Friday, February 11, 2011

Elton on Regis & Today

Elton John spoke of his relationship with friend and fellow songwriter Billy Joel this morning on 'Today' (weekdays, 7AM on NBC). John currently graces the cover of Rolling Stone, and Matt Lauer pressed him on some of the revelations in the piece, including his criticism of Joel's drinking and some of the canceled tour dates that resulted from it.

"He hates me at the moment," John said, "and I understand why." John said the two had not spoken privately since the piece came out, but that Joel had sent a message and he was not happy.

John said, "I really love the guy" and called Joel "an American treasure" for his songwriting and that his criticism comes from place of love. "I'm sorry I had to say it," said John, "but I'm saying it because I really want Billy to live a long life and be very happy. That's all it came from."

John went on to talk about his own experience. "Years ago when I was using, people tried to tell me," he said. "I didn't talk to them for years. How dare you talk to me like that?"

John said Joel "may want to punch his face in at the moment, but it's OK."

But it seems like Joel is trying to take the high road. In a statement released by the singer's publicist, he said:

"1. I do not hate Elton John
2. I do not want to "punch him in the face"
3. If he wants to call me, my number is still the same.
4. Good luck with the movie.

- TV Squad

SIR ELTON JOHN has celebrated lyricist SIR TIM RICE to thank for transforming him into a superstar, because he had grown bored of his career before agreeing to write music for Disney hit THE LION KING.

Rice reached out to the Rocket Man in 1993 and invited him to pen tracks for the popular animation, producing tunes including Circle of Life and Can You Feel the Love Tonight, which earned Elton a Best Song Oscar and a Grammy.

The rocker teamed up with Rice again for another Disney film, Aida, in 1999, before going on to compose music for projects such as the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical, and new animated movie Gnomeo & Juliet.

And Elton insists he owes his big break to Rice, because his career "took off" after The Lion King.

He tells American breakfast show Today, "I've been very lucky, very fortunate. Fate plays a huge hand in your career and you have to have the instinct to follow it. I had a phone call in 1993 from Tim Rice and he said, 'Disney are making this brand new film called The Lion King.' I said, 'Of course I'll do it, I've never done anything like this.'

"That opened a huge door for me and it opened the door for Broadway, making our own animation, opened the door for me scoring movies. At that time, I was just making records, touring, making videos, so in 1993 with The Lion King, my career completely changed and took off and thank God it did, because it was boring doing the former three all the time...

"There's no end to what you can do really, if you're lucky enough to be offered the chance."

- Contact Music

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