” John belted out his hit “Levon” in tribute to Uma Thurman’s son of the same name, and the actress sang along from her seat where she nuzzled new beau Arki Busson.
Of course, you do have to love a host who can acknowledge when the evening is not exactly perfect. “I’d like to announce that the first course is on its way to the Federal Drug Administration to figure out what it was,” John said to the crowd in reference to the gelatinous tomato and mozzarella starter. “My sincere apologies. That qualifies as the worst thing I’ve ever eaten at one of these events.”
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
A photograph by a controversial American artist which is part of Elton's private collection has been seized by police from a gallery on suspicion it may have breached child pornography laws.
The image, which featured two young girls one of whom was sitting down with her legs apart, was taken by the renowned photographer Nan Goldin.
The picture is from her Thanksgiving series, on display through January 6, 2008, at the Baltic Centre For Contemporary Art.
But the day before it was to be seen, Tyneside cops came and removed the image over fears it could be breaking the law.
It is thought that one of the assistant directors at the centre called in the authorities last Thursday after a private view, concerned some could be offended.
The photo is now being examined by lawyers at the Crown Prosecution Service.
Officials at the gallery confirmed that the officials were involved but refused to say who had decided the picture should be removed.
Peter Doroschenko, the director of the gallery, said: "I'm afraid I can't comment on this."
Claire Byers, the communications director, said: "The police are involved in this incident and we are fully cooperating with their inquiries. That is all I can say on this at the moment."
Elton himself was unavailable for comment, but a source said the work was inside a book, adding:
"It wasn't actually going to be displayed but was part of the wider body of work in the exhibition.
"The managers were concerned about it and called the police in to ask their advice."
The Point 94.1, Direct Buy of Little Rock, and All About Travel have your chance to see Elton John live in New Zealand on December 6 th. And, you’ll get to meet him after the show! Grand prize includes round trip airfare for two, hotel accommodations for 7 nights, car rental, premier Elton John concert tickets, backstage meet & greet passes, $2000 spending cash, and a new set of luggage. And, All About Travel will custom design your trip! The contest starts Monday, September 24 and ends on Friday, October 23, 2007. There are three ways to qualify:
1. Signup at Direct Buy of Little Rock on Colonel Glenn or All About Travel on West Markham.
2. Play “Rocket Man Trivia” with Kevin, Jennifer, and Eric weekday mornings from 6 to 10.
3. Anytime you hear an Elton John song, be the 7 th caller at 433-0094 or 1-800-844-0094.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
It's Broadway or bust for a group of locals. They spent today rehearsing for the world premiere of Tumbleweed Connection, a musical that mixes the songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin with a story of war, duty and betrayal.
We talked to the writer of the show who hopes to bring the show all the way to the Big Apple, New York City.
This rehearsal is more than two decades in the making.
"I wrote the first draft of this show 25 years ago when I was 17-years-old."
Back then, Chris Kahn was a senior at San Luis Obispo High School. He now lives in Los Angeles but decided the Central Coast was the perfect place for the world premiere of Tumbleweed Connection.
"When I came up here and saw some of the productions that were being done here, and work was being done by this creative community, I figured it would be a good place to start the process of the musical."
Kahn hopes that process will end in a grand finale on Broadway, and he's invited some big names to help make that happen.
"Elton John's been invited, Bernie Taupin has been invited, a number of celebrities that I know from Los Angeles."
But the real stars are Kahn's family. Four of his sisters are cast in the show.
"Oh my gosh, I could not be more proud. I think I am my brother's biggest fan and so it's about time I get to be a part of something he's been working on," said sister Karen Kahn Pearson.
One family member isn't able to attend the show, but is the heart and soul behind every note. Kahn's mother recently passed away.
"So many people involved in this program knew my mother very well. She was very supportive of this community, and of this group of people in particular, and I know that they'll be performing with her in their hearts," said Chris.
"This is definitely for our mom, we know that she's here every single second," said Karen.
Bringing Tumbleweed Connection to life has been a long and sometimes difficult road. But for the cast and crew of this musical the journey is just beginning.
The show opens on October 19 at the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande.
Monday, September 24, 2007
The 'Rocket Man' singer, who has successfully battled drink and drug addictions in the past, is concerned about the 25-year-old star's recent wild behavior and has given her his support.
Sources claim Elton has offered Britney - who was recently ordered by a court to take twice-weekly drug tests to prove she's a suitable mother to her two young sons - a private place to stay, away from the paparazzi who hound her.
One source said: "Elton has been watching Britney spiraling out of control over the past few years.
"He has decided enough is enough and reckons he has plenty of experience in the business to help her.
"He feels so sorry for her because she had fame at such a young age and hasn't handled it well."
It is not the first time Elton has offered his support to a fellow star.
In 1997, the 60-year-old musician and his partner David Furnish "kidnapped" Robbie Williams to take him to rehab after the 'Angels' singer binged on heroin, cocaine and ecstasy.
Robbie said of the experience: "I was sandwiched by two people in the back of the car, so I wouldn't try to commit suicide or run off. Elton tried to do a lot for me and I didn't thank him enough. But what he did was weird.
"Elton tried to do what he thought was best, and obviously that came from a very loving place. But the whole thing for me is tarnished with the lack of professionalism."
Elton also offered troubled star Amy Winehouse the use of his spiraling mansion after her recent drugs overdose.
What can you write about Elton John that hasn't been written before? The man whose music has been the soundtrack of my life, along with countless millions of others, whose songs I've been singing since I first stood in front of the bathroom mirror with a hairbrush for a microphone, tonight walked through his own life in a revealing 90-minute resumé of his career that touched on every up and every down of the past 40 years.
From Daniel to Your Song, from Renate to David, from Watford to the Aids Foundation, no tern was left unstoned, and neither was Elton.
The format, pretending to whisk the Rocket Man away from a live performance to a surreal studio where he sat alone surrounded by whiteness, occasionally having backdrops literally back-dropped around him and where from time to time he got to wander through archive footage of his own life and the events that have filled it in public and in private, was a little too pretentious with its cartoon snaking stars and its glitter.
But for all that, when it came down to it the man himself was disarmingly candid. About his early career, his serendipitous meeting with Bernie Taupin and their almost inhumanly prolific writing partnership, particularly in those early years. About how he cracked America at the first try, even though his first tour had only booked six dates because he didn't expect to do very well, and how that first tour had also been the occasion of another more personal first in the bedroom.
The Elton John that sat before us tonight is clearly more comfortable in his own skin that at any previous time in his life. He described falling in love with Renate, to the total confusion of his closest friends, and how they still love each other to this day even though recognising that it's one of those things that can't be. The pain of separation and divorce now behind them (at least from his perspective), he looks back on that time with fondness, some measure of regret for the pain that was caused, but none for the fact that it happened.
He wryly describes the excesses of the late 80s and early 90s, helped by footage from David Furnish's first documentary Tiaras and Tantrums, when at his worst he was taking a line of cocaine every four minutes and realised if he continued he was surely going to kill himself. In a lucid moment of not wanting to die, he checked in for treatment and, with the help of nurses, family and friends, beat his cocaine, marijuana and drink addictions and began the long slow process of getting his act together.
Now clean, Elton went on to even greater heights of professional acclaim with his movie soundtrack to Lion King and score for Billy Elliot the musical, and similar heights in his personal life, meeting and eventually marrying his long-term partner Furnish.
Elton's music, together with Bernie Taupin's lyrics, ran like a golden thread throughout the 90 minutes, while he was seen "meeting" old friends like the Beatles, Freddie Mercury, Rod Stewart, Diana Princess of Wales and many more. The more private man, the man who spent a week at the hospital where a boy was dying of AIDS after receiving an infected blood transfusion, the man whose life was effectively saved through his involvement with Watford FC which gave him a fresh perspective on the world, was also held up for our scrutiny in this most complete of retrospectives.
No man reaches the age of 60 without some regrets and Elton, having lived life more fully than most, has a bigger bucketful of regrets. But tonight's programme showed us that it is possible to come through the wasteland of excess, through drugs, drink, self-absorption, colossal profligacy and ego, and still have intact a kernel of humanity that, when released from the many addictions that great wealth and fame permit, can allow a man to make amends. To continue to make great music and also to give something back to those less fortunate and in great need.
Thousands of Elton John fans fretted and fumed last week as they tried to buy tickets for Elton John’s big band concert in Santa Cruz in November.
The city council and Rolo Productions, who signed the megastar up on Thursday, August 30, had hoped to have the tickets on sale during the week. But, as the days went by without even an announcement on Elton John’s website, fans began to doubt whether the concert would really happen. Santa Cruz Council, however, has repeated its assurance that the concert WILL take place on November 17 in the Parque Maritimo in front of the Cabildo building All fans will need is a little patience to await tickets going on sale.
The early alert – and resulting fan frustration – was no doubt caused by the excitement felt by Santa Cruz Council at pulling off the heavily subsidised coup.
“This is just the beginning,” said exultant mayor, Angel Llanos as soon as the deal was clinched between Rolo Productions and Elton John.
“This will be the first of three great spectacles of worldwide interest that the city council hopes to present during the next few months.”
Negotiations are also under way for concerts in Tenerife by Sting and Dire Straits.
But many fans began to believe that it was all a dream too far when they tried to buy tickets – at thealmost unbelievably cheap advertised price of from €30 for standing spectators and €100 for VIP seating. None of the usual ticket outlets had them for sale and there was no mention of the concert on the official Elton John website.
The editor of the site responded to enquiries with an unequivocal statement that Elton John would NOT be appearing in Tenerife this year.
But perhaps he was being kept in the dark. A apokesman for Santa Cruz Council reiterated the conviction that the megastar had definitely signed on the dotted line on Thursday, August 30, and would be bringing his Big Band concert direct from Las Vegas to perform on Saturday, November 17.
It will mean a tight squeeze for Elton John’s crowded itinerary. The concert will have to be fitted in between the last of a series of his outrageously romantic Red Piano shows in Las Vegas on November 5 and a scheduled solo concert in Tokyo on November 20.
The tight schedule presents huge logistical difficulties, with the star demanding to have nine pianos to be flown in the day before, along with his 72-strong entourage, and all the equipment packed into 15 containers.
But Rolo Productions and the council are confident it can and will be pulled off. An announcement is expected next Monday giving firm details of exactly when and where tickets will go on sale.
So get ready for the rush and check out the Caja Canarias website, general tickets.com/cajacanarias/, and other usual outlets including El Corte Ingles and Sonora disco shops.
THIS CONCERT IS CURRENTLY CANCELLED BY ELTON'S MANAGEMENT, IT WILL REMAIN CANCELLED UNTIL AN OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT IS MADE.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
5-time Grammy winner will help coliseum kick off anniversary celebration
Elton John, one of the world's top-selling, most recognizable musicians, will perform Nov. 9 at the North Charleston Coliseum.
"It is a privilege to have a superstar performer of Elton's status return with his band for the kickoff of our 15-year anniversary celebration at the coliseum," Dave Holscher, general manager for the coliseum, said Friday.
It's the first time John has played the coliseum since he sold out a show there on Oct. 14, 1997.
Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947, in the suburbs of London.
A former student of the Royal Academy of Music in London, his early career began to blossom in the mid-1960s with the formation of his first group, Bluesology. Dwight pulled his stage name from two members of that band, and soon after met his longtime songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin.
The two have written together off and on during the past 40 years, and have penned some of the most popular and memorable songs of all time, including "Rocket Man" and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me."
During John's four decades as a singer and songwriter, he has sold upwards of 200 million records, has won five Grammy awards (from 1986-2000) and received the "Grammy Legend Award" in 2001.
He also won an Academy Award for his work on the Disney animated children's film "The Lion King."
John has more than 50 Top 40 hits, including nine No. 1 hit singles, and seven consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums.
Just a few of John's more recognizable tunes include "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)," "Tiny Dancer" and "Candle In The Wind." Those are a few selections on his multi-disk "Greatest Hits 1970-2002" collection, which went triple platinum in August 2004.
In March, John released "Rocket Man — Number Ones." The collection debuted in the Top 10, and features the musician's digitally re-mastered greatest hits spanning the first three decades of his career.
John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s. He was knighted in 1998 by Queen Elizabeth II for "services to music and charitable services."
For the Charleston show, John will bring band members Davey Johnstone on guitar, Guy Babylon on keyboards, Bob Birch on bass, John Mahon on percussion and Nigel Olsson on drums.
Reserved tickets are $88/$68/$48 (plus applicable fees), and will go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 28. Tickets can be purchased at the North Charleston Coliseum box office and all Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.com and livenation.com, or by phone at 554-6060.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Sir Elton John is making an encore appearance in Southwest Florida.
Elton John performs for a sold-out crowd at Germain Arena in 1999.
After christening Germain Arena in 1999, John is coming back with a Nov. 11 concert.
“We’ve been trying to get him again for awhile,” said Craig Brush, general manager for Germain Arena. “It’s pretty exciting. He was our very first musical act.”
Tickets are $67 and $97. They go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 29 at the Germain Arena box office and through Ticketmaster at ticketmaster.com.
In 1999, tickets for John’s first trip to Southwest Florida sold out in less than 30 minutes. Many fans who had waited in line all night for a chance at one of the 7,000 tickets were turned away.
John’s future appearance in Estero will come after two weeks in Las Vegas and before he sets off on a World Tour that will include stops in Japan, Australia and South Africa.
Pop supremo Sir Elton John urged Gordon Brown to take the lead in ensuring developing nations honoured their pledges to triple funding for the battle against Aids.
In a statement through the Elton John Aids Foundation, the star said the Prime Minister's "leadership and vision" was "urgently needed, right now".
He talked of the lives saved in Africa thanks to his foundation, set up 14 years ago, and the thousands who died for lack of access to what are affordable antiretroviral drugs.
In June the G8 countries promised to make access to HIV/Aids treatment universal by 2010, through tripling the size of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, tuberculosis and Malaria to 6-8 billion dollars (£3-4bn).
But Sir Elton claimed that at the present rate the world was barely on track to meet half that target.
"I believe Gordon Brown's leadership and vision on this issue is urgently needed, right now," he said. "After all, he played a central role in bringing world leaders to commit to universal
access, and he helped found the Global Fund, which has proven itself by saving an estimated 1.8 million lives.
"If the UK were to provide £700m over three years, tripling its annual contribution by 2010, it would challenge the rest of the world to follow suit."
The flamboyant singer set up his foundation when Aids was a death sentence and his fellow gay friends who contracted HIV were dying with no hope of treatment to prolong their lives.
His plea for action from the Government has the backing of the chairmen of three all party parliamentary groups related to Aids. He argues a UK push would encourage other countries, such as Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the US, to follow suit.
Next week in Berlin the G8 are attending a meeting of the Global Fund where it is hoped they will deliver on their promise.
Elton John will perform at the new UCF Arena on Nov. 10. Tickets, at prices yet to be announced, go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 29 at the UCF Arena box office and Ticketmaster outlets. John, who performed at the Amway Arena in spring of 2005, is basking in a resurgence following his well-received The Captain & the Kid, a sequel to 1975's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.
The UCF Arena folks, understandably, were tickled to announce such a biggie in the venue's first season:
"We are ecstatic and honored to have the opportunity to host one of the world's greatest entertainers at the new UCF Arena," said Global Spectrum's Rodney Reese, General Manager of the new UCF Arena. "Without question a world wide superstar like Elton John will bring a tremendous amount of excitement to the university and the Central Florida community."
No Canary Islands for Elton in '07
By the Editor/eltonjohn.com
Local media in Tenerife, Canary Islands, is insisting that Elton is to play a concert there on November 15, and we have received many messages asking if this is true.
We have spoken to Elton's management today and they confirm that Elton has no plans to play in Tenerife this year.
Friday, September 21, 2007
In an interview with the Atlanta Braves general manager John Schuerholz, former second baseman Mark Lemke and Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, Elton expressed his intenet to play venues he has not yet played in the US.
He has suggested as part of his ongoing touring throughout 2008, to play Alaska, Vermont, South Dakota and Dellaware. The 5th state he aimed to play, Montana, has been included in his current touring plans for 2007, as he will play Missoula and Bozeman later this month.
NICOLE Kidman and Keith Urban checked in for their wedding night and the Rolling Stones enjoyed a party on the roof.
Sydney's plush Park Hyatt Hotel, recent host of other VIP guests including Elton John, Tom Cruise and wife Katie Holmes, will be put on the market for more than $170 million.
The vertically challenged hotel, perched on the waterside at the Rocks opposite the Opera House, could be in for a facelift.
The new owners could take advantage of development approval for more suites to be built on top of the existing structure. Property and tourism investor MFS yesterday said a bidding war had already begun for arguably the most valuable piece of hotel real estate in the world.
The hotel's most expensive room, the $6600 governor's suite, features six balconies, a dining room and a marble bathroom with a spa and panoramic private viewing window of the Opera House.
MFS tourism chief executive Rolf Krecklenberg said the company had received several enquiries from local and international investors to buy the 158-room luxury hotel.
"The Park Hyatt Hotel has to be the most affordable deluxe hotel in the First World and we have already been presented with several offers in excess of $170 million," Mr Krecklenberg said.
MFS shares jumped 11c to $4.51 as it said the Hyatt had further development opportunity through an existing development approval for the addition of apartment-style accommodation or further accommodation suites.
And it will no doubt remain one of the favourites for VIPs, with Richard Branson, Britney Spears, Sylvester Stallone and Elle Macpherson among others to make it their home while staying in town.
MFS said the hotel has reported record trading performances over the past 12 months, resulting in a 50 per cent rise in investor returns. It has forecast revenue growth to rise by 8 per cent in the coming year.
Challenger Financial Services acquired the Park Hyatt in July 2003 for $137.5 million and created the property syndicate PH Sydney Hotel Trust.
MFS, which manages the PH Sydney Hotel Trust through a financial services subsidiary, will seek approval for the sale at the trust's annual general meeting next month.
MFS's subsidiary McLaughlins Financial Services became the responsible entity for the trust in September 2005. The trust has 2400 retail investors.
When it comes to picking up royalty checks, the oldies are still the goldies, according to a new list naming veteran rockers the Rolling Stones as the top earning musicians of the past year.
According the Forbes.com website, the Stones earned $US88 million ($A102 million) from June 2006 till June this year, thanks largely to their “Bigger Bang” tour, which kicked off in 2005 and has grossed $US437 million ($A510 million) to date.
And although 37-year-old rapper and head of Def Jam records Jay-Z came second in the list with total income of $US83 million ($A97 million), most of the top earners are better known to toe-tapping older generations.
Forty-nine-year-old Pop icon Madonna came third in the list with $US72 million ($A84 million), while US hard rockers Bon Jovi, who first hit the scene in 1983, took home $US67 million ($A78 million).
Elton John, who had his 60th birthday this year, earned $US53 million ($A62 million), ahead of Canadian pop singer Celine Dion with $US45 million ($A52 million).
The lower end of the top 10 saw rapper 50 Cent lead Irish rockers U2 and rapper and record producer Diddy - previously known as Puff Daddy, P Diddy and just plain Sean Combs. The three banked $US33, $US30 and $US23 million respectively.
“Pop music has long been a young person’s game. But when it comes to pocketing the biggest returns, oldsters rule,” Forbes said of the list, adding that while record sales were crucial, touring was the real money spinner.
“The really serious money comes from touring. And no one can pull in the big bucks like an older, established music act,” it said.
Helping to drive the big earnings were top-whack ticket prices, with Madonna charging an average of more than $US180 ($A210) during her 2006 North American tour and the Stones taking an average of more than $US135 ($A157) per head.
Most musicians in the list owed some of their income to alternative sources, not just relying on album sales and touring.
“They also exploit the power of their brand name to push other products. That can be as simple as selling ring tones and fan merchandise or locking up lucrative sponsorship deals,” Forbes.com said.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Euphoria overwhelmed the town hall of Santa Cruz last week following the signing of what looks like Tenerife’s arts and entertainment deal of the decade that will bring British legend Elton John to the city for a mega concert on November 15.
Deputy mayor Ángel Llanos was wreathed in smiles when he made the announcement, explaining that the council “wants to make the capital of Tenerife into a world reference point for music over the next two months,” in the run up to what promises to be a real night to remember on the Santa Cruz quayside.
Sir Elton and his band will be squeezing the Santa Cruz gig in between a performance of his acclaimed Red Piano Show in Las Vegas on November 5 and two solo concerts in Tokyo a fortnight later.
It will be the flamboyant singer’s only date in Spain this year after the eagerly awaited Red Piano Show in Seville, scheduled for September 14 was, like three others in Europe, cancelled at the last minute for organizational problems.
Fans here will be keeping their fingers crossed that this one, with no red piano, but even so dubbed by the critics as “electrifying” doesn’t suffer a similar fate, though at this juncture it seems unlikely.
The evergreen rocker, who was knighted for his services to music in 1998, celebrated his fortieth year on the road and his sixtieth birthday in March this year with his record sixtieth show at the Madison Square Garden, New York.
For a man on a pacemaker since 1999, Sir John’s schedule is relentless. Apart from regular shows through October to November at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, his autumn/winter diary includes dates in London, Paris and Tokyo as well as several cities in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Small wonder the deputy mayor was looking pleased with himself for nailing him down in Tenerife for one night only!
But he hinted that this might be the first of three mammoth concerts to hit the city in the coming months. The names Sting and Dire Straits are being mooted to fill the other dates – watch this space for confirmation.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
According to Gerard Drouot Productions Paris, Elton will bring his Red Piano production to Paris on the 9th of December 2008. However, there is no further details available and this is not currently confirmed by Elton's official management. The show is scheduled to be held in Palais Omnisports De Paris - Bercy.
In further news, Elton John.com has announced that a new Red Piano Tour for 2008 is set for the UK, if this will include other European or international venues is to be seen, however The Red Piano will indeed make a reprise in 2008.
The Weekly has revealed that this year, the southeast's largest AIDS fundraising event, will have a special guest, Sir Elton.
His aim is to help the 17th annual AIDS Walk Atlanta educate the public about how the disease impacts so many lives.
This year's theme, "Giving Every Life Hope," conveys the message that no matter what race, age, gender, orientation or religion, everyone deserves equal support and treatment.
Hosted by AID Atlanta, a non-profit community based AIDS service organisation, the event will take place on Sunday, October 21st at Piedmont Park.
''This event is like no other in the community, joining all of the different faces of HIV/AIDS together to bring hope to those affected by the epidemic,'' stated Beth Costello, Director of the AIDS Walk. "We are grateful for the support that Atlanta has given us over the past
16 years and look forward to making strides in our fight."
The annual impact of the AIDS Walk is tremendous. Typically raising a million dollars each year, the event provides vital support services which touch nearly 20,000 metro Atlanta residents – which includes client case management, housing, nutrition, counseling, medical care and educating students about preventing the spread of HIV. Proceeds benefit AID Atlanta and 11 other such concerns.
With registration opening at noon on Sunday, October 21, ceremonies begin at 1:00 p.m. Individuals have the option of participating in a 5k run that starts at 1:45 p.m. or the traditional walk at 2:00 p.m. Each participant is representing a circle of friends and supporters from throughout the Atlanta area who have united to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and care of those whose lives have been impacted by the disease.
Elton John may take part in a new feature film documentary about hit-songwriter and producer Lamont Dozier.
Dozier has been credited as the architect of modern pop music who has influenced Babyface and Joss Stone.
The director is indie auteur AJ Schnack who is previously did a movie about Kurt Cobain.
The producer is Helen Yu, a Hollywood entertainment lawyer for Seattle-based Nola's Salon Entertainment.
Others who could join the project include Eric Clapton, John Legend, Phil Collins, Dave Stewart and Diane Warren.
According to Women's Wear Daily, there are ''silk carpets handwoven in Tibet that resemble pools of molten silver, fitting rooms wallpapered in embossed metallic leather and enough artworks and custom furnishings to rival a royal apartment.''
''The objective was really to make it even more luxurious,'' Dior president Sidney Toledano said during a walk-through of the 13,000-square-foot flagship. "The customer is looking for ever-more sophisticated products in ready-to-wear and accessories. The whole mix is going up.''
Dior expects its new ''haute'' decor to bump up sales of its most productive unit in the world, which market sources estimate generates annual revenues of more than $60 million.
So it should come as no surprise that a number of notables came to the fashion house to fete the new boutique and cap off the company's 60th anniversary festivities.
Among them were Elton (who was also asked to perform at a gala dinner), Sharon Stone and Juliette Binoche.
"I just bought two bags — purple and black," said Elton.
He explained his colour choice by adding, "I just saw Prince — purple and black.
Elton John is close to realising his Hollywood career - America's ABC network has agreed to broadcast a pilot episode of his TV show.
Elton is following in the footsteps of his long-term love, producer David Furnish, by executive producing "Him and Us". The project stars an ageing rocker, his manager and his group of hangers-on.
"Sex and the City" executive producer Cindy Chupack is currently writing the script, writes trade paper Hollywood Reporter.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Elton's recent Red Piano concert at the 02 Arena in London - the only performance of this show so far outside of Caesars Palace, Las Vegas - was recorded by BBC Radio 2 and will be transmitted at 8pm on Saturday, September 22 on BBC Radio 2.
If you are outside of the UK you can listen online via the BBC Web site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/
Chris Evans introduces the hour-long show, which is packed with hits from throughout Elton's 40-year career.
Graduation, the new, chart-topping album from Chicago rap artist Kanye West, features a sample of an Elton John/Bernie Taupin song.
Listen to the lead track, "Good Morning," and you will hear a familiar riff - it's from "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," from Elton's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy album.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Sir Elton John may have succeeded in cutting his corporate overdraft by almost £15 million in the past two years, but his financial woes appear to be far from over.
Mandrake learns that the flamboyant pop star's music company is the subject of a widening investigation by HM Revenue & Customs, whose officials are making inquiries into three years of his tax returns.
Accounts filed by the holding company for Sir Elton's music interests, William A Bong, disclose that officials, who were already investigating the firm's 2004 tax return, are now probing its submissions for 2003 and 2005.
"HM Revenue & Customs have raised enquiries into the company's tax returns for the three years to 31 March 2005," it admits in the accounts just filed at Companies House. "Correspondence with HMRC is still ongoing and it is not possible to predict with any certainty the outcome of these enquiries." Bong owes £8.8m in tax and social security costs and the company paid more than £400,000 last year in interest on overdue tax. According to the accounts, Sir Elton has chosen not to make any provision for additional tax liabilities which may arise.
Fortunately for the 60-year-old musician, who cut his corporate overdraft from almost £27m to a still-staggering £12m, he remains in vogue and last year he raked in £20m from his performances and album sales.
The singer is currently touring the world with his Red Piano show, which he performed at Caesar's Palace, in Las Vegas, for five weeks a year for the past three years, under a contract worth £35m.
The accounts disclose that the company "advanced funds and paid certain expenses" on behalf of Sir Elton amounting to more than £6.3m. In addition, as one of the firm's 13 employees, the musician is likely to have pocketed the bulk of the £10.1m that the firm paid to its staff in 2006.
Sir Elton, who is worth an estimated £225m, was known for his prodigious spending in the 1990s, when he admitted to blowing £293,000 on floral arrangements over 20 months. Although he confessed to spending up to £200,000 a time on clothes for David Furnish, his 44-year-old boyfriend, he is now believed to have overcome his addiction to shopping.
Furnish, the film producer with whom Sir Elton entered into a civil partnership in 2005, became one of the company's two directors in January after the resignation of the musician's 82-year-old mother, Sheila Farebrother. Sir Elton is the sole shareholder of Bong, which has accumulated losses of £4.6m.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
A CONTRACT was signed last Thursday for Elton John to perform his first ever big band concert in Spain – here in Tenerife.
As reported in The Tenerife Sun a couple of issues ago, the megastar is to lead a rush of big stars heading for Santa Cruz in a bid to put Tenerife on the world entertainment map.
He will be the first of several top international stars targeted by Santa Cruz City Council, including Sting, and Dire Straits.
The open-air performance on the esplanade in front of the harbourside Cabildo building has been scheduled for Saturday, November 17.
Elton John will be taking advantage of a window between the last of a series of his outrageously romantic Red Piano shows in Las Vegas on November 5 and a scheduled solo concert in Tokyo on November 20.
The tight schedule means the busy rock and pop icon will barely touch down in Tenerife, flying straight off after his two-hour concert in his private jet for Japan.
The hasty arrangement also means some rushing around for the organisers, Santa Cruz City Council and Canary-based Rolo Productions.
Fans checking his website this week found no mention of the performance and even Rolo Productions did not mention the concert on its site.
But the organisers remained confident that tickets would go on sale some time next week, even though prices were still not determined as The Tenerife Sun went to press.
Insiders believe they could be as cheap as €30 for standing spectators and more than €100 for the VIP seated areas, where personalised waitress service will be available, and souvenir gifts signed by the star.
The tight schedule for the quick, in-and-out performance presents huge logistical difficulties, with the star demanding to have nine pianos to be flown in the day before, along with his 72-strong entourage, and all the equipment packed into 15 containers.
At the end of the performance one of his team will be detailed off to burn or otherwise destroy any personal item, such as towels, that he has touched.
The star, knighted in 1998, is also demanding that, come what may, the concert must start promptly at 9pm and end at 11pm.
And he wants three dressing rooms immediately behind the scenery – although he is known to rarely use them during a performance.
Unfazed by the complications, Rolo Productions and Santa Cruz Council are overjoyed at the spectacular entertainment coup, signed after a series of hard negotiations.
“This is just the beginning,” said an exultant mayor, Angel Llanos. “In the next few months we will work to establish Santa Cruz as an entertainment centre for the world.
“This will be the first of the three great spectacles of worldwide interest that the city council hopes to present during the next few months.”
To pay for the Elton John extravaganza organisers Rolo Productions aim to sell at least 30,000 tickets, with massive publicity breaks across all seven of the Canary Islands, in Madrid, Barcelona and London.
Tickets are expected to sell at super speed through the Caja Canarias website, www.generaltickets.com/cajacanarias/ , from Corte Ingles in Santa Cruz, Sonora disco shops and other usual outlets.
For the first time, using the most extraordinary and innovative technology, Sir Elton will step back into the key moments of his life in Elton John: Me, Myself and I, and reveal his true feelings about what was really going on.
In this 90 minute special for ITV1, the superstar will take viewers on a flamboyant, intimate, entertaining and outspoken journey through his colourful life.
Elton, who has a career spanning more than four decades and boasts global record sales of over 250 million, will be dropped right back into the middle of influential moments in his life, enabling him to interact with his younger self, relive his most memorable times, and fulfil some of his long held but never realised ambitions.
Me, Myself and I moves through the highs and lows of Elton's life, voiced in his own words.
With exclusive access to Elton, and an unprecedented rummage through rare archive material, the viewer will experience a unique level of intimacy as Elton gives a private insight into his past.
Elton will revisit the low times of his life from the perspective of a man who has faced up to demons and overcome them.
He will look back over unsuccessful relationships, and describe the contentment within his life since his civil partnership to life partner David Furnish.
He will also cover his friendship with the Queen, the Queen Mother, Princess Diana and celebrities including Rod Stewart, John Lennon and Morecambe & Wise.
Renowned for his gloriously self-deprecating sense of humour, Elton commented: "It's kind of touching in a way to look at my life like that, seeing things that I've done and that I've been through and still be able to laugh at it.
I've taken work seriously, the artistic side of things, but I've never really taken fame seriously otherwise I wouldn't be able to look back and laugh at some of the hideous things I've done!"
Each segment of Elton John: Me, Myself and I will tell an important part of Elton's life story, and all in his very own words.
Where it all began...
Sir Elton John ranks up there with The Beatles but he came from very humble beginnings.
Elton: "I was in a little group, I was still at school, and to get some equipment I had to earn some money.
So I got a job in the Norton Hills Hotel opposite the station playing piano on I think one night a week and maybe a Saturday night and singing.
I would get a pound a night and all the money I could keep from somebody taking a box round and people putting tips in.
I was sitting right near the window, I'm here, the window's there and the pianos here and many's a night when fights have broken out that I've actually dived through the window."
Bernie Taupin was only 17 and living with his parents but his mature lyrics impressed Elton.
"I loved them and I went home and started writing songs to them. It was an instant relationship.
I found I could write very easily to somebody's lyrics and I'd never done that before.
I mean talk about kizmer and fate. And that's how I found Bernie and how Bernie found me."
Bernie says [old clip], "I write the words and he writes the melody so there's no need for us to sit together and do it together, as I say I'm sure it would be disaster."
1970 and a fresh faced 23 year old Elton John arrives in California to embark upon a life changing tour of his promised land.
Elton explains, "What happened to us in America was nothing else short of being in the right place at the right time.
We'd had The Empty Sky album, we'd had The Elton John album out to great reviews and we were doing shows and we were getting a reputation for our live performances."
By 1975 Elton John was the biggest selling solo artist in the world and had a record seven number one albums in a row.
Elton: "We had a top forty single every year for 35 years in a row which I don't think will ever be beaten."
Elton adds, "You have to realise I was living my dream – doing radio interviews, press interviews, touring, recording, travelling, none of it was a problem for me because I was meeting people that I couldn't believe I was meeting and I was just enjoying every single minute of it."
Morecambe & Wise...
One of the perks of being an international superstar is making amazing friends and in the 70's Elton met two of the most fantastic characters of British showbiz – Morecambe & Wise.
Elton: "I got to know Eric Morecambe through the football because he was a Luton town director and I was a Watford director at first and of course at that time in the 70's they were the kings of comedy.
When I did those two Christmas shows with them, you didn't refuse those shows, it was like an honour, it was like getting a Knighthood or something, you've been asked to do The Morecombe and Wise Show!
"They were so funny to do. It was a real privilege to be on those shows with those guys, Eric Morecombe was one of the funniest people in life and Ernie was the perfect stooge for him. You did it to be completely taken to the cleaners."
For a former pub singer from Pinner, Sir Elton John's circle of friends is far wider and more blue blooded than he could have possibly predicted.
Of all the Royal Family the strongest bond Elton formed was with Diana The Princess Of Wales.
Elton: "We became friends when she was going through the divorce, which was a very hard time for her.
She was very funny, she was never depressed about it. She was full of fun and very realistic, very honest about what was going on."
Elton also talks very honestly and openly about some of his closest relationships with The Beatles, Rod Stewart, his low times, The Elton John Aids Foundation, his beloved Watford Football club and his civil partnership to David Furnish.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Pop star Prince was joined onstage by Sir Elton John at the latest of his 21 dates in London's O2 arena.
The singer appeared unannounced at the start of the encore to sing a cover of The Beatles' The Long and Winding Road, accompanied by Prince on guitar.
Afterwards, the two superstars embraced and Prince said to the crowd: "You know who it is - Sir Elton John!"
The collaboration clearly inspired the Minneapolis musician, who crammed a further seven songs into his encore.
Among them were his 1980s classics When Doves Cry and Sign O' The Times.
The BBC's John Hand, who was at the concert, said: "Sir Elton has performed onstage with many of the top stars of the past three decades, including Eminem and George Michael, but this was still a surprise - albeit one which was much appreciated by the crowd."
Earlier in the show, Sir Elton had drawn cheers and applause when the venue's video screens pictured him in the audience.
The 60-year-old singer recently gave the UK premiere of his Red Piano show at the O2 on one of Prince's rare nights off.
Fans who waited around at Thursday night's concert were given a second treat - as Prince and his band returned to the stage for a second encore fifteen minutes after the house lights went up.
The 49-year-old then took to the stage at the O2's more intimate second venue for an aftershow performance that lasted more than two hours.
Playing into the small hours, Prince covered another Beatles track - Come Together - and Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love.
The latter was a tribute to the hard rock band who, earlier this week, announced they were to reform for a one-off show at the venue in November.
Prince's 21-date residency at the O2 draws to a close next week.
The price of tickets for British composer and singer Elton John’s concert in Baku has been announced, organizer of the concert State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) told the APA-Economics.
The prices will range in AZN 30, 50, 100, 150, 500, 700 and 800. Nar Mobile organizes sale of 26,406 tickets. The other tickets will be sold in the booking-offices of Azerbaijan State Philharmony after Muslum Magomayev, Azerbaijan State Musical Comedy Theatre named after Gurbanov and Azerbaijan State Opera and Ballet Theatre after Mirza Fatali Akhundov as from September 14.
Elton John will give a concert in Tofig Bahramov Stadium on September 23.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
The Queen of Soul is coming back, and she's bringing plenty of friends with her.
Aretha Franklin will release "Jewels in the Crown: All-Star Duets with the Queen" on Nov. 13, her record company announced Wednesday. The album will feature duets with Mariah Carey ("Chain of Fools"); Mary J. Blige ("Don't Waste My Time," plus "Never Gonna Break My Faith" in conjunction with the Boys Choir of Harlem); Whitney Houston ("It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be"); and more.
John Legend appears on "What Y'All Came To Do"; Bonnie Raitt and Gloria Estefan join together for "A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)"; Annie Lennox pops up on "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves"; and Keith Richards chimes in on "Jumping Jack Flash." Elton John duets on "through the storm", George Michael, Michael McDonald and George Benson also make appearances, along with cameos from the late Frank Sinatra and Luther Vandross.
"Jewels in the Crown" also will feature Franklin's performance of "Nessum dorma," which she performed at the Grammy Awards ceremony in 1998, filling in for the late Luciano Pavarotti.
The collection's first single, "Put You Up on Game" featuring third-season "American Idol" winner Fantasia, is set to hit radio Oct. 1.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Elton will be making some new stops in his European leg of The Rocketman Tour. He will now be performing on:
21-Sep-07 Sochi, Russia - Sochi Stadium
23-Sep-07 Baku, Azerbaijan - Baku Tofik Bahramov
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The incredible k.d. lang will join Sir Elton John as the special musical guest for the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 6th annual An Enduring Vision benefit to be held in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on Tuesday, September 25, 2007.
The evening will be hosted by Anderson Cooper, and as a part of the program, EJAF will present Enduring Vision awards to corporate philanthropists Harry Slatkin of Slatkin & Co./Bath & Body Works and Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele of Chopard and to long-time EJAF supporters Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne.
As Sir Elton noted in his remarks for last year's An Enduring Vision, 40,000 more Americans continue to become infected with HIV every year. Current public and private sector responses are inadequate to stop new HIV infections. With new HIV infections outstripping our capacity to provide HIV treatment by six-to-one, clearly we must invest in HIV prevention much, much more aggressively. Over the past several years, An Enduring Vision has become a major source of funding for EJAF and has enabled the Foundation to increase its direct grant-making and its community partnership collaboration with the National AIDS Fund by 136%.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
If this isn’t a record it is certainly tied at the top.
Workers at the Sioux Falls Arena sold 7,000 tickets for the Elton John show Oct. 7 in 18 minutes Saturday morning.
“This is not something we have a big data base on. But many of us have worked at the arena many years. We don’t have any indication we ever sold out faster on a single show,” says Russ DeCurtins, executive director SMG-Sioux Falls Arena.
About 70 people camped out overnight to be first in line when the arena doors opened at 8 a.m., he says.
“Anybody camped out, I’m confident they got tickets.
“Most of the people at the arena went through the line and got tickets. Some stood in line and did not get tickets. Those people did not show up until after 8 o:clock,” said DeCurtins.
He said the crowd was “very well behaved and diverse. There were some teenagers, some older folks and a lot of middle-aged people. They were very excited about the show and very cooperative about listening to instructions.”
Amazon.com has added some eciting new bonus items to its exclusive Elton 60 DVD package. It now includes an extraordinary 72-page booklet with a unique DVD version of the booklet as well. Also included are a fully-reproduced tour program, one-of-a-kind souvenir poster, laminated backstage pass, and exclusive Elton John ringtones. This limited edition boxset is only available through Amazon and will not be available in any other stores. It is now available for pre-order with a release date of October 2. Click the link above to take advantage of this exclusive offer!
The MacDonald Bros new album could be set to be a ‘runaway’ success due to the support of none other than Elton John!
In April 2007 when the first MacDonald Bros album was at No 1 in the Scottish charts, the lads asked their record label boss to enquire if one of their heroes, Elton John would provide a song for them for their second album. The request was made more in hope than in anticipation and they thought no more would come of it at the time.
To their delight, Elton arranged for Craig and Brian to be sent a voice and piano demo of a song he thought would suit them. Now, six months later, The MacDonald Bros first single from the new album is a brilliant never before released song by Elton called “Runaway (Do You Love Me)”.
The lads have done an amazing job in recording this great soul influenced rock track and they are thrilled with the result. What could turn into a global smash for the likeable duo is released worldwide on download exclusively from I Tunes on the 30th September 2007.
It all fares well for Craig and Brian whose second album contains six self penned tracks as well as previously unreleased songs from several other of the worlds leading songwriters.
There is a new buzz about the MacDonald Bros who brought the house down to a massive 30,000 crowd at a recent festival and are wowing fans on their first headlining tour.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
There are some screenplay premises that, when you first hear about them, immediately conjure up tantalizing movie potential. Jaden Thompson’s Reborn is such a project. After the DNA of Jesus Christ is discovered on the tip of a spear, the son of God is raised from the dead once more by scientists for a forced Second Coming. It was envisioned by its author as a sequel of sorts to the 1999 drama Stigmata, in which a priest from the Vatican (Gabriel Byrne) investigated an American hairdresser (Patricia Arquette) exhibiting wounds identical to those suffered by Jesus Christ during the crucifixion. “I got an email from [Stigmata story author and co-writer] Tom [Lazarus] saying Reborn was going ahead,” Thompson explains in an interview with UK’s Swindon Advertiser. “I started break-dancing when I read it. I'm really excited about it, I have to pinch myself from time to time to prove it is really happening." Indeed, whenever a faraway screenwriter with no previous filmed credits scores cold, hard cash from Hollywood, it qualifies as a minor miracle. Since first pitching Lazarus in 2003 with his Stigmata inspired yarn, Thompson has continued to write other spec scripts. The doomsday thriller Eleven has passed through the doors of Kevin Spacey’s Trigger Street Productions and Thompson also says he is in talks with Sir Elton John for a possible partnership on the musical-on-ice Vamp.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
After announcing the concert Tuesday, Arena officials have just finalized the pricing for tickets to see the British pop-rock superstar.
Individual tickets will cost $67 and $87.
They go on sale at 9:30 a.m. Saturday through all Ticketmaster outlets including the Arena box office or by calling 334-8181.
The prices fall in line with tickets to John's other October dates in the Midwest.
The highest price for shows in Columbia, Mo.; Moline, Ill.; and Kansas City, Mo., are $87 or $87.50.
However, tickets for the Omaha date Oct. 6 top out at $95.
Russ Decurtins, the Arena's executive director, said he thinks people will find the prices to be fair.
"I think most people had expected the tickets to be in the $100 and up range," DeCurtins said.
The listed prices for the Sioux Falls date don't include any service fees. But they do include a $2 donation to the Elton John Aids Foundation.
That charity is built into the price structure.
Even with the added $2, the prices feel reasonable.
"That doesn't sound so terribly bad," says Randy Wilson, a Sioux Falls music fan. "Actually, that's probably about right where I was thinking - less $100, more than $75."
Now that the prices are known, the greatest mystery about this surprise concert is how fast it will sell out.
There are indications that tickets could be gone in less than hour.
Earlier this week, Decurtins was hesitant to offer a timetable. But after Wednesday morning, he warned that tickets will go fast after they go on sale Saturday.
"This is huge," he said. "People from South Dakota will be fighting our neighboring states for tickets."
Decurtins' sudden change in perspective came after two Elton John dates in Montana sold out hours after tickets became available Wednesday morning.
Since each of those concerts - in Missoula and Bozeman - will be held in venues with more seating capacity than the Arena, Decurtins said it is "almost guaranteed" that the Sioux Falls date will sell out shortly after 9:30 a.m. - possibly within an hour.
"We have some information that leads us to believe people standing in line will be sorely disappointed," Decurtins said.
He's not discouraging people to line up early - fans can begin waiting in line at midnight Saturday.
But Decurtins does suggest that the best way to get tickets for this concert might be via a high-speed Internet connection to Ticketmaster.com.
"I, quite frankly, have never seen anything like this," Decurtins says.
British pop singer Elton John Thursday paid tribute to Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti, recalling joint appearances on stage.
'It's a sad day for music and a sad day for the world,' said Sir Elton in a statement in London.
He sang the duet Live Like Horses with Pavarotti in 1996.
Pavarotti and Sir Elton were friends, and the Italian singer, like the British pop star, had originally been scheduled to perform at the funeral of Princess Diana, 10 years ago this Thursday.
While Sir Elton performed his song Candle in the Wind, Pavarotti turned down the invitation to sing at Diana's funeral because he said he was 'too upset' by her death.
Comedian Stephen Merchant got revenge for pal Ricky Gervais by making Sir Elton John wait for him at the GQ Men Of The Year Awards on Tuesday night.
The 6ft 7in star took his time walking to the stage to collect an award from the music legend.
Stephen casually finished his dessert and then strolled around before finally accepting his gong.
The practical joke was a way of getting back at Sir Elton, after he forced Ricky, 46, to improvise for 15 minutes when he was delayed buy 'technical difficulties' at the Concert For Diana on 1 July.
'I thought I would keep Elton John waiting for a change as he did to my friend Ricky at the Diana concert,' Stephen, 32, announced, with Elton looking grim-faced.
'I was only joking of course, I feel very privileged to be in such esteemed company as Elton John, Michael Caine and Jimmy Nesbitt.'
And Stephen reckons Sir Elt, 60, was the perfect victim.
'If you can't take the p*** out of Elton John, who can you take it out of?,' he tells the Daily Mail.
'Don't get me wrong, I think he is fantastic but he is not the f****** Queen.'
Elton's spokesman played down the incident yesterday.
'Elton and Stephen are mates,' he says. 'They are good friends going way back.'
What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas. Last night, Elton John's live extravaganza The Red Piano, made its debut outside Caesar's Palace, for a single date at the London arena currently reigned over by Prince. It takes a showman of epic proportions to break the purple monarch's flow, and Elton fitted the bill with pomp and circumstance, and a wicked sense of kitsch.
Originally conceived in 2003, The Red Piano is Elton's audio-visual collaboration with glamorous US photographer/director David LaChapelle, legendary for his celebrity portraits and surreal pop videos including Christina Aguilera's Dirrty. The titular grand piano was ceremoniously unveiled at the beginning of what Elton described as 'the most elaborate show we've ever put together', atop a dazzling neon star.
Appropriately for a Las Vegas 'concept' performance, LaChapelle's design didn't skimp on the neon, and it also stacked up show-stopping visual set-pieces on an LED mega-screen backdrop, depicting risqué psychedelia and retro look-alikes (a young Elton double for Rocket Man; Marilyn Monroe for Candle In The Wind), to lavish modern dance choreography, mostly shot in his trademark phosphorescent candy colours.
The experience seemed simultaneously ultra-modern and deeply old-fashioned; 2007 marks the 40th anniversary of Elton's writing partnership with Bernie Taupin, and the set-list was rich in classic material which proved his booming vocals and virtuoso piano skills were still on startling form (even if this venue's acoustics were hit-and-miss), with bombastic accompaniment from his wizened backing band. Between songs, his matter-of-fact wit proved a contrast from the heady theatrics; remarking that he'd often been asked about the meaning of some older songs, he admitted: 'I haven't got a f****** clue'.
By the rabble-rousing rendition of Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, the stage was cluttered with super-sized models of junk food, one section of the audience were seated beneath a pair of inflatable breasts of bouncy castle proportions, and the screen was emblazoned with LaChapelle's latest footage of 'krumping' street dancers. This was Elton John, 'all-you-can-eat' style – or at the very least, a vividly memorable one-night-stand.
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Thousands of people were turned away empty-handed today when they tried to buy tickets to the September 28th Elton John concert in Missoula.
Tickets sold out in less than one hour. And according to on-scene reports, people who showed up to take part in a wrist-band lottery purchasing system, at four Missoula locations, were almost entirely left in the cold.
It's reported that not one person was able to buy tickets at the University Center on the UM campus. Similar reports came from other Missoula ticket venues.
It appears that almost all tickets to the concert were sold by telephone or over the Internet. And tickets to the Missoula concert are already selling at hugely inflated prices online, at sites like StubHub.com and eBay.
At UM's University Center, angry fans surrounded Adams Center director Mary Muse and demanded an explanation. People threw their wrist-bands at her, and campus police were called in to keep order.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Madonna and Sir Elton John have finally called a truce on their high profile feud more than two years after he publicly accused the pop star of lip-synching in an expletive laden outburst.
Introducing the Madonna at this year's GQ Men of the Year Awards in London last night, Sir Elton said: "This is a moment you thought you would never see."
The pair hugged on stage, but the acerbic star couldn't resist a final swipe, adding he had "written a grovelling apology and offered to join the Kabbalah".
At an awards ceremony in 2004, John infamously criticised the singer after she won an award for live performance, saying: ""Madonna, best f***ing live act? F*** off! Since when has lip-synching been live?"
"That's me off her f***ing Christmas card list but do I give a toss? No."
Madonna hit back through a statement issued by her spokesperson, who declared: "Madonna does not lip-synch nor does she spend her time trashing other artists."
The singer, who is still awaiting permission to permanently adopt her third child, left the awards show looking rather worse for wear as she piled into a cab.
Bid now on official Elton John concert merchandise including exclusive memorabilia from the historic Elton 60th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden, such as this framed concert set list. Check out: www.bamauctions.com