Teacher I Need You
The last couple of nights, Elton played the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland. There’s been more buzz, though, about his Wednesday night concert at the Accor Arena in Paris, France. Actually, it’s not the performer who made waves but President-Emmanuel-Macron, who visited Elton and David Furnish backstage with his wife, Brigitte Macron also danced during the show.
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This didn’t sit well with many folks, who accused Macron of partying while France burned. There have been protests throughout the country after a teenager, of North African origin, was shot by police. Macron said this was ”inexplicable,” and has postponed a trip to Germany. At the same time, the president condemned the violence which has broken out, attributing it to young people whose parents ought to ”keep them at home.”
Elton has said it is ”appalling” that schools have been doing away with an important outlet for youngsters–music education. A few years ago, Elton admitted to Classic-FM that the Royal Academy of Music used to be intimidating. Yet Elton is certain he couldn’t have written his songs without his classical training at the RAM. He then named classical performers he admired, including organist Cameron Carpenter, who looked more like a punk rocker to Elton. As for his own tunes, Elton thought some of his best were released on his last three or four albums, and hoped to do them live after he’s off the road.
Meanwhile, Elton continues to set records. Last week’s Glastonbury performance was watched by 7.3 million people on BBC One. The broadcaster said this was the biggest overnight audience for a show at the festival and that Elton’s appearance was streamed 4.3 million times. Over at Spotify, streams of Elton’s songs rose by 294 percent across the UK in the hour following his set. Spotify
noted that over 23,000 fan-created playlists were made in the past week with ‘Glastonbury’ in the title. Across those playlists, Rocket Man was the most popular track, appearing on 7,311 of them.
To honour his performance on the Pyramid stage, Elton has released Diamonds (Pyramid Edition) on coloured vinyl. Elton selected the tracks to reflect his setlist at Glastonbury and offer highlights from Diamonds, the 2017 collection of hits which came out in 2017. A limited number of copies were sent to the Elton John Eyewear pop-up in London. Incidentally, Diamonds has soared to second place on Official Charts Company’s albums chart.
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Marmite came up with their own Pyramid edition, to raise funds for the Elton-John-AIDS-Foundation, with one of the four jars being sold on eBay last week. It attracted 57 bids and fetched over seven thousand pounds.
There had been rumours that Paul McCartney would be joining Elton on the Pyramid podium. That didn’t happen, although he was in attendance. But more people were taken aback when Elton sang Cold Heart without Dua Lipa. The singer asked the audience to participate instead, and they were pleased to do so.
We were surprised that one artist didn’t perform an Elton John number. Stephen Sanchez told Rolling Stone that he and Elton had been rehearsing I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues. Then Elton suddenly decided to give Stephen his ”big moment” and opted for Until I Found You instead.
The Glastonbury gig has inspired more than one trip down Memory Lane. As they did in 2013, Watford Observer has reprinted pages from their old Elton John calendar. We particularly like the star’s description of sitting by fountains where he could discern ”the patter of tiny pigeons’ feet.” The images-from-the-’78-calendar helped raise money for the Watford Hornets.
Various outlets have compiled lists of their favourite Elton John muisc as well. Among them was Mojo-magazine, with their ten favourite albums. They include some of ours: Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy; Songs From The West Coast; The Union (with Leon Russell); Goodbye Yellow Brick Road; and Too Low For Zero.
A former member of Elton’s band isn’t feeling ”too low for zero,” having learned that his former instrument, stolen in the late sixties, is now being used in a guitar school. Caleb-Quaye‘s axe was recently bought by a man who noticed the musician’s name on the case and contacted him. But Caleb told him to keep the guitar, although it had been played during early sessions with Elton.
Also feeling good is David Furnish. Actually, he and Elton are ”jubilant” when they realise there will be no more long stints on planes, trains, and automobiles (to quote the 1987 movie with John Candy). David, who walked in London’s Pride parade on Saturday, told Metro they are looking forward to spending lots more time with their sons. Still, ”it’s always hard saying goodbye.”