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Fashion And Philanthropy

On Sunday, a state memorial was held in Melbourne, Australia, for Olivia Newton-John, and Elton paid tribute. He said in a video that his friend was talented, and they would ”laugh and laugh” whenever they saw each other.

Elton was also touched by a performance last week. He was in South Africa, where the Ndlovu-Choir appeared at an Elton John AIDS Foundation event.

Four years ago, they covered Circle-of-Life, but this was the first time the choir was able to do it live for the songwriter.

He visited South Africa with two senators, Lindsey-Graham and Chris Coons. They hope to eliminate AIDS by 2030, and were assessing PepFar (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), Elton says, it was ”pretty grim, with children dying in my arms.”

Elton has noted that with it being a year since Russia invaded Ukraine, his charity’s commitment to the latter hasn’t ebbed. He wrote in the Guardian that he stands by the promise he made onstage in Kyiv in 2007, when he vowed that he would always do whatever he could to fight AIDS in Ukraine.

Two charities for victims of domestic violence will benefit when Mitch-Revs’ painted piano goes under the hammer on 11 March. This is one of two instruments the artist from Newcastle, Australia, painted. He was inspired by Elton’s farewell tour. The piano is currently on display at Westfield Kotara in Newcastle.

One of Elton’s touring pianos will be displayed soon, but just for one night. It’s part of thejimirsaycollection, which is headed for Las Vegas, Nevada, on the 4th of March. Jim is the owner of the Indianapolis Colts whose memorabilia also includes items from the likes of Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Kurt Cobain, and Eric Clapton. Jim has a band too, so on the fourth of March at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, they will take the stage, accompanied by special guests Stephen Stills, Vince Gill, and Billy Gibbons.

A denim jacket signed by Elton, a drum head with Nigel Olsson’s autograph, and tambourine with John Mahon‘s signature were among the highlights of an auction which took place over the weekend. It was for the Hillsides organisation in Pasadena, California, which is dedicated to improving the well-being of vulnerable youngsters and their families. Also offered by Elton John Band members were half-hour virtual meet-and-greets (with John, Nigel, and Davey Johnstone). And if that wasn’t enough, other lots featured EJ merchandise and a limited edition illustrated poster. While it was a Farewell Yellow Brick Road poster for Vancouver, Canada, the picture of Elton was from the seventies, and included his signature platforms.

During his career, Elton has worn outfits from designers like Bob Mackie, Gianni Versace, and Gucci.

He wore Armani just once, when he and Lady Gaga performed at the Grammy-Awards in 2010. He thinks a designer becomes part of whoever is wearing their clothes.

Costume designer Sandy Powell has been honoured with a BAFTA Fellowship, which delighted Elton and David Furnish. Sandy created Elton’s look for his 50th birthday party.

Arlene Phillips, who worked on one of our favourite videos, has been recognised, too. The choreographer is to receive the Special Award at the Olivier-Awards in April.

A month later, the Coronation concert for King Charles is to take place. There are online reports that Elton, the Spice Girls, and Harry Styles were among those approached . . . and that all three said no.

Phil Greenfield c.1970

We hope you got the chance to tune into the latest podcast. If not, you can still listen to the interview with road manager Phil Greenfield. The former ”lowly roadie” [that’s how they were seen back then, he claims] actually turned down a job offer from Elton but was at Wembley in London, England, on 21 June 1975 when Elton headlined the Midsummer Music festival. Phil recalls looking out at the ”nonplussed” audience members after Elton performed his yet-to-be-released Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy album in its entirety. Hearing of Elton’s plan, some people had been nervous.

Phil, who took care of logistics and sound for Hookfoot, Elton’s backing band, talks about their chemistry.

There’s also a new Specials to enjoy. The interviewees are Melissa Manchester and Martin Page who share their thoughts about past projects with Bernie Taupin.

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