Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Unique Video of Elton & John Lennon Released

 Elton has added a poignant and unique version of Empty Garden to the set list for the current season of Million Dollar Piano shows at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

 An extraordinary film that accompanies the performance of this song - Elton and Bernie Taupin’s tribute to John Lennon - includes carefully restored footage from the only known colour film of the famous occasion when John Lennon joined Elton onstage at Madison Square Garden on November 28, 1974.

 The new video includes a clip from this archive film, as well as photos of Elton and John Lennon which have never been published before.

The Elton and John Lennon film can only be seen at the Million Dollar Piano show at Caesars Palace.
The original film was shot by Mary Ann Summers from New Jersey, who attended that historic concert with her brand new Super 8 camera. Here is her story:

“I guess you can say I was an Elton John fanatic. Bringing my 17 year old brother along for ‘protection’, we went in overnight to wait in line for tickets. The police were very cool, and convinced the Garden management to open the windows at 2 am. We had the whole 12th row, left side orchestra. Friends and family, we enjoyed our turkey here in New Jersey, then hopped the train into NYC. I bought the camera specifically for the concert (a major, major expense since I was earning $1.50 an hour back then but Elton was coming!), and had never used one before. But the feeling was in the air that this was going to be special. There were rumors that Lennon would be there, and just before Elton came on stage, Yoko took the end seat in the 11th row across from us. That’s when we knew…
After a nice set by Kiki Dee, Elton hit the stage and the excitement never let up. When Elton began his introduction of John, we were all “Yes! Yes! Yes!!” It was for real! We got up on our seats, a precarious position when you’re dancing and jumping for joy! Trying to film at the same time was ridiculous. When I made myself stand still, I thought it was my excitement that was causing the shaking. But my friend turned to me and yelled “The floor is shaking” and it literally was - bouncing! When they finished off with I Saw Her Standing There – I simply can’t describe the atmosphere – 20,000 people in a place of pure happiness. Elton followed the set with Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me, and all the lighters came out. It looked like a candlelight vigil for a dear friend – another incredible moment of thousands coming together and conveying their emotions.”

Not surprisingly Elton was very emotional to finally see moving images of that amazing Thanksgiving Night in 1974, which turned out to be John Lennon’s final stage performance.

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