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ELTON JOHN NEWS
Wonderful Crazy Year - Elton Fan Survey
Friday, February 5 2016
With the release of "Wonderful Crazy Night" on February 5, 2016, we will kick off our "Wonderful Crazy Year" during which we invite you to vote on all of Elton's recordings since the beginning of his career.
Lead by Elton fan Antti Honkasalo from Finland (visit him on Facebook), who is one of the moderators of the Hercules Message Board under his pseudonym BiteUrLip, there have been many discussions and surveys about Elton's songs and albums in the previous years - such as "Elton John Song of the Day", which invited board members to rate a randomly chosen Elton recording on a daily basis.
A few months ago Antti came up with the idea to run a bigger survey including all of Elton's back catalogue - and also addressing all Elton fans and not just members of the Hercules Message Board.
Regular visitors of eltonfan.net might remember that we ran a similar project back in 2003. You can still find the results here. "Songs from the West Coast" was the most recent album at the time. Only five new studio albums have been released since, but we thought it would still be interesting to have the fans vote on all of Elton's albums again.
We will kick things off with his new album before taking a look at his back catalogue, with a new survey being released every week. As the project will also address albums such as "The Lion King" or "Good Morning to the Night" (Elton vs Pnau), voting will take place until the very end of the year as we have no less than 45 weeks of voting in the pipeline for you.
Elton performs in the underground
Thursday, February 4 2016
Elton John started playing a piano at St Pancras station in London to a delighted crowd.
Passengers travelling through St Pancras station on February 4, 2016 could not contain their delight when they saw Elton John sitting playing a piano. He has donated the Yamaha B3 Piano to the station and even signed it saying "Enjoy this piano. It's a gift. Love, Elton John x”
Elton John: The Wiltern Show
Wednesday, February 3 2016
While rehearsing for his upcoming tour, Elton John invited KCRW into the gorgeous Wiltern Theatre to record an exclusive 6-song set.
For his 33rd studio album”Wonderful Crazy Night“, produced by T Bone Burnett, Elton reunited with musicians he’s played with for decades. Watching them play live, you can see the comfort and ease only decades of collaboration can bring to the stage.
They jammed out on fan favorites like "Levon", "Burn Down the Mission", "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" and lit up the stage with fresh energy behind “Wonderful Crazy Night”, the ballad "Blue Wonderful", and the upbeat single “Looking Up”.
Watch his first US live radio session behind this album and see the music legend like you have never seen him before:
Elton meets his fans at signing for new album
Wednesday, February 3 2016
Elton John met with fans as he launched his brand new album "Wonderful Crazy Night".
The British musician, who describes the record as ‘fun’ and ‘upbeat’, signed copies for fans at HMV on Oxford Street on February 3, 2016. Elton seemed in good spirits as he chatted to the long queue of fans, joined by Paul McGann and other half David Furnish.
Speaking about the new album during an interview at Radio 2 earlier in the day, he said: “The last one was a very intimate record and piano-based record and I wanted to make a record with the band and make it upbeat lyrically and musically and I wanted to be able to play the songs on stage. I'm very happy with it. It's very 'up' and it's hard for me to write 'up' songs. As a piano player, I usually write miserable songs."
Elton explained that the upbeat nature of the album reflected how he felt about his own life at the moments. “I think I'm in a good place in my life, so was Bernie Taupin who writes the lyrics,” he explained. “It was planned, sometimes planning doesn't work out to be the way it should but it all came together in the studio and it was done very quickly and that's how I wanted it to be and it's a fun record.”
Elton joins Adele by distancing himself from Donald Trump
Tuesday, February 2 2016
Elton has followed in the footsteps of Adele by distancing himself from Donald Trump after the U.S. presidential hopeful played his music at political rallies.
The billionaire businessman, who condemned the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to legalise gay marriage in 2015, has been using Elton's hits "Rocket Man" and "Tiny Dancer" during campaign events as he seeks to become the Republican Party's candidate in America's upcoming presidential election.
However, a publicist for the singer/songwriter confirmed to WENN that Elton, who entered into a same-sex marriage with husband David Furnish in 2014, is not endorsing Trump's political run, saying, "Elton's music has not been requested for use in any official capacity by Donald Trump. Any use of his music should not be seen as an endorsement of Donald Trump by Elton."
The statement comes after representatives for Adele, whose music has also been used at Trump rallies, issued a similar declaration, telling WENN, "Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning."
Other musicians who have criticised the controversial political candidate for playing their records at public events include Neil Young, Aerosmith, and R.E.M. A representative for Trump has been contacted for comment, but had not responded as WENN went to press.
UPDATE: Wonderful Crazy Night Track-By-Track
Monday, February 1 2016
See Elton discuss tracks from his forthcoming album "Wonderful Crazy Night", e.g. "Blue Wonderful" - which he considers a close relative of "Tiny Dancer".
Up until the release of the album on February 5, 2016, eltonjohn.com will be posting track-by-track videos for each song on the album on his YouTube and Facebook pages - if you haven't seen them yet, catch up on the tracks that are available already!
Elton and David in Winq magazine
Sunday, January 31 2016
Having raised over £100,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation since the first UK-produced Winq was released two years ago, the gay magazine thought it was high-time they caught up with Elton and David for a chat about family life, the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS and that conversation with the real Vladimir Putin.
Elton’s 33rd album, "Wonderful Crazy Life", is due out February 5, 2016, but his music output is just a small part of something nothing less than an empire, which includes ventures such as a talent agency, sports management agency, and TV and theatre production businesses. Since meeting Elton in the 1980s, David has become his partner in life and business, and is now the brain behind Brand Elton.
On the Catholic Church: In September, Pope Francis described the type of programmes that the Foundation is involved in as being part of a process of “ideological colonisation”, where acceptance of HIV drugs is almost conditional upon accepting the existence of homosexuality.
“I’m very pro-Pope Francis in a lot of the things he’s said and done so far,” says Furnish. “The Catholic Church’s track record on this issue is appalling. John Paul II said – he actually put out an official message – condoms spread AIDS. In my opinion, that’s genocide.”
On fighting HIV/AIDS: Fighting HIV and AIDS is something they have always taken seriously. It was fear of the disease that got Elton sober 25 years ago, prompting him to set up the foundation, which began by taking meals to dying AIDS victims who lived near his home in Atlanta, Georgia. “By all rights, I shouldn’t be here. I should be dead, six feet under in a wooden box,” Elton told me later. “I should have contracted HIV in the 1980s and died in the 1990s, just like Freddie Mercury. Or like Rock Hudson.”
On finding the right work/family life balance: “I’m actually very grateful that I’ve come to parenting when I’ve come to parenting,” he says. “Nothing prepares you for the responsibility and the changes in life. I look at my parents and marvel that, in their 20s, they were starting careers, paying a mortgage, buying a house, starting a family – all at the same time. I feel much more comfortable in my skin professionally than I’d have felt 20 years ago. Financially, our life is in a solid place. In terms of being able to give the children as much focus as you possibly can, those things aren’t distractions now. And now, where work is concerned, it’s really, really easy. Either it’s really good for our business and we want to do it, or we turn it down because it means taking time away from the children. That’s an easy decision to make.”
The full interview can be seen in the February/March issue of Winq, the world’s largest gay magazine. Buy yours now in a super-luxe, three-paper print edition, or download it for free on iOS and Android devices.
Elton says that David is not on a "power trip"
Sunday, January 31 2016
David Furnish has come under fire for being too controlling, but Elton said that he is doing it for the good of the family.
Elton says he is still standing financially after David overhauled his business. David has taken over the running of “Brand Elton”, leading to the departure of many of the singer’s long-standing staff. But Elton said his other half is doing it “for love” and dismissed reports he is trying to take over his entire life.
Elton said: “People think he’s on a power trip. He’s not. My business is solvent since David took over, we have money put aside for tax. Being me is a bit like being king in a medieval court. People get infatuated with money and power. There’s a jostling for position. David won’t have it. He is taking care of business. He’s doing it because he loves me, because he wants our family to have a very secure future and he doesn’t want me to be on the road for the rest of my life.”
Speaking in the Daily Telegraph, he added: “It’s an unpopular place to be, but somebody has to be Cruella de Vil.” David has been criticised by friends of the piano legend for being a “control freak”. But he said that since taking the reins the couple are on a firm financial footing and securing a safe future for their sons.
David said: “Financially, our life is in a solid place. And now, where work is concerned, it’s really, really easy. Either it’s really good for our business and we want to do it, or we turn it down because it means taking time away from the children. That’s an easy decision.”
Opening up about life with sons Zachary, five, and Elijah, three , the pair say becoming fathers has made them better people. Of Elton, David told Winq magazine: “He is much more mellow with children. It’s turned out to be a very healing, positive thing in both our lives. Everything from parents on the school run to teachers in school to fans has been positive.”
And tour dates fit around school holidays. David added: “The two schedules literally sit side by side. We’ve sort of been gypsies, living in different parts of the world. But now we really feel the children need to be part of a regular school community.”
Elton, meanwhile, revealed plans to quit touring in a couple of years or so. He said: “I did 107 shows last year. That can’t go on. I don’t want to die on the road. I want to die at home and I want to spend a lot of time with my kids before I do.”
Davey reveals how Elton helped save him
Saturday, January 30 2016
In the Scottish Sun guitarist Davey Johnstone has revealed how a rocket from the Rocket Man helped save his life.
Edinburgh-born musician Davey reckons he’s been on more booze and drugs benders than all The Rolling Stones put together. Yet he boasts he’s the only man Elton’s not sacked after 40 years touring all over the world together. And the 64-year-old has spoken of the moment pal Elton pulled him back from the brink as his life threatened to spiral out of control after his nine-year-old son Oliver died in a tragic 2001 pool accident.
Former hellraiser Davey confessed: “Elton saved my life and I could not be happier. The best thing that I did for myself was to stop drinking about six-and-a-half years ago. Elton’s been sober for 25 years because he really had to. He was really going over the cliff and there were people around who were willing to support him — and he helped me. I was a maniac. An alcoholic is probably a very normal thing in Scotland. No one wanted to say anything but it got to the point that someone had to say something and Elton pinned me down.
“We were on a tour of Europe and he said ‘Why don’t you fly back with me and we’ll spend a couple of days at the house?’. I love going there — we always have a great time watching the football and laughing. Then one day he sat me down and said ‘You should have a look at your life and there might be something you should do to make it better and to honour your kid Oliver’ because I lost a boy when he was nine years old and it almost killed me — as it does any parent who has gone through that awful thing.
“He said ‘If you look at your life a little more seriously, instead of just trying to go balls-out every night and having to score a chick or drugs or whatever. It doesn’t have to be that way’. And as a result of listening to Elton, my wife and my kids are happier because they know that they’re not going to see this maniac occasionally appearing.”
Dad-of-seven Davey added: “I took his advice and it’s been wonderful. You realise ‘Jesus Christ, I’ve been a complete f***ing idiot’. You know what, I don’t regret a day because I’ve lived life to the full.”
Davey — who is also Elton’s musical director — has played more than 2,000 gigs with Elton and can’t wait to return to Scotland to perform at Meadowbank Stadium in his home city on June 25, 2016. He reckons that becoming a dad with David Furnish has mellowed Elton, who had a notorious reputation as one of showbiz’s biggest divas. Davey said: “He’s become a much better person from having kids and his relationship with David. It’s really changed him because he’s seen another aspect to life that he was never aware of before. He used to never take the top off his own egg. Someone would do everything for him but now he’s been a bit more hands-on with nappies and stuff.
“He does have a reputation obviously — he’s a massive diva. But we’ve known each other so long, I can basically say to him ‘Get off your f***ing horse’. Or if he’s having trouble then I can go and give him a hug and say ‘Hey, it’s OK. Everything will be all right’. He’s always been the boss and I call him ‘Boss’, although I call him a lot of other things too. But he’s just such a loyal friend and we’ve got closer over the years. We’re just good mates. Funnily enough — and he says this quite often — I’m the only one in all these years who’s never been sacked.”
Talented Davey — who co-wrote Elton’s hit "I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues" — has enjoyed an incredible four decades on the road with the music legend. He beamed: “One of my favourite memories is after a Madison Square Garden gig in 1974 with John Lennon. We had a great party afterwards with Uri Geller, the guy who bends spoons, and then about one or two in the morning Elton called me up and said ‘What a f*****g night, was that great or what?’. He said ‘Listen, John wants to come over and hang out with you. Is that OK?’. And I said ‘Nah, tell him to f*** off’ and then I said ‘I’m only kidding. Of course, it’s OK’. And so John came over and we hung out until about eight in the morning and talked and I played him some music that I was into.
“Another thing about John is that he used to have an auntie living in Edinburgh and every summer he used to come up and spend a couple of weeks in Costorphine. I’m going ‘F***ing hell, I lived two miles from there’. It’s great when you discover stuff like that.”
Davey also revealed that even legend Elton gets starstruck when hanging out with Rolling Stones pal Mick Jagger. He said: “Mick used to come and visit the studio when we were recording and Charlie Watts is one of my dear, dear friends. I’ve had wild nights out with the Stones but I can’t really give you the details of those nights because they are just too over the top. One of my favourite nights with The Stones was they came to see us in Los Angeles at the Universal Amphitheatre — and Mick actually is one of the few people who kind of intimidates Elton. He gets nervous.
“Elton was on stage and he was doing a solo version of 'Your Song' and I was at the side with Mick, and Elton forgot the words. It was bizarre and Mick turned to me and said ‘For f*** sake, tell him I’ve left’. He knew, he could tell that Elton was nervous because he was there.”
Davey also has fond memories of going on massive booze benders with pal Billy Connolly — but revealed they are now meeting for afternoon tea at posh hotels. The guitarist said: “I’m going to see him in London next week and we’re gonna have high tea at the Royal Garden Hotel — which is a far cry from getting completely blootered in a pub somewhere. In the old days, it would have been three or four hours in the pub getting completely hammered but, you know, Billy stopped drinking a long time ago and I chucked it about six-and-a-half years ago. I still cherish my talks and texts with Billy, who is one of my idols and dearest friends, and I was so happy to see him get that TV tribute the other week.
“He’s got Parkinson’s but he’s hanging in. It’s a horrible disease, my sister’s had it for 25 years, and it’s an absolutely dreadful thing. But Billy is the kind of guy that he is so natural and he’s not going to let it stop him. He’s got it but his attitude is he’s got to deal with it. The main thing is that we’re extremely grateful that we’ve been so fortunate in life.”
Davey hopes Elton wants to have a blast at T In The Park before retiring in 2020. He revealed: “We can’t do this forever obviously. We’re looking at maybe four years more. In the old days Elton really was really distainful of playing festivals but he’s realised that even though we’ve been doing this such a long time, a lot of the young kids want to see us playing live. So hey, if Glastonbury ask, I’m bloody sure we’ll be there. And the same with Coachello or even T In The Park, because that would almost feel like a home gig for me.”
However, Davey has doubts Elton will go through with his plan to hang up his mic for good in 2020. He said: “I think he’ll finish when he falls off his piano bench because he loves it so much.”
Di Caprio, Bloomberg, Elton John for Kenya jumbo talks
Tuesday, January 26 2016
Leading Hollywood and media personalities will be in Kenya in April 2016 to attend a major summit on the illegal trade in wildlife.
Among those expected in Nairobi are naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough, American actor and film producer Leonardo DiCaprio and American business magnate and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg, a former New York mayor. The others include Australian-American actress Nicole Kidman, billionaire businessman George Soros, Yao Ming, Elton John, Paul Allen, Kim Tan and Howard Buffet.
“They will be joined by a host of African gliterrati in a campaign to sustain the fight against poaching and the illegal trade in ivory, for which Kenya is already a recognised leader,” the Environment Cabinet Secretary, Professor Judi Wakhungu, said. Several heads of state and governments, including high-powered representatives of Western nations and China, are also set to attend the two-day Pan-African Giants Club in April.
Kenya plans to use the occasion to set ablaze 120 tonnes of ivory, the biggest to be burned by any country in one go, as its commitment to zero tolerance for poaching and the illegal ivory trade. The summit is set for April 29 and 30, 2016, and will also be attended by heads of state and government.
According to government statistics, poaching has gone down in Kenya by 80 per cent, with the number of elephant and rhinos poached in 2015 dropping to 57 and five respectively. The success has been attributed to the high penalties enforced by the Wildlife Management and Conservation Act 2013, increased numbers of rangers and improved surveillance at Kenya's major airports. Continued training of the Judiciary on enforcement and collaboration with the office of the director of public prosecutions is also said to be part of the success story.
President Uhuru Kenyatta signed up as a founding member of the pan-African Giants Club in July 2015, joining political, business and finance leaders to fight the illegal trade in wildlife that has devastated Africa’s elephants. The President also committed to the Elephant Protection Initiative launched in the UK in 2014, which is supported by dozens of African countries struggling to eradicate the increasingly lucrative ivory trade. Some 100,000 elephants have been killed across Africa in the past three years.
The Giants Club was established by The Space of Giants, whose patron is the media billionaire Evgeny Lebedev, owner of The Independent and the London Evening Standard newspapers.
To celebrate the release of his new album "Wonderful Crazy Night", Elton John will be meeting fans and signing exclusive limited edition album art cards at HMV on 363 Oxford Street in London
The event will take place on February 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm.
Online tickets have sold out already! Fans who obtained a ticket will be given the "Wonderful Crazy Night" exclusive limited edition art cards on the day of the event. We politely ask fans not to bring items of memorabilia or old albums to be signed, as only the "Wonderful Crazy Night" exclusive album art cards will be signed by the artist.
Please note photos with the artist will not be available at this event. Customers who obtain a ticket can pre-order a copy of Sir Elton John's album "Wonderful Crazy Night".
Italy senator says Elton 'vile' for surrogate mum use
Tuesday, January 26 2016
The vice president of Italy's Senate launched a virulent attack on Elton John on January 24, 2016, over the British singer's use of surrogate mums to carry his children.
Maurizio Gasparri said the star was a "vile person" and that his use of surrogate mothers was "vile". "With wombs for rent it's easy to arrive at eugenics and Naziism," he told Radio 24.
Elton has two sons - Zachary, four and Elijah, two - with his partner David Furnish. Both boys were born using a surrogate mother, an issue which has taken centre stage as Italy prepares to debate its civil unions bill on January 22, 2016.
“What he did was the selfishness of a rich, arrogant man who exploited other people's desperation,” continued Gasparri – echoing comments earlier this month by Italy's Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano, who branded surrogacy "a sex crime". The potential right of same-sex couples to use surrogates to have children is being fiercely opposed by those who don't want to see the bill passed.
In a move branded "indecent" by Italy's biggest gay rights group, Catholic senators from Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's DemocraticParty last week tabled an amendment to draft legislation legalizing same-sex unions which would require gay couples to prove they had not used a surrogate.
If they cannot, the partner who is not the biological father would not be allowed to adopt the child and a judge would be entitled to have the child placed in care and put up for adoption. The amendment also envisages prison terms of up to two years and fines of up to €1 million for using a surrogate overseas, regardless of whether the practice is legal in the country concerned. Similar penalties are already in place for anyone entering a surrogacy arrangement in Italy.
Sir Elton is rumoured to be performing at Italy's most prominent music festival in San Remo in February 2016. But Gasparri warned him to keep a low profile should he take part. “If he does come to Sanremo, he should stick to singing and not try to be the guru of surrogacy,” the minister said.
This is by far the first time that Gasparri has hit the headlines with rash comments. Earlier this month he was ridiculed online after confusing the late Jim Morrison with a non-existent Slavic criminal terrorizing Italy.
Last year, Elton was involved in a public spat with Venice Mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, who he branded "a bigot" after the mayor banned books depicting same-sex couples in the region's schools. Elton is yet to respond to Gasparri's comments.
Elton's Maserato for sale
Tuesday, January 26 2016
A 2005 Maserati Quattroporte V, first owned by Elton John, will be going under the hammer at CCA's sale on March 19, 2016 at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, Leamington Spa.
Ordered new by Elton, the car features a host of extras, including a rear DVD player and screen, games input, two headphones, remote control and six CD auto changer. Also included in the sale is the original Maserati welcome letter, unused personal 24hr concierge members card, and personal gift of a matching leather covered key tray, tool kit, gloves and car cover. The history file also includes national press cuttings from the sale of the car to its second owner in 2010.
With Elton’s name on the V5 certificate, a mere 28,000 miles on the clock, and offered freshly serviced and MoT'd until January 2017, this car offers a great value example of Italian exotica. Estimate (£): 15,000 - 17,000.
The First Time with ... Elton John
Monday, January 25 2016
A special one off edition of The First Time features one of the most highly acclaimed and successful solo artists in the history of music; Sir Elton John.
He's sold more than 250 million records worldwide, holds the record for the biggest selling single of all time and is the third most successful artist in the history of the American charts, just behind Elvis Presley and the Beatles.
As he prepares to release his 33rd studio album "Wonderful Crazy Night", he looks back at his early ragtime influences and how that grew to become an obsession with playing piano and absorbing albums. He also talks us through some of the remarkable musical milestones in his life - like performing with John Lennon at his last ever show and staging Nina Simone's final concert. He also discusses how music helped him through his battle with drug addiction, his appetite for new music and his obsessive love for Blur, John Grant and New Order and whether he'll ever play the Glastonbury Festival.