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Leather Jackets And Hi-Heel Sneakers

The next Record-Store-Day falls on 22 April, and this will include a double LP for Elton John fans. Besides Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player tracks, there are a number of session demos, including Elton’s previously unreleased cover of Hi-Heel-Sneakers, originally recorded by Tommy Tucker.

One of Elton’s former touring partners, Billy Joel, plans a RSD release as well. His Live at the Great American Hall 1975 was recorded in San Francisco, California, and according to press notes, includes ”loving imitations” of Elton, Leon Russell, and Joe Cocker . . . a staple of his early gigs.

Elton’s final UK show, as you know, will be on 25 June. He’s to play the Glastonbury-Festival, which has donated 10 pairs of tickets to raise money for the Disasters Emergency Committee‘s Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal. The first prize offers entry for two to the festival, plus a chance to watch a set from the Pyramid Stage viewing platform. So the winner would get to see Elton, as he’s topping the bill here!

Another ticket giveaway is courtesy of the royal family. They are holding a raffle for UK residents to win tickets to the coronation-concert in May. While the lineup is yet to be announced, there’s a good chance that Elton will be among the participants.

Free tickets are more welcome than ever, seeing that many have been struggling with inflation. It has impacted fuel and food, and now even private gigs. The Sun reports that Elton has raised his fee by 300%! So instead of paying a million pounds, those seeking a private concert will now need to shell out three million more. Of course, if you’re a friend, it’s pro bono. In 2009, for instance, when Elton learned that tennis star Andy Roddick was going to marry model Brooklyn Decker, a source told People magazine, he decided that his wedding gift would be a free performance. Elton has also appeared at a couple of galas for the Andy Roddick Foundation, which seeks to expand opportunities for young people. And they have both played numerous Smash-Hits AIDS benefits together.

Elton and Tim Rice have enjoyed smash hits with their Lion King and Aida musicals. On 15 June, Tim is being honoured at the Songwriters-Hall-of-Fame gala. While Elton will be on tour and can’t attend, it is likely that he will contribute a video.

Earlier this month, Stacker came up with 100 Most Iconic Music Moments. Elton’s performance at Princess Diana‘s funeral was cited, as was the star-studded Live Aid benefit. So was the fact that Elton managed to release seven consecutive #1 albums in a row: Honky-ChateauDon’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player; Goodbye Yellow Brick Road; Caribou; Greatest HitsCaptain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy; and Rock of the Westies. How about a list of only Elton John Iconic Moments? Wouldn’t they include having Hollywood Boulevard closed down in 1975 when thousands came to see him receive a star on the Walk of Fame on Los Angeles, California? We could also go with Elton’s more recent accomplishments: becoming the first act in UK Official Chart history to have Top Ten hits in six different decades, and having Farewell Yellow Brick Road named the highest-grossing-tour of all time.

Elton has made two Rolling Stone lists, and neither is flattering. In January, the magazine’s 200 Greatest Singers of All Time, was puiblished, and oddly enough, Elton only made it to #100. Now they’re back with 50 Genuinely Horrible Albums by Brilliant Artists. In 13th place is Leather Jackets, released in 1986. RS does not mince words, claiming Elton was an ”absolute track wreck” that year, with polyps on his vocal cords, an addiction to cocaine, and a ”loveless marriage to Renate Blauel.” Elton has said, though, that he did love Renate, just not in the way she would have preferred. As for the songs on the album, Elton called them ”awful,” but Bernie Taupin has said there were some good tunes. That’s particularly the case with Paris, with a lovely melody and lyrics which passengers can identify with, such as ”I’ve only got one book to see me through my flight.” We can also appreciate the phrase, ”Art has its price” and a promise to ”drink in the amber when I get to Paris.”

Wherever you are, we hope you’ll tune in next week for Elton Blog #13!

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