Friday, April 29, 2011

Elton & David Arrive at The Royal Wedding



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Elton's Mum Sheila Hasn't Spoken to Him in 3 Years


Sir Elton John's mum has spoken of her heartbreak over her three-year rift with the singer, who she alleges has "cut me out of his life".

Sheila Farebrother was a witness at Sir Elton's 2005 civil ceremony with his partner David Furnish but her relationship with the star has since fallen apart and they no longer speak.
According to Britain's The Sun newspaper, the pair fell out after Farebrother made a comment that insulted Furnish.

The 86 year old has refused to comment on reports she sparked a feud with her son's partner, telling the publication, "It was something like that, but not exactly."

She adds, "He (Sir Elton) has cut me off completely. It happened three years ago this June. He has had nothing to do with me since then.

"I don't want to go into what caused it. It is a painful subject. My son cut me out of his life for good."

Farebrother reveals the star didn't inform her when he welcomed a baby boy, Zachary, at Christmas (10) and insists there are no plans for her to meet her grandson: "I have no particular interest really. You will have to ask them about that."

But Farebrother is adamant she doesn't want to "start mudslinging" - because the Rocket Man hitmaker still supports her financially.

A spokesperson for the singer says, "I have never had a conversation with him about whether he talks to his mother. She is a lovely lady but she is 86 and she is frail and old."

- Contact Music

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Elton's Autographed Shoes at Auction


Celebrities like Elton John, Mark Wahlberg and Jessica Simpson kick off the Third Annual Hillsides Foster Soles in Los Angeles, an online auction of celebrity autographed shoes and celebrity photograph. Honorary Chair and Celebrity Auctioneer is Dr. Drew Pinsky of “Loveline,” “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” and “Dr. Drew” on HLN. The Los Angeles kickoff event to launch the auction will be hosted by Bar Celona in Pasadena on Wednesday, April 27, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The online auction runs April 27th through May 16th, which is held during Foster Care Awareness Month in May to raise awareness of national foster care issues and the plight of children and youth in the system.

Hillsides, a Los Angeles foster care children’s charity with 98 years of creating safe places, is asking celebrities to donate autographed shoes and photographs.

Besides John, Wahlberg and Simpson, this year’s celebrity participants include: John Stamos, Denzel Washington, Seth Green, Mario Lopez, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Lopez , Gabriel Iglesias, Jane Kaczmarek , Billy Bob Thornton, Tim Allen, Jimmy Kimmel, Joan Rivers, Larry King, Dr. Drew Pinksy , Dave Koz , Charles Barkley, Robert Horry, Billy Zane, Mike Epps, Marlee Matlin, Cast from Burn Notice, Chelsea Handler, Chuy, Markie Post, Stan Smith, Mark Harmon, Pam Dawber, Kate Linder, Edie Falco, Rona Barrett, Kim Coates, Kaitlin Olson, Devon Werheiser, Melissa Rivers, Samantha Harris, Cast from The Bold & The Beautiful and many more.

Bar Celona, located in the historic Colorado Boulevard retail district of Old Pasadena, is the creation of local entrepreneurs Jack Huang and Karen Tanji, who is also on the board of directors of the foster care charity. Set on a stage of rich crimson red and hues of mellow mustard, Bar Celona invokes the traditions of the traditional tapas bars of Spain, with handcrafted murals of ‘the running of the bulls,’ wine offerings geared toward those of the Spanish vineyards, house made sangrias, and the popular small plates that trigger a smiling sigh. The venue makes for a wonderful atmosphere to host this event.

Guests who bid on April 27 will get a chance to vie for celebrity shoes with online visitors until the auction’s closing date, May 16.

Bar Celona, celebrities, and bidders of Hillsides “Foster Soles” can be assured that putting their best foot forward ensures a better pathway for foster care children.

Hillsides Foster Soles 2009 was awarded national winner of the PR News Non-Profit PR Awards in “Event PR,” a finalist in “PR on a Shoestring,” and Best of Pasadena, from Pasadena Magazine.

Tickets are $35 in advance or $50 at the door. To purchase tickets, learn more about the foster care children’s charity or “Foster Soles,” visit www.Hillsides.org.

David & Elton Sign Up New Play - The Normal Heart


A MOVING play that centres on the early days of the AIDS pandemic could be brought to the British stage by Elton John and his partner David Furnish.

The Normal Heart, written 26 years ago by Larry Kramer, the American playwright and activist, opens for the first time on Broadway tomorrow, having earned standing ovations in previews.

"Better late than never," Kramer told UK newspaper The Times. Furnish claims the playwright's work "shamed" John into doing more to fight AIDS, specifically setting up the Elton John AIDS Foundation 20 years ago.

Furnish said the emotional play is, "an astonishing, emotionally compelling piece of writing and a moving, fantastic piece of theater that the younger generation needs to see.

Elton and I are focused on making sure that they do."

"Elton and I would both like to make the production as widely seen as possible, and that includes helping fund and mount future versions of it wherever we can," Furnish went on.

"AIDS treatment and prevention budgets are being cut in the US and there is not enough sex education in schools. Governments in the US, UK, everywhere, could and should be doing more to fight AIDS."

He added: "I knew that fear, and seeing it on stage was very upsetting. It also shows the beginnings of smashing that fear and the power of gay men harnessed by uniting."

- Herald Sun

Monday, April 25, 2011

Elton Talks The Royal Wedding



British music superstar Elton John says his friend the late Princess Diana would be "very happy" with her son William's choice of bride, but he had harsh words for the British media that have intensified their coverage of William and Kate Middleton since their engagement was announced.

An aggressive pursuit by paparazzi in Paris is believed to have led to Diana's death in a car crash in 1997. Henri Paul, the driver of the car, apparently lost control as he tried to elude pursuing photographers. He and Diana and her companion, Dodi Fayed, were killed.

John, who performed at Diana's funeral at Westminster Abbey, cautioned William and Kate: "It starts here. Enjoy it while you can, because ... the press are going to give you a bumpy ride, they're going to love you, they're going to hate you."

Speaking in an interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters, John continued: "I just hope they love each other enough to stay away from all that. You know, (if) there's one thing in the world ... I could get rid of, it's that negativity in the British press, that hatefulness, that whole nastiness that pervades our British media, and I'm sorry we have it but we do, and we have to live with it, cause it's a great country, but there's one thing about Britain that sucks."

But even as he criticized the press, he acknowledged why people paid so much attention to the couple.

"Yeah, it is a fairy tale thing, and people criticize it and say we're making too much of it, but it's about love, and in this day and age, anything that's about love and positivity is a welcome relief from what's going on in the world," he said.

Prince William is scheduled to marry Middleton on Friday at Westminster Abbey.

John said this visit to the Abbey will be one of "great joy."

The last time he was in the Abbey, he recalled, "my heart sank when I saw those two boys walking behind the coffin," he said, referring to William and his younger brother, Prince Harry.

"I thought that was the hardest thing, I can't imagine at that young age having to walk in the public, following your mother's coffin," he said. "And the next time we're in the Abbey it's to see him walking up the aisle with a beautiful woman, the love of his life, I think it's the most joyous result and I'm sure Diana would be very, very happy about it."

John, who is raising a baby son with his partner, David Furnish, said he was "surprised" to have been invited to the wedding.

"I've only met William and Harry twice … but I'm very glad to be invited because I think it's going to be a very joyous day and I think (Diana) would be very happy with his choice, (Kate) seems such a great girl and they seem so much in love," he said.

Furnish, who has met both princes, said William is a "charming" man.

"He is charming, confident, very down to earth, has a little bit of his mother's sense of humor in him, likes a bit of a laugh, and a striking resemblance to his mother when you look into his eyes. Really rather startling when you get that certain angle, he's a lovely man," Furnish said of the 28-year-old prince.

John said he hopes William and his 29-year-old bride-to-be, Kate, have "the most wonderful day."

"I hope everyone celebrates for them, whether they agree with the monarchy or not. It's about two people falling in love and getting into a situation, for her especially, where it's going to be the most difficult life. I mean, let's face it, we know what that kind of marriage entails, and the press never leave you alone, the courtiers ... I admire her for going through with it," he added.

- ABC

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Elton & David on 20/20, Lady GaGa is God Mother





Sir Elton John's music career has spanned more than 40 years and he has conquered every arena from Broadway to Hollywood. But for all his fame and wealth, he had never been a father…until now. John and his partner of almost 18 years, movie producer David Furnish, are the proud parents of four-month-old Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John. Zachary was born on Christmas Day 2010 and is the apple of his fathers' eyes.

"I knew I'd feel joy but it was the most relaxing thing that's ever happened to me," John said.

So what kind of doting dad is Sir Elton John?

"We change him, we bath him, we feed him and we read him a story every night," says John of the couple's routine with the baby. "And we take him to lunch."

It's hard to imagine a baby who hasn't cut his teeth yet having lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel, but when you're the son of Elton John it's par for the course.

"We have an apartment and we bought another apartment next door," said John. "We didn't bother to knock through to the second apartment so it's freestanding and we turned it into a nursery."

The Daily Mail in Great Britain had reported that the couple spent $4 million for their son's nursery, complete with round-the-clock nannies and a personal chef. John assures everyone that there are no chefs mashing bananas and the couple only employs one nanny.

"The worst thing you can do to a child, and I've seen it happen so many times, is the silver spoon," John said. "Being the child of a famous person is very difficult and we're very well aware of the pitfalls of that."

Although he owns homes in L.A., London and France, John says he will help Zachary navigate those pitfalls with a good sense of values. Both John and Furnish want Zachary to understand that hard work brings rewards.

"Our life might be very luxurious but it's all come from hard work," Furnish said. "Both Elton and I have sort of earned everything we've done in our careers and furthered our educations through our own drive and our own ambitions and we want Zachary to be exactly the same sort of way."

- ABC News

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Leon Russell Australian Ticket Discount


Get tickets to Leon Russell's shows in Australia for just $85.

Go to Ticketmaster and use promotion code "easter" to obtain the discount.

Enjoy the show!

Ticketmaster Introducing Dynamic Ticket Pricing


After getting killed in last year's lackluster concert season, Ticketmaster is changing the way it does business. And it hopes scalpers lose out along the way.

Now Ticketmaster says it will adjust the price of sports and concert tickets according to demand. If shrieking girls can't get enough of a certain floppy-haired teen idol, for example, ticket prices will go up. But if, say, Rebecca Black launches a nationwide tour to slow demand, her ticket prices will drop.

It's a fundamental change to the traditional model for Ticketmaster, a division of Live Nation Entertainment (LYV). In the past, Ticketmaster worked with artists to set tickets at specific prices, and those prices didn't really change.

There were two problems with this model, according to The Wall Street Journal. First is that fans are consistently willing to pay more for the primo seats -- giving sites like StubHub.com free rein to sell tickets for two or three times their face value. But the so-called "cheap seats" were still to pricey for less-enthusiastic concertgoers.

It's was a lose-lose situation for Ticketmaster. As a result, 40% of concert tickets are unsold across the industry. And last summer, ticket sales fell by a shocking 12% as fans refused to give in to high prices. Live Nation suffered a $228.4 million loss last year, according to The New York Times.

Ticketmaster hopes the new pricing will solve both of its problems -- and knock out scalpers in the process. The move comes as more ticket competitors enter the business.

Ticketmaster is working with a company called MarketShare Partners on the dynamic-pricing model. And MarketShare is backed by a venture fund owned partly by U2 frontman Bono.

So the takeaway from this is that we may see lower concert tickets this year -- but only if artists and managers are willing to give up control and let the market determine pricing.

- MSN Money

Expect tickets to "The Million Dollar Piano" to fluctuate depending on demand, day of week, season and special events. VIP tickets are already being sold at $500 US.

Zagreb & Montenegro Concerts Cancelled


It seems as though Elton's upcoming concerts in Zagreb Croatia and Budva Montenegro have been cancelled.

The Croatian date has been cancelled due to supposed civil unrest.

The Montenegro date has been replaced by a Turkish date.

More news will be posted as it is confirmed officially.

The Union Doco Opens at Tribeca - Coming Soon to HBO






The Tribeca Film Festival has always been an adventuresome place to visit on opening night. Few major festivals outside Cannes can claim to have hosted such a broad range of popcorn prospects (Speed Racer, Shrek Forever After), midsize local darlings (Whatever Works) and variety show curios (buy me a beer and I’ll tell you about that year Jon Bon Jovi slow-jammed “Living on a Prayer”). But Wednesday, just in time to commence their 10th annual event, Team Tribeca nailed it.

Thousands of viewers dropped by the namesake neighboorhood for a free outdoor screening of Cameron Crowe’s The Union, a world-premiere documentary about the rekindled musical relationship between Elton John and his chief influence, songwriter/bandleader Leon Russell. Sir Elton himself introduced the film, standing in for Crowe (who cheerfully sent his video regards along with Matt Damon, a capuchin monkey, and the rest of the gang on the set of his upcoming film We Bought a Zoo) and Russell (whose own video salutation was a little more subdued but no less earnest). He later performed a brief set mixing classics like an epic version of “Rocket Man” with tracks from The Union, last year’s John/Russell collaboration from which Crowe’s doc takes its title.

“When we made this movie, we just wanted to document a special occasion of getting someone who hadn’t made a record in a long, long time,” John explained, referring to Russell. “Cameron wanted to film the process and see how it went, and see how Leon would be and how I would be — because Leon was my idol. We just started off doing it, really, for our own use. But as the story grew, and as Leon came out of his shell and came back to life, we knew we had something a little special. And here we are at Tribeca. I can’t believe it. I’m so honored — and I’m so frightened. I haven’t seen the movie.”

He had nothing to be afraid of. The Union is at once a tasteful, evocative portrait of musicians at work and a revelatory deconstruction of Russell’s myth. Flirting periodically with hagiography (jeez, Stevie Nicks, are you visiting the studio to kiss Russell’s ring or kiss his ass?), Crowe knows just when to dial down the fanboy zeal and really dig into his subjects — mostly with no more sophisticated technique than standing back and simply bearing witness. The results strip away the glamour of rock lifestyles — particularly that of Elton John, for whom a twilight quest to get back to basics meant more than just ditching slick, platinum-record pretension. It meant channeling some primal spirit that went dormant decades ago, right around the time Elton the Showman began playing piano with the heels of his platform shoes. “I didn’t really know what to do next,” he says in The Union’s opening frames. “I still had the energy of a teenager but didn’t know what to do with it.”

Ultimately Russell was that primal spirit, looking and speaking the part with his flowing white hair and beard and such unassuming admissions as, “Those true songs are easier to write than the not-so-true ones — the ones without any substance. […] I love true songs.” So does Sir Elton, apparently: He breaks down during the song in question, “In the Hands of Angels,” a gorgeous, lilting ballad Russell conceived while recovering from surgery to correct a near-fatal brain condition. Ingeniously, Crowe constructs a split-screen panorama between the songwriters; one camera keeps watch on Russell’s simple catharsis while the other trails a tearful John out of the control room.

It’s deeply affecting stuff, and The Union is full of little captivations just like it. A guest vocal by Brian Wilson sparks a longer exploration of Russell’s prolific ’60s session work on albums by everybody from the Beach Boys to Frank Sinatra to Aretha Franklin, capped by Wilson and Russell’s brief, strange encounter on the street outside the studio. Easy come, easy go, the scene suggests, but nothing is more difficult (or more important, for that matter) than reclaiming one’s sense of artistic direction. In doing so, however, Russell hints that he never lost it in the first place: Straining to come up with a fittingly groovy background vocal arrangement for “Monkey Suit,” Sir Elton, producer T-Bone Burnett and their session singers defer to Russell, who intones within seconds the “shoop shoop a dilly willy” that solves their problem on the spot.

Crowe weaves a few illuminating interstitials throughout the recording footage, mostly career comparisons heavy on archival footage and John’s ruminations about stardom and obscurity. By 2010, though — just as the album The Union is rocketing up the Billboard charts and the duo is shown taking its songs on the road — the documentary The Union begins to lose both focus and steam. For a film about the purity of process and collaboration, it spends a little too much time and energy emphasizing the scope of John’s generosity and Russell’s renaissance. After all, the former is never more clear than when Crowe depicts the evolution of the latter. Finding them onstage at the Beacon Theater, where a worshipful capacity crowd cheers and dances to their hard-wrought roots rock, is kind of just rubbing it in — especially after hearing Sir Elton declaim repeatedly how he’s done concerning himself with market whims. (Lowering his expectations, he says he’d be “ecstatic” if the album’s first week of sales put it in the top 10; it hit number three.)

Still, the sincerity of purpose with which he and Crowe launched this whole project — itself quite the artistic teaming — more than balances out any false modesty or loose narrative flesh. The Union is a success if only because it had a whole riverfront terrace full of New Yorkers walking away saying, “Wow. Leon Russell, huh?” Whatever Elton John’s emotional payoff, that’s the film both Russell and Tribeca needed more than anything at this point in their histories. Here’s to many more.

- Movie Line

In Cameron Crowe‘s very moving and informational documentary, “The Union,” I learned a lot about both of its subjects, Leon Russell and Elton John. The 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival opened with an outdoor showing of “The Union,” followed by a live set –in the freezing cold–by Sir Elton himself. But wait, in the movie we learned that Leon Russell, rock’s bad boy of the early Seventies, doesn’t know what a “high five” is. “That’s something from sports, isn’t it?”

We also learned that his record company has begged Elton to do a Christmas album or a theme album–like all Motown songs–for years. “I won’t do it,” he says. “That’s not me.” Instead he made “The Union,” my favorite album since it was released last November, with his own hero, Leon Russell. Crowe, director of “Almost Famous” and “Say Anything,” directed it.

And last night it opened the festival on a joyous New York night that was open to the public but had its share of celebrities with people like Scott Glenn, Griffin Dunne, David O. Russell, Anna Kendrick, Julian Schnabel with Rula Jebreal, the Olsen twins, Lauren Hutton, Bob Balaban, Zoe Kravitz, rock jewelry designer Loree Rodkin (who’s writing a book about her life in Hollywood folks–look out) and the album’s producer, T Bone Burnett. The extra special guest was Bernie Taupin, Elton’s longtime lyricist, and the guy who thought of the term “Crocodile Rock.”

Jane Rosenthal, who started the Film Festival right after September 11, 2001, gave opening remarks and then introduced Martin Scorsese, who got thunderous applause across the plaza behind the World Financial Center in Battery Park Plaza–the same place that was once a landfill and was home to the legendary No Nukes concert of 1979. Rosenthal, husband Craig Hatkoff, and Robert DeNiro gave the area a much needed shot of adrenalin after 9-11. Now it’s packed with office buildings and apartment houses, more popular than ever.

But back to the show: Rosenthal introduced Elton, and after the show he performed two songs from “The Union,” plus “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man,” “Your Song,” and “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues.” He was by himself, playing piano, and sounding way too good for a musician who told the audience: “I’m like a freezing cold lollipop.” Russell, he told us, wasn’t there because he’s on tour in Australia since Elton revived his career. “He’s got a bus, and some money,” Elton said proudly.

PS You’ll be able to see “The Union” soon–my sources say a deal is all but done with HBO, as it should be.

- ShowBiz411



Look How Cute Baby Zachary Is!



Jeff Bridges Plans to Duet with Elton for New Album


JEFF Bridges has spoken out about his new music career.

The 61-year-old actor took Esquire magazine’s Chris Jones to a recording studio with him after deciding he’d like to concentrate on music rather than acting.

“Acting, man,” Jeff said. “Believe me, I like life to come at me a little slower than that. I was just playing the calm guy….But I am taking advantage of the opportunity. Now’s the perfect time for me to do something like this.”

Bridges recently revealed he’s planning on recording a duet with Sir Elton John.

The 61-year-old actor is currently working on an album following his Oscar success as alcoholic country singer Bad Blake in Crazy Heart last year, and is keen to work on a track with the music icon.

“Winning the Oscar has helped me,” Jeff told Shortlist magazine. “I’m currently making an album with producer and songwriter T-Bone Burnett. That comes directly from the success of Crazy Heart.

“I was recently on the Speaking Clock tour, headlined by Leon Russell and Elton John. Elvis Costello was there and I got to sing with him, which was cool, I really enjoyed it.

“Elton is a great person. We talked about doing a duet. I’d certainly like to.”

Discussing his Oscar success — this year repeated with a nomination for his role in True Grit — the bearded star reveals his favorite thing about awards recognition is the “acknowledgment” of his peers that he has made a good movie.

“It’s great to be acknowledged by the guys for what you do. There’s also an element to all of these award shows that they’re a commercial for the movie industry,” he said.

“That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s an element of my job that’s like being a barker at a carousel. But after you put all that energy into a film, it’s great if people come see it.”

- Showbiz Spy

The Guardian reports that although details are a little sketchy, a release sometime towards the end of the European/American summer (so around August or September) can be expected. The LP will feature a number of Bridges’ original songs and apparently “at least one Tom Waits classic”. A guest contribution comes from Roseanne Cash, while there are also vague rumours that Elton John is on board in some capacity.

Bridges has also been enjoying the production services of his great pal T-Bone Burnett, who he met whilst filming the 1980 film Heaven’s Gate. Burnett has also produced Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.

The album will come out on iconic jazz label Blue Note Records.

- Music Feeds

Buy The Matthew Morrison/ Elton John Duet for $0.99

Elton Coming to Sioux City


Elton John is coming to Sioux City’s Tyson Events Center May 3, the city confirmed in a surprise announcement Wednesday afternoon. Tickets go on sale Monday.

The six-time Grammy winner has been in the news several times this week. Monday John announced the return of his “Million Dollar Piano” show to the Las Vegas Strip for a three-year run at Caesars Palace.

Wednesday night he’ll perform at the 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The festival opens with the premiere of Cameron Crowe’s documentary on Elton John and Leon Russell, “The Union.”

April 29 Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, are also guests to the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London.

An average ticket price of $108.02 makes John the most expensive act currently on tour, according to online concert directory Pollstar. The next-highest prices are for the Eagles, $104.71, and Eric Clapton, $87.71.

Those prices aren’t the best news for cash-strapped concertgoers, but could be good for the Tyson Events Center.

Earlier this month, John’s three-hour concert in Bismarck, N.D., drew nearly 9,000 people to that community’s civic center, bringing in nearly $800,000.

John has won six Grammy Awards and collaborated on more than 30 albums with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin since 1967. He is one of the most commercially successful artists of all time with more than 250 million records sold.

John was set to perform Tuesday night in La Crosse, Wis., but weather postponed the concert. The Sioux City show comes between dates in Rochester, New York and Duluth, Minn. Later in May, John joins the Black Keys and Metallica for a concert in Quebec.

John is known for his longtime involvement in the fight against AIDS and as an advocate of the LGBT social movement.

- Sioux City Journal

La Crosse Concert Postponed to May 4 Due to Snow


The Rocket Man lands May 4.

Elton John’s show postponed this week by snow has been rescheduled for that day.

The National Weather Service doesn’t offer predictions that far out, though high temperatures in La Crosse average about 68 degrees that time of year, National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Jones said. And May snow is rare — the last time was in 1960 when nearly an inch fell.

The concert is once again scheduled for an 8 p.m. start time and, as before, Elton John plans to strike the first note promptly at 8.

La Crosse Center Director Art Fahey said the postponement due to Tuesday’s snowstorm was a hassle, but people handled it well. Fewer than 10 ticketholders didn’t know by 8 p.m.

Tickets bought for Tuesday’s show are still valid — simply show up May 4 and present the ticket. Ticketholders who can’t make the rescheduled show may get refunds if tickets were bought at the La Crosse Center box office or a reputable ticket outlet.

- Winona Daily News

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Some Parts of The Union Opening Night will be Broadcast On-Line


Set to premiere at 8:15 pm on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, The Union chronicles the making of the 2010 album of the same name, a collaboration between pop icon Elton John and legendary rock ‘n’ roll keyboardist Leon Russell. Crowe is, of course, known for making classic music narratives, including Singles (1992) and Almost Famous (2000).

We'll be streaming live from the event with very special performances before and after the movie. This stream will feature introductions and musical performances. Tune in to our second Opening Night stream at approximately 9:45p for a musical performance by a very special guest!

Watch The Live Stream Here

Man Falls From Balcony at Elton John Concert


(Springfield, MO) -- One of the most high profile shows in Springfield turned dangerous over the weekend.

According to Missouri State University, one man was injured just before Elton John wrapped up his set at JQH Arena Saturday night.

They say he fell from the upper rim in the arena to a concrete landing area below.

Emergency crews took the man to the hospital.

While we don't have specifics on his injuries, MSU says the victim was conscious when he went to the hospital.

The university does not believe anything illegal led to his fall.

- Ozarks First

Elton Coming to Istanbul, Ankara


The legendary name in music, Sir Elton John, will perform in 47 cities and 21 countries as part of his world tour, will meet his Turkish fans on July 5 in Istanbul and July 6 in Ankara. It will be John’s second visit to Turkey in 10 years.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, he started his music career with the band Bluesology, which he founded at the age of 15. John has a very special group of fans all around the world with more than 450 million albums and 40 million singles sold since the 1970s.

He has won six Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Tony Award. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him number 49 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.

One of the most unforgettable events in his career was the version of “Candle in the Wind,” which he performed in tribute to Princess Diana at her funeral, with new lyrics specially written by Bernie Taupin. The single sold over 33 million copies worldwide.

Sir Elton John will perform in Istanbul’s Maçka Küçükçiftlik Park organized by Map Communication and in Ankara Arena organized by Vokaliz. Tickets will be available soon.

- Hurriyet Daily News

Ray Cooper Joining Elton at Million Dollar Piano


(It's) not like the old days -- different from anything you've seen before. I will really raise the bar. It's a fabulous piano. It will surprise a lot of people. ... I want people to leave with real emotional feelings, that they have been close to me, had fun, definitely laughed, maybe cried -- an intimate evening with me that they've never had or seen before. It will give me a way to get much closer to my fans."

He said some audience members will be permitted to leave their seats and join him onstage to sing and dance with him while he is at the megabucks piano. "I love that. I love that connection. I've never enjoyed playing live more than I have now."

“We couldn’t be more excited to once again welcome one of the world’s most beloved entertainers, Elton John, to The Colosseum,” said Gary Selesner, Caesars Palace president. “During his last residency, Elton and his talented band brought so many memorable performances to Caesars Palace. We are looking forward to more incredible moments with Elton onstage at The Colosseum and continuing our successful partnership.”

The British-born global superstar completed a highly successful five-year residency at Caesars Palace in April 2009 with the critically acclaimed The Red Piano. Originally booked for 75 shows in a three-year run, audience demand was so overwhelming that the engagement was extended to 241 shows in five years.

Elton will be accompanied by his band, which includes Davey Johnstone on guitar, Bob Birch on bass, John Mahon on percussion, Nigel Olsson on drums and Kim Bullard on keyboards, with a special appearance by percussionist Ray Cooper.

- Las Vegas Weekly

Date: Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Time: 8:00 PM
Price: $55 to $250 plus tax & fees
Venue: The Colosseum
Reservations: 1-888-435-8665
Online Reservations: Purchase Tickets
Group Sales: For groups of 20 or more, call 702-731-7208

Tickets Go On-Sale Monday, April 25

World-renowned singer, songwriter and performer, Elton John will return to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace with an all new show, "The Million Dollar Piano," beginning September 28 for sixteen shows. Elton's September return will mark the beginning of a three-year residency at The Colosseum and his second as a Caesars Palace headliner.

Tickets for the first sixteen performances of "The Million Dollar Piano" go on-sale Monday, April 25 at 10 a.m. PST:

September 28, 30
October 1-2, 6-9, 13-15, 18-19, 21-23
Prices range from $55 to $250, plus applicable fees, and there is an eight ticket limit per customer.

Limited VIP tickets are available through the Caesars Palace Box Office. Tickets may be purchased in person at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Box Office, open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. PST, as well as online at www.ticketmaster.com. For groups of 20 or more, call 702.731.7208.

"Caesars Palace is just a perfect, idyllic place to play, and the show will be a gargantuan feast of music and imagery," said Elton. "I'm going to have a fabulous piano that Yamaha has been working on for four years, and that's the reason why the show is called 'The Million Dollar Piano.'"

Elton will be accompanied by his band, which includes Davey Johnstone on guitar, Bob Birch on bass, John Mahon on percussion, Nigel Olsson on drums and Kim Bullard on keyboards with a special appearance by percussionist Ray Cooper.

One of the most successful live acts on the road today, Elton and his band put on an unforgettable show: the entire audience standing, dancing and singing along with much-loved classic songs.

The monumental career of international singer, songwriter and performer Elton John has spanned more than five decades. He is one of the top-selling solo artists of all time, with 35 gold and 25 platinum albums, 29 consecutive Top 40 hits and has sold more than 250-million records worldwide. Elton holds the record for the biggest selling single of all time, "Candle in the Wind," which sold 37-million copies. Since his career began in 1969, he has played almost 3,000 concerts worldwide.

UPCOMING DATES

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The Password is Elton John

First Listen: Elton & Matthew Morrison Duet




Glee star Matthew Morrison has recorded a duet with Elton John for his soon-to-be-released debut album.

The song is a mash-up of two classic Elton tracks – Mona Lisa And Mad Hatters and Rocket Man – and will be released exclusively on Amazon tomorrow.

Elton has described the collaboration as “really fantastic” and told Parade Magazine that the man better known as Mr Schuester “sings great on it.”

This is Matthew’s second big name duet, recently releasing a cover of Somewhere Over The Rainbow with Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow.

Listen to a two minute clip of the actor’s latest bid for chart success above.

Via Ryan Seacrest.

- Star Observer

Elton Returns to Vegas with "The Million Dollar Piano"


(LAS VEGAS) -- Celine Dion came back to Las Vegas, and now Elton John is doing the same thing.  Sir Elton will return to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace with a brand-new show on September 28.  It's called The Million Dollar Piano, and it'll play for three years.  Sixteen shows have been scheduled so far, and tickets go on sale April 25.

In a statement, John said, "Caesars Palace is just a perfect, idyllic place to play, and the show will be a gargantuan feast of music and imagery. I’m going to have a fabulous piano that Yamaha has been working on for four years, and that’s the reason why the show is called The Million Dollar Piano.”

John's previous five-year residency at Caesars Palace, which wrapped up in April of 2009, was a huge financial and critical success.  It's not surprising that John wants to do another one -- now that he's a father, staying in one place would offer him a more stable environment than touring the world.

- abc news radio

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Elton & David on 20/20 April 22

Proud Fathers Sit Down Exclusively With Barbara Walters In Their First Major US Television Appearance Since Son Was Born, Airing on “20/20,” Friday, April 22, 10 pm on ABC

Elton John and his partner David Furnish will sit down with Barbara Walters for their first major US Television interview since the birth of their son Zachary this past Christmas. In the interview, John and Furnish will discuss why they wanted a child, how they kept the baby a huge secret until he was born and how fatherhood has changed them both. They will also introduce Walters to Zachary, their four and a half month old son. John will also reveal details of his latest project. The exclusive interview will air on “20/20,” FRIDAY, APRIL 22 (10:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET) on the ABC Television Network.

ABC

Friday, April 15, 2011

Elton Coming to Quebec


Elton John is about to become the next musical superstar to strut his stuff on the Plains of Abraham.
The 64-year-old John will appear at the Quebec City landmark July 9 as part of the city's annual summer festival.

The Rocket Man's show comes three years after Paul McCartney andCéline Dion gave separate shows on the Plains to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City.
McCartney's appearance riled some Quebec nationalists, who said a Brit shouldn't be part of the city's festivities.

The weekend of John's show promises to be a huge one for music fans in Quebec. Irish rockers U2 will be playing at the Montreal Hippodrome on both July 8 and 9.

- CBC

How to Score Your Tickets to The Union


The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival will celebrate its 10th edition, and thank the New York City community for its ongoing support, with a free outdoor screening of the world premiere of Cameron Crowe's documentary, The Union on Wednesday, April 20. The premiere begins at 8:15 pm at The World Financial Plaza (West Street between Vesey and Liberty Streets).

The documentary chronicles the making of The Union, Elton and Leon Russell's extraordinary, critically-acclaimed and international hit album, and is the first time that the genesis of an Elton John album has been filmed live.

The event is free, but New Yorkers, movie-lovers and music-lovers will need a wristband from Tribeca Film Festival to be seated at the event and see what Cameron Crowe, known for making classic music narratives, including Singles (1992) and Almost Famous (2000), achieves in the documentary format with Elton and Leon.

Here are the details for admission:

• A TFF wristband is required to be seated at the event.
• Wristbands will be distributed to the public on Wednesday, April 20 at 4:00 pm, on a first-come, first-served basis.
• The distribution site is the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, at the West Side Highway entrance, just north of Chambers.
• There will be a limit of two wristbands per person.
• The screening will begin at 8:15 pm, with programming beginning as early as 7:30 pm, on April 20 at the World Financial Plaza.
• Please note, venue access and capacity are at the discretion of the NYPD.
For more info, please visit Tribeca Film Festival or call 866-941-FEST (3378).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Elton Coming to Moscow, Kiev


Sir Elton John and his band will play concerts in Russia and The Ukraine this year.

They are as follows:

- Kiev, Ukraine, 12 Nov 2011 - Kiev Palace of Sports

- Moscow, Russia, 14 Nov 2011 - Crocus City Hall

Elton's First Manager Discusses The Early Days in Video

Vicarage Road May Get Elton John Statue


Bookmakers have named Watford FC as favourites to become the next club to commission a celebrity statue.

Fulham fans saw club owner Mohamed Al-Fayed unveil a tribute to the late Michael Jackson outside Craven Cottage before their home game with Blackpool on Sunday.

And the Hornets are 9/1 to be the next club to commission a statue by the end of 2012 – of pop legend and club honorary life president Sir Elton John.

Unibet.com also places Manchester City and a statue of Liam Gallagher at 19/1, Port Vale and Robbie Williams at 99/1 and Everton and Sylvester Stallone at 199/1.

The full list:

Port Vale and Robbie Williams: 99/1

Chelsea and Damon Albarn: 49/1

Manchester City and Liam Gallagher: 19/1

Watford and Sir Elton John: 9/1

Liverpool and Cilla Black: 49/1

Newcastle United and John McCririck: 39/1

Tottenham Hotspur and Chas and Dave: 74/1

Everton and Sylvester Stallone: 199/1

Aston Villa and Prince William: 199/1

Norwich and Delia Smith: 74/1

- St Alban's Review

Sales of Elton's Music Up 400% After Idol


The Rocket Man's sales took off like a rocket after last week's Elton John theme week on American Idol. USA Today reports that Elton's best-of album Rocket Man: Number Ones experienced a 400% increase in weekly sales, and the original versions of four of his hits that were performed on the show had huge sales boots as well.

Elton's original version of "Tiny Dancer," performed on the show by Stefano Langone, enjoyed a 217% sales bump, while sales of "Bennie & The Jets," sung by Hayley Reinhart, increased by a whopping 433%. "Your Song," performed by comeback kid Casey Abrams, experienced a 407% sales increase, and "Rocket Man," which was sung by Paul McDonald, saw its sales boosted by 235%.

- ABC News Radio

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Elton Playing Scarborough Open-Air


With a career spanning five decades, and worldwide album sales in excess of 250 million, Elton John is undoubtedly one of the biggest entertainers in the world.

Music legend Elton John is coming to Scarborough. The star is performing at the Open Air Theatre as he brings his solo show to the town.

The £3.5 million venue is expected to sell out fast as nearly 8,000 tickets go on sale tomorrow for the one-night event on Sunday June 5.

It will be Sir Elton’s first visit to Scarborough, and will give fans the rare opportunity to see him live at Europe’s largest open air theatre.

The star boasts a career spanning five decades and album sales in excess of 250 million, placing him firmly among some of the world’s biggest entertainers.

He could have chosen to perform at any huge capacity venue in the country but he has confirmed his booking at Scarborough because he wanted to play in a part of the country where people normally have to travel much further afield to see international stars.

His mini-tour also includes places such as Shrewsbury and Hove.

Sir Elton said: “The first time I played in Yorkshire was in 1970 at the Yorkshire Jazz Folk and Blues Festival near Halifax, but I have never played in Scarborough before.

“I am looking forward to my first summer visit to this classic English seaside town, and you can expect a night of hit songs, dancing and fun – whatever the weather!”

The date at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre is one of only two solo shows in the UK this year, and is part of just a handful of dates that the 64-year-old singer songwriter will perform in the UK this summer.

He is also undertaking summer dates with his band across Europe.

His show will include more than two hours of hits from an incredible back catalogue, including such classics as Bennie and The Jets, Crocodile Rock and Your Song.

Paul Gregg, on behalf of Apollo Leisure and Resorts which operates the theatre, said he “was thrilled that his company is playing a part in bringing the biggest attraction to the Open Air Theatre that Scarborough has ever hosted”.

Jim Dillon, Scarborough Council’s chief executive said: “Following a fantastic opening season last year, we are delighted to be welcoming one of the world’s most iconic and entertaining performers to kick off the 2011 season at the Welcome to Yorkshire Open Air Theatre.

“The fact Scarborough can attract such a huge name as Sir Elton John is a testament to the growing admiration of this unique venue. The event is set to be a great success and a night Scarborough will never forget.”

Tickets are priced at £55 and £75 and go on sale tomorrow at 9am. They can be purchased on line at www.scarboroughopenairtheatre.com, www.seetickets.com and www.ticketmaster.co.uk or by calling the ticket hotlines on 0844 888 9991; 0844 209 7366; 0844 847 2450.

- Scarborough Evening News

Interview with Davey Johnstone


"What's going on with us is remarkable, and Madison Square Garden is a classic example," marveled Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone the other day. "We've played there so many times, well over 60 concerts, and to still sell it out for a couple of shows, it's incredible. New York City has always been a great city for us. We love coming here."

Having just played two knockout (and yes, packed) dates at the Garden, Johnstone was in town with Sir Elton and the rest of the band (which also includes drummer Nigel Olsson, who, along with Johnstone and the late bassist Dee Murray, comprised the famed, original Elton John four-piece), for an appearance on Saturday Night Live. John hosted, and he and the band played a couple of numbers with Leon Russell, Elton's idol and musical partner of late.

During a break in his schedule, Johnstone sat down with MusicRadar in Manhattan's swanky London Hotel. He admitted that the SNL gig promised to be "a lot of fun. Elton's such a comedy fan - I'm sure he'll be brilliant in all the skits." But after the show, it's back to the road. Johnstone, who has performed with John for 40 years now ("very hard to believe - the time has just blown by"), not counting a brief period in the late '70s when the superstar went into semi-retirement, said that touring has lost none of its luster. The three-hour show is a dizzying cavalcade of multi-platinum smashes, but Johnstone revealed that he and the boss try to change things up here and there.

"Elton and I talk before every show," he said. "We look at the setlist and make adjustments when needed. It's a long show, with no opening act. We do all the hits. Of course, when I say 'all' the hits, there's still many that we aren't doing. Even in a three-hour show, we can't do every hit. I'm always trying to get him to do stuff that we haven't done in a while, like Harmony, which I love.

"Every Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which I've been hassling him to do for years, and Crocodile Rock - he hasn't been doing that one for a while, either. That's what I do: I stay on him about the set. Fortunately, I know his tolerance level, and I know not to ask him about something too many times. But he knows me, and he knows if I say something often enough that there might be something to it. We have a great relationship in that way."

The Scottish-born Johnstone joined Elton John's band in 1971 at the advanced age of 19. Throughout the decades, the guitarist has put his unique guitar stamp - one minute he's dishing out lashing electric solos, the next he's applying lush acoustic layers - on a breathtaking number of worldwide chart-toppers (it's estimated that John has sold over 250 million albums) and has become Elton's musical director. In addition to his day job, Johnstone has worked with John on The Lion King soundtrack, as well as the music to productions such as Aida and Billy Elliot.

"We've done pretty well," Johnstone said, chucking at what he realizes is a whopper of an understatement. With so much history to talk about, classic songs and decades of memorable shows (the guitarist cited 1974's Madison Square Garden concert, during which John Lennon joined Elton and the band, as a career highlight), it was difficult to know where to start. So, MusicRadar went right to the beginning:

Tell me how you came to join Elton's band.

"I was a studio player, and I knew Gus Dudgeon. Gus was Elton's producer [Dudgeon died in a car accident in 2002], but he was also working with a band I played with called Magna Carta. One day, Gus talked to me about an album he was doing with Elton - this would be Madman Across The Water - and he said that none of the guitar players they had tried had worked out. He asked if I wanted to come to the studio and do a session, and I said, 'Sure. Of course.'

"Honestly, I didn't really know at the time who Elton John was. I'd seen him a bit in the music papers, but I wasn't into what he was doing - I was into traditional Irish music. But money's money, so I agreed to do the session. Why not, right? The day before the session, however, I saw Elton perform Border Song on Top Of The Pops, and I went, 'Wow…this guy is good! [laughs] So I went into the session with a whole new attitude."

"The date was a lot of fun. We did the song Madman Across The Water. I remember Elton was kind of quiet at first. He sort of stayed in the corner at his piano. It's funny: I wasn't intimidated at all. I should've been, but I was kind of a hotshot kid at the time. Elton, on the other hand, looked a little nervous. I guess he was just concentrating a lot. I played the sitar, mandolin and acoustic guitar on the track. It was great.

"Everybody was very pleased, so we went on to do a song called Holiday Inn. I had brought a banjo with me, but I told Elton that I didn't think it was right for the song - I thought mandolin would work better. And I suggested another opening for the track. But by this point, I wasn't being cocky - I was into the music and I was enthusiastic. I wanted to make a difference. Elton saw that, I guess, because the next day I got a call asking me to join the band."

Did Elton ever tell you specifically what he liked about your playing?

"Not in so many words. He just loved that I was a well-rounded player. I played mainly acoustics in those early days. Not that I didn't like rock - I was big into Zeppelin and The Beatles. At the same time, I was listening to Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, as was Elton. So we shared the same musical ear, and he saw in me something that would be very helpful to him in the studio and on stage."

Because you were joining a group that had no other guitar player, you had a lot of room to do your own thing.

"Absolutely. That's what was so cool about it. When I did join Elton's live band, it was just him, Nigel on drums and Dee Murray on bass. That live album they did [11-17-70] was fantastic! I was really into the idea of getting in with the guys that made that record."

Although people tend to focus on the pop aspect of Elton's music, there was always a strong thread of Americana that ran through many of the albums. On songs like Texan Love Song, you're playing the dobra…

"That's true. Well, you know, like most musicians, I was hugely impacted by blues - the blues scene in America and the folk scene, as well. One player who really influenced me in being well-rounded was George Harrison. After the initial excitement of The Beatles died down, people were able to focus on the music. And if you listen to what George Harrison did - and so many of his influences were American - he really tied everything together in one beautiful package. Plus, he could do it with supreme taste."

I was just about to ask you about that. You've always been a player who understands tasteful economy. You riffs, your solos - nothing is superfluous or self-indulgent.

"Well, thank you. A lot of that is just getting lucky. But I would sit down and work out my parts, sure. I'd listen to the harmony guitars and the strings and think about how I could fit certain things in. You have to pick your spots and serve the song.

"Funnily enough, you do fall into a groove with success. It must be like gambling, when you hit a lucky streak and you just can't lose. Or that feeling of invincibility you get when you've had a few drinks. We were racking up the hits - Daniel, Rocket Man, Crocodile Rock and so on - and it was amazing. What happened was, our musical inhibitions went away. Success became our drug, and I don't just mean the financial rewards, I mean how great we felt when we played, and how we were received. The more successful we got, the better we played, and the easier it became to know what to play. It almost felt effortless."

You bring up Rocket Man, which had the vocal harmonies that became such important elements on later recordings. When did you, Dee and Nigel discover that you could sing so well together?

"That was it - Rocket Man. I had done a lot of instrumentation on it - the acoustic guitars and the slide playing, all those ethereal sounds - and then Gus said, 'How about some background vocals?' Davey, Dee and I never really discussed what we would do, but we got together and did it. It chilled us when we heard how good it sounded. Dee and I usually changed up on the bottom and the mid part, and Nigel would take the higher harmony. Occasionally, Dee would do a high part, but he'd have to put his head between his legs to do so. [laughs] It was a unique technique, but he always managed to pull it off."

How involved were Elton and Gus with your guitar parts? Even though Elton is a piano player, songs like All The Girls Love Alice, The Bitch Is Back, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting are very guitar driven.

"They are. In those days, whenever a song came up, I'd immediately start working on what I should do. Elton would write so fast, and I had to be just as quick to keep up. As soon as I heard him writing Saturday Night, I knew it was a total guitar-rocking track. So I wrote the intro and all the guitar parts. It was so much fun. At first, Elton didn't even want to play on it - he was just jumping around with a mic while the rest of us played. Eventually, he put some piano parts on it. It was very exciting."

You mentioned how quickly Elton wrote in those days. It's true: you guys did crank out an amazing amount of music during the first half of the '70s.

"Elton has a very short attention span. He always did, always will. When he sits down to write, if something doesn't come to him in 15 minutes, he's on to something else. He writes very spontaneously, and there's no fat on anything he does.

"In those early days, demos didn't exist. Elton would come into the studio in the morning with Bernie Taupin's lyrics, sit down at the piano, and he'd write a song with the rest of us right there with him. A lot of the time we'd learn it as it was being written. Then we'd record the song in the afternoon, and it was done by the end of the night. I think that's why those songs worked so well: You weren't hearing things that were sitting around for years and were labored over and had no energy. What you heard was all energy."

I have to ask about Funeral For a Friend/Love Lives Bleeding. Originally, Elton had the instrumental intro, which he was thinking of putting on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by itself. But then he decided to link it with Love Lies Bleeding. The guitar parts are crucial to that song, and they figure prominently in Funeral For A Friend, as well.

"You bring up an interesting point. Actually, Elton was going to call the album How Many Guitar Sounds Can Davey Get? [laughs] That's what I had to do, though. Because I was the only guitar player, I had to be inventive. Whether I was doing mandolin or banjo or guitar tracks, I had to make everything really stand out and be colorful."

"I'll tell you something incredible: The whole song, including Funeral For A Friend, was one take. We rehearsed it a couple of times, but that was it. Again, Elton's attention span - he's very impatient. So as soon as we knew what the song was going to be, we went in and nailed it, played it straight through. I knew I would do some layering and overdubs, but still, the idea was to do as much as possible all at once. It was a lot of fun."

You've played numerous types of guitars over the years. On those early albums, how much did you experiment with different makes and models?

"A lot. I spent a lot of money, too! [laughs] I remember going to Nashville, where I picked up a really great '62 Les Paul gold top. That thing was just a monster! We used it quite a bit, actually. You can hear that on Saturday Night. It got stolen a few years later, along with some other guitars. That kind of put me off of buying vintage guitars.

"But I was big into experimenting. Strats, Telecasters - I loved playing with out-of-phase sounds. On The Bitch Is Back, there are two direct guitars in the out-of-phase setting, and they're tuned to an open G chord. Then you mix those with two Flying Vs, and it's a great sound, the humbuckers with the single-coils. You get that bite with the attack."

In the current live show, do you change around the guitars you use for certain songs, or is it pretty much set?

"After six months or a year of playing a song a certain way, I'll try different guitars. I mean, there are some diehards like Funeral For A Friend and Saturday Night - those are Les Paul songs, always. On many other songs, though, I'll change things up just to see how they'll sound. Rocket Man nowadays - I play it acoustic in an open tuning, which I love, and then I move over to an electric for sort of a jam session in the end.

"I have to say right now how important my guitar tech, Rick Salazar, is to what I do live. In fact, 50 percent of what I do on stage would be impossible without Rick. He's been with me a long time, and he's incredible. He keeps everything in order, everything running beautifully. Rick is the best."

During the '70s, Elton John was about as big as it got. I'm sure you indulged in the excesses that were available to rock stars. [Johnstone laughs and nods] But did it ever get to a point where you thought, This has gone too far?

"Oh, we enjoyed ourselves, of course! [laughs] And believe me, there were many 'never again' nights. Many 'never again' three nights - 72-hour stretches where you literally never went to sleep. And then, what did you do? You did it all over again, twice as hard! [laughs] Yeah, we did as many drugs as you can imagine, and drank as much alcohol as we could possibly pour down our throats. But because of the music we played, we were never linked to the drug culture like, say, The Rolling Stones. People didn't assume we could be decadent, even though we were. [laughs] We never got hassled, and we were twice as hardcore than so many other bands.

"There were some scary times, though, and periods that none of us are particularly proud of. In recent years, I've stopped everything, and I'm very grateful that I have my health. It's good to be able to show people that you don't have to be a raving maniac to be a rock 'n' roll star. We were very fortunate to have come through it alive."

At one point, you were all let go from Elton's band -

"Well, he retired is what happened."

Was that a huge blow to you, or did you see it coming?

"I had no problem with it at all. At the end of 1974, Elton wanted to expand musically. He wasn't happy with Nigel and Dee, but he kept me on. I never knew why, really. So he changed the rhythm section for a while, and then he added a few more people. It was successful, but it wasn't the same band. And at the end of 1977, he decided to retire. He was very kind, gave everybody a big wage check, but he said he was done - he had to figure things out.

"We were still close, though. At one point, he wanted to do a big gig at Wembley Stadium with me and other musicians. After the show, he said, 'I'm really fucked. I'm giving up.' He decided to quit again, and he was serious. That's when I got scared for him. He had so much, but he also had access to so many of the wrong things. I was nervous for him as a person. He was going through a very difficult time in his life - drugs, alcohol, the whole deal.

"I was working with other artists for a few years - Alice Cooper, Stevie Nicks, The Pointer Sisters - and that was fine, but I did start to get cheesed off after a bit of time. Then, Dee came back…and I think Nigel was next…I'm not certain…I just remember getting a call from Elton and he said, 'I'm thinking of putting the original band back together. What do you think?' And I said, 'I'm there.' We did a tour of Australia, just the four of us.

"Ironically, he did it again! [laughs] He let Dee and Nigel go. I stayed on. It was the weirdest thing. He never really explained himself - not that he has to. I think he just wanted to explore working with different rhythm sections. And then, of course, years later, Nigel came back. I'd brought him in to sing vocals, but one night, I said to Nigel, 'You should play drums on Daniel.' And after that, Elton wanted Nigel back on the drums.

Talk to me about Dee Murray. (The bassist died in 1992 of a stroke, after battling skin cancer for several years.)

"Dee was brilliant. He's truly one of the great unsung heroes. I'm actually making a documentary on his life. I think he's such an underrated musician. He was a beautifully instinctual musician. His ideas were so fucking great! He'd work things out so meticulously, fiddling around. What a player. I miss him a lot."

What kind of changes have you made to some of the songs over the years? You guys aren't 25 anymore - do you make adjustments for age?

"I guess. Hopefully, any changes have been for the better. You know, when you're young and you play live, you do everything fast - it just happens, the adrenaline. What's funny is, you listen to a track like Saturday Night and you think it's fast, but it's really not. But it's got the feel of a speeding train. We play it properly now, but for years we played it way too fucking fast."

In addition to the band, you've worked with Elton on projects like Aida and The Lion King. Why do you think he relies on you so much?

"He knows I'm not just stuck in one mold. That's a big thing, right there. But he also knows that I've give him an honest opinion. It's funny that you mention The Lion King. I remember when he did the original demo of the song Can You Feel the Love Tonight?, he gave it to Disney with the lyrics that Tim Rice had written, and it was great.

"Two years later, when Disney had finally finished the movie, we were about to do the recording. Elton came to me and said that Disney had rewritten Tim's lyrics. I read through then, and they were awful, really fucking terrible. It was obviously two animals talking to each other. But still, I wouldn't let my granny sing those words. So I just told Elton, 'Why don't you just sing the original lyrics? That's what everybody liked in the first place.' And he said, 'Yeah, that's what I'll do.' That's the sort of input I give to him. It comes from years of trust and knowing each other."

Keep it locked on MusicRadar, as next week we'll present an equally in-depth, exclusive interview with Elton John drummer Nigel Olsson.

- Music Radar

Monday, April 4, 2011

Recap: Elton John on Saturday Night Live



Elton John showed off his comedy skills on US TV show Saturday Night Live with an opening monologue full of baby gags.

The new dad kicked off the show as a camp variety pianist in a skit and then turned stand-up comic to crack jokes about becoming a gay parent with partner David Furnish, his diva reputation and his battle with alcoholism.

Announcing "the bitch is back..." he quipped, "So far the baby really takes after me; he screams and cries when he doesn't get his way, and he's had his ups and downs with the bottle.

"The baby has had some feeding difficulties - he is rejecting the breast. In that way he takes after both of his fathers."

He added, "David and I had our child through a surrogate. Neither of us can become pregnant, though I promise you we tried out hardest."

And Elton then joked about his baby son Zachary's wealth, joking, "We were so thrilled when the baby was born; the doctors told us that we had a healthy baby boy with 10 fingers, 10 toes and $400 million - and that's not counting royalties, which really add up."

To make his point, the pop star sang a line from his hit Your Song and quipped, "That just put him through college."

It was Sir Elton's first time hosting the weekly sketch comedy show; he was a musical guest in 1982.

He wasn't the only star on Saturday night' s show - Tom Hanks also made an appearance as a cheesy sports commentator and as Sir Michael Caine in a skit about the UK's top celebrity knights coming together to plan an attack on a dragon attacking parliament.

The two Sirs were also joined by Sir Richard Branson, Sir Ian McKellen, 'Sir' Bono and Sir Mix-A-Lot, all played by SNL regulars.

Catty Elton poked fun at Bono's trouble-plagued Broadway show when the Irish rocker, played by comic Andy Samberg, suggested, "When artists put their souls together, they can accomplish anything." The pianist deadpanned, "Except a Spider-Man musical," and then sang, "Can you smell a bomb tonight?" and added, "The Lion King, still in theatres!"

Hanks also introduced Elton and Leon Russell, the program's musical guests.

The pop star also starred in a skit in which he met The Queen and Prince Phillip to discuss a performance at the upcoming royal wedding and they tried to bully him into not playing one of his songs.

SNL comics Bill Hader and Fred Armisen played Phillip and The Queen as thuggish Cockneys, insisting they wanted grandson Prince William's nuptials to be a classy affair, joking, "We're not animals. This is a nice affair with fancy jellies... party streamers and blokes wearing aftershave. Come on Elton, you must be the only fruit who doesn't know about weddings... Are you gonna change the words to Candle in The Wind again? Boo hoo!"

Sir Elton played a revamped version of his Candle in The Wind hit at the funeral of William's mother Princess Diana.

The show's host ended up joining the royal couple for a punk tune called Riot in London.

The singer ended his stint on the comedy program by playing a grumpy, gay film critic and a camp cowboy.

The star-studded SNL also featured a cameo by Jake Gyllenhaal.

- The West Australian





Saturday, April 2, 2011

Elton on Jimmy Fallon - He Will be in Drag on SNL!



Sir Elton John has taken aim at the "cool" bands who have refused to let the producers of Glee use their songs on the hit show, insisting they should be flattered.

The Rocket Man was thrilled when American Idol dedicated a night to his music earlier this week and admits he would be honoured to be part of a Glee episode - he just can't understand why bands like Kings of Leon and the Foo Fighters would turn such an offer down.

"A lot of bands are saying we don't want our stuff on Glee. Like, lighten up, you a**holes! I mean, this is a compliment," he said.

"It (Glee) sends a positive message out. What the hell is wrong with you guys? Kings of Leon, lighten up guys. Come on!"

And Sir Elton insists he feels flattered whenever her hears other people's versions of his songs - even if they're awful.

"It's so great when people do your songs. I started off as a songwriter, so even now, when I get into an elevator and there's muzak and it's one of my songs, I feel really happy about it because it's a compliment when someone does one of your songs. It doesn't matter if it's a bad version ... I've never lost that thrill."

- Yahoo News

David Furnish Has Zachary Tattoo



He got the best Christmas present last year welcoming baby son Zachary Levi into the world and has been the doting dad ever since.

But now David Furnish,48, has decided to pay tribute to his little man in his own special way with a tattoo of his son’s name on his arm.

The inking, which can be seen on the inside of his right forearm, was still looking slightly red as he left Craig’s restaurant last night with a friend.

- www.dailymail.co.uk

Elton May Appear on Matthew Morrison Tour

Holy shiz! Matthew Morrison only just announced his solo tour, and it's already gotten that much more ambitious!

As we've reported, the Glee actor will be hitting the road starting June 18th in Minneapolis, and if he has it his way, he'll be joined by some pretty epic, A-list guests on stage - Gwyneth Paltrow and Elton John, who both appear on his debut album!

He reveals:

"We're talking about it, it's just gonna be if our schedules match up. Elton's really interested and Gwyneth's interested as well. I'm still in Glee mode right now. We'll be done the beginning of May, and then we'll go right into rehearsals."

And how's it going to look? Expect a "'40s and '50s New York feel" with a "sexy, really moody vibe!"

Excellent! We think that aesthetic will suit his solo music well!

And with Elton and Gwyneth by his side?! We doubt he'll have trouble filling those huge venues!

Here's hoping it works with everyone's schedules!

- Perez Hilton