Monday, August 31, 2009

Sir Elton's Autocue

After almost 40 years of performing Your Song, Elton John ought to know the words by now.
Yet at a private birthday gig in Monaco, the 62-year-old star could clearly be seen using an autocue.

Even the opening line - 'It's a little bit funny, this feeling inside' - was on the screen at the Hotel De Paris, Monte Carlo.

The device was hidden from the audience behind a flower arrangement.

In this picture, Sir Elton appears to be leaning towards it as if to make out the words on the screen.
He released the song, which he wrote with Bernie Taupin, in October 1970. It was his first major hit.

His publicists vehemently denied yesterday that he needed the prompter to help him remember the words.
They insisted it was merely to make sure he kept to the correct running order during an hour-long medley of hits.

Sir Elton, who is reported to have been paid £1million to perform at the private party, is far from alone in his use of the autocue.

Sir Mick Jagger also follows the screen during his high-energy performances with the Rolling Stones.

Secreted among the onstage monitors, it scrolls through the lyrics to the Stones' classic songs in time with his vocal delivery.
The prompt, used during the band's last £250million-grossing tour, even tells him the name of the city where he is performing and spells out his between-song 'ad-libs'.

Brian Larter, managing director of the autocue firm Autoscript UK, said: ' Everyone uses them, from Macca to Elton.'

- Daily Mail

Friday, August 14, 2009

Elton May Appear at New England Patriots Game

Elton John will be honorary captain of the New England Patriots and lead the team out for their NFL clash with Tampa Bay at Wembley in October, says Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

See the Press Conference video at BBC Sport.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sir Elton Collaborates with Alice in Chains

Alice in Chains thought only a miracle would get Elton John to play on the tribute to Layne Staley.
But one listen to the song was all that John needed.

"He got up and gave us a couple of hugs," Alice in Chains co-founder Jerry Cantrell said of John, "and said: 'Well, Jerry, I just wanted to tell you that I think it's a beautiful song. . . . I really dig the sentiment of what it's about and who it's for, and . . . I'm going to play on the song.' "

John plays piano on Black Gives Way to Blue, a poignant ode to Staley, the lead singer who died of a drug overdose in 2002. The song is the title track for the band's first studio album in 14 years.

Cantrell, who wrote the tune, had already made a demo when someone suggested John for piano.

"I didn't think that would happen. He's a pretty busy guy," Cantrell said.

But both acts were recording at a studio complex at the same time when the band got word that John wanted to meet with them.

The compact disc is set for release Sept. 29.

- Columbus Dispatch

EJAF Photography Portfolio On Sale

The Elton John AIDS Foundation Photography Portfolio is a collection of ten signed and numbered prints by some of the world’s the most outstanding international names in contemporary photography. Sales of the Photography Portfolio support urgently needed grant-making initiatives supporting innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate AIDS-related discrimination and stigma, and direct care services.

“I am both thrilled by the extraordinary array of art that has been contributed to this collection and profoundly grateful to the generous and talented artists represented within for supporting EJAF’s vital work,” said Sir Elton.

Published by Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta, the limited edition boxed Portfolio sells for $25,000 and constitutes an extraordinary set for collectors or collecting organizations. The prints, in an edition of 40, with 12 artist’s proofs, were produced under the supervision of the artists. The Portfolio will be presented in a 20 × 24 inch box designed by Li. Inc.

“The Portfolio is a way for us to connect with the visual arts world, which has always been at the forefront in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and it is proof that artists continue to care,” said Scott Campbell, Executive Director of the Foundation.

The Photography Portfolio includes works by Nan Goldin, Katy Grannan, Damien Hirst, Sally Mann, Richard Misrach, Shirin Neshat, Thomas Struth, Sam Taylor-Wood, Juergen Teller and Ruud van Empel.

The artworks are on show until August 22 at Jackson Fine Art, 3115 East Shadowlawn Avenue, Atlanta.

- Look to the Stars

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Elton to Play at Mayan Pyramids

The Mayan pyramids of Chichen Itza, in southeastern Mexico, will be the scene of two grand concerts staged in the coming months by the British singer Elton John and Sarah Brightman, sources confirmed Sunday.

The presentation of the soprano Sarah Brightman could be done this year while the efforts for the presentation of Elton John suggests that this be held in 2010.

"I know that we will succeed, the walls of our ancient temples resound with the voice and the art of Sarah Brightman. And in 2010, at the foot of Kukulcan, is the music and the voice of Sir Elton John, "said the governor of Yucatán, Ivonne Ortega Pacheco.

The authority used its second report to the government announcement, which continues the series of concerts at the famous Mayan archaeological site, located some 180 kilometers west of Cancun.

This is not the first time that the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, declared a World Heritage Site and one of the new seven wonders of the world chosen in a popular initiative on July 7, 2007 - serves as a stage for concerts.

Ten years before that date, in April 1997, the tenor Luciano Pavarotti offered "Voices in Chichen Itza, the first macroconcierto the Kukulcan pyramid in the background and in October 2008 was Plácido Domingo (pictured) who sang in one titled" Thousand Columns .

In announcing the two new concerts, whose exact date of completion is yet to materialize, the governor of Yucatan explained that state policy is to capitalize on its Mayan heritage "to project the world and revive cultural tourism local, regional and national."

The Mexican tourism sector this year has seen occupancy levels fall after the swine flu epidemic that emerged in the country in late April, which has moved away from the tourist destinations of the Mexican Caribbean thousands of visitors, especially foreigners.