As you know, Elton is heading to the Dominican Republic for a gig next month. Some folks are delighted. David Johnson has seen Elton a whopping 67 times, and would ”be over the moon” if he could attend another concert.
On the other hand, there have been suggestions that it’s too soon after the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. Or it would be okay if the performance was for charity. Also weighing in were the hosts of the Bo and Them radio show in Dallas, Texas, who believe it’s about the ”big bucks.” Of course Elton already has a fortune, much of it attained through concerts and musicals.
The Lion King is among the latter. The tour stops at the Showcenter-Complex in Monterrey, Mexico, on 19 September. It will run through the first of October.
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Bernie Taupin has joked that as Elton was finishing, he was about to begin his tour. Of course, he was referring to his book tour for Scattershot, which will be published tomorrow.
Bernie’s recollections include–or sort of include–penning a new version of Candle in the Wind for Princess Diana. He says he doesn’t remember a bit of what he wrote. What does stand out is how proud he was when Elton, facing pressure and his own grief, gave such a dignified performance at Princess Diana‘s funeral.
Bernie also discusses the Liberty Records ad which brought him and Elton (then Reg Dwight) together. Although it’s been reported there were lots of contenders, Bernie claims he was the only lyricist who responded to the call for ”talent.”
There’s a good deal about songwriting in the book, which Bernie told Vulture about. Fans will be surprised to learn that he actually had Montgomery Cliff in mind when writing Candle in the Wind, not Marilyn Monroe. And two of the songs he’s proudest of are Sacrifice and I Want Love.
Bernie isn’t crazy about Jump Up! While he thinks it is ”messy,” we remain fond of the album.
Bernie also considers the title of his memoir to be unfortunate because there isn’t as much on his ”big brother” (Elton), as one would expect in Scattershot: Life, Music, Elton And Me.
Others making appearances in Scattershot include Salvador Dali, Chevy Chase, and Levon Helm.
Gary Wright‘s memoir was released almost a decade ago, and it included some recollections of Elton. The two used to run into each other once in a while when visiting music publisher Lionel Conway. Elton hoped to find some singers who would cover his music, and both he and Gary played samples for Lionel. Before hitting the charts with Dream-Weaver and Love Is Alive, Gary was in the band Spooky-Tooth, who covered Elton’s Son Of Your Father. Sadly, Gary passed away last week. He was 80 years old.
There were a couple of notable auctions last week. Niall-Mullen-Antiques had hoped that Elton would check out his, seeing that he and auctioneer Aidan Foley offered display cases, photographs–and even a disco ball–from three of the Elton John Eyewear shops–one being from Kildare Village, outside Dublin, Ireland. Niall told the Elton Blog that the sale basically consisted of props and a bit of merchandise. As it that weren’t enough of a draw, the contents from Dublin’s Hampton Hotel, which closed its doors in April, were part of the online sale as well.
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In London, England, Sotheby’s Freddie Mercury auction netted $344,000 just from the sale of a Cartier onyx and diamond ring Elton had given his friend. In fact, the auction featured a few gifts from Elton, and proceeds from all of them went to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Freddie would have turned 77 on 5 September, and Elton still misses him. He has previously said that the Queen frontman urged him to go into rehab when he was doing cocaine.
Elton also thanked Freddie’s close friend, Mary Austin, for going through the items for the auction.
Elton’s own collection is so vast, he purchased other units in his Atlanta, Georgia, condo. Now, though, neighbours say he has left the building after 30+ years. They told the Buckhead blog that it took almost a month, with all of his art and personal possessions.
We’ll bid adieu for now with a return to Elton’s farewell-pause, the subject of our new survey. Until 18 September, you can vote on whether you’re for or against the Dominican gig. EJ.W‘s next podcast will showcase the results.