Biografia Elton John

Biografia Elton John
A trajetória da carreira de Elton John em capitulos

slideshow - MUTE , No sound

quinta-feira, 22 de abril de 2010


New Elton/Leon album to be released in the US on October 19th (Tuesday). That means the UK release will be the 18th (Monday). And if this follows the releases since TBP, it will released here in Ireland on the 15th (Friday).


Turning raw talent into TV stars

May 14, 2005

X Factor judge John Reid relaxes in his apartment.X Factor judge John Reid relaxes in his apartment.
Photo: Simon O'Dwyer
John Reid has gone from being a star maker to a star breaker, writes Larry Schwartz.
John Reid admires the gilt rococo scrolls and curves in the ornate deco of the luxury high-rise hotel apartment that has been his home for much of the past few months as "kind of French empire".
"I told them I wasn't going to spend three or four months here living in any less style than I lived at home," says the bespectacled entertainment figure who this weekend completes his first TV role as X Factor judge and is confident the young man he mentored will win tomorrow night's final at Melbourne's Vodafone Arena. "I live in fair comfort."
A butler, Jaques, opens the door to the lavish Crown Towers "villa" with views across the city from the casino complex. It's been a long way to the 32nd floor from the streets of a tough Scottish factory town for this welder's son. While his elder brother, Bobby, is a veteran roadie, Reid found his way in the industry by managing the likes of Billy Connolly, Kiki Dee, Queen, Lionel Ritchie, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michael Flatley and Barry Humphries.
Mark Holden, Kate Ceberano and John Reid, the judges in Ten's 
<i>The X Factor</i>.Mark Holden, Kate Ceberano and John Reid, the judges in Ten's The X Factor.
Photo: Supplied
He is a former lover of Elton John, whom he managed for 28 years. "We did have a relationship for the first five years that I knew him," Reid says of the performer he met as Reg Dwight and for whom he served as best man at the 1984 wedding to Renata Blauel in Sydney.
"We had a very strange, a very complicated relationship," says Reid, who has submitted to his lawyers a 600-page autobiography, tentatively titled Too Close to the Candle he has written over the past three years.

The X Factor was a Network Ten television show which was based on the UK television show The X Factor, broadcast on ITV. It was a music talent elimination show split over three categories: group, solo 16-25 and solo 25 and over. It was hosted by Daniel MacPherson and the judges were Australian Idol judge and music producer Mark Holden, singer Kate Ceberano and Scottish events manager John Reid. The show drew obvious comparisons to Australian Idol, and included one of its judges.
The winner of the 2005 series, the only one broadcast, was Random. The series rated poorly and was not to return again.
There have been recent reports [1] that The X Factor may soon be returning to Australian television, and that discussions with the Seven and Nine Networks, who had long been the victims of Australian Idol's success on rival Network Ten, had commenced.

John has reportedly said Reid was his "first love". But in a multimillion-pound lawsuit in London's High Court, John tried to sue accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and a former managing director of Reid's company, John Reid Enterprises, for negligence in managing his business affairs and tour costs he claimed he should not have paid. He lost the lawsuit in April 2001.
"He had always relied on me," says Reid, who was reportedly paid a £3.4 million out-of-court settlement. "We had a very solid close relationship, both business and personal. That sort of thing never went away."
Reid's company reportedly earned more than £73 million from John between 1980 and 1998. . Reid, 55, quit management in 1999. He says he was "quite honestly, fairly exhausted".
He says the book is not all about Elton John. Others likely to rate a mention include Barry Humphries, who engaged him to help get him on US television.
He first met Michael Jackson at his 11th birthday party, hosted by Diana Ross, whose first solo album Reid produced.
He began his music management career in 1967 as Tamla Motown label manager in the UK for EMI and set up his own company at the age of 21 with Elton John as one of his first clients.
Reid declined approaches to judge UK Popstars and UK Idol but agreed to appear here "partially because I don't live here and I can go back to my old life, if you like, which is very low profile".He believes Russell Gooley has what it takes to beat the singing group Random.

Tuesday, 5 June, 2001, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Sir Elton fights High Court ruling

Sir Elton
Sir Elton vowed to appeal against the court's decision
Sir Elton John is set to challenge a High Court ruling made against him in a multi-million pound battle over touring costs. Lawyers for the singer are to ask original trial judge Mr Justice Ferris to grant leave to appeal against his original decision on Wednesday.
If this fails the argument can be taken to the Court of Appeal.
In April the judge dismissed Sir Elton's £14m claim against his former management company, leaving an estimated £8m legal bill for the star.

John Reid
Reid was Sir Elton's business manager for 26 years
Sir Elton had sued Andrew Haydon, former managing director of John Reid Enterprises (JREL) and City accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers, which looked after his business interests. The singer accused Mr Haydon, his former manager of 26 years, of negligence in allowing JREL to charge him overseas tour expenses, including booking agents, accountants and producers.
Sir Elton claimed he had agreed with JREL that it would pay the costs of his touring.
In return, it would receive a commission of 20% gross of all the money he made as a performer and through his companies.
Both defendants vigorously contested the allegations against them.
At the conclusion of the case Mr Justice Ferris said: "I have concluded that the agreement which Sir Elton reached with JREL regarding the costs for touring does not require that those costs should have been paid by JREL."

He was incandescent with rage

John Reid
Classic cars
He concluded in his 138-page judgement that the costs should have been covered by one of Sir Elton's companies.
Following the case Sir Elton announced his intention to appeal the decision.
On Tuesday night, 20 luxury classic cars Sir Elton John were being auctioned, and were expected to raise up to £1m.
The singer said he was selling the cars because he is always out of the country and never has a chance to drive them.
The auction, at Christie's in central London, is the biggest sale of a car collection belonging to a celebrity.

(1-78-page judgement)

A very friendly Christmas

John Reid (left) with Sir John Standing and his wife Sarah Festive cheer: John Reid (left) with Sir John Standing and his wife Sarah
Father Christmas reunited writer Sarah Standing with her ex-fiance, Sir Elton John's former manager John Reid, at the weekend.
In fact, the man behind the beard was 48-year-old Sarah's husband, baronet actor Sir John Standing, who was gamely playing Santa at his wife's Pimlico toyshop Semmalina when Reid popped in.
Sarah, eldest daughter of film director Bryan Forbes and his wife Nanette Newman, was 18 when she became engaged to Reid, then 35, in an intense relationship that lasted a matter of weeks. He had proposed to her on the spur of the moment, despite being gay.
Sarah, who has three grown-up children by 74-year-old Standing, tells me of her former beau: 'I'm incredibly lucky because we've remained close friends. He's truly one of my great mates.
'I'm also fortunate to have a husband who allows me to have that wonderful friendship.'

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sir Elton John's manager dons Miss Marple garb over mystery death

Friends and family of the late record company executive Peter Ikin who died in November 2008 aged 62, are still asking questions about the manner of his death. Ikin, a much loved music industry figure who was the boss of Warner's Music Australia passed away after a fall down some stairs in his Paris hotel and after marrying his French lover Alexandre Despallieres in a civil ceremony the previous month at the Chelsea Town Hall in London. Ikin had retired in 2000 after a stint as VP at the London HQ of Warner's Music.

Despallieres produced a new will reputedly signed by Ikin in August of that year and witnessed by Despallieres' assistant Jeremy Billien and another friend Vincent Bray, leaving Ikin's $20million fortune to his new husband. After getting probate granted in England, Despallieres' had Ikin's body cremated and set about spending over $2 million from Ikin's Channel Island's bank account, purchasing 3 Porches-one for himself and one each for  Billien and Bray.

actor Simon Burke, John Reid and Peter Ikin
London's High Court overturned that will after a previous one was produced by Ikin's lawyer, signed in 2002 which left his estate to charities, his godchildren and only living relative, a Catholic priest in Sydney. An out of court settlement was reached in which Despallieres is said to have received a million dollars.  Despallieres also agreed to move out of  Ikin's Chelsea apartment.

It's claimed that Despallieres has said in the past he was suffering from brain cancer and is HIV, hence Ikin's rush to marry him and make a new will.

Ikin was well liked and friendly with many pop stars like Elton John and Rod Stewart. John Mellancamp said of Ikin ; "he was always kind, and jovial and a pleasure to be with. I have thought and spoke of Peter often. He was my introduction to the music business"

Now former rock manager John Reid, a friend of Ikin's and who guided the careers of Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Queen and the dancer Michael Flatley wants some answers. Reid has hired a French lawyer who has petitioned the French coroner for a toxicology report into Ikin's sudden death. French police have opened a file and are investigating after it was found there were deadly levels of paracetamol in Ikin's blood when he died.

Billy Gaff wants fraud charges
And another tough-minded Scot Billy Gaff, the ex-manager of Rod Stewart is pursuing Despallieres for $500,000 he said he lent the Frenchmen whilst he was waiting for probate to be granted on Ikin's will . Gaff said he "came under Despallieres' spell when he said he was a French pop star". Gaff wants fraud charges laid against Despallieres.
He may have to get in the queue. At a recent memorial service for Ikin in Sydney  there was much muttering from Ikin's distraught friends in the music business about issuing  legal claims against Despallieres. It seems Reid has fired the first shot.
Posted by Oscar at 5:00 PM


Stars including ALICIA KEYS, SIR ELTON JOHN and WHITNEY HOUSTON have offered themselves up to the highest bidder to raise money for a human rights charity.
ustin Bieber, Gwen Stefani and Oprah Winfrey are also among the celebrities donating their time for a 'meet and greet' which is being auctioned off online to benefit the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

Other lots include the opportunity to spend a day on the set of John Cusack's new movie and a signed hat worn by Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies.
Kerry Kennedy, founder of the RFK Center's Speak Truth to Power campaign, says, "By bidding on these incredible experiences, people will be supporting cutting-edge human rights defenders from around the world, including those fighting for the right to water and reconstruction in Haiti, the peace process in Darfur, farmers' rights in the U.S and much more."
Bidding on the items ends on 28 April (10).

Elton John se presenta en México

El artista y compositor británico ofrecerá un concierto en la ciudad mexicana de Veracruz.

El concierto que ofrecerá el artista británico será a beneficio de un centro de rehabilitación en Veracruz.
Un concierto que promete ser apoteósico, es el que presentara la leyenda del pop, Elton John, este próximo ocho de mayo en la ciudad de Veracruz, México.
John, quien ha vendido más de 250 millones de discos alrededor del mundo, deleitara a su público en el estadio de futbol Luis “Pirata” de la Fuente, con capacidad para cerca de 30,000 personas.
El secretario de Turismo del gobierno estatal de Veracruz, Ángel Álvaro Peña, dijo que dispondrá de un extenso equipo de seguridad que protegerá al artista y a su equipo de trabajo, quien no ha exigido requerimientos excéntricos, hasta el momento.
“El es sencillo. Aparte de tener un título de nobleza quiere bien a México. Solo ha pedido cuidar bien de su piano y de sus cosas personales”, comentó el secretario.
El concierto será a beneficio de la construcción del Centro de Rehabilitación y Educación Especial de Veracruz, conocido como CREEVER.

Elton John commends Billy Eliott show by Gerrards Cross team

7:30am Wednesday 21st April 2010

SIR Elton John has given his blessing to the new youth theatre production by a Buckinghamshire academy.
The founder of the Vocal Performance Academy in Gerrards Cross Catherine Françoise got the opportunity to meet musical legend Sir Elton at the fifth year anniversary celebration of Billy Elliot the Musical in London.
Catherine is directing a youth theatre production of Billy Elliot for the Buckinghamshire and Middlesex area and held auditions earlier in the year.
She said: “Sir Elton so charming and friendly, a delight to talk to. When he heard that I was directing a local youth theatre production of Billy Elliot for the Buckinghamshire and Middlesex area, he was very enthusiastic and encouraging.
“He went out of his way to enquire about our production, from the music to the staging and technical aspects of the show.
"He was especially interested in how the young people involved were finding the whole magical experience. It will delight my students, after this Easter break, to be able to give them a good luck message straight from Sir Elton himself”.
Due to the success of the musical in the West End organisers of the original show have licensed 115 drama groups nationwide to perform adapted productions of the musical.
Catherine added: “It is very unusual for West End productions to issue licensing permission to local drama groups when the show is still currently being performed in the West End and we were especially thrilled when Vocal Performance Academy were selected.”
Sir Elton wrote the score for the original musical Billy Elliot after seeing the film starring Julie Walters.
Enthusiastic performers, boys and girls, between the age of 10 and 19 can still audition to be part of the show at the Swan Theatre on May 22 at 7.30pm. Go to for more details.
Conhecido como o “homem dos ovos”, o inglês John Lamouranne, 63 anos, vem pintando retratos de celebridades em ovos de ganso há mais de 30 anos. Os modelos, que têm uma média de 15cm de altura, são pintados com tinta cerâmica e finalizados com cola de modelar e pedaços de bonecas. Segundo o artista, ele tem sorte que sua matéria prima não é cara nem rara, mesmo assim cada peça sai em torno de R$ 1.600. Confira algumas caricaturas feitas por Lamouranne. [DailyMail]
article-1262973-08F504CC000005DC-242_634x679The Beatles
……………………………………….Prince e Elvis Presley
……………………………………………The Rolling Stones
…………………………….Elton John, Mister Bean e Charlie Chaplin
……………………………….Michael Jackson e Barack Obama

THE LIST: 20-11 of the worst managerial reigns ever in English football

Watford chairman Elton John and manager Dave Bassett, before he 
was sacked Rock and dole: Watford chairman Elton John shares a drink with then manager Dave Bassett, before he was sacked due to dreadful results

Elton John concert impresses
by Lindsay Hoeppner, Living Lindsay · April 21, 2010
I was among the more than 15,000 fans gathered at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines Friday night for what I would consider the best concert I’ve ever been to.

Granted, I haven’t been to many concerts. The last I went to was John Mayer at the same venue three years ago.

No matter, this one will be hard to beat.

Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. For just as long, I can recall waking up every Saturday morning to the blaring music of Sir Elton John. It’s no wonder I can recite every word to nearly every one of his songs.

When my mom discovered the music icon was going to be making a stop in Des Moines as part of his “Rocket Man — The Greatest Hits Live” tour, she immediately called me.

“Want to go with me?” she asked. “It can be your birthday present.”

Of course I said, “Yes!” I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to go to a free concert, but deep down, it meant a little more to me than that.

When I was in elementary school, my mom, aunt and two older sisters went to an Elton John, Billy Joel concert. I was too young to accompany them at the time, but, since it was my mom who introduced me to the music of the famed musician, I felt honored that she asked me to attend one of his concerts with her.

It was nothing less than I expected as he made his entrance to the sold-out crowd just after 8 p.m. Friday.

After crowd-roaring renditions of “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” and “Saturday Night’s Alright (for Fighting),” The English singer-pianist let it be known that he hadn’t played a show in Des Moines since August 1973 at the Iowa State Fair.

“You haven’t seen us, we haven’t seen you, so we’re going to have a great time,” he said.

Having a great time may be an understatement.

During his two and a half hour repitoire, John played many favorites, including “Tiny Dancer,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Bennie and the Jets” and “Rocket Man,” as well as some of his classics, like “I’m Still Standing,” “Crocodile Rock” and “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues.”

There wasn’t one second I wished I wasn’t there. John’s music completely enthralled me, even if I was about seven rows from the top of the packed arena.

Such a classic performance is going to be hard to beat. After all, his quick fingers reminded me why I love playing the piano so much.

Of course, my mom had to ask me if I was going to play for her when we got back to Storm Lake on Saturday. I do have an Elton John book, after all. I’m sure she was a little disappointed I didn’t have the opportunity to play a couple of songs for her, so all I can do is promise her this: Count on it next time I come home, Mom.

Tiny dancers given celebrity support

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Published Date: 21 April 2010
By Unknown
a DRIFFIELD theatre group has received support from one of the country's biggest stars.

Sir Elton John recently voiced his support for Star Struck Theatre Academy's up coming performance of Billy Elliot to academy tutor Catherine Françoise.
Catherine met the world famous singer at a party to celebrate five years of Billy Elliot r
unning in London's West End.

She said: "He was just sitting down so I went over and we had a great long chat. It was great, I didn't expect to meet him and was really struck by how normal he was."

The license for youth groups to put on productions of Billy Elliot was allowed to coincide with the musical's fifth anniversary celebrations.

Catherine explained: "It is very unusual for a show running in the West End to be licensed outside and the Billy license was only released to a small number of groups for a short time."

Sir Elton asked Catherine whether those involved in Star Struck were enjoying the production and said he would love to see a youth theatre production of the musical.

"He's really enthusiastic about the Billy youth theatre production and its fantastic for Star Struck to have had that sort of endorsement," Catherine said.

Star Struck's Jez Francis said: "Billy Elliot is going to be one of our best productions yet. We're getting to the last few weeks when it all starts coming together and to have support from someone like Elton John is fantastic."

Billy Elliot is running at Driffield Community Centre on May 2, 8 and 9. On Saturday, May 1, the venue has been changed to Driffield School North Hall to deal with larger audience numbers.

Catherine Françoise meets Sir Elton John, who wrote the music for the West End production of Billy Elliot.

unning in London's West End.

She said: "He was just sitting down so I went over and we had a great long chat. It was great, I didn't expect to meet him and was really struck by how normal he was."

The license for youth groups to put on productions of Billy Elliot was allowed to coincide with the musical's fifth anniversary celebrations.

Catherine explained: "It is very unusual for a show running in the West End to be licensed outside and the Billy license was only released to a small number of groups for a short time."

Sir Elton asked Catherine whether those involved in Star Struck were enjoying the production and said he would love to see a youth theatre production of the musical.

"He's really enthusiastic about the Billy youth theatre production and its fantastic for Star Struck to have had that sort of endorsement," Catherine said.

Star Struck's Jez Francis said: "Billy Elliot is going to be one of our best productions yet. We're getting to the last few weeks when it all starts coming together and to have support from someone like Elton John is fantastic."

Billy Elliot is running at Driffield Community Centre on May 2, 8 and 9. On Saturday, May 1, the venue has been changed to Driffield School North Hall to deal with larger audience numbers.

Catherine Françoise meets Sir Elton John, who wrote the music for the West End production of Billy Elliot.


Elton Tones Up & Down

By Mark Goodman

Trimmed Down, Megamillionaire Elton John Says He Also Wants to Tone Down His Image,,20065563,00.html
A small, unprepossessing figure steps onto the front porch of the Colorado ranch house. For once, he is not dressed like Oliver Cromwell, or the Tin Woodman, or Marlene Dietrich. Instead, for Elton John, 28, multi-multimillionaire and the rock world's most engaging enfant gauche, the uniform for the evening is Wyatt Earp hat, plain sunglasses and gem-studded western shirt. Lest he be mistaken as a rhinestone cowboy, however, Elton is also wearing track pants, silk evening socks and pastel Mary Janes. He shakes hands with a visitor perfunctorily, then retreats behind the comfortable shield of a close friend. He is neither rude nor haughty, only shy. He is also plain tired: working all night for a week, he sports a three-day stubble.

An honest-to-God dinner gong rings, and Marjorie Main is expected at any moment, bellowing, "Come and git it or I'll throw it to the hawgs!" But this is not the basic B movie Circle H spread but the famous Caribou recording ranch in Nederland, Colo., owned by music impresario Jimmy Guercio of the jazz-rock group Chicago. It caters to the musical needs and frontier whims of rock's most famous stars. Dinner is accompanied by Blue Nun wine and is served by comely Caribouettes. The food and ambience are Yankee dowdy, but the accents on this occasion are Anglo sassy. Elton John—new, refurbished and super-slim—has only a plum for dinner, then returns to his cabin to watch the sports news on TV and prepare for the night's work. It is a mixing session with the tracks of Elton's forthcoming album.

Cultures collide at the session. In an elaborate recording studio set down on the last slope of the Rocky Mountains, British boys and birds in western drag knock back Coors beer. The outsider is warned, "It may be rather loud." BOOM! emphasizes the enduring English capacity for understatement. "Why so loud?" the visitor shrieks at producer Gus Dudgeon. "That's the way Elton likes it. He wants to hear it the way the kids will listen to it."

Heads start bobbing to the trip-hammer music; Elton simulates playing a guitar, an instrument he is just starting to pick up. He begins working on a fresh scotch and soda when CRASH!...comes the thunder of his piano playing on a new hard rock number, Yell Help Medley. Soon all around the room fingers are popping and knees are pumping. Lyricist Bernie Taupin throws rhythmic left hooks and engineer Jeff Guercio rocks and bops and suddenly Gus's wife, Sheila, and Elton's manager, John Reid, are doing the bump. Reid's assistant, Connie Pap-pas, is boogeying solo while the thunderclap beat goes on and on, punctuated by shouts of "Dynamite!" and "Un-REAL!" and the more subdued, "My those vibes are tasty!" It's over and everyone collapses in a sweaty flush and the visitor manages to pop open his ears. Elton John quietly observes, "That's rock'n'roll."

It is an art form that Elton John not only recognizes but pursues with the most extraordinary prodigality—not to mention profitability. In a $3 billion industry which almost monthly coughs up stars on the strength of a hit or two, Elton is, in marquee terminology, a colossal, stupendous superstar. He is also a strange one: whoever heard of a half-bald, half-blind rock hero who is shy with girls?

Starting out with lyricist Bernie Taupin in a dingy London flat, playing for fish-and-chips money on the semi-pro circuit in jeans and a beard, Elton has graduated into a meretricious celebrant of Art Deco gone amok. Draped in feather boas and lurking behind jeweled spectacles that cost as much as a car, garbed in mirrored jumpsuits that reflect tens of thousands of giddy supplicants, Elton stomps the piano with his feet in concert while bit players dressed as Queen Elizabeth and Godzilla wander about in baroque employment. Elton is having second thoughts about his wild act these days. "I guess it's time to tone down the flamboyance a bit," he says. "The garish routines just sort of evolved, and after a while people expect it of you. I sometimes look back on my performances and get a little embarrassed. But no one should take them too seriously. I'm very English, and I love that sort of black humor."

That sense of humor may persuade him to call his new album Rock of the Westies, but it scarcely matters. He could call it Annette Funicello Sings Footlight Favorites and it would still blow the top off the record charts. His latest album, the autobiographical Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown Cowboy (he being Cap and sidekick Bernie Taupin, quondam chicken-farmer, the cowboy), turned "platinum"—the industry term for one million album sales—in advance orders before it even hit the music counters. That made the ninth of his twelve albums to sell more than a million in the U.S. alone. Worldwide, he has sold 42 million albums and 18 million singles. He is a director, as well as the star, of highflying Rocket Records and a director and part-owner of his hometown soccer club, the low-flying Watford Hornets. Last weekend his cherubic visage was all over CBS-TV as co-host (with Diana Ross) of the first annual Rock Music Awards and a nominee in four categories himself—which he found "dreadfully embarrassing."

Embarrassment at $7 million per annum raises the question, naturally: has success spoiled the former Reginald Dwight? You bet your sybaritic specs it has, but in a curious and ultimately agreeable way. His spending is as compulsively lavish as Presley's, and probably arises from the same insecurities. "I guess it's gotten a little out of hand," Elton admits. "People are starting to refer to me as 'Old Moneybags.' " Truly, nobody but the hero of a 19th century romantic novel has ever lived his childhood fantasies as elaborately as the ugly duckling from Middlesex who, if he could not be transmogrified into a swan, could at least fashion himself as the most exotically plumed of parrots.

In his versatile artistry, Elton John has no peer. His four-chord sound is unmistakable, but his albums are spiced with such diverse numbers as Daniel (about a blind Vietnam vet), Philadelphia Freedom (a salute to Billie Jean King's onetime tennis team) and Candle in the Wind (a tribute to Marilyn Monroe), as well as hard-rockers like Crocodile Rock. To the criticism that he and Bernie purvey only commercial, "middle-of-the-road" music, Elton just shrugs. "That's one of the things that made success difficult for me to adjust to emotionally," he says. "But I'm immune to criticism now. Besides, I like that term. It means that my music appeals to a wide variety of people, which is what's important."

Elton's formula for success is compounded of natural talent, an immense (if well-concealed) capacity for hard work and a perfectly pitched working relationship with Taupin and producer Gus Dudgeon. Elton ascribes much of his versatility to Dudgeon. "Look at some of the other groups," John says, "turning out album after self-same album. A good producer will keep you from such self-indulgence." Still, Taupin is the key to Elton's awesome production. "He's a musician, I'm a writer," says Taupin. "I have no musical talent, he has no drive to write. We feel if we work over a song too long, we'll get on each other's nerves."

So they don't. Bernie's lyrics come first. Elton sits down at the piano, tries a few tentative chords. Soon he's singing and humming, and within the hour the song will be wastebasket fodder or a highly marketable product. Once, for 10 days, Bernie wrote in the loft, Elton composed in the basement, and Bernie's wife, Maxine, served as the runner. The result was Honky Chateau, an album that sold 2.5 million, which grosses out at earnings of about $1 million per day. Another time Elton and Bernie found themselves stranded in Jamaica for three days. By the time they left they had finished 24 songs, making Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road, their only double album.

Elton and Bernie met at the end of Elton's highly publicized and thoroughly disagreeable adolescence. His father, Squadron Leader Stanley Dwight, approved of virtually nothing his dreamy, adipose only child did—excepting young Reg's delight in tagging along to the Watford soccer matches six miles down the road. Dwight had once been a trumpeter in a dance band; thus, when all over England tough young mods and rockers were digging Chuck Berry and Otis Redding, Elton was mooning and Juning with Harry James, Jo Stafford and Artie Shaw. "That's why people think I'm 143 years old," Elton says.

He kept up with his piano lessons and won a fellowship to the Royal Academy of Music at 11. With Mum's intercession little Reg managed to divide his time between classics and pop. When his parents divorced, Reg took a job bobbing the piano at a nearby pub. He finally quit the Academy two weeks before final exams and latched onto a rhythm-and-blues group called Bluesology.

It wasn't a bad start, but it didn't send Ed Sullivan reaching across the sea for him, either. He borrowed the first names of saxophonist Elton Dean and bandleader John Baldry in a fervent effort to create a new persona. His efforts with the girls were, to be kind, unrewarding; his only serious romance would end in the late '60s with a halfhearted suicide attempt. (Dumped by a 6'2" blonde named Linda, with whom he was living, Elton put his head in a gas oven but left all the windows in the kitchen open.)

When Liberty Records in London advertised for new singers and composers, Elton sent in samples of his wares. So did a young Lincolnshire farmer who badly wanted out of the henhouse, Bernie Taupin. "Actually, I had never written a line seriously," Taupin says, "but I was willing to try anything." Liberty matched up Elton and Bernie, and they moved into a dive in Islington, in North London. Then the company decided against publishing any of their songs. The three years they spent working their way out of Islington is the subject of Captain Fantastic. Elton John was discovered in 1970, playing the musically important Troubadour Club in Los Angeles. Within a year he was rich, and within two years he was ridiculously rich.

Suddenly everyone loved the fey, tubby little fellow who had seemed (and indeed had thought of himself as) the most unlovable of God's creatures. Parents regarded his freakiness as good, clean fun, thankfully lacking Jagger's malevolent sexuality, David Bowie's reptilian decadence or Alice Cooper's shrieking sadomasochism. Elton John became the Truman Capote of the showbiz-sport world. He pops in for cocktails with David Frost, plays tennis with Billie Jean King and Jimmy Connors, parties at Cher's, and works out with his beloved Watford team whenever he can. He owns two Rolls-Royces and a Ferrari, a new house in Benedict Canyon and is buying an English manor house in Windsor. He collects art; his prizes are several Magrittes and a few Rembrandt etchings. He has bought a Rolls-Royce for his agent, a fox fur for an assistant at Rocket Records, and enough gifts from Cartier for assorted friends to finance a Latin American air force. He has settled both his mother and father into houses in England, but says their sturdy middle-class values are not yet attuned to his wealth. "I bought my mum a handbag," he says, "and when she found out how much it cost, she took it back and got a cheaper one."

He is pleased that everyone comments on his new trimness. "I don't know how much weight I've lost," he says, "because I never weigh myself. But I know that none of my clothes fit." He turns to talk of his future.

"I can only do this for so long, you know. I don't feature myself singing Crocodile Rock when I'm 34. What I really want to do is get more involved in Watford football and English sports in general. Much of the sports administration in England is outdated and the facilities are terrible. I want to try to change all that."

He takes a swig from a bottle of Canadian liqueur, his favorite drink at the moment.

"I'm music mad, and if I had it to do over, I'd still plump for a career in music," says Elton John. "But I guess if I could really, really go back and do anything I wanted, I'd like to be the singles champion at Wimbledon."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras

Tantrums and Tiaras (out today) offers an all-access pass behind the scenes of Elton John’s 1995 world tour. Directed by his parter David Furnish, Tantrums and Tiaras follows John around the world during his trek for the multi-platinum Made in England and shows him as both a professional perfectionist and a goofy jokester both on stage and off.

This DVD Rip includes 10 deleted scenes.


Elton John animated gifs for your cell

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