Saturday, December 15, 2007
Elton Plays Melbourne Tonight!
AN English gentleman. This is how Sir Elton John's staff describe the musical superstar.
His band road manager, known only as DC Parmet, was yesterday working frantically at Werribee Park Mansion in preparation of John's shows tonight and tomorrow.
Roadies were in rock climbing harnesses hanging from sky high speakers, while a man in a cherry picker worked to install the lighting on the stage roof.
The crew have to start from scratch there's no toilets, stage, lighting, speakers, television screens, catering, dressing rooms or seating at the site and it's up to them to make it happen and make it happen smoothly.
It takes a week for a travelling crew of about 40 and a contingent of about 70 local people to put the stage together and dismantle it again all for a three-hour show.
Elton John has spent the past couple of weeks travelling across Australia playing a different kind of show. DC says he has opted to play at wineries and stately homes to make his The Rocket Man tour more intimate.
"This show is a bit more special because this is a change of scenery for people . . . this way it's Elton going to the people instead of the people having to come to Elton,'' he said.
But DC and the crew don't mind the hard work involved in a tour, describing their boss as a great and wonderful man.
"He is very funny and very quick witted. He's a gentleman, a true English gentleman. He has impeccable manners,'' he said.
"He is the kind of person that when you give him a Christmas card or birthday present he makes sure he comes and says thankyou.''
But what do you buy for a man who the BusinessAge magazine has reported to be the second richest musician in the UK with a reported fortune of 156 million pounds?
This year it's a Family Guy Christmas tree bauble.
"He knows I'm not in a position to buy him a Rembrandt or a Picasso so he is flattered that I think enough of him to get him a gift or card,'' DC said.
"I have also got him some of those funny gifts. One year I bought him a talking parrot that sports obscenities when you walk past. He loved that.''
Melbourne soul singer Eran James, 18, has hit the big time as John's support act and he says life could not be better.
"They contacted my management and said Elton loves Eran's music. I was stoked,'' he said.
"It's been a fun journey and it's just beginning.''
Tickets to tomorrow night's Elton John concert at Werribee Park Mansion are still available at www.eltonjohn.com
ELTON HAS NO PLANS TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM:
Sir Elton told Sky News that he's currently concentrating on touring and does not expect to release a new album anytime soon.
He also explained it's easier to write for musicals, compared to writing hit pop songs.