Saturday, January 30, 2010
In 20 previous editions, the pre-Grammy concert benefiting MusiCares has had some spectacular honorees and events, including Elton John, James Taylor, Sting, Bono and 2009 recipient Neil Diamond. But with all of those star-studded affairs it would be hard to find one that engendered more love and respect than Friday night's dinner honoring Neil Young. From the moment the night was announced it promised to be special.
Host Jack Black, who got so caught up in the spirit of raising money for the night he auctioned off his shoes, tie and eventually pants during the evening, noted in his opening remarks, "Neil Young has influenced four decades of music." That was felt in the remarkable lineup that brought together peers like Crosby, Stills and Nash, Jackson Browne and Emmylou Harris, who performed the title track to 'Comes A Time' with Lucinda Williams and Patty Griffin, as well as other disciples and admirers such as Wilco, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dave Matthews.
Wilco delivered one of the high points of the night with a mesmerizing 'Broken Arrow,' while Matthews performed a poignant 'Needle And The Damage Done.' For them, being there was obvious. "Well, it's about time we paid him back," Wilco's Jeff Tweedy told Spinner beforehand. "I certainly can't think of anyone who's been more influential on a band like Wilco."
And for Matthews, who is still blown away by calling Young his friend, it was a chance to pay his respects. "Since I was a kid I've been a crazy fan," he told Spinner. "And it's a different thing to be able to go out there and say thank you to him as a fan, rather than as a friend."
The night brought out some special collaborations, including Jason Mraz and Shawn Colvin's 'A Lotta Love,' Stephen Stills and Sheryl Crow's lovely 'Long May You Run,' and Keith Urban, John Fogerty and Booker T shaking the Convention Center halls with 'Rockin' In The Free World.' The night also featured a Grammy-worthy tribute by Elton John, Neko Case, Leon Russell, Shawn Colvin and T-Bone Burnett on 'Helpless.'
But the individual performances offered just as many highlights, including John Mellencamp's opening 'Down By The River,' Ben Harper's stirring 'Ohio,' Elvis Costello's 'The Losing End' and Ozomatli's funked up 'Mr. Soul.' One of the most anticipated moments of the night was the Red Hot Chili Peppers' first public appearance with new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, and the band did not disappoint, going "soft, hard, and then soft again" with a psychedelic version of ' A Man Needs A Maid.'
Young sat in the audience taking in all the admiration and love, but he did not speak. That didn't surprise Matthews, who knows his friend well. "I know he's so embarrassed by the whole thing. He's probably like, 'I can't take it, f--- this. I'm not playing, f--- you,'" Matthews said laughing. "That's not a direct quote, but it's the kind of person he is. But it's great to get up there and embarrass him like that because he's like nobody else."
Lady Gaga has a lousy poker face. We're totally on to her Grammy Awards secrets.
When the lights go down on the Staples Center Sunday, the five-time nominee will be there to get the festivities rolling. And she won't be opening the show alone with an inevitably crazy outfit.
Elton John will be there to join her, E! News confirms exclusively.
They'll be doing some sort of medley ("Tiny Just Dancer" or "Don't Let the Bad Romance Go Down on Me" perhaps?) set to a "factory"-themed set and costumes, a source tells us. We're not quite sure whether Elton or Gaga will both be tickling the ivories, but at least one of them will. Gaga is said to be "rehearsing like crazy" at Center Stage in Burbank, and one of the tracks getting practice time is "Telephone."
And just for the sake of clarity, Beyoncé won't be joining them.
We just hope this collab is half as good as when Elton teamed up with Eminem in 2001.
It was no hollow cliche Friday morning when John Mahon told a gymnasium full of St. Thomas Aquinas High School students that dreams do come true.
A 1973 Aquinas graduate, Mahon played drums in the school’s marching band, concert band and jazz band and sang in the choir.
After school, Mahon spent countless hours in his bedroom listening to rock ’n’ roll records, studying album covers and music magazines and dreaming about playing concerts in front of 50,000 people and traveling the world.
Since 1997, Mahon has done all of the above, touring frequently as a member of Elton John’s band, in which he is a backing vocalist and percussionist. He has performed about 700 shows with Elton to date.
“I’ve been around the world a couple of times, sometimes on his private jet,” Mahon said. “Sometimes it is the glamorous rock ’n’ roll lifestyle, but it’s also a lot of work.
“Aside from the actual shows, which are 2 1/2 hours long, the rest of my day is airplanes, buses, vans, checking into hotels and that constant search for a good cup of coffee.”
Mahon was among three Aquinas graduates honored as distinguished alumni in a program at the school Friday morning. Colette Gibbons (1969) and Kelly Kelleher (1976) also were recognized. Ron Chessler, the freshman football coach, was lauded for his distinguished service.
Mahon spoke warmly of his formative years in Canton.
“The first thing I was in musically was the Canton Police Boys Club drum-and-bugle corps,” he recalled. “My dad (Joseph) was a policeman and he took my brothers and I there when I was 13. My brothers picked horns and I picked drums.”
After high school, Mahon played in a succession of local bands — Constellation, Sneeze, Punch, Hard Times — that veered from R&B to jazz-rock to top-40. “We played King Arthur’s, the Cabaret, all the local places,” he said.
In 1980, Mahon married Pam Tortola, a fellow Aquinas grad, and in 1983 they made the brave decision to move to Los Angeles, encouraged by a musician friend of Mahon’s who already lived there. “We sold everything we owned, packed up our little Toyota pickup truck and drove out there cold,” Mahon said.
Mahon gradually gained his career footing in the L.A. music scene, touring with Al Stewart, Peter White, Rita Coolidge and Helen Reddy, doing studio work, and playing with his own band, the Stickmen. “I wasn’t just a drummer. I was always a singing drummer,” Mahon said. “That’s what’s really kept me working.”
In 1997, a musician friend who was playing in Elton John’s band arranged for Mahon to audition with Elton’s bandleader Davey Johnstone. “I auditioned and Davey said, ‘This is really good, you’ve got the gig. We’re going to rehearse in Nice, France, for three days and that’s where you will meet Elton.’ ”
Before meeting Elton for the first time, “I was a nervous wreck as you can imagine,” Mahon said. “But he was very cordial. He came right up and introduced himself. He was friendly, open, asked me a lot of questions. He must’ve liked me because I’m still here.”
Asked about the biggest shows he’s played with Elton John, Mahon listed the Coliseum in Rome for more than 200,000 people, Hyde Park in London for a half-million people, the Carnivale in Rio De Janeiro for 100,000 people, Wembley Stadium for 80,000, and a five-night stand at Madison Square Garden.
“It’s funny, I can play in front of 50,000 people and I could care less,” Mahon said. “But I have to do this thing at St. Thomas, playing in front of a few of my peers, and I’m a nervous wreck.”
His wife flies to join him when she can. “She’ll come to London, Paris, New York, Rome,” he said. “She knows which ones to pick — the good shopping cities.”
So what does it feel like playing in Elton John’s band in a sold-out arena?
“There’s plenty of nights when you are exhausted with jet lag from all the traveling,” Mahon said. “But as soon as you hit that stage and the people start going off, all that stuff goes right out the window. You are completely in the moment. It fuels you.”
Friday, January 29, 2010
It has widely been reported that Lady Gaga and Elton John will perform a “memorable” performance when they take to the stage at this years 52nd annual Grammy Awards, which takes place at the Los Angeles Staples Center on January 31.
There are no details regarding the duet as of yet, and Sir Elton John also rejected the offer to spill the beans while at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah this week. It is noted that Sir Elton John also performed with Eminem at the Grammy Awards back in 2001.
Contactmusic spoke to a source that said “Elton and Lady Gaga on the same stage is sure to create fireworks, it could be one of the most memorable Grammy performances of all time.”
Eminem, Drake, and Lil Wayne will perform a tribute to Travis Barker at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards telecast, and Jeff Beck and Imelda May will honor Les Paul.
Also newly added to the telecast: Jamie Foxx and T-Pain performing with Slash and Doug E. Fresh; a performance from the cast of Broadway’s “American Idiot” with Green Day; and performances from Roberta Flack, Elton John, and Jennifer Nettles.
The newest presenters announced are Simon Baker, Stephen Colbert, Alice Cooper, Sheryl Crow, Kaley Cuoco, Placido Domingo, Robert Downey Jr., Wyclef Jean, Juanes, Miranda Lambert, John Legend, Jennifer Lopez, Lea Michelle, Chris O’Donnell, Kate Perry, Lionel Richie, Ryan Seacrest, Seal, Quentin Tarantino, and Keith Urban.
Previously announced performers on the telecast include Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Green Day, Lady Gaga, Pink, Maxwell, Lady Antebellum, and the Zac Brown Band.
Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood, and Usher take part in a 3D tribute to late superstar Michael Jackson. Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli will join up for “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” during a fundraising segment for Haiti. The performance will be available at iTunes after the telecast, with proceeds benefiting Haiti.
Don’t forget to check out the Blender blog Sunday evening for live blogging of the Grammy telecast, beginning at 7 p.m. The show airs on CBS.
Billy Joel and Elton John will rock Fenway Park this summer.
The Piano Man and the Rocket Man’s Face 2 Face tour will stop at the storied ballpark on July 21 with a second show on July 24, a source told the Herald.
Last summer, Elton John and Billy Joel’s concert at Gillette Stadium was the nation’s top-grossing show for the week ending July 29, grossing $6.2 million and beating out Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Beyonce, Coldplay and the Jonas Brothers, according to Billboard.
- Boston Herald
“We Are the World 25″ is a go for Monday, Feb. 1, at the Nokia Theater.
After checking with lots of stars, and accepting calls from “just about everyone,” Quincy Jones and AEG Live’s Randy Phillips are putting the finishing touches on the big recording session.
Among the names I’ve heard so far: Elton John, Celine Dion, Wyclef Jean, Gladys Knight, and possibly Aretha Franklin will join a huge number of younger stars.
Some of the stars from Quincy Jones’ upcoming album, “Soul Bossa Nostra,” may join in as well. They would include Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Akon, Bebe Winans, Usher, Robin Thicke, LL Cool J, and Tevin Campbell.
As I told you yesterday, Paul Haggis will film the proceedings. What’s still being finalized is where all the money will go; that should be announced by Friday. When the original “We Are the World” was recorded in 1985, the money was funneled through its own organization. This time, however, raised funds will be sent through an established foundation.
Originally there was a sketchy plan to re-record “We Are the World.” But when the Haiti earthquake occurred, Quincy Jones realized there was a larger purpose for the reunion.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
SINGER Sir Elton John will be the star attraction at a fundraising event for disabled and ill children.
The Rocket Man, 62, is the headline act at Caudwell Children’s Butterfly Ball.
His appearance will mark the 10th anniversary of the event, which has raised more than £11million for equipment, treatments and therapy for children with hundreds of disabilities.
The Charity’s chief executive Trudi Beswick said: “We are thrilled to have Elton performing. It will be a fitting celebration for our 10th anniversary.”
Last year’s ball, with Rod Stewart, 65, raised £1.7m.
This year it will be held at London’s Battersea Evolution on May 20.
For more information and to buy tickets, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01782 600113.
For more information on Caudwell, which helps thousands of children, see caudwellchildren.com.
January 27, 2010 -- The annual Sundance Film Festival has brought out the celebrities with the arrival of Sir Elton John today. The international figure showed up in Park City, Utah for the premier of ‘Nowhere Boy' .
The Sundance Film Festival originally started in 1978 with the help of Robert Redford. The festival began as an outlet for low budget and independent film makers hoping to gain exposure for their efforts. Today, the festival brings out all of Hollywood, focusing on individuals and filmmakers who consider this a venue a way to expose all types of films on all kinds of levels.
The 2010 Sundance Film Festival attract an array of stars, who made it to Park City today, January 27, when the town welcomed Los Angeles residents Katie Holmes and Fergie. These celebrities were in town to attend 'The Romantics' premiere.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Sir Elton John will give an open-air concert at Warsaw’s Polonia Sports Stadium on 30 May.
The concert will be a part of ‘Elton John's Rocket Man Greatest Hits Tour’.
Composer, singer and pianist, Sir Elton Hercules John is one of the legends of world show business. He has enjoyed an unabated popularity since the 1970s.
He was top of the bill at the Sopot music festival in northern Poland in 2006 when he caused controversy when he made comments from the stag in support of gay marriage in Poland.
After years of rumoured arrivals, Billy Elliot looks set to finally dance into Toronto in 2011.
The Elton John-composed musical, based on the 2000 film about a British working-class boy who dreams of being a ballet dancer, has already been a hit in London, Australia and New York, while a fourth production is set to open in Chicago in March.
Now, an unnamed source says there’s a plan in place to move the Chicago production to Toronto in early 2011. Mirvish Productions, which at one time was in the running to produce the North American premiere of Billy Elliot, would present the show for an undetermined amount of time in Toronto; the show would then embark on a North American tour.
This plan depends on a number of factors, including how well the show sells in Chicago. But we should expect a confirmation of the exact details when Mirvish unveils its 2010-2011 season later this winter.
If the Chicago production does come to Toronto intact, there will be at least one Canadian in the cast: Montreal's Cesar Corrales, 13, who was been performing professionally in Canada since the age of four, is one of three rotating Billys in the production. In 2008, Corrales placed first at the Coupe Quebec gymnastics competition and joined Canada's National Ballet School.
Last year, fellow Montreal teenager David Alvarez won a Tony for his role as one of the three Billys in the original Broadway production.
- The Globe and Mail
Sunday, January 24, 2010
All Black legend Zinzan Brooke has spoken of his friendship with Elton John, telling how he donned the singer's clothes for a photoshoot and treated him to a haka.
London-based Brooke, 44, took part in a photoshoot for GQ magazine to promote Out of the Closet, a charity sale of flamboyant clothing owned by John and his partner David Furnish.
The sale, on December 12, was a fundraiser for the Elton John Aids Foundation.
Draped in a colourful Versace silk robe and John's trademark white-rimmed glasses, a stubble-faced Brooke was snapped reclining in a chair flicking through a notebook.
The shoot, in John's London home, also featured some of his other celebrity pals, including Sting, Natalie Imbruglia, rugby player Paul Sackey and Scream actress Neve Campbell.
"I loved my outfit and was really surprised at how well it fitted me," Brooke told GQ. "The shoot was great - I did the haka in Elton John's house."
- NZ Herald
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Big Concerts announced today that the Elton John concert planned for Bloemfontein on the 23rd March 2010 has unfortunately been cancelled due to scheduling challenges on the South African tour.
The move was necessitated in order to accommodate multiple mid- week Cape Town performances, which have been confirmed for the 24th and 25th March in response to overwhelming demand. Attie van Wyk of Big Concerts responded that the announcement was "regrettable, and an unfortunate consequence of logistics due to the demand for additional shows in Cape Town".
All Elton John fans that have already purchased their tickets to the show in Bloemfontein are eligible for a full refund upon presentation of their ticket at any Computicket outlet in the city, or alternatively they may exchange their existing ticket for the Johannesburg performance at Emmarentia Botanic Gardens on Sunday 21st March 2010.
Big Concerts announced today that the Elton John concert planned for Durban on the 24th March 2010 has unfortunately been cancelled due to scheduling challenges on the South African tour.
The move was necessitated in order to accommodate multiple mid-week Cape Town performances, which have been confirmed for the 24th and 25th March in response to overwhelming demand. Attie van Wyk of Big Concerts responded that the announcement was "regrettable, and an unfortunate consequence of logistics due to the demand for additional shows in Cape Town".
All Elton John fans that have already purchased their tickets to the show in Durban are eligible for a full refund upon presentation of their ticket at any Computicket outlet in the city, or alternatively they may exchange their existing ticket for the Johannesburg performance at Emmarentia Botanic Gardens on Sunday 21st March 2010.
Big Concerts announced today that the opportunity has presented itself to host Sir Elton John at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens as part of his ‘Under African Skies’ tour on the 24th March this year.
The legendary superstar (who will be joined on stage by long-time collaborator and renowned percussionist, Ray Cooper) will perform against the magical backdrop of Table Mountain in a relaxed, picnic style setting that has made Kirstenbosch world famous.
As a consequence of this exciting development, the Paarl performance which, was originally scheduled for the 28th March will be replaced by this new show at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on the 24th March 2010. Those fans that have already purchased tickets to the Paarl concert will have hassle-free entry to Kirstenbosch by simply presenting their existing ticket to security at the gates. And should any of these existing ticket holders be unable to make the new date, they are eligible for a full refund upon presentation of their ticket at any Computicket outlet in the city.
Elton John’s musical career spans for over four decades. He was the biggest pop superstar of the early 70’s and forty years later remains one of the most entertaining, charismatic and energetic musicians and performers on the planet. To date he has sold over 200 million records worldwide and had a multitude of hits including ‘Rocket Man’, ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’. Be sure not to miss this incredible showman in a relaxed, picnic- style setting – ‘LIVE, Under African Skies’.
Sunday 21st March 2010 Emmarentia Botanic Gardens Tickets R501
Wednesday 24th March 2010 Kirstenbosch Gardens Tickets R501
Friday 26th March 2010 NMMU Sports Fields Tickets R399
Tickets available from Computicket, www.computicket.com, 083 915 8000
Music mogul Simon Cowell is set to approach his glittering celeb friends to record a charity single for Haiti earthquake victims .
The X Factor judge made the announcement at the National Television Awards yesterday.
‘We had a request from the Prime Minister and The Sun newspaper, 'Would we put a record together?', so we haven't got a lot of time but we are going to do something, and attempt to raise as much money as possible,' he said speaking at the show's press conference.
But the hastily planned single - a cover of REM's Everybody Hurts - will certainly involve some big names.
Leona Lewis has already pledged her involvement, telling reporters, 'you can definitely count me in. What's happened is absolutely heartbreaking and I really hope everyone pulls together to help.'
Lovely Leona's fellow X Factor winner Joe McElderry will also be heard on the single.
And Take That, Alexandra Burke, Susan Boyle and Simon's fellow X Factor judge Cheryl Cole have all been confirmed.
Mr Cowell has wasted no time, and is in talks with other big names including Paul McCartney and Elton John.
He is also said to be approaching artists who've appeared on the X Factor in the past, which could include Robbie Williams, Michael Buble and Rihanna.
All funds raised from the single will be split between the Disasters Emergency Committee and Helping Haiti/ Medicins Sans Frontiers.
There is even talk of a VAT break on all sales of the track to maximize the amount of money raised.
Meanwhile a whole host of other A-list names have been getting involved in the relief campaign.
Hollywood heavyweights Brad and Angelina, Leonardo Di Caprio and George Clooney have all donated a whopping $1 million to the cause.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Chicago - FOX Chicago News has learned the Chicago Cubs are talking with several bands about playing concerts this summer at Wrigley Field.
Neighbors and music fans are curious to know just who the Cubs are talking to.
The Cubs are having discussions with Billy Joel and Elton John, who played two concerts together at Wrigley last summer.
FOX Chicago News has also been told the Cubs are talking to acts including: Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Kenny Chesney and Paul McCartney.
So far no deal has been reached with any band. Deals could be finalized within 30 to 60 days.
The team owns Wrigley Field and is also in talks with its Wrigleyville neighbors about its concert plans.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
When you talk about celebrity philanthropy, there’s no denying Elton John is an original.
In 17 years, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has raised millions of dollars. So what keeps him going? He says, just like writing music, philanthropy is part of his life.
he 62-year-old music legend says he wasn't moved until he met 14-year old Ryan White in 1986. The Indiana teen was expelled from his school because he had AIDS.
John became so close to the White family he gave them financial assistance and was at Ryan's bedside when he died.
“I never heard Ryan complain about having AIDS. I never heard him whine or be miserable. He carried everything with such dignity. It just taught me about humility, how my life was completely out of whack. About six months after Ryan died, I began to change my life.
"I'd lived a charmed life, you know, taking drugs, drinking, having unsafe sex at a time when I should have been so much more well-behaved. After Ryan died, I thought I can give something back. I've come out of this HIV negative, I've got to do something positive.”
That something positive was the Elton John AIDS Foundation. In 17 years it has started programs in 55 countries and has raised more than $150 million.
“People are so grateful for even the smallest thing. It doesn't take a lot of money to run a project in Africa. $15,000, $20,000. This is something that's never going to go away in my lifetime, so I've got to try and each year step up and try and do a little bit more.
Even when it means supporting other causes, like Andy Roddick's foundation to help needy children.
“He doesn't just want to come and play. He wants to know exactly where the money we're raising is going. How it's going. He always calls two or three days later and asks what's the total tally? How much did we raise?” says Roddick. “He's just really involved in the whole process.”
Why? John says, why not?
“Once you've seen people suffer like this you just don't ever think of stopping. I'll be doing this 'til the day that they put me in the ground because I love doing it, and I just want to try and make a difference.”
See more on Elton discussing his changing live set lists here.
Elton John's gig in Sofia was postponed by one week and rescheduled for June 13 2010, organisers Sofia Music Enterprises (SME) said on January 19.
The location of the concert, Elton John's first in Bulgaria, will remain unchanged - Locomotive football club stadium in Nadezhda borough, which in the past four years has welcomed Depeche Mode, George Michael and Kylie Minogue, among others.
The reasons for the change in the date were not disclosed, SME saying that it was caused by logistic considerations.
All tickets bought for the original date of the gig, June 6, remain valid.
Tickets for the concert cost between 60 and 150 leva, with a limited number of VIP tickets price at 200 leva also going on sale as of December 7 2009.
Tickets can be bought at the ticket centre of the National Palace of Culture (NDK) in Sofia, as well as at Ticketpro outlets and the Euro-Bulgarian Cultural Centre, among other venues.
In Plovdiv, tickets will be on sale at Music Centre and Rockshop stores while in Pleven, tickets will be sold at Rouli music store. In the Black Sea city of Bourgas, tickets will be sold at the Sound Garden shop, and in Veliko Turnovo, at Medouza.
Tickets can be bought online, at www.ticketpro.com
Elton John's concert is expected to be one of the most attended shows in Bulgaria after Madonna concert in Sofia in August this past summer, when she performed at Vassil Levski national stadium in front of more than 50 000 people.
- Sophia Echo
After long negotiations, it's finally official: Sir Elton John will return to Israel and perform at the Ramat Gan Stadium on June 17, exactly 17 years after his previous Holy Land concert.
The veteran British singer's arrival was confirmed Tuesday by producer Marcel Avraham.
The concert will be sponsored by Bank Discount, which plans to invest some NIS 4 million (about $1 million) in the event. Many tickets will be offered to the bank's customers for special prices.
ome 15,000 tickets will be on sale for grass seats and about 32,000 for gallery seats. Bank Discount's customers will pay NIS 250 to NIS 900 ($68 to $245) per ticket. Regular tickets will be sold for NIS 350 to NIS 1,000 ($95 to $272).
Tickets will go on sale on February 9 for the bank customers, and four days later for the broad public.
This will be Elton John's third visit to Israel. He first performed in Tel Aviv in 1979. In 1993, after being attacked by dozens of paparazzi as he landed in Israel for his second concert, John fled the country and canceled his performance. Following many attempts to persuade him to return, he flew back to Israel the next day and performed at Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Sir Elton John has put his car on sale - on Auto Trader.
The Candle In The Wind star is selling his black Maserati Quattroporte S, which has only done 3,500 miles since he bought it new in 2005, reports The Sun.
According to the Auto Trader website, the luxury vehicle has everything anyone would want for a dream drive - from heated, massaging and ventilated leather seats to a complete entertainment system in the back seats including a DVD player, picnic tables and even curtains for privacy.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The day Simon announced he was leaving -- we floated Elton John as the guy who should take Simon's seat. After all, he knows music, he's certainly got the bitchy attitude, and he's British.
Now an "American Idol" spy tells us the talk on the set is ... Elton John!
Elton was a guest judge in season three of 'Idol.'
We contacted Elton's rep to see if he was interested. She said tersely, "He's on holiday."
UPDATE 15/01/10: Elton's representatives have now officially denied that he will be performing any judging duties.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Celebrities ranging from 20-year-old Taylor Swift to 66-year-old Keith Richards may turn up in Anaheim this weekend.
But don’t expect to see them.
That is, unless you are registered for the NAMM Show, a major music products convention.
The biggest annual convention is set to return Thursday to the Anaheim Convention Center, drawing more than 85,000 people from around the world over four days to the Disneyland area. The super-strict trade show is closed to the public. Only those in the music business are allowed in.
Everything from guitar strings and amplifiers to sheet music and trombones will cover the entire 815,000 square feet center and spill out to nearby hotels for the International Music Products Association convention. (NAMM is the acronym for former name of the group — the National Association of Music Merchants.) Some companies also sponsor private concerts and parties.
On February 10, 2010, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole will be joined by fellow event chairs Sandy Brant, Andy Cohen, John Demsey, Donna Karan, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, Carine Roitfeld, Ingrid Sischy, Sharon Stone, Stanley Tucci, Diane von Furstenberg, and Anna Wintour to kick off fashion week at amfAR’s annual New York Gala, held at Cipriani 42nd Street.
Yves Carcelle, president and CEO of Louis Vuitton, and Elton John and David Furnish will be honored for their vital and distinctive contributions to the global struggle against AIDS. amfAR will also pay tribute to the late Natasha Richardson, a former amfAR board member and leader in the fight against AIDS. Meryl Streep, Vanessa Redgrave, and amfAR Founding Chairman Dr. Mathilde Krim will participate in the tribute.
The black-tie dinner and auction, now in its twelfth year, will also include special performances by M•A•C Viva Glam spokesperson Lady Gaga and Rufus Wainwright.
Carcelle, David, and Elton will each receive amfAR’s Award of Courage for outstanding leadership and distinguished service in furthering amfAR’s mission, and for playing a vital role in increasing AIDS awareness and accelerating the pace of HIV/AIDS research.
Leon Russell, the 70s rock star piano player who was part of Joe Cocker`s Mad Dog and Englishmen, is recovering from brain surgery
A statement at his website reads, “Leon is recovering after successful surgery on Monday to relieve a chronic condition. He is doing fine and resting in the hospital in good condition. He is expected to be released from the hospital in a few days”.
The statement also mentioned that Leon will soon be joining Sir Elton John in the studio. “Leon is looking forward to beginning studio recording sessions during the last half of this month through February with Elton John, Bernie Taupin and T-Bone Burnett”.
He is also planning on touring again from March. “He and his band will resume touring at the beginning of March”.
The statement concludes, “Leon and his family wish to thank everyone who have kindly offered their prayers and support during his hospital stay”.
67-year old Russell was born Claude Russell Bridges in Oklahoma in 1942
He wrote Joe Cocker’s classic ‘Delta Lady’ as well as performing in Cocker’s band. Other Russell penned classics include ‘Superstar’ (Cocker, The Carpenters) and ‘A Song For You’ (Simply Red, Kate Ceberano).
Leon Russell also had his own hit with a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall’ and his own ‘Tightrope”.
- Undercover News
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Below is a review of Elton's first public performance not only of 2010, but also his first since his hospitalisation last October.
The high notes don't come as easy, or at all, for Elton John anymore.
But at 62 years old, the Rocket Man showed last night at Blaisdell Arena that he remains rock royalty.
Playing to a packed house John, looking elegant in tuxedo tails and wearing rose-colored glasses, opened with a 75-minute solo set of his own — just he and he is piano — before percussionist Ray Cooper joined him for more than 90 minutes.
To say it was nearly a three-hour rock concert wouldn't be entirely accurate. It was more like an evening with Elton John. Classy, elegant, sometimes mesmerizing, sometimes taking everyone in the crowd down memory lane with old favorites like "Crocodile Rock," "Daniel," Nikita," "That's Why They Call It The Blues," "Rocket Man" and "Your Song."
Unlike many artists who pass through the Islands, play a few songs and talk little to the audience, John took the time before many of his lesser-known songs to explain the meaning behind them.
By the end of the show, security was ushering the reserved crowd toward the stage so fans could take photos and John could sign autographs and shake hands before the encore.
Before performing "Sixty Years Old," John said he couldn't believe he wrote it 40 years ago, and before performing "Weight of the World," he said it had special meaning to him because he's now happy in life and that he made it through his wild years.
He was impeccable on the piano, and where he used to hit his high notes in songs like "Rocket Man," he smoothly sang lower. When it came to "Crocodile Rock," he let the audience hit the high notes in a "La-La-La-La's" singalong.
After opening with "The One," John proclaimed that Honolulu has long been one of his favorite cities — he's played here seven times — and said he couldn't believe he hadn't performed here in nine years. He said he booked the concert because he was coming to O'ahu for holiday and wanted to perform while he was here.
His final solo song was "Your Song," dedicated to the audience and all the fans who stuck by and supported him through the years.
Sitting front row and taking in John's soothing sounds and class act was Ozzy Osbourne — the Prince of Darkness himself — and his wife Sharon, who are vacationing on Oahu.
About 400 tickets remain for Saturday's 8 p.m. performance at the Blaisdell Arena. Prices range from $67 to $157 and can be purchased at all ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.
(Elton John solo)
"Sixty Years On"
"The Greatest Discovery"
"Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes"
"Emperors New Clothes"
"Weight of the World"
"That's why they call it the Blues"
ELTON JOHN WITH RAY COOPER
"Funeral for a Friend/Tonight"
"Better Off Dead"
"Come Down in Time"
"Think I'm going to Kill Myself"
"Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word"
"Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me"
"Crocodile Rock (encore)
"Saturday Nights all right for fighting" (encore)
- Honolulu Advertiser
Bernie and Elton will return to the studio in mid January to record a collaborative album with the iconic Leon Russell. Russell who has always been one of Elton’s musical heroes and influences when it comes to piano styling will be featured on a 50/50 basis writing and performing his own material for the project as well as writing with both Bernie and Elton and performing and singing on the pairs own songs.
A marathon writing session in Los Angeles last November saw the trio pen a vast wealth of material that ranges far and wide and covers many musical genres.
The sessions will be overseen and produced by Henry (T-Bone) Burnett whose work on roots based records over the last several years have turned this multi-Grammy winning musician and producer into the go-to-guy for unique projects.
We advise all not familiar with Leon or T-Bone to Google and learn more about these extraordinary individuals.
Don’t forget to keep checking for new postings by Bernie on his blog as we’re hoping he’ll be reporting some of his own personal feelings on this exciting new chapter in his storied career
- Bernie J Taupin .com
Danny Baker's interview with Elton John is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer for the next seven days (until January 9).
CLICK HERE TO VIEW IT
Elton John tells Danny Baker on Radio 5Live that football, like music, has changed for the worse and smaller clubs like Watford, the team he used to own, are being left behind. He also thinks England has a good chance of winning the World Cup under Fabio Capello.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A SAMPLE VIDEO OF THIS INTERVIEW
Sir Elton John's growing status as a down-to-earth counsellor to celebrities was reinforced this weekend when the veteran singer and songwriter spoke for the first time about the help he is giving the American hip-hop star Eminem.
Talking to Danny Baker on his Radio 5 Live show yesterday, John said it is only possible to counsel addicted friends when they are ready. "I've been helping Eminem in the last 18 months and he is doing brilliantly," he said, going on to refer to his own successful struggle with addiction. "When you give it up, you tend to think everybody else has given it up, but of course it is just as prevalent as it ever was. And nowadays pills, such as downers, are even more damaging."
Eminem has an acknowledged problem with prescription drugs and was treated for a near-fatal methadone overdose. The artist became friends with John after a rocky start. When they met at the Grammy Awards in 2001 John, who has had a civil partnership with David Furnish since 2005, was critical of Eminem's comments about homosexuality. But the friendship became important to Eminem in the run-up to the release of last year's album Relapse.
"[Elton] had a substance-abuse problem in the past. So when I first wanted to get sober, I called him, because he's somebody in the business who can relate to the lifestyle and how hectic things can be," Eminem told a Detroit newspaper last year. "He understands, like, the pressure and any other reasons that you wanna come up with for doing drugs."
Baker asked the musical knight, now 62, if he ever felt like shaking other friends who were unable to kick their drug and alcohol habits. "I'm there if people want my help," he said. "If people ask for help you can tell them where they should go, but there is no point advising someone if they don't want to do it."
The singer discussed his offers of help to the troubled performer George Michael, who is reported to have dismissed his approaches.
"People used to tell me to clean my act up and I didn't want to know," he said. "And I know that George has been very vocal in the papers saying that Elton should shut his mouth and how he is sure I would love him to come and bang on my door and ask for help."
John said that Michael was right to suggest it was "none of my business", but drew a comparison with his own behaviour before he recovered from 16 years of addictive behaviour: "I didn't want anybody's help. I used to get very annoyed. In fact, I didn't speak to some close friends for a year because they dared to tell me I was being an idiot."
Lyricist Bernie Taupin, John's songwriting partner, wrote Someone Saved My Life Tonight after he prevented his friend from committing suicide. Those "lost years", the star told Baker, are still the subject of great regret. "Initially, it was fun, but I am not a man who can just do one of anything. I have got that kind of nature," he said. "So I could not do one gram of coke, I had to do six grams and then I would want more. It ended up being incredibly depressing."
The singer's reputation as a confidant is founded on the help he offered actor Robert Downey Jr and his failed attempts to intervene in the life of the former Libertines front man Pete Doherty. He also offered Victoria and David Beckham the use of his villa and yacht when their marriage was in difficulty.
Sir Elton John's civil partner David Furnish revealed today they will still become “fathers” to a baby they tried to adopt even though their application was refused.
The couple tried in September to become the legal guardians of Lev, an HIV-positive 17-month-old boy they met while they were touring an orphanage in Ukraine.
The eastern European nation's government said that, at 62, Sir Elton was too old to adopt. Under the country's rules, there must be no more than 45 years difference in age between adoptive parents and the child. Ukraine family minister Yuriy Pavlenko also declared that gay couples were judged not suitable to adopt children under his country's law.
But, in an interview with Closer magazine, Mr Furnish, 47, said they were buying a home for Lev in his native country and have pledged to send regular financial help.
The couple will also travel to the former Soviet country throughout the year to spend time looking after him. Mr Furnish said: “We are going to find a home for those boys in the Ukraine.
“We will get them a home as it would be a long uphill battle to bring them over here.”
- This Is London
Fashion Week begins anew on February 11 in New York, and last season's most highly anticipated boldface headliner, Lady Gaga, will return this season. Did anyone expect her not to show after she asked to go to Marc Jacobs's show? (Not to mention that she'll be among an entire pretentious industry that worships her.) She will open the festivities with a performance at amfAR's annual New York gala fund-raiser on February 10 at Cipriani 42nd Street. Sir Elton John and plenty of other famous people will be there.
World music legend Sir Elton John will stage a gig at the 'Lokomotiv' stadium in Sofia on June 6, 2010. His performance will be a part of the biggest music festival in Bulgaria Arena Muzika (Arena Music). Once again Sofia Music Enterprises (SME) is in charge of the organization and arranging the next big concert in Bulgaria. Obviously Madona's concert didn't dishearten Dimitar Kovachev - Funki, president of SME, who is prepared to meet the requirements of music stars.
To ensure the concert in Sofia as part of Elton John's Summer Shows 2010 tour, Kovachev and his business partner Ivan Nestorov have to transfer half of the royalties until the end of January 2010. The exact amount has not been specified. However, Hotnews website announced yesterday that Funki has applied for a loan of 750,000 E at an unnamed Bulgarian bank. Most probably the loan will be used for the show of Sir Elton John and his band. It is likely that David Furnish, Elton John's partner, will accompany him to Sofia.
SIR ELTON JOHN makes a hectic dash to visit all 10 of his godchildren in the run up to Christmas, because he wants to make sure he spends time with every one over the holidays.
The Rocket Man has become godfather to a string of celebrity offspring, including Victoria and David Beckham's sons Brooklyn and Romeo and British model Elizabeth Hurley's son, Damian.
And Sir Elton's partner David Furnish admits the festive season is always a busy time because they have so many youngsters to visit.
Furnish tells Britain's New! magazine, "We'll try and see them all (the godchildren) in the lead up to Christmas. I saw Damian Hurley at the weekend and I had dinner with the Beckhams two weeks ago, and I saw Brooklyn there. All the godchildren will be very well looked after (this Christmas)."
- Contact Music
TMZ has learned Elton spent $12,000 at the Ralph Lauren store in BH -- picking up linen pants in yellow, green, white and navy. We're also told John bought several "bright colored knit shirts in a variety of colors."
Several fans approached Elton while he was inside -- and he happily took photos. But we're told security had to usher the singer back to his car when the fans became a little overwhelming.
Elton and his linen emerged unscathed.
MELBOURNE DJ and musician Kaz James had to pass one hurdle when he was being courted by Elton John's management company Twenty First Artists.
Turns out the music legend loved James' album If They Knew and the Melburnian now shares a manager with Lily Allen, James Blunt and Elton himself.
"Elton knows more about music than any person I've met in my entire life," James says.
"He was talking to me about underground techno coming out of Germany. I don't even know how he knows about this.
"He flew me to Vegas to see his show, we had dinner at his house - he's still so passionate about music. He lives for music and he likes helping new people come through. This (management) company is about him leaving a legacy. He's an amazing guy, one of the coolest cats I've ever met."
- Herald Sun