Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Elton Interviewed by ABC Australia

Whenever he's in Australia, Sir Elton John likes to peruse the aisles of his favourite record shops looking for new local musicians.


"I'm always interested in getting new Australian acts. That's really important to get new things," he said.

7.30 caught up with Sir Elton when he was in the country to promote his 50th anniversary best-of album, Diamonds.

He said he had already been to Red Eye Records in Sydney and planned to visit a couple more stores.

"There's an artist in Australia called Tate Sheridan who I've been trying to help for a long time and his music is music from the past, like when I started, but it's great music," he said.

"I try and encourage him as much as possible.

"And if I hear something from someone new and I like it, then I phone them up.

"And of course my radio show that I do for Apple keeps me in touch with new artists.

"After I do all these interviews today I'm meeting Ruel, who's a 14 to 15-year-old singer from Australia, and Winston Surfshirt, who have a new album coming out.

"I've been able to locate them by playing new music on my show from Australia.

"Angus and Julia Stone are another two that I play.

"There's so much stuff coming out of Australia, it's really fantastic.

"And doing that and helping younger artists is what I set my management company up for.

"I mean, Ed Sheeran was singing in living rooms when I first started [with him] and now look at him."

Sir Elton said older artists gave him the same kind of encouragement when he was starting out in the industry.

"When I first started off in America and my album was going up in the charts, I had a telegram from George Harrison, The Band flew in to see me in Philadelphia, Neil Diamond introduced me on stage.

"Leon Russell, who was my idol, came to see me and that validates you, and if someone like that says 'congratulations', that means you're on the right track and it means the whole world to a new artist."

Sir Elton also had some advice for Australia on same-sex marriage.

"To gay people out there who want it. Fight it. I'm on your side.

"And to people who don't want it, that's their right, too. We live in a democracy.

"And I'm not saying people shouldn't say No, but I'm saying, say Yes, because I know it worked for me and it will work for other people too."

Sir Elton married his long-time partner David Furnish in 2014 when same-sex marriage was legalised in Britain.

He says it has been a privilege to marry and has made their relationship bigger.

"I never thought, as a gay man, that would ever happen to me," he said.

"The civil partnership between David and I … actually made a difference to our relationship. And with the marriage it's made it even bigger.

"It's not a flippant thing. And I think most couples gay couples that have been together a long time enter into marriage because it's a hard-fought thing.

"They really treasure it."

For 50 years Sir Elton and his lyricist Bernie Taupin have been writing some of pop's most enduring hits.

They don't write in the same room — or even the same country. But somehow it works and they've never even had a fight.

"It's absurd really, we've never written in the same room," he said.

"I find I'm hopeless at writing lyrics but I love writing to lyrics and I don't know where that magic comes from.
"I think it's a gift from God, or whatever you want to call it, and it's exciting because it's never changed from the first day we wrote songs.

"I still write the song when he's not there and then I go and play it to him.

"So the excitement is still the same as it was from day one, and that's kept it fresh and it's kept it exciting.

"I don't have to rack my brains as a lyricist to write a song, I'm given it on a plate and he's a brilliant storyteller."

- ABC

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