Saturday, December 29, 2007

Elton Playing at The Billie Awards 2008

The Billie Awards honor media excellence in the portrayal of girls and women in sports and physical activity. The Billies will be held on April 15, 2008 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hill, Calif. This event will gather celebrities from film, television and professional athletics, including Billie Jean King, as well as feature a special performance by Sir Elton John. Don’t miss this spectacular event!

  • Date: April 15, 2008
  • Location: Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA

Schedule:

1. Cocktail Reception (6:00 p.m.)

2. Dinner & Awards Ceremony (7:00 p.m.)

3. Special performance by Elton John

Honors to be given in the following categories:

Journalism: Based on insightful portrayal of women in sports, originality and overall quality of work. Must have been aired, broadcast or published between January 1- December 31, 2007.

Entertainment: Based on insightful portrayal of women in sports, impact, originality and overall quality of work. Must have been aired, released and/or broadcast between January 2003 and December 2007.

Breakthrough and Innovation: Images and portrayals must challenge the status quo of women/girls as athletes. Historical and/or current work eligible.

Industry Leader: Individuals who have created an exemplary body of work that celebrates female athletes and/ or female participation in physical activity eligible.

Outstanding Journalist: Women who have excelled in covering sports and become a role model in sports media are eligible.

This is a sellout event. To purchase your ticket, go to the The Billies Online Reservation Form. For more information on tickets, tables or the event email Jessica Blubaugh or call 516-542-4700 x. 163.

"Elton" to Appear on UK Talent Search


Imagine Kylie, Madonna and Robbie Williams singing their greatest hits live, together, on stage… along with Elton John, Frank Sinatra and Diana Ross!

Well imagine no more, as these are just some of the world-famous superstars whose tribute acts will be singing for your votes and the chance to be crowned 'The One and Only...'

New to BBC One Saturday nights, ‘The One and Only…’ will show the search for the UK’s best tribute act. The new primetime show, presented by multi-award winning host Graham Norton, will showcase the crème de la crème of the UK’s tribute acts as they battle it out for a once in a lifetime opportunity: the chance to perform on the grandest stage of them all, in Las Vegas, USA.

It is surely every entertainer’s dream to sing amidst the bright lights, glitz and glamour of The Las Vegas Strip, which is home to the world’s biggest showbiz stars and a byword for entertainment extravaganzas. And very soon, one talented British tribute act will be there.

‘The One and Only…’ will offer the greatest and most unique showbiz opportunity ever featured on UK television and a prize that money certainly can’t buy: a three-month performance contract in Las Vegas. There, the winner will live the dream of their musical superstar, taking part in the world’s longest running musical tribute show, 'Legends in Concert'.

'The One and Only…' will begin on Saturday nights in early January 2008.

And once the live shows have begun, you too can take part in the fun. Whilst watching 'The One and Only…' you can be loyal to your favourite tribute act by joining in with their performance at home. Just press the red button on your remote control to enjoy a karaoke sing-along to the music of all the stars on the show.

'The One & Only' will appear on BBC 1 commencing January 5.

Superfan Richard Booth will also be a part of the show.
Richard has seen Elton John in concert more than 100 times, and has travelled the world to do so - including to Las Vegas to see Elton’s Red Piano Concert.

Richard set up the fan website ‘Eltonhjohnrocks.com’, where he posts personal concert reviews and photographs. Elton’s management love the website and frequently donate signed memorabilia from the international superstar to give away to fans.

Richard believes that any Elton John tribute act must master Elton’s flamboyant personality and captivating stage performances.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sir Elton To Perform In Halle (Westf.)


Elton and the band are to play a concert at the Gerry Weber Stadium, in Halle (Westf.), which is located in Eastern Germany, on July 2, 2008.

Elton's Christmas Plans


Molly Meldrum and photographer friend Lisa D'Kroshel visited the headliner and his entourage backstage at his Werribee mansion concert.

Inside the lavish marquee were about 300 pairs of coloured glasses for Elton to choose from, as well as dozens of bottles of cologne from around the world.

The marquee was decked out like a hotel room, with beautiful Asian prints on the walls and Persian carpets on the floor.

As for the shirt, it was the No. 10 jumper worn by the Storm's Bree White in a semi-final at Telstra Dome earlier this year.

After the concert Elton took a helicopter to Essendon airport and then flew straight to London in his private jet.

Meanwhile, Sir Elton John and partner David Furnish will be relaxing in picturesque Venice.

David said: "We're going to have a quiet Christmas - we always go away to our apartment in Venice and just sort of get away from everything and shut down. It's a very peaceful time for us, and very important, and I can't wait."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Christmas From Elton


I would personally like to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to the site this year. With just over six months in operation, eltonjohnnews.blogspot.com has seen excellent growth and is now serving Elton's loyal global fans with up to the minute news, photo's, show reports and exclusive content.

I wish all the readers a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2008. What a fantastic year it has been for the King of Piano - a mammoth 60th concert, a tribute to Princess Diana, Billy Elliot travelling overseas, extensive touring and more money being raised for Elton's excellent AIDS charity.


As we move into 2008, keep an eye out for more exciting events and news from the legend that is Sir Elton John!


Lots of Love,


Paul Jelicich
EJN Editor

P.S: Feel free to share my christmas card.

Interviews with Elton


Here are some recent video interviews with Sir Elton John in Australia.

#1: Molly Meldrum speaks to Sir Elton John about ruling the music charts and life in general.
Australia 7 News via Yahoo! News - Dec 11 12:54 AM

#2: December 14, 2007: Elton John arrives at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney for the stage production of Billy Elliot.

Werribee Park Review


THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXCELLENT FAN REVIEW OF ELTON'S SUNDAY DEC 16TH MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA CONCERT:

The weather was fine a nice 21 degrees a slight cool breeze but no chance of rain, or dark clouds hovering above my head. I had arrived at the Werribee Park Mansion by 3:30pm and made my way through the fields to the ticket entrance, but without being stopped by the sound of a helicopter, and I knew yep this is him a little earlier than yesterday but at least I know he was coming.

This time I was about 50meters away from the helicopter a big beautiful machine it was, how ironic and fitting to be carrying a man who is like a machine who does notstop! A white 4wd drove to the doors of the helicopter, his body guards jumped out of the helicopter opened the doors and then Elton jumped out and straight into the 4wd and drove away into the trees.

I was first in line at the ticket gates waiting patiently and calmly with the excitement inside me boiling away like a kettle waiting for the water to be poured out! But this was only a matter of time.

The gates opened just after 4:30pm and I was the first person through I calmly walked into the grounds and again was astonished by the size of the stage, time went so quick and before I knew it, it was about 7:30pm and I may my way to my seat along with Amoreena who was sitting next to me in A3 row B17 and B18 yes! Second row from the front.

About 7:45pm Elton appeared and a massive roar, bigger than Saturday nights it sounded like 20,000 lions roaring, he bowed and praised the crowed blowing kisses and waving to everyone, and then straight into it “Your Song” but it sounded like it was for me “my song” he played it with ease and not a note to be missed his voice was in fine form like a fine drop of whiskey purely delectable! He finished the song and made a comment of everywhere he has gone in Australia this tour he brought the rain with him, but was quick to point out that we needed it and was proud he could do so, but also said we have blue skies tonight and we did just perfect, but whether it rained, hail or storms I wouldn’t be moving anywhere id be glued to my seat!

Then he played “60 years on” no Elton your not 60 years on, because you play like your young and energetic you will never be to old to play. He played an array of songs from “Nikita” to “Roy Rogers”, “Candle in the Wind” and to one song that means so much to me “Sacrifice” this song just brought me to tears and that is not easy to do, it was one of the most beautiful songs I herd him play he touched every note and made me feel I was the only one there and in spirit I was! I was left stunned and numb with goose bumps and a feeling of great gratitude.

He then went on to play other songs like “Mona Lisa’s and the Mad Hatters” he played “Ticking” which was fantastic and “Tiny Dancer” and the excitable “Honky Cat” everyone was grooving in there seats and had smiles that would put the Sydney harbour bridge to shame. Once again he played “Philadelphia Freedom” and I cannot get over the way it sounded I have never herd it like that before the sound of the piano and the lighting it just ripped through my body like getting punched harder and harder I was so enthralled and entranced by the sound and Elton was loving it do, at one stage having a bit of a groove in his seat, I think he loved it more than what the fans did.

Elton seemed so much more relaxed tonight he just did not smiling and laughing he was in his element and prime, he was giving it everything he has but wanted to give it more and he did, he played “I Guess That’s Why They Call it The Blues” but I wasn’t feeling the blues tonight I was feeling the power of a music machine that cannot be stopped, he went on to play “Rocket Man” and wow! He rocketed everyone out of there seat to mars and let me tell you it would not of been cold as hell in Mars it would have been hot! And we would have rocketed beyond the universe!

“Blue Eyes” was played with precision and style it made all of us appreciate the beautiful country Australia is, and he spoke about how much he loved it and how welcome we have made him feel. After he finished that song we again were at the stage dancing and grooving to the music admiring his immaculate clothing with butterflies spread across his arms and showman pants with dramatic detail on his shoes and to the socks, yes I was that close!

In between songs he signed items, and he signed my Rocket Club t-shirt without making an effort to take it up on stage and hold it up so everyone could see the t-shirt and signed it beautifully, I made the comment to Elton as he was signing away that “Your looking 21 Elton” and he loved it he looked at me and laughed and said thank you!

Back to his long sleek back piano and chair he pumped out “Bennie and the Jets” followed by songs “Don’t Let the Sun go Down on Me” and which it had gone down and we knew the show was nearing an end, but in true style he ended it with “I’m Still Standing” and Elton yes you are still standing and we the fans will always stand up to you and thank you for you time and effort in coming to see us again, you truly blessed the crowd and its was an honor to have made you feel welcome in my backyard, see you soon.

Erol Ibrahim

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Elton The Big Spender


ELTON John and husband David Furnish have made one antique dealer very happy this Christmas.

Woollahra royal and Paul Keating mate Martyn Cook hosted a shopping spree for the couple who were in town for the opening of Billy Elliot.

With the Queen St store specialising in 18th and 19th century antique furniture, objets d'art and paintings, there was plenty of scope for the show-biz identities to stock up their various homes.

No word on if they are planning to buy more property in Australia, although Elton is a huge fan of the Sydney lifestyle.

Following the opening night performance, Elton gave every single member of the cast and crew a shiny new iPod.

We don't think he bought them all in duty free.

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.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Elton John Working on Australia Movie Soundtrack


Elton John would jump at the chance of writing a love song for Baz Luhrmann's epic movie Australia.

The singer-composer and his partner David Furnish visited Luhrmann's set in Sydney on Wednesday and watched the film's leading lady Nicole Kidman at work in the studio, filming a ball scene set in a stunning recreation of the lush gardens of Government House in Darwin.

(When the couple walked onto the set, the film's band burst into Crocodile Rock in their honour.) I noticed, though, that he and Furnish sat well away from the acres of real grass that had been laid out.

"That sod leaves a bit of an aroma," one crew member commented, referring to the grass that had been carefully bedded down for a few days.

Australia is the biggest movie yet to be made in this faraway continent and it's a sweeping, yet ultimately intimate, tale join an of an aristocratic beauty, played by Nicole, who travels from England to visit her husband's sprawling ranch in the remote northern outback.

One way or another she meets a rough-hewn cattle drover, Hugh Jackman, who has his complex relationship with the landscape and locals.

"It's a small movie that I'm just coming to grips with after nine months," Luhrmann joked.

Then he added, more seriously: of delight Down "This film tests me as nothing else I've ever done."

Indeed, after a day on set I can see the movie has Luhrmann's stunning visual imprint.

Filming will actually end next week although a mammoth end-of-shooting wrap party will take place tomorrow for 700 cast and crew - plus their partners.

With Elton in Sydney for the opening of the musical Billy Elliot, it was a perfect opportunity for the singer to discuss what he might contribute to Luhrmann's film.

After watching footage on set, Elton, David and their two bodyguards were taken to a private screening room to watch a ten-minute rough assembly of scenes.

Both Elton and David told me they loved what they saw and thought Australia could become like Titanic on dry land.

David said that Elton would run over hot coals to be able to write a memorable love song for the mammoth £100million production.

Elton has film form, of course.

He and Tim Rice won an Oscar for their work on Disney's The Lion King, and scores of Elton's hits have been used on movie soundtracks over the past three decades - including some on Luhrmann's incredible Moulin Rouge movie.

Elton in a Tutu & Arthur Backstage


Sir Elton John has an unlikely supporter backstage, his husband David Furnish has revealed. Lady Furnish told our glam rock correspondent, Valerie Lawson, that the couple's beloved American cocker spaniel, Arthur, lies on a sofa in the rocker's dressing room listening to his performances.

"He knows the set list. He gets up at the last number and runs to the stage," he said during a break in the Billy Elliott media call at the Capitol Theatre on Tuesday. Furnish also discussed plans for a "cold and misty and romantic" Christmas break with Elton in their Venice apartment.

"We might take a dog or two. It's great having dogs on the road. They add a whole new area of comfort." He said Arthur loved air travel and went "bananas" in the car on the way to the airport before running up the steps to the private jet.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Elton's Billy Elliot Inspriration


SIR Elton John says he was inspired to write the music for Billy Elliot because he felt a connection with the young boy who dreamed of being a star.

Elton and partner David Furnish greeted fans at the red carpet premiere of the musical at Sydney's Capitol Theatre tonight.

The 60-year-old Rocket Man singer said he had always loved the story of the northern England miner's son who dreamed fo being a dancer despite his father's disapproval.

"When I saw the film, it really got to me," Elton said.

"I felt a connection with Billy."

Elton said he, too, had difficulty getting his father to accept his career choice.

"I had a struggle with my dad," he said.

"My mum was very supportive but my dad wasn't really ... so I was very ambitious wanting to prove it to him."

The musical, which opened in London in May 2005, has broken UK box office records and is still playing to capacity houses at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

The Australian production introduces four young stars in the making – Lochlan Denholm, Rhys Kosakowski, Rarmian Newton and Nick Twiney – who alternate in the role of Billy.

Elton was full of praise for the four boys.

"I met them in London, they had already got the part," he said.

"I didn't have to tell them anything, I just gave them encouragement."

Elton said he hoped the young cast would be recognised with awards like their UK counterparts.

"Hopefully if there are similar awards here, these boys will win one," he said.

Elton, who is currently on tour in Australia, said he was having a great time.

"We adore it," he said.

"I have caught up with a lot of people I haven't seen in a long time so it's been really wonderful."

One of those people was actress Miriam Margolyes, who he greeted on the red carpet tonight.

Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch, Anthony Lapaglia, Gia Carides, Nikki Webster, Toni Collette and Matthew Newton also turned out for the premiere.

There are also plans in progress to take the Billy Elliot Musical to Korea and Japan.

Australia's PNAU have a new fan. Sir Elton John has been telling his friends about his new-found discovery.

Sir Elton's record label Universal is reporting that the superstar has been buying up copies of PNAU's 'PNAU' and passing them onto friends.

This week, he invited the duo, Nick Littlemore and Peter Mayes to tea at his hotel. He has offered to help with support in anyway he can around the world.

The PNAU self-titled release is the third album for the duo.

PNAU will perform at the Big Day Out in January.

Billy Elliot Opens In Australia Tonight!


With a virtuoso solo ending in multiple pirouettes, a 13-year-old Newcastle boy yesterday showed why he is starring as Billy Elliot at the gala opening of the musical tonight in Sydney.

At a run-through at the Capitol Theatre of four showstopping numbers - featuring four different Billys - Rhys Kosakowski spun into a sequence of turns and gymnastic flips that would challenge a professional adult dancer.

Billy had just sung Electricity, expressing his feelings as he dances: "I suppose it's like forgetting, losing who you are; and at the same time something makes you whole."

Julian Webber, associate director of the musical, asked Rhys if he could reprise the number but he quietly shook his head, no. You can only do that kind of solo once a day.

Like all his fellow Billys, Rhys is not only a ballet dancer, a tap dancer, singer and actor, but also a performer strong enough to anchor a show that contrasts a brutal political tale of Thatcher's Britain with an intimate personal story about a boy who defies all odds, including his father's opposition, to win a place at the Royal Ballet School.

Just as the fictional Billy lives near Newcastle-upon-Tyne with his widowed, coalminer dad and grandmother, so does Rhys live in Newcastle, NSW, with his parents and grandmother. His father, Richard, drives a coal train.

Watching each of the Billys perform yesterday was David Furnish, an executive producer of the musical and Elton John's partner.

Furnish said John had wanted to write the score for the musical as the story had strong parallels with his own early life. His mother and grandmother supported his ambition to become a musician but his father opposed it.

For the Australian production of Billy Elliot (which premiered in London in May 2005), the director, Stephen Daldry, and his team beefed up two numbers, Angry Dance and Expressing Yourself. The latter was re-choreographed to "bring up the vaudeville element", according to Furnish, in contrast to the sentimental element (Billy talks to his dead mother) and political element (police viciously attack striking coalminers).

"The story is always about conflict," Furnish said. "Billy's journey is never straightforward".

One member of the creative team will be absent from tonight's opening and after-show party. Daldry left Sydney last week for Berlin, where he is filming an adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's novel, The Reader, with Nicole Kidman and Ralph Fiennes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Elton Adds a One-Off Abu Dhabi Concert


International icon and legendary musician Sir Elton John and his band are set to enthrall fans with a once-in-a-lifetime performance at Emirates Palace on 22 January 2008. Playing in Abu Dhabi for the first time in his career, the flamboyant performer will light up the outdoor West Wing stage with renditions of his all-time favorite hits.

The multiple Grammy Award Winning artist is renowned for his charisma and stage presence, constantly filling stadiums and concert arenas around the world due to his distinctive style and amazing musical talent. Best known for his tribute song to Princess Diana, ‘Candle in the Wind’, which became the best selling single of all time; almost everyone recognises the genius of Elton John in hits such as ‘Your Song’, ‘Rocket Man’, ‘Crocodile Rock’, ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, ‘Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting’, Philadelphia Freedom’, Pinball Wizard’, ‘Circle of Life’ – which featured in his Lion King movie and stage show - and more recently the poignant hit ‘I Want Love’.

The Elton John concert, produced by Event Solutions is the latest in a series of high calibre events secured by Emirates Palace and by far the most significant yet. General Manager of Emirates Palace and avid Elton John fan, Noel Massoud is particularly excited about the upcoming performance, saying, “Sir Elton John is one of the greatest performing artists of all time, with a huge following
of fans spanning all nationalities and age groups. It is indeed an honor to host such an esteemed musician and I look forward to greeting him in person and welcoming him to Emirates Palace.”

Abu Dhabi is increasingly attracting high profile events, including the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Abu Dhabi Golf Championships and performances by Placido Domingo, Chicago – The Musical, Carmen Opera, and Justin Timberlake.

Ideal for festive season gifts, tickets for the 9pm show go on sale from 14th December 2007 and will be available in three categories priced at AED 295, AED 595 and AED 950. Doors open at 5pm. For bookings and inquiries please go to wwwtimeouttickets.com or call 800 4669.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Werribee Park Info Sheet Out Now


Timings, parking, show map, and transport option information are now available for Elton's Werribee Park Mansion Concert in Melbourne.

Please Click here: http://www.chuggentertainment.com/tours/EltonJohn_07/maps/WERRIBEE.pdf

Elton is an Editor


SIR Elton John has turned his hand to musicals and movie scores, but the hard-working piano man can now add editor to his CV, overseeing a special issue of Sydney's Time Out magazine.

The publishing coup, on sale tomorrow, provides the Crocodile Rocker's guide to his favourite nosh spots, shops and 'knight life' since bunking down in town for his national concert tour and producer duties for Billy Elliot, which opens tomorrow night at the Capitol Theatre.

But as his exclusive chat with Aussie director Baz Luhrmann reveals, he's still hawking for more work, offering his songs for use in Australia.

The pair have been firm friends since John gave Luhrmann the nod to use Your Song in Moulin Rouge.

And there's a chance the fan could take Elton up on his offer, joking "well, there is a scene in the film involving a crocodile...''. Snap!

THE AFTER PARTY WILL BE HELD AT SOFITEL WENTWORTH, HUGH JACKMAN AND MOLLY MELDRUM ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND.

Can You Feel The Love Tonight at Movies Rock

Elton Loves An Audi Q7


THERE'S nothing like that new car smell, particularly when you add a little dose of Elton John to it.

When Mount Isa resident Trevor Brereton came to Townsville two weeks ago to buy a car, he had his mind set on the new Audi Q7.

When he went to pay for the luxury four-wheel drive, he was told that Sir Elton, in town for his once-off performance at Dairy Farmers Stadium, had been eyeing the same vehicle.

Fortunately for Mr Brereton, Elton only wanted the $90,000 car to ferry him between the stadium and the airport.

Mr Brereton's new car was the only one of its type in the twin cities and the only one the Rocket Man wanted for his Australian tour.

Honeycombes Prestige asked Mr Brereton whether he would mind `lending' his car to the star for the night.

Its price rose a few thousand dollars due to a window tint to ensure Elton's privacy for the 40km return trip.

"I ended up paying nearly double for it, just so I could say I have the car Elton used in Townsville," Mr Brereton said.

The four-wheel drive was driven by Acacia Limousines owner Lillian Doyle.

Ms Doyle confessed to nerves when she got behind the steering wheel, not so much about having a living legend in the passenger seat as the fact that she was driving such a costly car.

She said her passenger, who travelled with his entourage, was a man of few words and didn't want music on the flash in-car stereo.

"He appeared to be a very private man," Ms Doyle said.

"All he said to me was `hello' and `thank you'.

"When we had to go back to the airport, I said `excellent concert, sir', because it was. It really was.

"He said `thank you'."

Mr Brereton said his car dealership was chasing up Elton John's management to determine whether the performer would sign the car's service books for him.

"All the way back to the Isa I was playing Elton's tunes," he said. "The CDs were very hard to find in Townsville that week."

Elton's Lunchbox Reaches $750


For the second year running, the Food Bank for New York City and the Lunchbox Fund of South Africa have enlisted over 100 celebrities in their holiday fundraiser. Boldface names like Kanye West, Elton John, Cameron Diaz, Mike Meyers, William Wegman and, um, Urban Outfitters, have created personalized, autographed lunchboxes that are now onsale via online auction.

At Thursday night's kick-off event at Saatchi & Saatchi, a lunchbox by Michael Stipe was snatched up for a cool $35,000. But the bidding is still open on most of the other boxes, and in some cases initial bids haven’t even been placed. The Guy Pearce box, for instance, is still waiting for bids, but interested buyers have until the 6pm on the 21st to jump in.

There are a lot of great gifts on auction for the geeky lunchbox collector in your life. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist (and Big Lebowski nihilist) Flea has reduced his lunchbox to a smashed tangle of metal, intertwined with a “run of show production list, Supersonic ticket, grocery list and golf tee.” (Current bid $100.) Mike Meyers’s box doubles as a remote-controlled car (current bid $100), and Patti Smith’s lunchbox is probably the most packed; it includes – deep breath – a 1914 edition of William Blake, a Maria Callas box set, an Aqua Teen Hunger Force CD, a signed original Polaroid of a 1957 Duo Sonic, a personal blank notebook for your thoughts, a 2002 handmade peace flag, a New Party CD and a small sack of personal items including a Rimbaud pin. (Current bid $350.)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Tasmania Review


KEEPING his reputation for being one of the most punctual rock acts in the world, Elton John took to the stage five minutes early in Launceston last night.

And the 15,000 cheering fans could not have been more pleased.

A warm sunny day in Launceston yesterday turned into the perfect night for an outdoor concert as Elton John's Rocket Man national tour came to Tasmania.

Aurora Stadium was turned into a spectacular concert venue with seating for 15,000 people and giant video screens each side of the stage so everyone could have the best possible view of the music icon performing on stage.

The gates were opened at 4.30pm and there were still some tickets available right up to the time Sir Elton started singing, just before 8pm, with people queueing up outside the stadium in the hopes of picking up a last-minute seat.

Sir Elton's silver Gulfstream private jet landed at Launceston Airport just after 4pm yesterday.

Accommodation venues in Launceston were heavily booked with visitors for the concert, as were the city's restaurants and hotels.

Fears of rain spoiling the concert were allayed when Launceston put on a perfect 20C day.

Elton John opened the concert with Your Song and 60 Years On, delighting a diverse crowd including Baby Boomers and teenagers alike.

Sir Elton announced earlier this year that he wanted to visit places other than just the big capital cities during his Australian tour, sparking online petitions from Launceston and Townsville in Queensland offering to host regional concerts.

Because of the strong interest, Sir Elton agreed to do concerts in both cities.

Backstage Photo's From Elton's NZ Concert


Just hours before Elton took the stage at the magnificent Bowl of Brooklands.


Staging and equipment set-up.


A view from behind the stage, looking out over the venue.


The private VIP dining area, no public allowed.


A window looking into Elton's dressing room.

A Knight With a Legend



I travelled from Auckland, New Zealand to New Plymouth by car to see Elton at the beautiful Bowl of Brooklands for his one off New Zealand date as part of the Asia-Pacific Rocketman Solo Tour.

Firstly, I must congratulate Capital C Concerts, Venture Taranaki, Twenty First Artists Management and of course Elton for coming to New Zealand and being loyal to his fans down in middle earth. The venue they selected was incredible, it was set amongst lush native bush, it had a lake in front of the stage, and it was incredibly intimate, the diamond seating at the front of the venue was so close it felt as if Elton was singing just for us.

The night began with the worst weather one could ask for at an outdoor concert. It was raining, it was freezing, it was overcast, it was windy and it was dark. The gates opened and the fans flooded in. We saw a man who had images of Elton tattooed on to his body, competition winners being led back from Elton's dressing room, with huge grins and signed goodies and crew arranging the stage just so. Although I didn't get to meet the man, I did happen to see him drive past with a police escort and long line of Mercedes entourage earlier in the day. It was like seeing her majesty the Queen!

After an intolerable wait in the freezing cold, the opening act Strike Percussion began. Their mesmerizing rhythm and dance-like spectacle was unique and helped warm the crowd up. At 8pm, Elton's team came on stage and did some spring cleaning. They unwrapped the piano, set up heaters, plugged in the monitors, set the mic and iced the cola. Elton's Piano tech Dale Sticha came on stage and tuned the keys, ready for the maestro himself.

At 8:30 sharp, a local Maori group welcomed Sir Elton with a traditional Powhiri and Elton came on stage and launched into Your Song. At this time the weather could not be worse, the wind was messing up Elton's hair and making the speaker stacks swing. But as if some greater force was looking down on us and singing along with your song, the sky started to clear and a magnificent rainbow appeared right above the stage. Elton must have fans in very high places!

Elton then said good evening New Zealand and "as you can see I always bring the best weather with me." He spoke of bad weather following him around Australia. He talked about his love of New Zealand and how he has been coming here for years and how it is always like coming home. He then introduced Sixty Years On and rocked the bowl with those distinctive piano chords.

Next was The Greatest Discovery, an early classic. Elton spoke of this being written by Bernie Taupin for the birth of his brother Trig. Classics I Need You To Turn To and Border Song followed. Then Elton introduced The Ballad of The Boy in The Red Shoes. He said that it was written about the early 80's when many were suffering with AIDS and nothing was done for them. Elton said how "under Reagan nothing was done for them, it was a disgrace." Elton's piano playing was incredible, it was perfect and seemed effortless. His voice was strong and powerful, his voice is deep and crisp, like a fine aged wine.

Next was an audience favourite, Daniel. During this song a strong gust of wind caught the carpet on the stage and blew it up off the stage. Elton just kept playing, without the slightest fault. Elton's crew quickly rearranged the stage and he thanked the audience for being so loyal and sitting through the weather. Honky Cat followed, and many of the young couples got up and danced in the aisles. The extended version of Rocket man was a spectacle in itself. An incredible light show, images of space and the use of synthesisers and echo made this a real standout. This solo version had real emotion in it and you could feel the loneliness when he sings this song.

Tiny Dancer was dedicated to all the young ladies in the audience, and many patrons took the opportunity to sing along with those word famous lines. Mona Lisa's and Mad Hatters "a song about New York City" captured some of Bernie's great lyrics. Nikita was another audience favourite and Philadelphia Freedom had a fantastic USA light show and was very different to the band version, very refreshing. Sacrifice followed, a big hit in Taranaki.

Ticking was a very unique number. Elton said it was written about violent crime in America and how "unfortunately that still has not changed today." Although, I had the impression that because the song was not widely known, Elton sped it up and sang the lyrics much faster than normal, it still had an Erie feel to it and was very powerful. Roy Rogers was introduced as a song written about Elton's early childhood heroes, and this was well received with the adult members of the audience. Sorry Seems to be t
he Hardest Word was strong and involving. During Candle in the Wind, audience members were given free candles the hold up during the song, although many blew out immediately, the thought was there. I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues was a big hit with the kiwi audience.

Elton talked about the setting for Electricity and how Billy is asked what it feels like to dance. This song received a great applause and was very well received. Carla Etude followed an displayed Elton's musical genius and ability to play classical piano solos. This blended into Tonight, a very sombre piece. Take Me To The Pilot was not performed. Blue Eyes was a great sing-along. Levon was replaced by Bennie and The Jets and followed by Crocodile Rock. Old favourites, to which the audience thoroughly enjoyed. Elton ended his set with a powerful version of I'm Still Standing, to which the audience gave a rapturous applause.

David Furnish then appeared to the side of the stage and Elton could be seen talking to him. Two Maori elders then arrived carrying a feathered cloak. Elton shook their hands and the cloak was put around his shoulders. He gave them a Hongi (pressing noses), a Maori symbol of respect. Elton walked down the stage extension across the lake and bowed to the audience. The king of Piano sat back on his throne and told the audience how he could have used this earlier. "In all my 38 years of touring, I've never been so cold, and I have heaters on stage, so God knows how you must feel. But, thank you so much for such a beautiful gift." He ended the show with a very strong encore of Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

On behalf of New Zealand's Elton John fans, I would like to thank Elton for a breathtaking show, and for returning to our humble cities. We would love to welcome him back again next time (Elton said he will be back real soon!). As the concert ended fans could be heard singing various songs and heading home with smiles on their faces.


FOR AN EXCLUSIVE VIDEO CLIP OF THE CONCERT PLEASE SEE: YouTube
BACKSTAGE PHOTO'S COMING SOON...


Elton Plays Tasmania Tonight!


ELTON John's tour manager, Andy Mackrill, was confident yesterday that his large crew would overcome rain delays and be ready for tonight's concert at Aurora Stadium in Launceston.

"We are probably about half a day behind," he said.

"But these things usually take as long as you've got -- and we have a deadline -- it has to be ready by opening time tomorrow, so it will be.

"The last show was in Townsville, so the trucks from that show -- which have the sound, lighting and video equipment and the piano -- have only just arrived.

"The structure behind me came from the Hunter Valley after the Tempus Two show on Sunday, so it has been a mad race to get that here today."

"It is still not finished. The cranes are still putting the finishing touches on.

"It is about 100 tonnes of steel -- it is a lot of stuff to move around."

Mr Mackrill said he was expecting about 15,000 people would attend the show, which will go for between 2¼ and 2¾ hours.

Two huge video screens beside the stage will ensure everybody can see.

"The length of the show varies, depending on how much chatter there is between songs and he does the whole range from the very early songs to the most recent ones from Billy Elliott," Mr Mackrill said.

"Essentially it's Elton and a piano but, with the video screens, it becomes larger than life and everyone will feel really close to him.

"There will still be tickets available now that we've seen how the structure fits on the field."

He said Sir Elton wanted to go to places other than capital cities in the Rocket Man Solo Tour.

"This time he wanted to go to other places and here we are in Launceston fulfilling that dream of his," he said.

Sir Elton will arrive today and fly straight back to Sydney after the show.

Rain would not stop the show, Mr Mackrill said.

SHOW INFO SHEET:

AURORA STADIUM, LAUNCESTON, TASMANIA

Friday, December 7, 2007

New Plymouth Press Review



Sir Elton John said he has never been as cold while performing than he was in New Plymouth last night.

"And I've got heaters on stage, so God knows what it's like for you out there," he told the crowd at New Plymouth's Bowl of Brooklands.

But a bitter south-easterly and persistent rain before the show failed to dampen the enthusiasm of his fans, with more than 15,000 turning up to enjoy the show.

Instead, they huddled together on the grass while they waited for the star, and a huge range of raincoats, tarpaulins, oilskins and other waterproofing devices were on display.

And fortunately, the weather cleared as the music began, and fans from far and wide were rewarded for their dedication with a stellar show from the superstar.

"I can't believe I'm actually here. I could listen to him all night," Nicola Sheahan from Cambridge said.

"The rain on the drive down, and standing here in the pouring rain and freezing was absolutely worth it.

"This has been the chance of a lifetime."

Craig Flynn from Winton in Southland agreed, saying he was impressed with the Bowl as a venue.

"I've seen Elton before in London, so this is my second time," he said. "But this setting is the best I've ever seen. It's amazing."

Taranaki fans, young and old, were in on the act as well.

Cherry Phillips from Waitara said she was having a ball.

"This is my first time and it's beautiful," she said. "Taranaki's done it again. The rain stopped just in time and it's magical."

Caitlin Coughtrey, 14, Louise Henderson, 14, and Louise Hunt, 15, of New Plymouth said they grew up hearing their parents listening to Sir Elton's music. "We're all big fans," Caitlin said.

"We're having a great time."

Despite a big crowd, there was plenty of room to move about.

Queues were relatively small, with the longest lines for hot coffee and food.

The crowd began to gather from 2pm, while on the other side of town a handful of brave fans waited at New Plymouth airport for the arrival of Sir Elton's private Gulfstream jet.

Following a bumpy-looking landing, Sir Elton and his entourage were whisked straight to his dressing room at the Bowl in a distinctive silver Mercedes belonging to businessman John Rae.

Mr Rae told the Taranaki Daily News he was approached by the Mercedes dealership in Wellington and asked if he would loan his year-old car out for the night. He was happy to help out.

"Mind you, if I get it back in the morning and it's got any marks on it they'll hear about it," he laughed.

Police and St John Ambulance staff at the Bowl said the crowd had been well-behaved.

____________________________________________________________________

STAY TUNED FOR MY PERSONAL CONCERT REVIEW, VIDEO CLIP AND EXCLUSIVE BACKSTAGE PHOTO'S! - COMING SOON TO WWW.ELTONJOHNNEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM

Elton Honored With Maori Cloak


While Sir Elton was in the country for only a few hours, he bought several pieces of art during his visit.

Many artworks graced the dressing room where Sir Elton spent his time before hitting the stage at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands on Thursday night.

Just what he did buy is being kept under wraps for now and we may never know what he chose, with artists - both local and national - who displayed their art having to sign a confidentiality agreement.

It's likely there are Taranaki works among his haul.

"Yes he bought quite a bit of art," said concert promoter Phil Sprey yesterday.

Upstairs at the venue the elegantly decorated dressing room was said to be Sir Elton's favourite space. Apparently he even added some of his own personal items for a touch of home.

As a well-known fan of fresh flowers, there were plenty of blooms for him to enjoy.

"He loved the venue," Mr Sprey said.

"It's a credit to the council what they have done there and the backstage dressing rooms are superb. Obviously he spends a lot of time in dressing rooms on tour and what they have done here is exceptional."

One thing they might be missing though is a toilet seat from the throne the star used. Apparently his "people" feared it might end up for sale on the Internet.

Mr Sprey also thanked the Taranaki Daily News for great coverage and photos and had fielded plenty of positive feedback.

As well as his New Zealand art Sir Elton has a specially made feather korowai (cloak) to take home. The cloak was presented to him on stage before his encore by Ngati Te Whiti hapu chairman Peter Love.

Donning the cloak, Sir Elton clearly appreciated the extra warmth.

"I could have done with this hours ago. Never in 38 years of performing have I been so cold. What a great honour," Sir Elton said before launching into the encore.

Mr Sprey said it was surprise to see Sir Elton keep the cloak on as he performed.

"Initially, it was going to be presented to him and then he would take it off before returning to his piano stool because it was very heavy. But he was so enthusiastic he whispered as he went by `I'm keeping this on'."

The crowd clearly appreciated Sir Elton's final words before his last song.

"I've loved coming here, it's beautiful. Thank you for your loyalty, your love and wonderful warmth."

After his concert Sir Elton flew straight from New Plymouth to Sydney. Tonight he performs in Tasmania.

Yesterday Mr Love said the presentation of the korowai was significant and rarely done.

"It's the Maori equivalent to an academy award and the inclusion of Sir Elton John as an honoured member of Ngati Te Whiti," Mr Love said.

Before the concert two fans who travelled from the United States for the show got to meet Sir Elton.

Arkansas mother Cathy Dilbeck and daughter Madison Thorneberry won a radio competition to see the New Plymouth concert and meet the star. The pair were thrilled with their meeting and an obliging Sir Elton wore the red plastic hog-shaped hat they presented to him.

The hat is a mascot for the Arkansas Razorbacks football team.

Elton Gets Personal Didgeridoo in Townsville


CAPTAIN FANTASTIC AND A REAL COWBOY . . . Sir Elton meets Cowboys player Matt Bowen and John Pene-Fonmosa

The Rocket Man took time out before last night's show to meet some local Aboriginal elders where he was presented with a one-off designed didgeridoo in his honour.

Renowned artist John Pene-Fonmosa took time out to meet one-on-one with the king of the piano moments before he took to the stage, to pass on the hand-crafted masterpiece.

Sir Elton was visible impressed with the work as he raved about his love of indigenous art to the artist.

Mr Pene-Fonmosa had spent the past four days rushing to finish the design which features a hand-painted tribal design connected to the Bundjalung people of Northern New South Wales where he is based.

"It took about four days all up for me to make it," said Mr Pene-Fonmosa backstage.

"The story in the artwork is from the indigenous people of Australia saying `welcome to our country'.

"It included a keyboard for Elton and a sea turtle which is a totem for long life, grace and beauty."

Mr Pene-Fonmosa has been in the spotlight in recent weeks for making a didgeridoo which will be permanently displayed in Queensland Parliament, marking the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Federal referendum on Aboriginal rights.

He spent a few minutes speaking to the music great who was thankful for the gift.

"Sir Elton commented that he has quite a big indigenous art collection, so that was really great to hear," he said.

"He was all ready to go on stage when we met and it was very generous of him to give us his time. I think he really appreciated it.

"It's all part of the reconciliation thing for us too. With such a high-profile, well-known person, this is just a chance to showcase that and to have a moment in time with him is very special."

And being in Cowboys territory, the flamboyant soccer supporter couldn't leave without being presented with his own piece of the North's favourite football code.

Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen gave the star his own Elton-embossed guernsey which left him looking a little puzzled.

"He asked if it was league or union," he laughed.

"We had to tell him it was league, which was funny. It was great to meet him. He was good to have a talk to us."

He joked he would be keeping his eyes close on future paparazzi shots to see if he would trade his flamboyant suit jackets for the yellow and blue.

"I hope he wears it," he laughed.

Nokia Phones Now Include Free Elton Songs


Nokia and Universal Music have teamed up to allow mobile phone users free music downloads.

Users will be allowed unlimited free downloads from one of the world’s largest music catalogues, which will not only serve to increase mobile music usage, but also apply pressure on Apple’s iTunes which currently dominates the download market, with an 80% share.

According to the UK’s The Independent, Nokia has launched the offer, called “Comes With Music”, which will be available fro the second half of 2008 with new Nokia handsets.

Consumers will have access to download an unlimited number of songs from Universal’s diverse back catalogue, which includes songs from artists such as Bon Jovi, Willie Nelson and Elton John, as well as contemporary artists such as Amy Winehouse.

In July, Universal Music turned down a renewal of its long-term agreement with Apple and has since made its content available on rival platforms.

The music company is most likely to share in Nokia’s revenue of selling the handset, while the music will assumedly be tracked via digital rights management to ensure artist compensation.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Led Zeppelin Want To Sound Like Elton John


Jimmy Page has been less than impressed with the sound at the O2 Arena. Page and his legendary band members (minus the drumming genius of John Bonham) are due to play their much talked about one off show at the dome venue on December 10th. However, having seen shows by the Rolling Stones, Prince and Snow Patrol, he’s not happy with the quality of sound. He recently told Q magazine "The Stones sounded terrible [when they played there], Prince wasn't great, Snow Patrol was just this great monolithic noise."

One artist who’s sound he was impressed with was Sir Elton’s, and he plans on calling up the ex Watford Chairman’s sound man, Clive Franks, for advice on getting the best possible sound out of the venue.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Elton Plays Townsville Tonight!


A last-minute reconfiguration of the set has allowed for the extra seating and is sure to please distraught fans who missed out in the first round.

"We thought for this configuration of a football stadium we would need to have a big tower in the middle of the field with a big spotlight on the top, but we were able to get special spotlights ... so we don't need the big high tower in the centre of the grandstand," tour manager Andy Mackrill said.

"So there's all those seats in the centre of the grandstand available ... some of them are the best seats in the house ... there's tickets across all price ranges, there isn't a bad seat in the building."

Dairy Farmers Stadium was again a hive of activity as the final touches were being placed on the concert venue, as North Queenslanders prepare for the arrival of Sir Elton John who is expected to touch down in Townsville tomorrow lunch time.

Sir Elton is expected to travel to the venue after arriving in Townsville for an afternoon nap in his specially designed and catered dressing room before wowing fans with a two-hour spectacular tomorrow night.

While the concert preparations have been a finely tuned operation, one thing out of the organisers' control is the weather.

The bureau has forecast the chance of showers tomorrow night but according to Sir Elton's management, rain, hail or shine, the show will go ahead.

"We played in Canberra the other night and it was the worst weather they'd had in 15 years. It didn't stop us then and it won't stop us here either," Sir Elton's manager Keith Bradley said.

"You're either lucky or you're not lucky with weather so if there's a shower tomorrow hopefully it is in the afternoon and it breaks the temperature and it's a nice pleasant evening for everybody."

Concert-goers are being urged to bring rain coats as umbrellas will not be permitted.

Mr Bradley said Sir Elton had enjoyed his tour down under but has had little time to see the sights of the regional centres he's performed at.

And it's expected Townsville's visit will be no different with the superstar expected to fly in and straight out to his tour home base in Sydney.

"Our schedule is pretty tight. We've done four shows in five days and after yours (the Townsville concert) it will be six out of seven. It's pushing the envelope should we say," he said.

But it may not be the last time we see Sir Elton in this neck of the woods.

"He loves it. He really loves the response he's gotten so far at the venues that he's played,he feels the warmth ... with solo show he gets to relax and play what he wants to play," Mr Bradley said.

Dairy Farmers Stadium's transformation into a rock arena for tomorrow night's Elton John concert is all but done, with the last of construction completed yesterday and the final touches to be added today.

Two event co-ordinators who specialise in seating plans yesterday organised the placing of about 9000 chairs across the football field.

Some chairs were hired from Townsville, while others were trucked in from Cairns and Brisbane.

The seating technicians roped strings across the grass to make sure each row was in perfect alignment.

And in case you were wondering, they didn't plop their bums in every seat but instead just a few to check if they were up to par.

Site manager Colin Skals said it was a myth that you sit in every seat, but the questionable ones get checked out.
"You've got to make sure if somebody is paying big money for a seat, that seat gives them a view of the stage that they think they are going to get.

"It's all about making sure that all the seats can get a visual of the stage.

"All the ones out in the middle are no brainers, you have a good view, but the first couple of rows and the ones on the sides it's no myth, people actually go and sit on those seats and make the decision if they have to be moved."

The biggest challenge for organisers, the 44m x 16m stage, had its final bolts and screws fastened yesterday afternoon.

The stage was shipped in from England specially for the Rocket Man Solo Tour and arrived last Thursday from Canungra.

The 70 tonne of steel was spread across six truckloads and broken into thousands of pieces in 2m to 5m segments.

A specialist crew from England has been flown in to put it together along with the help of some local muscle.

"It's done lots of different shows, it's done Reading Festival and Glastonbury Festival," Mr Skals said.

"The team is an international team that has been brought in from England because they know the stage.

"They have with them eight international riggers and they've come to put the stage up along with some local people.

"The roof is about 15m high and with Elton's lighting rig at about 12m, it gives us some extra room unlike other stages which are only 10m high.

"The only shows that get bigger than this is the shows like the Rolling Stones, U2 or Robbie Williams."

The production crew will start installing sound and lighting from 7am tomorrow.

Straight after the concert it will be packed up and trucked to Melbourne, where it will be loaded on to a ferry and shipped to Tasmania. But for now, everything is ready and the Rocket Man will take to the stage for lift off – without a dress rehearsal.

"He's been doing it way too long for that," Mr Skals said.

"The crew will do a technical check in the afternoon, just check the piano and the sound, and Elton will walk on stage and know it's all working because he hires the best.

"It's tight but that's rock `n' roll."

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Elton & His Fan's Upset by Hunter Valley Show


The following is taken from a fan's review of Elton's Solo Concert Experience at The Tempus Two Winery on Saturday December 1st in The Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia. I have posted it here to highlight the need for caution at live events and lack of planning that took place.

It seems based on this fan's review that even The Great Man Himself found the aggressive audience and poor control of it to be of enough concern for him to leave the show early.


"My mother and I went to the Saturday night show at Tempus Two. We were really looking forward to as I lucked out and got front row seats! We travelled from the NSW South Coast and had anticipated a great experience, having never been let down by Elton and his crew before.

But it was not to be.

Let me start with us arriving there just after 5pm when the gates were supposed to open. We stood waiting for about 45 minutes as they were still setting up seating! All this time we were constantly asked to move as we were lined up in a parking lot and the cars of people with special packages kept driving in to park. When we did get in the gates we made our way to our seats but were told we could not sit down as they were not ready. This was at 5:45pm. We said "Great, let's go grab something to eat!" Little did we know that a pretty ordinary hamburger (no fries) would set us back $15 each! But, okay, it's all part of the concert experience.

Eran James came on and was quite impressive, given his young age, though the crowd did not seem to engage with him. Being down the front, we did and were rewarded with quite a few lines crooned our way.

I made contact with the head of security and asked if it was okay to run down the front after 'Blue Eyes' and before 'Levon' as it was a Rocket Club tradition. I had a special canvas print of my mother and I sitting at Elton's red piano in Las Vegas and was hoping Elton would sign it. Bob the guard said that was fine. I also spoke to the security guard on our section so she knew why and when we were running up.

Then came the moment we had been waiting for- ELTON! Being HUGE fans we jumped to our feet and prepared to dance, but were told by security to sit down. They were doing this to everyone who even dared to attempt to boogie. I thought this was pretty mean spirited as we wouldn't even have blocked anyone's view, and surely Elton WANTS his fans to enjoy themselves at his shows? Still, we tried to do the right thing and followed all instructions.

The set list was as it has featured on other Australian reviews... until Blue Eyes. As soon as the song finished, we jumped up and ran to the front, where the security guard who we had TOLD we were going to the front sent us back. We'd just reached our seats when we looked around and saw people starting to descend on the stage, so we bolted forward and ended up in front of the piano, but could not see Elton. Still, we were happy.

That is, until a horrid crush of people started pushing in on us. Security lost control of the situation and literally allowed half the crowd to descend upon the tiny space. My 56 year old mum is only little and was almost crushed by the crowd. I had to ask a guard to put her behind him so that she was kept safe, as people were ridulously drunk and aggressive. Many people at the very front had to be rescued by security and hauled up onto the stage as they were in real danger. Elton took one look at the crowd and didn't play 'Levon'. He played a song and I couldn't even tell you what it was as I was so scared of getting crushed. There were girls behind me who kept on pinching, punching and kicking me and my mother as they wanted to get to the front.

Elton then came to the front to sign items. He took one look at our canvas, which Mum had by then, and headed straight for it. He said "Good to see you again "and gave us the thumbs up as he signed it, and we were beside ourselves with happiness. Elton then signed my '60th Birthday concert DVD cover. One of the girls behind me grabbed it out of my hand and threw it to a friend who was behind her. Her friend then moved into the crowd. As you can understand I was devasted as there was no possible way I could even move to try and retrieve it. I said 'Excuse ME?!?" and she said "Well he didn't sign my pass why should YOU get two things signed?" Can you believe it? HOW RUDE!

Elton played about two more songs but as the crowd would not settle and people were still being pulled out of the crowd he ended the show with 'Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me' and walked off the stage. No encore, no thanks, no bow. I don't know if he was told to get off the stage or if he just left in disgust!

Having been to numerous Elton shows both here in Australia and overseas, I have to say that the behaviour of the crowd disgusted me. Those people who were there for the alcohol ruined the fun for those us us who appreciate Elton as an artist. We were severely short changed of songs by about 45 minutes. I don't for a second blame Elton for stopping the show. I DO blame the poor organisation and lack of security and the iresponsible service of alcohol for this debacle.

My mother showed me her arm this morning and it is covered in bruises that were inflicted by the crowd. (And yes, I have taken a photo.) And darn it, now my 60th birthday DVD is missing a bloody cover!

Don't want to sound like a whiner, I know there will be people who rave about this show but they obviously did not experience the show as we did. It has not for a second dampened our love for Elton or his music, but we will certainly not be returning to shows at Tempus Two any time soon."

Take care out there everyone!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Red Piano 2008 Dates Now Confirmed!


Elton has now confirmed his dates for the Red Piano in 2008 at Ceasar's Palace, Las Vegas, NV.

It kicks off on WED MAR 19 2008 7:30PM and ends on Sun, 06/22/08.

For all 29 dates, please see the tour information panel to the right.

Tickets are on sale now from Ticketmaster.

Canberra Review - Rain & Different Songs


There was thunder, lightning and then torrential rain, but one of the world's great recording artists was still standing before 8000 fans in Canberra last night.
Pop legend Sir Elton John took to Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park 20minutes before the scheduled 8pm start as he sought to outperform threatening skies.

Preceded by Australian singer Eran James, Sir Elton did not disappoint fans with his blonde hair gelled into spikes and dressed in red satin shirt, black pants and jewel-encrusted jacket. The rocker took his seat at a black Yamaha grand piano and gave the crowd what they wanted, a virtual hit parade of songs from a career spanning more than 40 years.
Your Song was followed by blockbusters Daniel, Rocket Man and Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.

Sir Elton apologised for the weather and made joking references through songs and through the show. The audience gave an almighty cheer when he started to play Madman Across the Water.
Irish couple Dave Murray and Lynn Mooney said it could rain all night and they would not care.
Backpacking across Australia the pair had come especially to Canberra to catch the show.
Having just scraped together the funds for general admission tickets a massive surprise awaited just after the entry gates.

"A bloke came up and gave us these front-row tickets. It was one of Elton's managers and he said it was a present from the man himself," Mr Murray said.
"This is the best day of my life. We can't believe it, what a man."
As the rain fell, one of the two giant screens projecting the singer's image succumbed to the weather, blacking out halfway through the concert.
Rivers of mud tracked through the seated areas and the audience was a sea of sodden plastic ponchos, huddled together for shelter.

Still they stayed and still Sir Elton played for more than three hours.
It was Sir Elton's fourth show on his Australian tour the first time he's toured solo here after performances in the Barossa Valley and the Gold Coast drew crowds of 10,000. At Sydney's Acer Arena, 15,000 came to see him play.

Like Commonwealth Park, the shows were at locations at which he had never performed before. He now travels for concerts in the Hunter Valley, Townsville, Werribee Park in Victoria and Launceston.

Managing director of Chugg Entertainment Matthew Lazarus-Hall said Commonwealth Park had been "a great little location" and spoke of Sir Elton's ability to hold thousands of audience members "in the palm of his hand" with a massive set list that could vary from concert to concert.

"He's got over 250 to choose from," he said of the songs available.

Elton to Play Surrey


On Friday, July 11, 2008, Elton and the band will play an all-seated outdoor concert at Mercedes-Benz World, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey, England. The concert will be staged within a specially constructed arena at Mercedes-Benz World.

Mercedes-Benz World is a brand experience centre and visitor attraction with exciting handling circuits for driving experiences. The amazing site is therefore a unique venue ideal to make this event very special. Plus, it is a short walk from the historic Brooklands Circuit, which opened in 1907 and was the first custom-built banked motor race circuit in the world, hosting legendary motor racing events up until 1939, including the first British Grand Prix.

Public tickets go on sale on Thursday 6th December 2007 at 9am UK time, from the Ticketmaster hotline, 0844 847 173, or online at www.ticketmaster.co.uk.