Thursday, October 30, 2008

Elton Talks About Billy Elliot

Watch CBS Videos Online

He's a 61-year-old superstar and a Knight of the Realm, with multiple Grammy awards and sales of more than 250 million records to his name.

But all it took was one moment in the 2000 independent movie "Billy Elliot" to reduce the pop music's "Rocket Man" to tears.

"The thing that really got to me emotionally was at the end when Billy comes on and dances as an adult," he told CBS News anchor Katie Couric. "And his father's in the balcony watching him come on and do Swan Lake."

The concept of a father's acceptance of his son's artistic aspirations struck a chord with Sir Elton John - who, growing up, yearned for the approval of his domineering dad.

"I grew up in the '50s, Katie. And rock 'n roll happened. That's what I wanted to do. And my father never really wanted me to do that," John said.

John said his father imagined his son working at "a bank … or join the Air Force like he did. And when I did become, you know, really successful, he never ever came and saw me. So I never had that moment of approval."

That regret inspired John to write "Billy Elliot: The Musical."

And the title role of the would-be boxer turned ballet dancer is so physically demanding it requires not one, not two, but three different boys to rotate in and out of performances.

"You have to find at least three Billys and rehearse them separately 'cause they all sing in different keys. They all dance differently. So it's a Groundhog's Day nightmare," John explained. "And you've got to have these kids for a certain amount of time every week."

But as Couric discovered chatting with 13-year-old Trent Kowalik and 14-year-olds David Alvarez and Kiril Kulish, there's no struggle to steal the spotlight.

The three stars said they don't watch the competition.

Aren't they curious about what the other guys are doing?

"Well, I just try to focus - to compete with myself, to do better than I did last night," Kulish said.

"Yeah, I just try to be the best I can be, and hopefully the audience likes it," Alvarez said.

Trent added: "And we're all friends anyway."

"Yeah, we're really supportive of each other," Kulish said.

Sounds like the most nervous performer in the room on opening night will be Sir Elton John.

"If I'm doing a concert for myself, I know what's going to happen; I know what I'm playing. If I'm sitting there and a piece of scenery breaks, I'm apoplectic," he said. "There's nothing you can do. So yes I will be extremely nervous."

Hopefully, they just break a leg.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Red Piano to Tour North America?

Elton John's celebrated "Red Piano" residency in Las Vegas has been a monster hit, and now it's getting ready for a trip around the world.

Beginning Nov. 19 in Birmingham, England, "Red Piano" will play in Liverpool and Manchester and also hit Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway. The international shows, booked by Keith Bradley at London-based Twenty-First Artists, follow today's release of "The Red Piano," a Best Buy exclusive available as a two-DVD/two-CD set in standard definition and Blu-ray, as well as a three-LP vinyl package. The project features the 14-song performance of the "Red Piano" show and a documentary about its creation.

During its Las Vegas residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, "Red Piano" has raked in about $140 million from more than 200 shows since 2004, according to John's camp. That's a honking $700,000 per night in gross ticket sales at a venue with a capacity in the 4,100 range.

The Colosseum may be the "house that Celine built," but it's clear that John has found a home at Caesars. He's got a permanent merchandise store in the sprawling hotel complex, and his presence (like that of the venue's other residents, Cher and Bette Midler) is everywhere. But even while blowing out the box office at Caesars, John has continued to tour the country to great success, with grosses of about $30 million this year. "The brand is stronger than ever," John's longtime agent Howard Rose says.

Hence the traveling version of "Red Piano," which cost some $2 million to $3 million, Bradley says. Acknowledging the expense and sweat equity of taking the production on tour, "The idea is to amortize it over more shows," he says.

"The original show was built and designed around a theater at the Colosseum, an extremely wide stage that was raked," Bradley says. "One of the things we considered when we looked at the room originally was scale, the size everything had to be. When we put the letter 'E' together, we used all the green neon gas that existed in North America at the time. We had to then think about how we do that for a traveling show."

Neon, as production managers know, doesn't travel particularly well. "When we toured it, we decided when we made the letters, which are obviously going up and down in the air all the time, to make them out of LED that just looks like neon," Bradley says. "That's much more expensive to manufacture but much more robust in terms of traveling."

John is committed to "Red Piano" shows in Vegas through April 2009. He owns the show and could take it on the road stateside if he so chose when Vegas is done. "After that point, we could actually move the touring system to anywhere on the continent or even take it further afield," Bradley says. "But it would take quite a few sea containers to move it, so once you land somewhere you need to be doing 15 or 20 shows to make it make any sense."

Rose says, "At this point there are no plans to come to North America with that show," adding it's a possibility "somewhere down the road, but not in the short term."

Billy Joel Confirms Tour with Elton

Billy Joel and Elton John plan to tour together in 2009, Joel told fans gathered at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square tonight for a charity benefit.

Joel even played John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," saying that he had to start practicing John's music again to get ready for the tour.

Joel and John last toured together in 2003 for the "Face to Face" outing, which grossed more than $100 million, making them the most successful touring duo of all time.

No dates have been announced, but rumors have had their initial run lasting 10 weeks in America.

An Interview with Elton on The Red Piano

With The Red Piano Elton John has created a spectacular stage show that continues its four-year run at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. It will continue to run through next February.

In addition on October 28, Best Buy offers the exclusive release of The Red Piano on a two DVD/two CD release. In addition it will be available as a single Blu-ray disc, as well as a special vinyl release of three long-playing records of the songs from the show.

What makes "The Red Piano" so unique is its size and intricate visual design, so complex that it makes the show impossible to tour. Its visuals include multi-color neon sculpture, pop art, inflatables, baubles, balloons and a huge screen that sits behind John on which are projected specially-made videos by John’s friend, photographer David LaChappelle.

The show features 14-songs from John’s long career, including such hits as "Candle in the Wind," "Believe" and "Rocket Man."

This past May John spoke with London’s Daily Telegraph about the show.

An Englishman in Vegas?

Q: An English man in Las Vegas - how does that go together?
EJ: A lot of Englishmen have been here, like Tom Jones, they come here on a regular basis. When I came here I wanted to do a show that no one had seen before. There had never been a rock`n`roll show in Vegas since Elvis. I wanted to do a show, a real fantastic visual show here. When I was offered the chance to come to Caesars Palace I knew the venue was beautiful, a state of the art venue that they built for Celine Dion, and I knew it had great acoustics.
The bar has been raised so much by Cirque du Soleil, by Celine Dion, by everybody that has played there, but I wanted to do a completely different show for me - a production that really reflected my taste in art and photography and fun. A chance to be reflective about my career, not in a sentimental way, but in a fun way.

So I got the help of David LaChapelle, who is a friend of mine, a great photographer. He had never done a show like that before. To be honest we didn’t have much time to prepare for it. David made a lot of films to my songs, I gave him a set list of songs and he picked the ones that he thought he would work best visually - songs that tell a story, like ’Daniel,’ ’Someone Saved My Life Tonight’ and ’Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.’

David is an artist in his own right so I said, ’listen, you just go ahead and do what you want. Bring it to me and we will do it.’ The art is very important in this show. The imagery on the screen is very Warhol-esque, it’s very pop art, it reflects my love of photography and contemporary art. This show is very modern. It is fresh, like eating an apple or a mint, something that hasn’t dated yet.

The Caesars Palace stage is huge, one of the biggest in the world, and if you don’t fill it up you are in trouble. So we got the inflatables made, all the neon signs made, and what we put together was a really spectacular show. We made full use of the screen, which is I think 120 feet wide by about 40 feet high, and we used state of the art stuff. We created a show that is fun for me do every night. When it opened it got really fantastic reviews, saying this is a much different show for Vegas, this has raised the bar - which is the whole point of coming here.

The show has so many different surfaces. There is something there for someone who just wants to have a good time and look at the colours and the inflatables, but for people with a little more imagination there are a lot more deeper things, from the beautiful dance scene in ’Believe’ to the domestic violence scene in ’Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me.’ If you want to look and think about things, there is much more depth there than you could possibly imagine. But for those of you who just want to have a good time, it’s just ’wow!’ I didn’t want to do a superfluous show, I wanted to do something with meaning. That was the genius of David LaChapelle, in putting together those films with those songs. He has been a fan of mine for so long, he knew the songs inside out and he was able to visually translate things that I was trying to say in a song.

I haven’t got fed up with ’The Red Piano.’ I have done around 200 shows and I really love playing it, because the audience is so different each night.

Raising the Bar

Q: How personal is the show for you?
EJ: It’s very personal, because I actually never ever wanted to be in Vegas whatsoever. I always said I will never want to end up in Las Vegas. Which goes to show that sometimes artists know nothing! I am very proud of the show and the fact that it is totally me. It’s what I’m like from an artistic point of view, it’s fun, it’s deep, it’s the songs I really love and it gives me a chance to get across what I am all about, visually as well as musically. I have never done that before, it’s a first for me and I am very proud of it.

We pulled it off in Las Vegas, and now we have to try and pull it off again in Europe. We have got to raise the bar again. Reaching my 60th birthday, when we played in Madison Garden, was an incredible night, and we pulled it off. So now you want to raise the bar for your own piece of mind, and your own personal pride and the public that are paying the money to see you. You can’t just fly on autopilot; you have to give the audience more of yourself. They have been so loyal and fantastic to me for the whole of my career, not just in America but in Europe and all over the world. They expect me to deliver something special, and I expect me to deliver something special. This I think is a really special show.

Q: In this venue [Caesars Palace] the show seems quite intimate.
EJ: That’s the secret of this building. You cannot build atmosphere, you have to put a lot of thought in it. The place holds 4100 people but it seems that you are playing for 2000. It’s very intimate. I can see the audience, I can practically touch them, I talk to the audience a great deal more because there is so much going on stage you have to bring the focus back to yourself.

Also because it’s so intimate it allows you to be funny, have conversations with the audience about the songs, on how they were written. I am very wicked about Celine Dion. She has seen the show, she has a great sense of humor and has been very kind about it.

So it presented a new challenge. When I first came here I was 57 and wanted a new challenge. When people say, ’It can’t be done and it is a very big risk’, then I say, ’Well, then I am going to do it!’ It’s like writing ’Aida,’ when we wrote the musical for Broadway. Because it’s probably the greatest opera ever written and Verdi is probably one of the greatest operatic writers of all time, I knew that we would be in trouble because the critics would think it a bad idea. That’s why I did it. In the same way I wanted to do ’The Red Piano’ because some people didn’t think it would work.

I wouldn’t have done it if the venue hadn’t been here. It is a fantastic venue. In a way it’s like a small Madison Square Garden. The sound is beautiful and I really look forward to every show here. In a lot of the venues you play, you are battling the sound. They are not built for a rock’n’roll show, they are not build for the kind of things that we do here. This is specifically built to house shows like myself and Celine Dion.

Looking Back
Q: The show takes one back in time - could it get too personal?

EJ: No because I think this enables me to be a little reflective. I am not one to look back very often and I don’t talk about the past. I think it’s quite humorous. Some of the images are very personal, some are funny, some I have forgotten about completely.

And you sit there and go: oh my god did I actually wear that? Did I do that? In ’I´m Still Standing,’ which is a collage of all my looks through the past, people say, ’I didn’t realize you had changed so often!’ The looks, the costumes, everything. I’ve had a long career. It’s 40 years of writing with Bernie, 37 years of performing - there are bound to be a lot of changes but until you see them in a montage like that, you don’t realize what you have actually done. As I said I don’t sit here and say ok, let’s get back and look at what I have done, I am always looking forward. So it’s a nice chance, without being cheesy and maudlin, to look back at my career and say, ’This is what I have done up until now.’

Q: To see yourself in those films - it leaves the audience with a strange feeling.

EJ: It’s very strange feeling for me too! That original footage with Justin Timberlake playing myself was done for a David LaChapelle video called ’This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore,’ from the ’Songs From the West Coast’ album. David had all this extra footage and he put it together for ’Rocket Man.’ There is a parallel between ’Rocket Man’ and a rock star on stage, especially in the early years of my career. I didn’t have any balance in my life then, it was a lonely existence. I was very happy on stage, when I was offstage I didn’t know how to cope that much. Justin was incredible because he got some of my looks and some of my expressions down so well it was very spooky for me to watch. One scene when he slides down a wall I got chilled: I thought, ’That’s me. That’s the way I looked, that’s the way I felt.’

It is an eleven minute sort of vision of what a rock star’s life is like.
There is everybody there until you have to go onstage on your own. I love that footage so much, it’s beautiful. Not that I see much of it, because I usually look at the audience, but sometimes I look up and notice things that I haven’t seen, it’s great. That’s why I love doing this show, there is always something different that I spot every night.

Special Moments?
Q:The films are so great you tend to forget the artist on stage from time to time.
EJ: That’s what we wanted to do, but I have to bring the focus back to myself at the end of the song and talk about the stories behind the songs. I talk about recording ’Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word’ with Ray Charles, or about writing ’Daniel’ and people being confused about what it meant. It lets the audience in and it just brings you back, your focus is back on what is really going on.

Q: Tell me about the film about Marilyn.
EJ: That isn’t Marilyn Monroe obviously, but it was copied from Marilyn footage by Burt Stern. Our film is very eerie because it’s just like the photographs and the footage of her.

It’s nice to be able to do that one on my one because it’s such a sad song - and a very emotional song. Of course it’s tied in with what I did for Princess Diana as well. I didn’t want to do it with the band, I just wanted it to be just me and her. This film really conveys the meaning of the song. When she says goodbye and closes the door - she was one of the most incredibly charismatic people ever in the world, and very lonely. There is a lot of loneliness involved in that film, as well as in the ’Rocket Man’ and ’Daniel’ films.

Q: There are a lot breasts in those films.
EJ: For a gay guy there are a lot of breasts, that’s right.

Q: Pamela Anderson dances in one of the videos - did you pick her or is she a friend of David?
EJ: She is a very good friend of David and she is also a friend of mine. She is an iconic woman - very beautiful, and when you meet her she is even more beautiful than on the screen. She is very petite and doesn’t wear any makeup, she is incredible. People seem to love Pamela Anderson. She is fun, she is a fun figure. It’s great for me because it’s a pop show and she is a pop iconic figure. A lot of the images of the show are about iconography and she is definitely an icon.

Q: What is your special moment of the show?
EJ: I love the depth of ’Believe,’ which is one of my favorite songs. I love the ’Believe’ black and white footage with the red roses coming out. I think visually that’s my favorite part of the show, it just looks so beautiful, all the black and white on the stage and then these beautiful red flowers coming out. And I also love the ’Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’ choreography which was all done in one take by John Burn who is David LaChapelle´s friend. He also did the ’Believe’ choreography.

Q: And you aren’t done yet!
EJ: Absolutely not! I look at Tony Bennett, he is 82 and he is singing better than he ever sung in his life. He loves what he does, he goes out with a trio, an orchestra, he has a joie de vivre. As long as I enjoy it and still have the passion and the ability to improve then I will still go out there and do it. I think 60 is the new 40! As I said, the public that have been with me for so long expect Elton John to come and deliver either a longer show and give them value for money or something different. And that’s what this ’Red Piano Show’ will do. It is not as long a show as I normally do, but it’s like giving somebody a meal and then it’s over and hopefully they want to come back to the same meal again.

Q: Do you still have dreams?
EJ: I am so happy in my personal and musical life right now, I just want to improve. You know a phone call can change your world, for example in the early nineties I had just gotten sober and I was really happy and just feeling my way and learning to live again as a human being, when I had a phone call from Tim Rice who said ’would you do the Lion King?’ Up to that point my career had just been about making records and touring and doing the occasionally song for a movie or whatever. So that phone call changed my life, because it enabled me to write for the ’Lion King’ doing the animated movie, and then the stage show. Since then I have written three other musicals.

The great thing about this business is if you maintain your integrity and your enthusiasm a phone call like that can come along and, if you are willing to take the risk, a whole new path can open.

Q: I can see why some have chosen you as the godfather to their children.

EJ: I have a very positive outlook. I have been sober 17 years this year and without that sobriety in my life and learning how to be a human being again I would have nothing. And so I am very grateful for that. I have wonderful friends, wonderful godchildren, wonderful family, wonderful relationship, a great career - I am the luckiest person in the world. I have so much enthusiasm for life and for what I do that I hope to go and project that enthusiasm onto my audience, the people who come and see me. Without them I wouldn’t be here.

Q: How important is love to you?
EJ: It is very important. At the moment there is so much negativity in the world. And I say that during the show - people are good, basically they are more kind then they are evil. We just hear about the evil things that people do, the horrible things. Love is so important at the moment. There are so many differences, so many factions, religious people against each other. We should just take a deep breath and say ’Hold on a minute, this is the 21st century. People need compassion, they need love, they need kindness, they need help, never more so than now.’

Monday, October 27, 2008

Stones, Bowie, Elton to Create Supergroup

Rock icons MICK JAGGER, DAVID BOWIE and ELTON JOHN are reportedly set to form a supergroup - to play at the London Olympics in 2012.

The Rolling Stones are slated to perform at the opening ceremony of the games - and Jagger is said to be keen to include other members of the rock aristocracy.

He wants to be joined on stage by Bowie and John, as well as Phil Collins, Sting, Van Morrison, Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour, and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.
The concert would be trumpeted as featuring the greatest rock "supergroup" of all time.

A source tells Britain's News of the World newspaper, "Mick feels the Olympics coming to London is a huge honour - and wants to make his own gesture with the band. It's early stages but Page, Bowie, and Morrison are already involved, although no-one is quite sure yet how the show will play out in its entirety.

"The Olympics people hope to use the template of the American football Super Bowl half-time show, where an artist takes over the field on a giant stage. Having the Stones on side for a project like this is a huge deal."

Rock Stars Loose 2m in Memorabilia Blaze

A handful of the world's biggest rock legends - including The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Elton John - have been left reeling after $2m worth of rare memorabilia was destroyed in a fire.

Tour pictures and promotional material marking different eras in The Stones' 42-year career were lost in the warehouse blaze; legal documents signed at the start of Bowie's career were lost forever; and items belonging to Elton John and Duran Duran were also being kept at the depot in Bow, east London by storage experts Iron Mountain.

A source says, "Everyone is very upset. The material is irreplaceable. Some of it is years old and worth thousands of pounds.

"Lawyers have been instructed to deal with it. People just want some compensation for their loss. They refuse to take it lightly.

"There is no way that this will be let go, there has not even been a proper explanation."

As FAME went to press on Sunday (October 26) reps for the respective stars were unavailable for comment.

A spokesman for Iron Mountain refused to comment on the fire but said, "The security of our customers' valuables is paramount."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Elton & Friends "An Outrage" Say Fans

On October 20th 2008, Sir Elton John presented 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John & Friends - The 35th Anniversary'. This charity event was designed to encompass the work of Elton John and Bernie Taupin's seminal work in a Broadway revue using talent such as Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright, Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears, actress Jane Krakowski, and the cast of Disney's The Lion King and Hair, whilst raising funds for benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, the Elton John Aids Foundation and Friends In Deed.

However, the reviews from some of Elton's long-time fans paint a very sad picture for the event. Some excerpts are below:

'The NY AIDs Benefit was an outrage. Elton, you get loyal fans and generous donors to give a lot of money to listen to the 35th Anniv. of Yellow Brick Road only to have a bunch of fifth tier performers butcher your songs, forget the lyrics and engage in cheap and crude partisan political propaganda.'

'This was a mediocre broadway review (admittedly with several highlights) Elton came out an sang 2 of the last 3 songs. Played piano on all three. Didn't pay $1000 for a broadway review. '

'The program clearly said the Elton was only to perform on the last 3 songs. shame on him for trading on his brand and name like that to take advantage of his loyal fan base who still have money in their pockets and a passion to see him perform and support his charities.'

'I was hoping that with all the booing mixed with shouts such as " we came to hear elton" that Sir Elton John who was sitting in a hanging booth would have the sense to calm these tense feelings from people who paid $500/ticket for the "cheap" seats by leaving the booth and taking to the piano on stage. He did not, and in my opinion this will cost him in the future.'

'I respected the broadway singers enough not to scream out, " I want my money back!" like others did . But they were absolutely right. I know the money was for charity but I feel that i was tricked! I mostly feel bad for my father, after he paid $500 for these tickets, and I had to reply with a "no" when he asked if I had a good time.'

The above reviews are individual comments, however the video above illustrates a glimpse at a powerful concept that must have got lost in the wind. Don't let these comments put you off seeing a real Elton John concert - there is no comparison.

Monday, October 20, 2008

All The Highlights From That Revealing GQ Interview

Below are some new, exciting announcements and projects that Elton is planning to work on over the next couple of years:

  • Working on The Killers Christmas Album.
  • Working on The New Eminem Album (due for release this Christmas - Elton has supposedly already attended a studio session).
  • New 2009 Elton John Album with Mark Ronson.
  • An Autobiography written by Sir Elton himself.
  • 6 Types of Touring (Solo, Band, Ray Cooper, Billy Joel, Orchestra, Red Piano)
  • An entirely different "Red Piano Show".
  • The Ben Stiller AIDS Musical.
  • Touring a whole new world (Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cambodia and Greece).
  • Duet with Charles Aznavour.
  • Collaboration with DJ Ironik.

Elton's 2 New Other Musical Projects

Rock-It Science Records is presenting Broadway's Greatest Gifts: Carols for a Cure, Volume 10. Featuring highlights from the Volumes 1-9, as well as the talents of stars from the 2008 Broadway season, the annual holiday CD benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA).

This two-disc set offers 36 original and traditional holiday songs recorded especially for this benefit CD, and features the cast of Billy Elliot, with the premiere of an original song by Elton, Cold Christmas.

Another highlight is a performance from Rosie's Broadway Kids, young students in the performing arts program founded by Rosie O'Donnell.

Broadway's Greatest Gifts: Carols for a Cure, Volume 10 can be ordered for $20 through BC/EFA at or by ringing (212) 840-0770 x250 Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST.

The CDs also are available at select venues throughout the U.S., including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC and the LA Phil Store in Disney Hall.

Produced by Lynn Pinto for Rock-It Science Records, the Carols for a Cure series of recordings has raised over $2.5 million for BC/EFA since its inception in 1999, providing support and care for those suffering with AIDS, as well as lending support to women's health issues. Pinto, a classically trained singer who made her Broadway debut in the 1998 revival of The Sound of Music, has been producing recordings for BC/EFA and many other artists ever since.

DJ Ironik counts Elton as a fan and the veteran star lends vocals to his latest single - but the two have never actually met.

The London garage star talked about their collaboration on his forthcoming single Tiny Dancer while on the red carpet at the Mobo Awards, where he was nominated for the Best UK Newcomer gong.

"Long story - but to cut a long story short, Elton John is very open-minded. He's worked with the likes of Tupac, Blue, Eminem," he said.

"He liked my music and that's how it came about, and he insisted his name was in the track listing on the album."

He added that he would like to meet the Rocket Man himself.

"Hopefully we'll meet. We're gonna talk to my record label, it's a bit hard with things like that these days but we'll try," he said.

Ironik's album, No Point In Wasting Tears, which he said was about "the story of me and while I'm growing up, everything I suffered" is out now.

Elton Working on New Ben Stiller Musical

Elton John is writing a “film musical” about a man who has AIDS.

The ‘Candle in the Wind’ singer is penning the show with Ben Stiller in mind for the lead role, and despite its seemingly bleak subject matter Elton insists it will be a comedy.

He said: “I’ve got to try and write a film musical for Ben Stiller. It’s about a guy on Broadway who is gay, has HIV and AIDS and has to go back and face his wife and his kids that he left. It’s very funny.

“The premise doesn’t sound funny, but it is.”

However, Elton – who has written the music for shows including ‘Billy Elliot’ and ‘Aida’ – says he generally isn’t a fan of musical theatre.

He is quoted by website MSNBC as saying: “I like some of the classic ones.

“‘West Side Story,’ for me, is the greatest musical ever written.

“But I don’t like forced fun. I’m more drawn to tragedy than, ‘Let’s all have a great time.’ And I’m not keen on the music in musicals sometimes.

“I’m quite fussy about it. I don’t really like them unless I’m involved in them, for some reason.”

Meanwhile, the 61-year-old performer has been enjoying time with friends in the South of France.

Elton reportedly invited 10 of his closest pals for a free two-week break in the exclusive region, before setting up a tab at designer clothing store Dolce and Gabbana where his guests spent a staggering 140,000 Euros.

Elton Coming to Gloucestershire

The legendary Sir Elton John has announced that he will be playing a summer concert at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club’s The County Ground on Saturday 13 June 2009 – with tickets due to go on sale this week.

Tickets cost between £40 and £80 for reserved seating at the outdoor concert, with fans from across the UK able to get their hands on tickets for the first time at 9am on Friday 17 October 2008, directly from

Elton John’s Bristol concert is the first of his summer 2009 tour dates to be announced, and organisers say that this will be the Rocket Man’s first show in the area since his Ashton Gate concert in 2004 – when more than 22,000 tickets were sold.

The legendary showman is expected to perform more than two hours of live hits spanning four decades, with classics including ‘Your Song’, ‘The Bitch is Back’, ‘Are You Ready For Love’, ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’, and not forgetting ‘Candle in the Wind’.

While Elton’s concert might not be taking place in the county in the strictest of senses, news that he is set to perform at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club is more than reason enough for to stretch their editorial boundaries, just this once.

Elton's Many Ideas for 2009

Elton John To Tour With Billy Joel In 2009.... Rock veteran Sir Elton John is planning to head out on tour with Billy Joel next year (09) in a new series of concerts.

The two legends have hit the road together on a number of occasions over the years in their Face to Face shows. During the gigs, the pair often team up for duets and play one another's hits.

The pair last toured together in 2002, before John inked a deal for his residency at Las Vegas' Caesars Palace.

But the Rocket Man hitmaker is ready to hook up with Joel once again - as part of a whole host of concert dates - and has pinpointed 2009 for a new tour.

He tells GQ magazine, "I love going out and playing. I've never loved playing so much as I do now. I'm just going back to do some dates with my band, then I go off and do six dates completely on my own, and then I go back to Vegas to do a show which is completely different to anything we've done before, and then I'm going on the road again with Billy Joel again next year - so that's the fourth different thing.

"And then I may go on the road with (English musician) Ray Cooper again - so that's the fifth different thing - and then I've got an orchestral thing up my sleeve. So that's six different kinds of shows I can do. And I just really, really, really enjoy it."

Monday, October 13, 2008

New Tantrum's & Tiara's DVD Available Now!

The long awaited re-release of David Furnish's "Tantrum's and Tiara's" introspective documentary on Elton John will be released on November 25, 2008.

The original 1995 documentary will be re-mastered and formatted for DVD.

The following special features are also expected to be included:
  • Commentary by Sir Elton John & David Furnish.
  • Un-edited segments containing footage of Rod Stewart, Kylie Minogue and Gianni Versace.
  • Deleted Scenes and blooper reel.
  • Collectable packaging featuring an embossed Elton John autograph.
This product is available now for pre-order form

Team Elton Wins Again!

Kennesaw, Ga., (October 12, 2008) – Sir Elton John knows how to get Andy Roddick fired up on the tennis court. Before Sunday’s Advanta WTT Smash Hits event at Kennesaw State University, cohost Elton John joked that Andy Roddick hasn’t been on a winning Smash Hits team in years.

Roddick responded to the challenge from his team coach, winning three sets to lead Team Elton John to a 23-16 victory over Team Billie Jean at the 16th annual Advanta WTT Smash Hits at Kennesaw State University. With the win, Elton John evened the series with Billie Jean King at eight wins apiece.

The annual charity event, hosted by Billie Jean King and Sir Elton John, raised more than $400,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund.

John kicked off the tennis action teaming with Roddick to win a battle of the sexes match against Anna Kournikova and Martina Navratilova. The music superstar and avid tennis fan hit several winners, showcasing a formidable forehand.

Team Elton got off to an early lead in the first set of mixed doubles as Kournikova and Roddick edged Navratilova and Jesse Levine in a tight match 5-4 (3). Roddick outgunned Levine in two sets of men’s singles 5-2, 5-1. Team Billie Jean rallied in the second set of mixed doubles when Navratilova and Levine outlasted Roddick and top American junior Melanie Oudin, 5-3.

At 17, Oudin is 34 years younger than the timeless Navratilova. But the Marietta, Ga., teen shook off the nerves and was impressive in singles. Navratilova hit several drop shot winners which prompted Oudin to laugh and yell across the net “haven’t got one yet have I?” On the next point, Oudin hit a drop shot out of Martina’s reach to the delight of her hometown crowd.

She closed out the game with an ace to take a 4-2 lead. Navratilova put on a shot-making clinic in the next two games to take the final set to a nine-point tiebreaker before Oudin closed out the set 5-4 to grab the match victory for Team Elton with a forehand winner.

For Oudin the afternoon was memorable experience, playing a legend in front of family and friends. “It was a great experience getting to play her, win or lose” said Oudin.

At a pre-match reception, more than $171,000 of the event’s total was raised as King, John and the players participated in a live auction. The top auction items were two Wimbledon packages with Billie Jean King’s personal Center Court seats which sold for $21,000 each. Other top draws were John’s autographed piano bench and a Super Bowl package. Roddick wrapped up the auction with a winning $17,000 bid for artwork created by Martina Navratilova. The VIP reception was co-chaired by civic leaders Dr. Bobbie Bailey, Charlie Hendon, and Sacha Taylor.

John’s part-time hometown turned out to support his annual charity event and help raise funds for HIV/AIDS programs in the South. During a pre-match press conference, John talked about how much the Atlanta community has supported him since moving here 17 years ago and he emphasized the importance of community support for AIDS programs especially during tough economic times.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Feb 2009 Red Piano Tickets Out Now

The first block of tickets for Elton's Red Piano show in Las Vegas for 2009 have now been released for sale by Ticketmaster.

Dates are as follows:

Tue, 02/03/09

Wed, 02/04/09

Fri, 02/06/09

Sat, 02/07/09

Sun, 02/08/09

Tue, 02/10/09

Wed, 02/11/09

Fri, 02/13/09

Sat, 02/14/09

Sun, 02/15/09

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

First 2009 Tour Dates Out

Elton & The Band will kick off their 2009 year in South America, the first proposed dates are below:

  • January 25 2009 - Caracas, Venezuela - Buchaman´s Forever - Hotel Eurobuilding
  • January 29 2009 - Bogota, Columbia - Centro de Ferias Corferias
  • January 31 2009 - Mexico City, Mexico - Venue to be announced shortly
More cities and dates are expected to be announced officially very soon.