Monday, January 31, 2011
Elton John and partner David Furnish have walked the red carpet at London's Leicester Square for the premiere of their new film Gnomeo and Juliet.
The movie is an animated recreation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but with gnomes and a happier ending.
The pair, who produced the movie, say they are thrilled with the result and can not wait for their new son, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, to one day see it.
Furnish said: "This has been really wonderful and we're very excited that in maybe four or five years time Zach may be able to see this film."
The movie features Elton John's music and has an all star cast, including Emily Blunt, Matt Lucas, Stephen Merchant, Ozzy Osbourne and Michael Caine.
Gnomeo and Juliet hits UK cinema screens from February 11.
He became a father for the first time little more than a month ago when his son Zachary was born.
Now Sir Elton John has spoken about his relationship with his own father, revealing that he was a disciplinarian who never watched the singer play a concert.
Sir Elton, who started playing the piano when he was just three and went on to attend the Royal Academy of Music, said his father Stanley Dwight had no interest in his budding career even though Mr Dwight had also been a keen musician, having played the trumpet.
‘You know, my father never came to hear me play. Not ever,’ said Sir Elton, who was born Reginald Dwight.
‘He was a tough and unemotional man. Hard. In the RAF. He was dismissive, disappointed and finally absent. I just wanted him to acknowledge what I’d done. But he never did.’
Mr Dwight, who died in 1992, had wanted his son to have a more conventional career and steered him towards banking. He then divorced Sir Elton’s mother Sheila when the singer was 15.
The 63-year-old said: ‘It wasn’t that he didn’t know how to relate to kids. He left us, remarried and had another family, and by all accounts was a great dad to them. It wasn’t children, it was me.’
Sir Elton and his civil partner David Furnish, 48, became parents to Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John through a surrogate mother on Christmas Day.
And although the star’s extravagant spending is legendary, Mr Furnish has said the couple are relying on friends’ generosity for the newborn.
He said: ‘We haven’t spent thousands on clothes and toys. All you need is a couple of Babygros and a lot of muslin. Friends are being really great giving us hand-me-down stuff.’
Despite Sir Elton’s estimated £185million fortune the pair are determined they will not spoil the boy.
'We don’t want him to have a sense of entitlement,’ said Mr Furnish.
He also said the child had been born prematurely and the couple had to rush to the hospital in Los Angeles to be present at the birth.
Mr Furnish said: ‘Our doctor told us not to worry and went on holiday and then the contractions started on the 24th and we rushed to the hospital.’
After the birth Sir Elton and Mr Furnish both stripped to the waist and took part in ‘skin-to-skin’ contact with the newborn. ‘It was the happiest moment of our lives,’ Mr Furnish told the Sunday Times magazine.
He also revealed the names they want Zachary to call them. ‘Elton is going to be Daddy and I’ll be Papa,’ he said.
- Daily Mail
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Sixty Years On
The Greatest Discovery
When Love Is Dying
I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)
The Greatest Discovery
When Love Is Dying
I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)
Elton with Ray Cooper
Funeral For A Friend
Better Off Dead
Gone to Shiloh
I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
Take Me To The Pilot
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
Bennie And The Jets
Elton Solo Encore
Candle In The Wind
James Blunt once styled Elton John for one of his concerts.
The 'So Far Gone' hitmaker said he was feeling bad on his birthday last year as he was on his own in the US, but a kind gesture from fellow songwriter Elton John led to him styling him for a show.
James explained: "Last year, on my birthday, I was alone in Denver, eating chicken wings and drinking champagne, and thinking, 'What a miserable experience to be doing this on my birthday'.
"Then I got a call. It was Elton on the line, saying, 'Hey, I'm in Denver, too, doing a show with Billy Joel. Why don't you come and hang out in my dressing room, while I get ready?'
"So I went and helped him choose his stage clothes."
Elton is known for his trademark wacky glasses and likes to style himself in bright colours, and during his earlier career he was renowned for wearing spectacular outfits, including many jumpsuits in wild colours with lots of sequins and jewellery.
James, 36, added while he enjoyed the concert, he worried that people could misinterpret his front row seat and think he was a crazed fan of the flamboyant 'Your Song' singer.
He told website gibson.com: "He gave me a front row seat, which is a weird place to be. People were pointing at me, probably thinking, 'Hey, there's that singer. He must be a psychotic Elton fan'.
"They probably thought I followed him all across the world, sitting in the front row."
- The Independent
THE ELTON JOHN INTERVIEW
Growing old disgracefully
Preconceptions are a lot like greatest hits albums. You know you shouldn’t really have them, but in reality, they involve a lot less work and are easy to listen to.
They’re also a lot like analogies in this introduction: very hard to avoid. Which is why, despite being trained, Jedi-style, to ignore them, I rock up to interview Sir Elton John at his Kensington offices with kid gloves, eggshell shoes and a well-oiled asterisk key, listening to Greatest Hits 1970-2002. If I’m about to encounter the potty-mouthed, titanium-tongued drama queen of tabloid stories and TV documentaries, I want to be prepared.
The man who greets me in the boardroom is not, however, sat bejewelled in a sedan chair, shouting at lackeys to scatter the table with endangered orchids and operate his lungs for him. He’s a polite, somewhat coy man in a dark suit, sat next to a table scattered with cookies, cupcakes and brownies from a previous meeting. On closer inspection, this man is definitely Elton John. He’s used to the assumptions.
“I’d say if anyone thinks of me now, they’ll think of flowers, tantrums, spending and glasses,” he says. “Mainly the tantrums. But I don’t really lose my temper these days.”
So, he doesn’t mind the many parody Eltons that have flounced their way through things like Bo’ Selecta!, Viz and Rock Profiles?
“I love them. I’m very thick-skinned. There’s nothing sacred. The one on Rock Profiles was f*cking brilliant,” he says.
Let’s be honest, you and I would assume he loves the attention. If Elton John were a houseplant, you’d expect instructions to keep him on a brightly lit pedestal and water daily with adoration. But the truth is never that simple. The 63-year-old’s skin may be thick, but it’s not one he has always felt comfortable in.
“I was quite an overweight young man and very shy,” he explains. “That shyness carried along with me until the early Nineties when I got sober. I was great on stage, but I wasn’t very good off stage. The stage was a haven. Because of my shyness and social ineptitude, I thought I needed to take drugs to join the gang. Cocaine meant I thought, ‘This is great, suddenly I can talk’. I had no common sense. I didn’t know how to be off stage. Wanna biscuit?”
About time you asked, I’m thinking, eyeing the white chocolate chip cookies. Then I notice he’s looking down towards the small black dog sitting between my feet. This, he tells me, is Arthur. He hasn’t, he tells Arthur in that special voice people save for pets and small children, got any biscuits. I suspect Arthur doesn’t believe him, but leaves anyway.
GOODBYE REGINALD DWIGHT
It was a rare moment of courage in June 1967 by the shy, young Reg Dwight, as he was then, that created the crazily glazed Captain Fantastic that is Elton John. His first band, Bluesology, was backing established acts including Patti LaBelle and Long John Baldry, but Dwight thought they were “going nowhere”, so he answered an ad in the NME inviting acts to audition for Liberty Records.
While he wasn’t signed, Ray Williams, the label’s A&R man (and John’s manager for his first five albums), gave him one of the most important envelopes in pop music history: a batch of lyrics submitted by “some bloke in Lincolnshire”. That bloke turned out to be Bernie Taupin, and a now 43-year-old songwriting partnership was born.
“Can you believe the odds on that?” he says, still with genuine amazement. “Then, because nobody recorded the songs we were writing, they got us to record our own songs. It all kind of happened by accident. But because of the experience I had, I knew how to work a crowd, so I was ready.
“It wasn’t something I’d yearned for at school, to be Elton John. If I hadn’t gone to Liberty Records, I wouldn’t be sitting here now. I’d probably be living in a semi-detached, working in a record store. In fact, I did work in Musicland Records on Berwick Street on a Saturday with my friends, when I was Elton John and was successful in the early Seventies. People used to look at me as if to say ‘f*cking hell, what are you doing here?’ and I’d be selling them Soft Machine records.”
It was his second album, Elton John, that lit the touchpaper of his career, making the top five both here and in the US and starting a love affair between John, Taupin and the US that has seen his records consistently sell more Stateside than at home. And while he may not have courted this globe-straddling fame, he had no problem with being launched into superstardom.
“It was fabulous!” he exclaims without hesitation. “We toured, we did interviews. We were having so much fun.
I met Bob Dylan, I met George Harrison. Neil Young came and sang the whole of After The Gold Rush at my flat in Edgware Road. I enjoyed the success because it brought me into contact with people who I really admired and they validated what I was doing.
“Do I enjoy success now? Fame now is completely different. It’s not as innocent. I don’t want to be famous any more, I just want to make my music and have a nice life. But you have to play the game, promote your records, your movies, your musicals. But if I was young I’d hate it. I very rarely do interviews, and the interviews I do, I choose because they’re intelligent people. And my mouth tends to get me into trouble because we live in such a PC world.”
There’s a moment’s pause as John’s eyes flick mischievously towards his publicist and old friend Gary Farrow, who’s been tapping quietly on his BlackBerry. This is followed by a harmonious jingletastic boom of “PC World!” and the kind of throaty laughter particular to men of a certain age.
SOMEONE SAVED MY LIFE
While John loved the iconic shoulder-rubbing, there were downsides to his fame. Snowy slopes, you might say. Two decades of substance abuse may have arisen from his inability to deal with life off stage, but money plus fame equals more access to drugs and, he says, the drugs “f*cked up” his private life and affected his music.
“People I genuinely loved told me to my face,” he says, “and I wouldn’t speak to them. ‘How dare you tell me?’ Drugs bring out the darkest side of your soul eventually, especially cocaine and alcohol. And the unrealistic life, the craziness. I mean, I rang up the office from a London hotel and said it was too windy, could they do something about it. How crazy is that? Stop the wind! I was serious.”
Eventually, John was saved by two sharp shocks: he spent time with Ryan White, the haemophiliac American teenager famously excluded by his school in 1985 after contracting HIV from a blood transfusion, and saw his then partner, romantically and ‘in crime’, Hugh Williams, jump on the wagon.
“Hugh had the temerity to go into treatment,” he says with a wry smile. “I was so angry. I found him in Arizona and he confronted me with a counsellor and I asked for help. But the White family really pointed out how out of whack my life was. This boy was given a death sentence and he wasn’t bitter, wasn’t hateful. He forgave the people who put firebombs through the letterbox. And I thought, ‘F*ck.’ I used to complain about the wallpaper in a hotel suite. Six months after Ryan died in 1990, I got sober.”
At this point Arthur returns, still in search of biscuits. Again, the special voice tells him that he hasn’t got the biscuits. Arthur turns to me. I haven’t even got biscuits for myself. John sticks his head out of the door. “Can I have a biscuit for the dog? Thank you.” It’s a more realistic request than asking for the wind to be turned off, and somewhat indicative of his life now.
Drug-free, in a stable, loving relationship with civil partner David Furnish and with fingers in enough pies to make Little Jack Horner weep, he couldn’t be happier. (“I know I can come off stage and have a great life.”) Since sobering up, he’s won an Oscar for The Lion King, raised money and awareness in abundance through the Elton John Aids Foundation, composed the Tony Award-winning Billy Elliot musical, co-produced animated film Gnomeo And Juliet with Furnish, started a management company, played at the funeral of a princess, had a son and, of course, made some records.
The most recent of these, the highly acclaimed The Union, John wrote and recorded with Taupin and Leon Russell, a singer, songwriter and early hero of John’s who, in his own words, had spent years “playing toilets” until his No1 fan offered a hand.
“It was a true love affair,” he says. “It was watching someone come alive again, feeling love, feeling wanted, feeling acknowledged. We’re not going to dump him, we’re going to nurture him. He’s going to have money in the bank and he’s not going to have to play toilets and that’s what I wanted for him.”
I notice a hint of anger in the penultimate sentence and realise that something isn’t quite right; the universe’s chakra is lacking Zen or something. Sat before me is a clearly lovely bloke in a wonderfully happy place and I’m very glad I didn’t need the eggshell shoes, but this is still Elton John, the ‘bitch’ of The Bitch Is Back, First Knight of Bluntness, and an Elton John interview, surely, requires some straight talking, if only to justify that lubricated asterisk key. I ask him to expand.
“I think most heads of most record companies are idiots,” he explains. “About five per cent are any good. They’re only in it for themselves. They don’t care about artists. They’re all about the next fix, the next single. It’s like they’re having a hit of cocaine every 15 seconds. And if somebody falls by the wayside, they’re by the wayside. They’re not allowed one blip. In America, most of them are idiots. They’re sickening, actually. They sicken me. They’re thick as sh*t.”
Now we’re talking. So you still have your grumpy old man moments?
Good. What else gets your goat?
“I’m glad to see the M4 bus lane’s gone,” he says, getting louder now. “F*cking brilliant. Reality TV shows. I really hate them. Full of f*cking mediocre f*cking wannabes. And we see enough misery in the newspapers every day without having to tune in to some poor c*nt boiling an egg in EastEnders and having his f*cking head chopped off because his wife doesn’t like him. Oh f*ck off, there’s so much misery around. F*ck off. We’re addicted to misery in this country. F*cking EastEnders.”
I take a cookie and look through the window. Outside I see the universe, ever so slightly, realign.
- Short List
POTTY-mouthed Sir Elton John turned the Radio 2 airwaves blue yesterday.
He stunned 8million listeners to the Chris Evans breakfast show by using the F-word.
It came just before the 9am news while he was discussing his own early morning routine.
The pop knight, who has just become a father for the first time at the age of 63, claimed he rarely played the piano at home.
Host Chris, 44, then responded by revealing that fellow pianist Jools Holland, 53, had told him he is unable to start the day without tinkling the ivories.
A flustered-sounding Elton hit back: “Oh f***ing hell.”
Chris cut in: “No don’t say... oh, we must apologise for that. Kiddies there.”
Almost immediately the grumpy rock legend apologised to Chris and his listeners.
He claimed: “I was just exasperated with that. I mean I can’t think of anything worse than getting up and playing the piano.
“I mean, it’s what I do, I play over 100 shows a year.
“Sorry about that. The remark was just so ‘uh’.
“I’m very, very sorry for that awful word that I said.”
He then issued a formal apology after the news and insisted: “I’m really, really sorry that I said that naughty word.”
Shame-faced Chris, who also apologised profusely, then played Elton’s classic hit Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.
Later, a distracted Elton was asked by Chris what he was drawing on a piece of paper, and he admitted he was wracked with guilt over his use of the F-word.
He replied: “I’m doodling because I said that awful word. It’s a panic doodle, yeah... I just shouldn’t, you know, it caught me unawares.”
Elton revealed he is working on a blockbuster “fantasy” movie charting his “bizarre” life of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
He said: “Yeah, that will happen or get off the ground in the next two or three years.
“It’ll be more Moulin Rouge and less like the Tina Turner movie. My life has been quite bizarre... from music to a football club ... to God knows what.
“I’ve been married to a woman, am married to a man, have had a child.”
Talking about baby Zachary he said: “On Christmas Day we had our boy and nothing can beat that.”
But he said he still did not know if he or partner David Furnish, 48, was the real daddy.
“He is our surrogate son but we don’t know who’s the baby is. We’ll find out later. He’s got my nose and David’s ears. What can I tell you.”
- Daily Star
Sir Elton John's son is named after his favourite church.
The flamboyant musician and his husband David Furnish, 48, became parents to Zachary Jackson Levon through a surrogate mother on Christmas Day (25.12.10) and the pop star has revealed the meanings behind the baby's moniker.
In an interview on British station BBC Radio 2, he said: "Zachary is one of my favourite names. Our favourite church is in Venice where we have a home, San Zaccaria. It was John the Baptist's father's name. And John the Baptist was born three days before Jesus Christ. His birthday was anyway. And Jackson is a name I've always liked and David's dad is called Jack. It's an old English name that means son of Jack. It's just going to be Zachary Jackson and then as he was born on Christmas Day and the song Levon says, 'He was born a pauper to a pawn on Christmas Day,' I chucked that in for a bit of rock star influence."
Elton also explained how he and David "divvied up" their sperm so neither of them knows for sure who fathered the baby.
The 63-year-old singer explained: "On Christmas Day we had our boy and nothing can beat that. He is our boy. Our surrogate son. We don't know whose the baby is. We divvied up the sperm. We'll find out later. He's got my nose and David's ears, what can I tell you."
The 'Your Song' hitmaker insists he is involved in all aspects of raising his son and isn't afraid of changing nappies.
He said: "Am I hands on? We are. I've changed a nappy, yes. Bathed him, changed nappies, read the bed time story."
Elton says they went to great lengths to keep the surrogacy secret, and the media frenzy that has followed them since they announced their happy news confirmed they were right to do so.
He added: "We planned it since last January. We didn't tell many people, we kept it a secret, we had to protect our surrogate. Since we've had the baby it's been a nightmare because we're being followed everywhere in Los Angeles and blah, blah, blah but we expected that so..."
- Contact Music
Clips from the interview can be listened to for 6 more days at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00xhfry#clips
Friday, January 28, 2011
The Rocket Man admits he doesn't have time for music industry executives as a rule, but finds the big cheeses across the pond especially "sickening".
Never one to mince his words, the new dad speculates the worst offenders' behaviour is down to the copious quantity of drugs they consume.
He ranted: "I think most heads of record companies are idiots. About five per cent are any good. They're only in it for themselves.
"They don't care about artists. They're all about the next fix, the next single. It's like they're having a hit of cocaine every 15 seconds.
"And if someone falls by the wayside, they're by the wayside. They're not allowed one blip.
"In America, most of them are idiots. They're sickening actually. They sicken me. They're thick as s***."
The singer also revealed he thinks his younger self would not have been able to bare today's celebrity culture.
Given the choice, the 63-year-old says he'd much rather work anonymously.
He added: "Do I enjoy success now? Fame is completely different. It's not as innocent.
"I don't want to be famous any more, I just want to make my music and have a nice life.
"But you have to play the game and promote your records, your movies, your musicals.
"If I was young, I'd hate it."
- The Sun
“I never dismiss any form of music. I listen to everything,” Sir Elton told TeenMusic.com. “I’m on the new Kanye West record, for example. It’s a genius record. I was on the Alice and Chains record.” Elton played the piano on the star-studded “All of the Lights”. The track has been in the pipeline for a while after Elton revealed he would like to work with the likes of Kanye, Pharrell, Snoop, Timbaland and Eminem back in 2006.
“People who mock rap, and say, ‘I don’t like it,’ they should go check out Kanye in the studio rapping. Or Eminem when he’s in the studio. It’s a phenomenon,” he continued. “Don’t knock it until you’ve seen it. It may not be your cup of tea, but don’t ridicule. I find that so many of my peers of my age don’t listen to anything new. I love the new.”
- M is for Music
The Rocket Man, 63, rants: “Reality TV shows. I really hate them. Full of ******* mediocre ******* wannabes. We see enough misery every day without having to tune into some poor **** boiling an egg in EastEnders and having his ******* head chopped off because his wife doesn’t like him. Oh **** off.”
Hear a sample of Elton performing "Love Builds a Garden" from 'Gnomeo & Juliet' by visiting the link below:
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Elton John will return to Rio in 2011 for Rock in Rio.
The British singer's show will be held on September 23. The same night, American Katy Perry and Caribbean Rihanna, will also perform.
- WN.com/ Globo.com/ Fernando Oliveira
A grocery store in Arkansas reversed its decision to put a "family shield" over the cover of the current issue of Us Weekly that showed a picture of Elton John and his partner David Furnish with their new baby Zachary.
"In this case our store manager received some complaints and, as has been our custom, placed the shield over the cover of the magazine," said Kim Eskew, president of Harps Food Stores, Inc., in a statement on the company's website. "When we began receiving complaints at our corporate office, we reviewed the magazine in question, removed the shield and are selling the magazine in all our locations today without any shield.
The shields -- typically placed over the covers of racy adult magazines -- were spotted by shopper Jennifer Huddleston while she was standing in the checkout line at a Harps market in rural Mountain Home, Ark.
Offended that someone presumably took offense at the photo because John is gay, Huddleston took to Twitter. She snapped a photo and tweeted, "This was taken at my local grocery store. I was shocked and horrified. Can you help bring attention to this?"
Within hours the shields had come down.
"Our true intention is not to offend anyone in our stores and this incident happened at just one of our 65 locations, which when brought to our attention we reversed," said Kim Eskew in the statement.
The manager at the Harps store in Mountain Home was on vacation, and the employee who answered the phone refused to talk to ABC News about the incident.
- ABC News
We are sorry to announce that, because Elton has become unwell, tonight's Elton John and Ray Cooper concert at Stade Couvert de Liévin, Liévin, France has been postponed. We will announce further information as soon as it is available.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Sir Elton John revealed he is taking his baby on tour: “My dogs go everywhere, so why shouldn't my son!?'
The superstar singer - whose son by surrogate Zachary is one-month-old – spoke to cameras at the premiere of his new Disney film Gnomeo & Juliet.
Sir Elton said he was over the moon at becoming a father with longtime partner David Furnish.
'It can't get any better at the moment,' Sir Elton said.
The singer said that he expected his priorities to change in the future but for the moment he will keep travelling.
'They will change when he goes to school, yes,' he said.
'He’s got to be in one place for school. But for the first three years of his life he’s going to be coming around with me or David doing as much as we can together.
'He’s portable, he is very portable.
'He is very easy to pick up and put on a plane, he’s very easy to pick up and put in a car.
'But for the first few months of his life he is going to stay here and be breastfed, which we want him to do.'
- Monsters & Critics
SIR ELTON JOHN became emotional every time he performed his song THE GREATEST DISCOVERY prior to his son's birth, because the lyrics reminded him of his surrogacy secret.
The singer and his partner David Furnish welcomed little Zachary via a surrogate mother at Christmas (25Dec10), after keeping their baby plans quiet for nearly a year.
Sir Elton admits his song from 1970, about the birth of a child, reminds him of the emotional journey to becoming a parent and he grew teary every time he sang it before the tot's birth, because he couldn't share his news with his audience.
He tells Access Hollywood, "It's about the birth of a new baby and I was singing it before he arrived and I was getting very emotional as I sang it. And I thought, 'People don't know what's going on and I'm singing this song.'"
And the Rocket Man reveals he is now serenading his baby boy with the track, adding, "I've been singing that (to him) recently."
- Contact Music
at 11:59 AM
Elton will appear in concert on Saturday, March 26, 8pm at 1st Mariner Arena.
Public tickets for the Baltimore concert go on sale on Saturday, January 29, at 10am, and will be available online at Ticketmaster.com, Livenation.com or charge-by-phone (800-551-7328).
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
It’s the icing on the cake. We had the baby on Christmas day. It was really an enchanting thing to happen. And also because the hospital was empty! Which meant I could go in there without being seen. We wanted to try to keep our surrogate protected. That was an act of very good fortune.
(Fatherhood) could do nothing but make my life better. And it (has) already, in just four weeks. I found with a newborn, that it’s very relaxing because basically they just need to be changed and burped and feed and read a story to. It is so beautiful. It is the most beautiful thing I could ever imagine. I have a huge responsibility. As a father – and David as my partner – we have a huge responsibility . The hardest thing to do in the world is to bring a child up properly. With enough love and discipline. And in this time in my life it’s the right thing to happen and I think artistically it will inspire me to probably write a lot of children’s songs (he says with a chuckle and sings) “I love you Zachary. You mean the world to me.” What can you say. I am the most blessed man in the world.
I have a wonderful partner, wonderful friends, wonderful family, a child, a career that seems to evolve. I’m so enthusiastic to listen to new things, wanting to do new things. I think I get that from my mother. My work ethic definitely comes from my mother. My musical talent comes from my father. And between the two of them they created this force that just wants to work hard and do new things and do well. And having a child on top of this. It does change your life. Every evening it’s bath time and story time and feeding time and changing time. That is sacrosanct to me now. We went out to dinner last night and we had to be late because I am not missing that. It’s very important. I want to spend as much time with him as I can.
On what movies, book and music he wants to share with his son:
There are some great things. The first story I read to him was Cinderella. When I was a child, the first animated films I saw was Snow White, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp. Those are things that will never age. They’re magical. Just reading stories to him gives me a new appreciation…I never knew about children’s books before. The other night David read him Dogs Don’t Wear Sneakers, which was so fabulous. In England we didn’t grow up with Doctor Seuss, we grew up with Alison Uttley, Beatrix Potter, and now we’re reading him these American stories…David (to his partner in the back of the room), what was that book you read the other night that was so beautiful? Runaway Bunny! I loved, loved, loved it. Runaway Bunny could be my next musical. It is such a great story. It’s so loving and sweet. And I Love You This Much. I love that one.
I’d love to write a children’s album. It would be great. We put an ipod together for him. We choose lullabies, Chopin, Mozart but also things by Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, things that are beautiful, musical and are gentle. I would do a specific children’s record because now that I have one, it is very inspiring. You have to remember, I am the worst lyricist in the world and I would obviously need help, so if any of you (talking to the moms in the room) have any lyrics laying around…I’m sure you’ve been more inspired than even I have.
It’s something that changes the way you look at things. That’s the whole point of having a child. I’ve had an incredible life, I’ve experienced great joys, great sadness, great highs, great lows, I pulled myself together. I got sober. I got my self-respect back. I tried to make up for lost time by doing good things for other people. The only thing missing from my life was having a child. David and I talked about it much and decided to have one. And as much as I can teach my child many great things, he’s going to teach me a thousand times more about myself, what I need to do, how I need to look at things. I’ve never lived that life before. You mums know all about it. I’m a freshman in this game. I’m sure he will inspire me to do other things. To write instrumental music. To write children’s music. But he will inspire me. I just look at him and he inspires me. I just want to eat him. You can not not be inspired by having a child. And artistically you can’t either.
Musician Elton John and his band will play the Bryce Jordan Center at 8 p.m. March 27, the facility staff announced Monday.
The concert, dubbed "Greatest Hits Live," will feature "No. 1 chart hits and classic album tracks from throughout Elton's incredible five-decade career," according to an announcement on the Jordan Center Facebook page.
Tickets are scheduled to go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. They're priced at three levels: $29, $79 and $139 apiece.
They will be sold via Ticketmaster.com, Livenation.com and the Jordan Center box office, and by phone. The number: (814) 865-5555.
- State College
Monday, January 24, 2011
HE has sung with Kiki Dee, John Lennon and even Eminem but now Elton John is taking to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall with four singing nurses. And with three midwives in the line-up they’re perfectly placed to give the new dad some tips.
The Nurses, who have signed a major record deal with Warner music, home to Elaine Paige, Katherine Jenkins and Russell Watson, are swapping the wards of North London’s Whittington Hospital for centre stage at the landmark venue on May 5 as part of a Dusty Springfield Tribute.
But the foursome, whose first album Guiding You will raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, are laid-back about their imminent collaboration.
Cardiac nurse Sharon Robinson said: “I think Take That would be my favourite to do a concert with.”
Saturday, January 22, 2011
"I love the smell of nappies," says proud new dad Sir Elton John, perched on a small stage at the Four Seasons, Los Angeles.
Sir Elton is flanked by actors Emily Blunt and James McAvoy and director Kelly Asbury.
Ostensibly, the press conference is a chance to elaborate on the new Disney animation Gnomeo and Juliet, based on the tragic Shakespearean tale. And to field questions on the score, comprised of classic and original songs by Sir Elton.
Lapping up the spotlight, the music legend is refreshingly forthcoming as he is pounded with rapid fire questions, mostly about everything but the film.
Speaking of his and baby son, Zachary, who he parents with long-time partner David Furnish (Gnomeo and Juliet producer), he reveals: "Surprisingly, it's been very relaxing because this little soul that your feeding, changing, bathing and telling bedtime stories to is a blank canvas.
"And all it needs is love and nurturing. When he gets to talking and running around, I will probably feel a little different."
And there's more he wants to divulge.
"I'd just like to make a really great film about my life story. We have a great script already by Lee Hall who wrote Billy Elliott.
"Obviously, it's not going to be your normal, run of the mill film because my life has kind of been crazy.And I think it's important to do a kind of surrealistic take on my life."
And when contemplating his future?
"I don't know what's around the corner and that's kind of the way I like it. You never know what gig you're going to be offered.
"For example, in 1990 if you had told me that in 1993 I would be writing a song about a f***in' warthog (The Lion King), I would have said you are out of your f***in' mind."
On being a first-time executive producer (Gnomeo and Juliet): "There have been a couple of times when the movie was in danger of being dropped by the studio and we've had to make a phone call to the head of studio to say 'we can't lose the film now'."
He explains that his job was to rally the team when there was no other means of communicating with the studio.
"Here I am, wonder poof," he exclaims, adopting a super hero voice.
No, he wasn't bullied at school because he was larger than the other kids, his eyesight was mended with surgery so he simply wears dark glasses to make him look 'moody", he loathes gardening and he doesn't actually know Kate (Middleton) and (Prince) William so won't be singing at their wedding.
"They will probably get Barry Manilow to sing. Someone younger and more attractive."
Toronto film-maker David Furnish has confirmed that he and British husband Elton John's month-old son, Zachary, born via a surrogate mother on Christmas Day, is coming to Canada soon for a visit.
And he's getting legal papers for Canada too.
"Zachary’s going to be going home soon and his Canadian passport application has been filed," said Furnish of their son who currently only has a British passport.
Furnish and John made the comments as they promoted their new film, Gnomeo And Juliet in 3D, an animated, comedic take on Romeo and Juliet starring the voices of James McAvoy and Emily Blunt in the starring roles.
Furnish and John were the movie's producer and executive producer, respectively, and John's back catalogue along with some new material provide the film's soundtrack.
Furnish said he was proud of the fact that Toronto's Starz Animation worked on the film and that Toronto-based singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado is one of two duet partners with John on soundtrack. The other is Lady Gaga.
"Blame Canada!" sang John, at the press conference, alluding to the South Park's Bigger Longer & Uncut song.
John also confirmed he will be in Toronto to attend the Canadian premiere of his hit musical, Billy Elliot, March 1.
- Toronto Sun
Elton John recently revealed some details on his collaboration with Broadway favorite and GLEE star Matthew Morrison on his upcoming solo album, which will be realesed in the spring. John told Parade, "I just did it! It's a duet. It's great, really fantastic. He sings great on it."
He added, "It's a medley of 'Mona Lisas and Madhatters' going into 'Rocket Man.' I did it on Monday."
which will be out in the spring of 2011.
Matthew Morrison received a Tony nomination for his role in the Lincoln Center Theater production of South Pacific. It was at Lincoln Center where he also created the role of Fabrizio in the musical The Light in the Piazza, for which he was also nominated for a Tony Award. His other Broadway credits include A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Hairspray, The Rocky Horror Show and Footloose. He appeared off-Broadway last summer in the musical 10 Million Miles at the Atlantic Theatre Company. His TV and film credits include Dan In Real Life, Marci X, Primary Colors, Numb3rs, Ghost Whisperer, CSI:Miami, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Once Upon A Mattress.
Morrison currently stars on GLEE an uplifting series with biting humor that features a soundtrack of hit music from past to present. The show follows an optimistic high school teacher, Will Schuster, as he tries to refuel his own passion while reinventing the high school's glee club and challenging a group of outcasts to realize their star potential.
Friday, January 21, 2011
From the diamond boulder glittering in his right ear to the broad grin spreading across his face as he took the stage, it appeared that Elton John wanted for nothing.
"As a gay man, I think I have it all," the singer told the intimate crowd of several hundred gathered to hear him play in a lawn tent on a sprawling Beverly Hills estate Wednesday night. "I have a wonderful career, a wonderful life. I have my health, I have a partner of 17 years, and now I have a son. But I don't have everything, because I don't have the respect of people like the church or politicians who tell me that I'm not worthy, that I'm lesser because I'm gay. Well, Fuck you!"
John, whose son with partner David Furnish was born via a surrogate on Christmas Day, played for more than 90 minutes at the event, a fundraiser for efforts to overturn Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage.
In a dynamic, 14-song set peppered with fiery and introspective remarks, he rolled through older hits such as "Rocket Man," "Bennie and the Jets" and a boogie-woogie-inflected "Levon," as well as more recent compositions such as "When Love is Dying" and "You’re Never Too Old" from his 2010 album with Leon Russell, "The Union."
Many in the celebrity-larded audience sang along with John's hits, including, in a life-imitates-art moment, Matthew Morrison of "Glee." Other noteworthy attendees included Jane Lynch, Adam Lambert, Marisa Tomei, Rob Reiner, Jason Mraz, J.J. Abrams, David Geffen and "Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.
Performing alone with his piano, John kept his banter brief but pointed. When introducing "The Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes," a song about a dancer with AIDS, the singer confessed his remorse about staying in the closet in the early 1980s when the health crisis was exploding. "The American government was AWOL," John said. "And I was AWOL. I was a disgrace."
John, who wears a ring on his finger recognizing his civil partnership with Furnish, seems to be making up for that absence now with his vocal support of the gay-marriage movement in the U.S. "Even though I'm British, I'll be here at the forefront of anything you guys want," he said.
Tickets for the event, which was held at entrepreneur Ron Burkle's Green Acres estate, started at $1,000 and raised more than $3 million for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the nonprofit sponsoring the federal court challenge of Proposition 8, known as Perry vs. Schwarzenegger.
The crowd delivered a hearty standing ovation for an unlikely duo, attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson, who represented opposite sides in Bush vs. Gore, the case over the disputed 2000 presidential election, and are now working together to defeat Proposition 8 in court.
"Two people of differing political views can actually get on," John marveled of the lawyers. "That's what this country needs."
- LA Times
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Otago ratepayers will get first option on tickets to Elton John's concert at Forsyth Barr Stadium in November.
A special 10-day early booking period is being given to Otago ratepayers, Dunedin Venues and promoter CapitalC:Concerts announced today.
The ticket prices for the November 25 concert would range from $95 at the western end of the stadium, moving up in about $50 brackets to a platinum front section at $400, promoter Phil Sprey said.
The concert would be totally seated, including the pitch area.
Otago ratepayers would be able to buy tickets from 9am on February 14.
Sales to the public would open on February 24.
Ratepayers would need to identify themselves by name and have the reference number from their rates invoice when booking by telephone or online to get the early preference seats.
Stadium chief executive David Davies said the region had been "incredibly supportive" of the stadium, so it was great to offer tickets to ratepayers before the rest of the country.
Mayor Dave Cull said the council was extremely pleased CapitalC:Concerts had agreed to offer the region's ratepayers the preferential booking opportunity.
Local firm TicketDirect had been chosen as the ticketing agent for the concert.
P.S: The pre-sale password for TicketDirect is: Hercules.
P.S: The pre-sale password for TicketDirect is: Hercules.
Elton John will perform at the Pori Jazz festival on Saturday July 16. The concert will take place at the Kirjurinluoto Arena, and support acts will include American trio Sing the Truth and Finnish retro-soul singer Jo Stance.
John, who will turn 64 this March, has sold 250 million records over five decades.
The last time the singer performed in Finland was in 2009, when he played at Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena towards the end of the five-year-long Red Piano tour.
Festival organisers will announce the rest of the Pori Jazz programme at the end of March.
When you happen to have a memorable name like Sir Elton John, how hard is it to get someone like, oh, Lady Gaga to sign on to your latest project?
New dad Elton answers just that in an upcoming interview with Disney twenty-three magazine. While talking about his new movie Gnomeo & Juliet, Elton also reveals his secret to being a successful father and megastar:
"Every artist should have a sense of humor about himself," says Elton. "Nothing is sacred. Poking fun at yourself is one of the greatest things you can do, I think."
And that he does in Disney's new animated film Gnomeo & Juliet (in theaters Feb. 11), which spoofs some of Elton's most iconic tunes, like "Your Song."
While joking that he "begged" most of the movie's cast to come on board—adding that James McAvoy and Emily Blunt "are two of the best actors around, so we were lucky to get them"—it sounds like none was more difficult to wrangle than Elton's cohort in extravagant fashion, Lady Gaga. "I wrote five new songs—two of which ended up in the film—and did a duet with Lady Gaga called 'Hello Hello,'" Elton explains. "It was hard to pin her down because she's on tour, but she started work on it one week in November in Sweden and finished it off a week or so later in London."
Always one to speak out about inequality and social causes, the film also has raised Elton's awareness of an important issue. When asked why he likes garden gnomes (the subject of Gnomeo & Juliet, if that's not obvious), he says: "They're cute. They're comic. They're very tongue in cheek, very sweet. There have been books written about them, museums devoted to them. People who don't like gnomes are gnomophobes."
SIR ELTON JOHN had to leave his partner DAVID FURNISH to meet with the surrogate mother of their baby boy during her pregnancy - because the superstar had to stay away for "confidentiality reasons".
The pair used a surrogate mother to deliver their son Zachary, who was born over Christmas (10), and they have now spoken for the first time about the complicated process.
They used a specialised agency in California to set up the surrogacy and the anonymous woman who eventually carried their child didn't know the superstar couple's true identities at first.
After the deal had been set up, Sir Elton had to be left out of the numerous meetings with the mother, because they wanted to keep the process top secret.
Furnish tells Britain's OK! magazine, "One day she figured out who we were. She cracked it. And it didn't make a bit of difference to her. She's a lovely women who is not interested in media or fame... We exchanged emails and calls on a weekly basis, and I'd slip quietly into California. We didn't want to bring Elton along, because he'd have got attention. We wanted to protect her anonymity... We'd meet in neutral locations, spend an afternoon together, have lunch..."
Sir Elton adds, "I couldn't be seen anywhere near her for confidentiality reasons. But we spoke on the phone... And I eventually met her, and we got on like a house on fire."
Furnish reveals they kept up the veil of secrecy right up to the birth - even hiring a nanny who sneaked all of the baby items into their home.
He says, "Because of confidentiality, we couldn't do anything to prepare for the baby's arrival... We have a nanny... she quietly went around L.A. buying things... taking the packaging off and then putting it in Christmas wrap. Then we brought them in the building, looking like Christmas presents, because we couldn't have anyone see baby stuff coming in the door."
SIR ELTON JOHN and his partner DAVID FURNISH are putting together a scrapbook of their surrogacy journey so they can tell their son all about it as soon as he is old enough to understand.
The pair welcomed baby Zachary at Christmas (25Dec10) after a long process to find a surrogate mother to carry their child.
Furnish insists they will be completely honest with the youngster about how he came into the world, and they have been collecting mementos for the tot.
He tells Britain's OK! magazine, "We've taken advice from counsellors on this and we've already started a scrapbook with pictures of us meeting the surrogate, the first scans, letters and emails, hospital bracelets...
"We want him to understand how much love and care went into his birth. We've already got a couple of great children's books on how families come in many shapes and sizes."
Sir Elton also reveals they have chosen to stay in touch with the surrogate mum, who has chosen to remain out of the public eye, because they want Zachary to get to know her, too.
He adds, "We want the surrogate mum to be a part of our lives, and we want him to get to know her, because she's a great woman. He will always be told the truth."
he 63-year-old singer and his 48-year-old partner David Furnish welcomed their first child together on Christmas day in California – a son named Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John. The baby’s surrogate mother will remain out of the public eye, although Elton and David presented the little boy in this week’s edition of American magazine Us Weekly.
It appears Zachary has inherited his father’s passion for music, as the boy adores having his parents serenade him.
"He's a content little guy... He's very peaceful... He just loves to be nurtured, cuddled, and sung to," beamed David to the publication.
Elton is pleased to say that his beloved son is displaying the signs of being particularly good looking. He joked the little boy looked like late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill when he was first born due to his wrinkled-up face. The singer is also taking great interest in charting Zachary’s hair growth.
“I think he’s getting more handsome by the day. When babies come out, they all look a bit like Winston Churchill, their faces all scrunched up! And every day his hair is growing. It was quite dark when he came out, and now it’s going blond,” he told the British edition of OK! magazine in a separate interview.
Sir Elton John and David Furnish “don’t have a clue” which one of them is the biological father of son Zachary.
The delighted new parents said they had both “contributed” to the surrogacy birth of their little boy.
Proud Rocket Man Elton spoke about the arrival of his three-week-old baby in an exclusive chat with OK! magazine.
The keen football fan said he was already looking forward to taking Zach to his first match and revealed that he often sings to the baby.
Elton, 63, said: “David and I have always been close but this is the last step in completing us as a family.
“It ties us together,” he added. “And there’s not a bigger responsibility in your life than bringing up a child.
“We intend to make sure to fulfil it in the best possible way.”
Tiny Zachary Jackson Levon was born to a “smart, compassionate” secret surrogate mum in California on
Christmas Day, said his besotted dads.
The woman has asked to stay anonymous but Elton said: “We want her to be part of our lives and we want him to get to know her, because she’s a great woman.”
David, 48, who got hitched to the singer in a civil partnership ceremony in 2005, added: “We both contributed to the pregnancy.
“For the time being we don’t have a clue who the biological father is. We look at him every day and at the moment he has Elton’s nose and my hands.”
Elton said: “If he wants to know, we can do a DNA test.”
The singer, who has a fortune worth over £200million, is currently living in America but he said that he wants to bring up little Zach in England.
He said he cried when the couple were finally able to take their son home from hospital, revealing: “I’ve never felt anything like it in my life. You’re so awestruck.
“The feeling, the joy, the warmth of his body, his breathing. I will never forget that experience.” They also revealed the huge “covert operation” to keep their family plans top secret.
David would regularly travel to America to meet the expectant mum, while Elton stayed away to avoid attracting attention.
The couple told how they even shipped all their baby goods into their home disguised as Christmas presents.
David also said: “We had to be interviewed by psychologists. Then our surrogate chose us from an anonymous profile. It’s her choice too.
“Initially we both used pseudonyms and we got to know her by telephone. Then one day she figured out who we were.”
The couple have not ruled out having more babies. But David added: “We have to see how we cope with one before we even consider a second.”
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
SIR Elton John and David Furnish present baby son Zachary in a world exclusive interview in this week’s OK! magazine
Proud parents Sir Elton John and David Furnish invite you into their LA home to meet their new arrival, baby Zachary Jackson Levon.
The 63-year-old music legend and his partner, film director and producer, David explain their joy following the Christmas Day birth and the heartbreak after trying to adopt two Ukranian orphans.
Speaking about holding Zachary for the first time, Elton says: "I've never felt anything like it in my life. You're so awestruck, I will never forget that feeling ever."
Elton and David also explain their parenting philosophy. Elton says: "I'm ready to have a child and lavish my love on our son and not spoil him materially."
The road to fatherhood has not been easy and the pair were heartbroken in 2009 after trying to adopt a 14-month Ukrainian orphan named Lev and his three-year-old HIV positive brother, Artyom.
Despite failing to adopt the two children the couple want to do everything they can to find them a home.
Elton says: "We're still consulting about finding the best possible home for them."
David adds: "We feel awful. We keep hitting red tape. But we're not giving up until they're out and in a safe, supported home."
The full world exclusive interview and pictures can be found in this week's OK! magazine and proceeds from the article are going to Elton and David's chosen charities.
Sir Elton John and David Furnish's baby "shot out like a rocket" on the day he was born.
The couple - who welcomed surrogate baby Zachary into the world on Christmas Day (25.12.10) - rushed to witness the "dramatic" birth of their first child, which saw the obstetrician have to catch the infant in his arms.
Elton explained: "Suddenly, at 2.15am on Christmas Day, we were woken up. They said, 'Quickly! The baby's coming!' We went in and stood behind the bed. Then the top of the head came out and David said, 'My God, there's the head!'
"Then he shot out like a rocket basically - so much so that the obstetrician sort of caught him! It was so dramatic and exciting, we didn't have time to get emotional. Like there he was, talk about fast!"
Despite being one of the world's wealthiest couples, the pair plan to be "hands on" parents and will only be spoiling Zachary with love, rather than material possessions.
Elton added to OK! magazine: "I feed him. David feeds him. We change his nappies. I mean, it's hands on! We are on nappy patrol.
"I'm ready to have a child and lavish my love on our son and not spoil him but be there for him and advise him. We don't want to spoil him materially, although he's already been spoiled rotten by people buying him stuff! We just want to give him some wisdom."
- Contact Music
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Due to overwhelming demand, a second Greatest Hits Live concert has just been added on Thursday, February 24 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
The public sale will begin this Saturday, January 15th at 10 a.m., and tickets cost $77, $97, $152 and $252.
They are to be available at www.mauiarts.org as well as through the MACC box office, or Charge by Phone at (808) 242-7469. There's a six ticket limt per customer, and a service charge is added to each.
Elton and his band will play a concert at the Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia, on Friday, March 18.
This is part of the Greatest Hits Live tour.
Tickets - priced at $29, $79 and $139 - go on sale next Friday, January 21, at 10 a.m. Additional fees apply.
Tickets will be available at the venue's box office, online at coxtix.com, and by phone at (888) 326-9849.
This marks the singer's first performance in Hampton Roads since he played the Norfolk Scope arena in 2003.
Elton’s management announced the date for the White Tie and Tiara Ball for June 23rd, that is the same date as his concert in Freiburg, Germany. The concert has since been moved to July 1st.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Capital C: Concerts has just announced that the biggest concert event in the South Island this year will be on Friday November 25.
Promoter Phil Sprey of Capital C: Concerts said that having the concert a month after the Rugby World Cup finishes and at the start of the ‘Christmas Party’ season made an ideal time to have the ‘Rocketman’ visit Dunedin.
With very few major artist currently scheduled at this time and the event taking place in the new weather-proof venue, it is expected that many people will travel from other locations to be part of this historic occasion.
‘Many ex-pat Dunedinites have also been in touch with us and the venue management over the last few weeks indicating that the dual experience of an Elton John Concert doubled with the arrival of New Zealand’s only indoor stadium is excuse enough for making this a ‘once in a lifetime’, ‘ not-to-be-missed event.’ ” says Mr Sprey. ‘We have received many requests for information and booking inquiries from the throughout country as well as a considerable representation for Australia and some from as far away as the UK.’
This is Sir Elton’s first South Island concert in 20 years and is expected to sell out very early.
Booking information will be announced in the next week.
I am very pleased to announce that Sir Elton John will be the featured guest for CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360º special one-hour broadcast Hope Survives: 30 Years of AIDS, to be aired on Friday, January 14, 2011, at 9:00 PM Eastern. The special will focus on the role stigma continues to play in the spread of HIV here in the U.S. and how through education and scaled up prevention there is hope for an HIV-free future generation. The show will also explore the latest medical breakthroughs and discoveries.
In addition to Anderson Cooper’s in-depth interview with Elton about the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s work, the show will also include interviews with Academy Award-winning actress and AIDS activist Mo’Nique; Phill Wilson, Founder and Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute and co-founder of Greater Than AIDS, a new national movement developed with the Kaiser Family Foundation and supported by EJAF; Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases; andProject Runway’s Mondo Guerra. During the course of filming season 8 of Project Runway, Mondo revealed on national television that he was HIV-positive, a secret he had withheld from his religious family for 10 years; his story is a case study in the tremendously negative impact of stigma today, even in New York City, even in the gay community.
The special broadcast will also feature emotional clips of famous personalities sharing a personal “Deciding Moment” that changed how they think about the disease and inspired them to get involved, including Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon, actress Sharon Stone, singer Barry Manilow, basketball legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar, comedienne Margaret Cho, Author Maya Angelou, and Jeanne White-Ginder, the mother of the late Ryan White. Hundreds of Americans have already shared their own “Deciding Moments” as part of an ongoing campaign by Greater Than AIDS. To view these inspiring stories or share your own, visit: www.greaterthan.org/moments.
“I’m deeply grateful to CNN and Anderson Cooper for focusing a special hour of programming to bring attention to the continuing impact of HIV/AIDS, not only internationally, but also right here in the United States,” said Elton. “We’ve all become way too complacent about a deadly epidemic that is only getting bigger, especially when we already have creative readily accessible prevention methods that we know to be highly effective at curtailing the spread of this disease right now.”
I hope you will enjoy this terrific special report and continue to take pride in the Foundation’s accomplishments
Executive Director EJAF
Tony Award winner Elton John will perform alongside Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick at amFar's annual New York Gala to be held at 6:30pm on Wednesday, February 9 at Cipriani Wall Street, according to The New York Times.
The event will honor former President Bill Clinton; Diane von Furstenberg; and two of the foundation's co-founders, Dr. Mathilde Krim and Elizabeth Taylor.
The event will feature the four entertainers in a special performance of the song, "That's What Friends Are For," which was originally written by Carole Bayer Sager and Burt Bacharach and was released by Arista in 1986 as a benefit single for amfAR.
For tickets, contact Cassandra Dawes at 212-806-1753 or emall firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, visitwww.amfar.org.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
"Elton's management has drawn attention to yet another stupid article in the Daily Mail's online edition today - reporting that Elton went to an LA studio yesterday, and suggesting that the financial pressure of employing all the extra staff for Zachary is causing Elton to have to produce a new album. It is also almost beyond belief that the paper continues to make a ludicrous link between the accounts for the period ending 31 March 2010 and Zachary's birth on Christmas Day.
"Leaving aside the fact that two weeks paternity leave is entirely the norm in the UK, we can dispel the idea that Elton is working on a new album. Elton takes a close interest in all the artists signed to Rocket or its associated companies, and is currently helping the greatly talented Nick Littlemore (half of the very successful Australian Pnau group and also part of The Empire of the Sun project) with a new work for Cirque du Soleil.
"Anyway, to say it once more, William A Bong Ltd hired nobody in the year ended 31 March 2010, or since then, to assist in the care of baby Zachary. Neither did the company increase its staffing numbers at all, despite what the accounts say because of a procedural change.
"It is truly extraordinary how sour some people can be about what is plainly a very happy event. The Editor must be a very unhappy person."
Set out below is the text of a statement supplied by Elton's company, W A Bong Ltd.
"Some reports about Elton are based upon stupidity of the reporter. Other reports are based upon prejudice. Sometimes, as with the latest article in the Daily Mail today, reports are based upon both stupidity and prejudice.
"The Daily Mail claims that Elton's staff went from 14 to 22 between 2008 and 2010 and implies that the increase is due to arrangements being made for the birth of Zachary. This claim has now been picked up and distorted by others on the internet.
"The inconvenient facts are:
A. The accounts of William A Bong for the period April 2008 to March 31, 2009, showed administrative staff of 13, and for the next year (April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010) the figure was 21. By the way, on any count this does not mean, except to a moron, that the staff has "doubled."
B. Zachary would hardly have been conceived during the financial year ended March 31, 2010, and it is again a suggestion of true absurdity that any increase in staff shown in those accounts was related in any way to the addition to Elton and David's family. Furthermore, the employment of purely personal staff such as housekeepers and nannies would constitute a fraud on the Revenue, as would be obvious to anybody but a financial illiterate such as the Daily Mail's reporter, Simon Cable.
C. Nobody talked to us about the figures, and if they had done so we would have pointed out that the wages and salaries had risen for administrative staff from £1,260,854 in 2008/9 to £1,276,023 in 2009/10, a rise of just over £15,000. Even if wages had been entirely frozen for the entire 13 original staff, it would surely defy logic to suggest that an additional 8 staff could be employed at a total cost of £15,000 for the year. This simple fact would have put any fair-minded reporter on enquiry. The truth is that the increase in numbers is a purely procedural step taken because some staff who previously were employed by other companies associated with Elton John (e.g.TwentyFirst Artists Ltd.) have been counted in the later accounts as William A Bong employees if they performed any duties at all for that company. In short there has been no actual increase in the staff of William A Bong Ltd.
D. If further evidence of the financial illiteracy of the reporter was required one need only look at the final paragraph of the article - the claim that Elton took "a £283,825 hit simply by turning his foreign income back into pounds." Under the administrative expenses section of the accounts the figure of £283,825 is shown in brackets - a commonplace accounting device to show not a cost but a profit! How incompetent can you get?
"The article is yet another piece of pathetic journalism by a newspaper with a continuing agenda against Elton."
- EltonJohn.com/ William A Bong LTD.