Sunday, March 19, 2017

Elton Remembers Elvis, Chuck Berry

An audience with the king of rock ’n’ roll was something that most baby-boomer musicians could only dream about. But when Elton John finally got his chance to meet Elvis Presley, he found the experience to be more nightmarish.

John (who grew up as a gawky English kid, miming to Presley records in his bedroom) got the chance to meet his idol in June 1976. At the time, the Brit’s own fame was peaking, following hits such as “The Bitch Is Back” and “Philadelphia Freedom.”

As he recalls in “Captain Fantastic” (a book out Tuesday, written by Tom Doyle and based on hours of new interviews with the singer), John took his mother, Sheila, to a concert in Washington, DC. But the Elvis of his youth had long left the building.

“It was sad,” he tells Doyle in the book for the first time, recalling Presley’s bloated and drugged state. The two met backstage prior to the show, and engaged in awkward chitchat. John requested “Heartbreak Hotel,” but Presley was unable to deviate from the rehearsed set and couldn’t perform the epochal 1956 single. “Elton looked into the eyes of the King and felt there was ‘nothing there,’” Doyle writes.

John and his mom were then escorted to their seats, and they watched with equal parts horror and admiration. “It was someone who was in a complete drug haze giving nylon scarves away to these fans,” John recalls. “And yet it was still, in a way, magical.”

Sheila, however, wasn’t quite as dazzled by this fading star. As soon as the show was over, she predicted Presley would be dead in six months.

“Well,” John reflects in the book, “it was a year.”

- NY Post

Without doubt the greatest rock and roll songwriter of all time. The architect of how rock and roll guitars would sound forever. A true giant of a talent. Thanks for making all those wonderful records that will define rock music forever. #RIP

- Sir Elton on Chuck Berry

No comments: