Biografia Elton John

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

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segunda-feira, 18 de outubro de 2010

X Factor, It's boring, brain crippling TV, says Sir Elton John

Speaking Clock Revue

•If It Wasnt For Bad
•Jimmie Rodgers Dream
•Gone to Shiloh
•Hearts Have Turned to Stone
•Hey Ahab
•Monkey Suit

The Speaking Clock Revue ~ Leon Russell & Elton John w/Gregg Allman ~ Gone To Shiloh

X Factor? It's boring, brain crippling TV, says Sir Elton John

Last updated at 1:15 AM on 19th October 2010
Elton John
'I'm not a fan of talent shows. I probably wouldn't have lasted if I'd gone on one,' said Sir Elton John
His career has spanned more than four decades and he’s sold more than 250million records.
But Elton John, 63, believes he’d struggle to land a record deal at all if he was trying to make his way in the music business today.
Warning of the fleeting fame that comes with shows such as The X Factor, he said: ‘I’m not a fan of talent shows. I probably wouldn’t have lasted if I’d gone on one. I was asked to judge American Idol. I couldn’t do it because I won’t slag anyone off.
‘Also, I don’t want to be on television. It’s become boring, ****-paralysingly brain crippling. I like Simon Cowell, but what he does is TV entertainment.
‘There have been some good acts, but the only way to sustain a career is to pay your dues in small, s**t clubs.
‘I was in a band at 17, became a songwriter with Bernie Taupin and wasn’t successful until we’d had six years of hard graft and disappointment, as well as great times. I had experience you couldn’t buy.’
And although the singer performed with Alexandra Burke, one of the show’s winners two years ago, he warned that the careers of those who win the show can often end overnight if they release just one unsuccessful record.
‘TV vaults you to superstardom and then you have to back it up, which is hard. Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke are at the mercy of the next song they can get.
‘Susan Boyle was an endearing phenomenon, but I fear she might not understand the rigours of showbusiness.’
In fact, there are only a handful of contemporary artists who Sir Elton believes are likely to achieve longevity.
The X Factor
'I don't want to be on television. It's become boring, ****-paralysingly brain crippling. I like Simon Cowell, but what he does is TV entertainment', said Sir Elton
‘Lily Allen is incredibly talented and can do anything she wants – act, sing, write. I’m also a huge fan of Lady Gaga. And I adore Amy Winehouse,’ Sir Elton told Radio Times magazine.
‘It’s important they write their own songs, so they’re not at the mercy of anyone. Songwriters today are pretty awful, which is why everything sounds the same. Contemporary pop isn’t very inspiring.’
He also believes that experienced stars are being overlooked for honours, while unproven entertainers are being elevated to superstar status because of TV, with The X Factor commanding audiences of up to 20million.
Leona Lewis
Alexandra Burke
'Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke are at the mercy of the next song they can get': Elton on The X Factor winners
The singer added: ‘I grew up with Sunday Night At The London Palladium and it’s an outrage that Bruce Forsyth hasn’t been knighted.
‘I told him that and wrote a letter to the honours committee. He’s part of our lives, like Rolf Harris – a clever, incredibly witty man who always made me feel good.’

However, Sir Elton isn’t immune to X Factor talent. He signed up 22-year-old Miss Burke to sing at his New Year’s Eve concert just weeks after she triumphed in the 2008 series. The night’s other guest singer was a fellow TV talent show star – Pop Idol winner Will Young.
And his own legacy lives on in the shows too. Last year, producers of The X Factor even dedicated a night to the veteran singer, with contestants each asked to perform one of his hits. It led to a surge in sales of his songs. Among the songs they chose were, I’m Still Standing and Your Song.
However, asked how he felt about seeing young talent singing his work, he replied at the time: ‘It’s no way to find talent. I want to hear new songwriters, people who are creating their own stuff, not just singing my songs every week.’

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ABOVE: George Michael
19th October 2010

By Nigel Pauley

Sir Elton John last night stuck the knife into troubled ex-jailbird George Michael, telling him: “You should get out more.”

The 63-year-old music legend admitted that the pair’s bitter six-year feud is still rumbling on and he has no intention of ending it.

Elton had some harsh words for George who is rumoured to be in rehab being treated for cannabis addiction.

George, who has just been released from prison for crashing his car while high on drugs, claimed Elton had begged him to clean up his act.

But Elton, who has helped a string of celebrities, including Eminem, 38, and Robbie Williams, 36, get sober, claimed
George’s drug problems were “none of my business”.

George, 47, had boasted he had snubbed Elton’s help and dismissed him as “an old man singing the same old songs”.

Elton told Radio Times: “It’s a myth to say, as George Michael did, that I went knocking on his door to tell him he must
get help.

“I haven’t got a thing against him. He’s a huge talent. I love him, and what he does in his life is none of my business, but he should get out more.

“I helped Rufus Wainwright in 2002 when crystal meth addiction had turned him temporarily blind, my guitarist Davey Johnstone, who’s now six months sober, and Eminem, two years sober. They all asked me.

“I had a great career, but f***ed up my private life doing drugs.

“Once you give up drugs, as I did, you assume everyone else has, but it’s more prevalent now than ever, and the drugs are particularly dangerous today.”

The full Elton John interview is in this week’s Radio Times – out now.

A Superstar Puts One of His Early Influences Back in the Spotlight
Published: October 18, 2010
Early last year Leon Russell was at his home outside Nashville when his telephone rang. It was Elton John, calling from a safari vacation somewhere in Africa.
C.J. Gunther for The New York Times
Leon Russell once played with some of rock’s biggest names.

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Decca, via Associated Press
Elton John and Leon Russell team up on “The Union.”
“I was laying in bed watching my TV, and I suspect he was laying on an elephant somewhere,” Mr. Russell said. “I hadn’t talked to Elton for 35 years, so it was quite a surprise.”
Mr. John proposed the idea of recording with Mr. Russell, who was one of his early influences but has largely been forgotten by pop history. That phone call resulted in a new album, “The Union” (Decca), which reaches stores on Tuesday, and a 10-date tour, beginning that evening at the Beacon Theater. (The concert will be broadcast live on the Fuse network; Mr. Russell and Mr. John will also perform at the Beacon on Wednesday as part of an all-star benefit show organized by their producer, T Bone Burnett.)
For Mr. John the primary motivation for “The Union” — which returns him to the acoustic-based, country-flavored sound of early recordings like “Tumbleweed Connection” — was to bring a renewed recognition to one of his idols. “If Leon can get the accolades he deserves and be financially O.K. for the rest of his life, I will have done something decent with my music,” he said in a call from his home in France.
When they first met in 1970, Mr. John was a young unknown, while Mr. Russell, the Oklahoma-born pianist and songwriter, was already established as rock ’n’ roll royalty. He was best known as a member of Phil Spector’s studio band and a session player who recorded with artists as varied as Frank Sinatra and the Rolling Stones. In that year alone Mr. Russell wrote two songs that would become standards: “Superstar” (written with Bonnie Bramlett) and “A Song for You.”
Mr. Russell and Mr. John went on to play a handful of shows together. Mr. Russell’s star remained bright for a few years — in 1971 he was one of the highlights of George Harrison’s “Concert for Bangladesh” and produced several songs for Bob Dylan — but he gradually retreated from the spotlight. Mr. John went on to become possibly the biggest rock star of the 1970s and to rack up more than 50 Top 40 hits and sell 250 million records.
Leaning back in a recliner on his tour bus and smoothing his snow-white beard, Mr. Russell said that he accepted responsibility for the direction his career took. “I haven’t done my part,” he said. “I’ve avoided the press and a lot of stuff that would have made me more visible, just because it’s not my style. And when I see all the stuff that Elton does, I can understand why I’m not doing that more.”
Even if his name has largely drifted into obscurity, Mr. Russell’s gospel infused, soul-country blend continues to echo through recent recordings by the likes of Sheryl Crow, Zac Brown and Kid Rock. Mr. Russell is also a guest on Elvis Costello’s forthcoming album, “National Ransom.”
“I first saw Leon Russell in 1971 or 1972,” Mr. Costello wrote in a recent e-mail. “Then, as now, Leon made everything happen when he took the stage. For heaven’s sake, his rock and roll credits could fill up a big inscribed monolith, if they still made such things.”
The genesis of “The Union” was actually during the premiere episode of Mr. Costello’s music talk show on the Sundance Channel, “Spectacle,” for which Mr. John is an executive producer. On that program, in 2008, Mr. John discussed the enormous impact that Mr. Russell had on his music, even improvising a Russell-style song. That prompted Mr. John’s partner, David Furnish, to load some of Mr. Russell’s recordings into his iPod in advance of the couple’s annual African safari.
When Mr. Russell’s “Greatest Hits” album came on one day during the trip, “I started to cry, it moved me so much,” Mr. John said. “His music takes me back to the most wonderful time in my life, and it makes me so angry that he’s been forgotten.”
From Africa, Mr. John called his United States manager, Johnny Barbis, and asked for Mr. Russell’s telephone number. After contacting Mr. Russell, he got in touch with Mr. Burnett and raised the idea of an album of duets. “It seemed like an extraordinarily generous thing to do,” Mr. Burnett said, adding that he considers Mr. Russell “one of the best rock ’n’ roll piano players in the world” — and he offered his services.
After meeting last year in Las Vegas, where Mr. John was concluding his “Red Piano” extravaganza at Caesars Palace, the two singers made plans to record in early 2010. When Billy Joel canceled some of the dates on his tour with Mr. John last November, however, Mr. John and Mr. Russell decided to try a few days in the studio.
While discussing ideas in the control room, Mr. Burnett called up a YouTube video of Mahalia Jackson. Mr. John began playing a gospel-inspired riff, and Mr. Russell quickly joined in. “We knew that the two pianos sounded so wonderful, we had something here,” Mr. John said. That preliminary jam became a song titled “A Dream Come True.”
Other compositions crystallized just as rapidly. The melody for “I Should Have Sent Roses,” with lyrics by Mr. John’s longtime collaborator, Bernie Taupin, came together so quickly that Mr. Burnett had to record a first pass on his iPhone. In four days they had written 10 songs.
They scheduled the actual recording sessions for January, but that month Mr. Russell, 68, was hospitalized; he underwent more than five hours of surgery for a brain fluid leak, as well as treatment for heart failure and pneumonia. A week later, though, he went straight into the studio. “Leon was in a somewhat delicate state,” Mr. Burnett said, “but the longer we went, the stronger he got. I was watching the music fuel him.”
Guests including Brian Wilson and Neil Young (who adds a haunting verse to “Gone to Shiloh”) joined the sessions. As the recording was winding down, Mr. Russell decided that he needed to make one final addition.
“I wanted to give Elton something,” he said. “But what do you give a guy who has six fully stocked houses? So I thought the only thing I could give him is a song.” He quickly wrote the stately “In the Hands of Angels,” an abstract retelling of the story of the album, which thanks Mr. John (“the guv’ner” in the lyrics), who “knew all the places I needed to go” and made him “feel the love down deep inside.”
Mr. John said: “When he played that, we just lost it. No one has ever written me a song before. He said, ‘I want to thank you for saving my life,’ and I just burst into tears.”
Making “The Union” provided an unforeseen benefit for Mr. John, a new sonic direction that he said would set a path for all of his future work. “This is the most honest record I can do at this time,” he said. “I want to make music like this for the rest of my life.”
Mr. Russell seems to be enjoying his return to the world of major labels and big-name collaborators. “Elton was excited the whole time, and it was exciting for me to watch him be excited,” he said. “He endeavored to make me feel like a king, which he did successfully.”
It’s not clear, however, that he would choose to remain in the limelight. After the tour with Mr. John, Mr. Russell will be back on his bus, playing clubs as the mood and the need arise. “My hobby,” he said, “is silence.”
A version of this article appeared in print on October 19, 2010, on page C5 of the National edition.

Elton John, Leon Russell tour gains momentum, adds more 'Union' concerts

A Friendly Neighborhood Hoedown

T Bone Burnett Assembles His Famous Friends for a Party at the Beacon Theatre
In a concert at the Beacon Theater on Wednesday, featuring the Speaking Clock Revue, producer and ringleader T Bone Burnett will surround Elton John, Leon Russell, John Mellencamp, Elvis Costello, Gregg Allman, Ralph Stanley and Jeff Bridges with his favorite studio musicians. The evening promises to be an all-star journey through American rock and roots music.
"I've worked with almost all of them," said Mr. Burnett of the singers. "They always say, 'We should do this live.' Well, here's our chance."
Mr. Burnett has been particularly busy recently with some members of the troupe. He produced the John-Russell collaboration "The Union" and Mr. Mellencamp's "No Better Than This," as well as Mr. Costello's "National Ransom," which will be out later this month. He also co-produced the soundtrack for "Crazy Heart," the film for which Mr. Bridges won an Oscar as best actor, and has just completed production on Mr. Allman's next solo album.
One of the joys of this revue, Mr. Burnett said, is the opportunity to introduce relative newcomers to audiences who'll turn out to hear superstars. The Secret Sisters and Karen Elson, who are also on the program, recently released debut albums. Mr. Burnett produced the former, and Ms. Elson's husband, Jack White, the latter.
Mr. Burnett is a fan of musical revues. "They weren't exactly my idea," he said with a laugh. "They've been around forever." A few years ago, he put together a traveling show featuring singers and players from the Burnett-produced soundtrack to the Coen Brothers film "O Brother, Where Art Thou"—Mr. Stanley was among them. And at the start of his career, Mr. Burnett was a member of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue: In 1975, Mr. Dylan assembled a group of musicians that included Joan Baez, the Byrds' Roger McGuinn, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and, of course, Mr. Dylan himself. Mr. Burnett played guitar. Director Jacques Levy was the stage manager.
"That was a master's class in show business in the extreme," Mr. Burnett said. "I learned a lot from Jacques. He loved to talk about theater, staging and narration. I loved the way he paced a show. You want to tell a story that takes the audience somewhere."
Last week, the members of Mr. Burnett's troupe were still in rehearsal in Los Angeles. He said the possibilities of collaboration hadn't been fully explored yet. But the backing musicians' adaptability is this revue's great strength: drummers Jim Keltner and Jay Bellerose, bassist Dennis Crouch, guitarists Marc Ribot, Russ Paul and Jackson Smith, mandolinist Mike Compton and keyboardist Keefus Ciancia move effortlessly among styles. They'll support Mr. Stanley's high, lonesome voice and the rockin' dual pianos of Messrs. John and Russell with equal aplomb.
"Keltner and I have worked together for 40 years. Ribot, 25 or so," Mr. Burnett, 62, said. "Everybody is an ace."
He said he intends the Speaking Clock Revue to translate to the stage some of the techniques he prefers in the studio. Mr. Burnett favors analog recording and live performances during which the musicians can interact. Digital recording and cutting musicians' parts separately and splicing them together leaves him cold, he said, as does the sound of MP3 files.
"We play at a very low volume on stage so it's very musical. Everybody can communicate in real time," he said.
Net proceeds from the show will benefit the Participant Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting arts and music education in public schools. Participant Media is a production company behind Davis Guggenheim's documentary "Waiting for 'Superman,'" which takes a hard look at the American public-education system. Mr. Burnett attended a screening at a friend's house.
"I was very moved," he said. "That film kicked the thing in gear. I asked, 'How can I contribute to the cause?' The arts in public schools has been a concern of mine. They have been cut the deepest for the last many years. You can't pin this on any one person."
After the show at the Beacon, the Speaking Clock Revue will reconvene Oct. 23-24 in Mountain View, Calif., to play Neil and Pegi Young's annual benefit for the Bridge School, which helps physically impaired children.
Mr. Burnett said he'd like to bring his revue together again in 2011 for a lengthy tour. Part of the tour, he added, would be dedicated to interacting with young students interested in the arts. They'll be invited to sound checks and, he said, he's exploring the idea of holding workshops for students.
—Mr. Fusilli is the Journal's rock and pop music critic. Email him at or follow him on Twitter: @wsjrock.
Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Elton John Speaks about ‘Born This Way’

Elton John talked about a possible collaboration with Lady Gaga and her upcoming studio album Born This Way in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly:
“I love her, and I love her ability to write. There’s a chance I might do one track with her, but she’s so busy and I’m so busy, we can never get together! But her record – it’s fucking amazing. ‘Born This Way’, which is the title song, will completely get rid of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’. This is the new ‘I Will Survive’. That was the gay anthem. This is the new gay anthem. Actually, it’s not a gay anthem – it can apply to anybody.”

Elton John: 'Lady Gaga's new record is f***ing amazing'

DateOctober 12, 2010
Picture Elton John has high hopes for the title track for Lady Gaga's new album, Born This Way. "Her record, it's f***ing amazing," said Sir Elton. "Born This Way, which is the title song, will completely get rid of Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive. This is the new I Will Survive. That was the gay anthem. This is the new gay anthem. Actually, it's not a gay anthem, it can apply to anybody," the 63-year-old told Entertainment Weekly. The legendary singer-songwriter also admitted he had not signed on to guest star on Glee, adding, "Of course I'd be into that. It's always great when someone covers your songs, no matter how good or bad the version is." But John did go on to reveal that he might be working with one cast member from the hit show, saying, "I am supposed to be doing something with Glee star Matthew Morrison for his album. We had a little meeting together, so hopefully that's going to happen when I get to LA."...

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