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Country Comfort 

Elton and Bernie Taupin have been making plans. The latter stressed that much has yet to be finalised, but told Rolling Stone they anticipate going into the studio by year’s end. Also later this year (on 17 November), Dolly-Parton’s Rockstar album is to be released. Elton is among the guest artists, teaming up with Dolly for a new version of Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me.

Redbook recently came up with a list of underrated Elton John tunes. That included Elton’s-Song from The Fox (which turns 42 years old on 20 May). We agree with other choices like Chameleon from Blue Moves and Blues For My Baby and Me from Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player, as well as Elton’s cover of One Day at a Time. Et tu?

Another album just celebrated a birthday, 21 at 33. This was released on 13 May 1980, and ranged from Elton and Bernie’s rocker Chasing-the-Crown to the countrified Take-Me-Back, written by Elton and Gary Osborne.

Last weekend was the coronation, and tongues were wagging about why Elton wasn’t among the performers. A source told The National that Elton was Prince Charles III’s first choice. But with a show in Germany the Friday before, then soon after the Windsor concert, it wasn’t possible to ”make the dash to the UK work.”

Some suspect that Elton’s close relationship with King Charles’ former wife, Princess Diana, may have also had something to do with it.

Elton played his 300th Farewell Yellow Brick Road show last Monday night at the MercedesBenzArena in Berlin, Germany. He was gifted a Berlin Buddy Bear. It was a miniature version of the life-sized figures which symbolise tolerance and understanding.

Years back, Elton teamed up with some animated bears. He made a brief but memorable appearance as a gardener in The-Country-Bears, with one character musing that he ”looked a lot like Elton John.” Another dismissed him, claiming, ”Nah, Elton John’s taller.”

On 9 May, Elton made an appearance at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s Hot Pink Party in New York City. But it was a brief virtual cameo, Hello has reported, during which Elton expressed his support and said he hoped to see them again very soon. While Elton has performed for them in the past, this time Diana Ross did the honours.

Last year in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a fan got a lot more than he expected at a Farewell Yellow Brick Road concert. Abram-Korenstra, who was ten at the time, got into the music and kept waving his fingers in the air. His father, Sam Korenstra, told the Elton Blog that the singer noticed, and got a staff member to find out his name. Then at the end of the gig, he handed Abram a pair of his glasses!

Sam thought it interesting that although the star didn’t know that his son was already an accomplished musician (with an assortment of EJ hits in his repertoire), he told Abram: ”You might end up just like me, you never know.”

Last year in the UK, an auction at Bonham-s-auction-included-items-from-elton-s-former-employee. So it’s nice to know that on  24 May, Baz Marshall is back with Gold, Silver, and Platinum Disc awards for various albums. The test pressing of Tumbleweed Connection is also part of Bonhams’ Rock, Pop, and Film Auction, as are some clothes from the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Out of the Closet sales.

Reeman Dansies has shared news about an auction they held last month. ”The star,” they say, ”was the 1991 Aston Martin Virage ordered new by Sir Elton John.” It exceeded expectations, going for over 30,000 pounds (inclusive of fees). There was also a car used in the Rocketman biopic. This 1977 Lincoln Continental Spitzer four door sedan was sold for more than 10,000 pounds (again, inclusive of fees).

Looking further back is former NME editor Steve Sutherland. He recalled when Elton threw a party in the country . . . . the Cotswolds . . .  to launch his Rocket Records label in 1973. The invitations resembled railway tickets, in keeping with the label’s smiling train logo. Steve doesn’t remember much about the set list, but thinks the Rolling Stones’ Honky Tonk Women was one of the numbers.

It’s time for us to be rolling along, so we’ll be back next week with another Elton Blog.

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