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Something About the Way You Look Tonight

Tomorrow marks the birthday of Too Low for Zero. It was released on 30 May 1983. Besides the hits I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues and I’m Still Standing, we think Cold-as-Christmas-(in-the-Middle-of-the-Year and Kiss-The-Bride were standouts.

In May 1967, the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album came out, and it included Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Elton released his own take in 1974, and it became a hit. While we’ve always liked it, the Showbiz Cheat Sheet complained that this version was too slow. The reggae embellishment was singled out, but it was actually John-Lennon who came up with the idea.

Do you remember that in September 2013, the First-Direct-Arena in Leeds, England, officially opened with an Elton John concert? They are returning on the sixth of June. According to the Guardian, which compared the venue to a ”giant space pod” and ”insect’s eyeball,” Bruce Springsteen actually was the first performer. He ”road-tested” the arena a couple of months earlier.

Producer and songwriter Jon Blackstone tells that one of his fondest memories was when he recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, with two members of Elton’s band. Nigel-Olsson and Dee Murray appeared on Jon’s very first album, Not Dressed For The Occasion. He says it was Elton, Dee, Nigel, and producer Gus Dudgeon who ”opened my eyes to pop music as an art form.”

JP-Jones has come up with a way for deaf people to experience art. He paints song patterns on canvas and adds the music-maker’s image . . . Elton among them. JP, who is a musician as well, told Metro he got the idea 20 years ago while in art school, playing around with bits of mirror, laser pens, and laser beams, and created a moving light projection which reflected from a speaker.

Lots of people try to capture concert images on their cellphones. At one of Elton’s O2 shows, Chris-Lloyd used watercolour and pen. He also was able to present a very pleased Elton with the artwork. The concert artist has previously sketched Arlo Parks, the Jonas Brothers, Sam Ryder, and Christine & the Queens.

Tina Turner, who was called ”the Queen of Rock and Roll,” passed away last week. Elton was among the many showbiz figures who paid tribute to the 83-year-old. He said the world has lost ”one of its most exciting and electric performers.” He added that she was ”untouchable.”

In 1999, Tina, Cher, and Elton took the stage for a rendition of Proud-Mary at Divas Live, a VH1 benefit for the Save The Music Foundation.

Clothing, gold records and other items belonging to another music icon, Donna-Summer, are to be auctioned at Christie’s from 15-29 June. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and the Save the Music Foundation.

The Elton-John-AIDS-Foundation has announced that A+E Networks’ Paul Buccieri is joining their board. Paul said he has long been an admirer of Elton’s dedication to equality and human dignity. David Furnish, EJAF Chairman, believes that Paul’s ”experience and understanding of messaging and the global media ecosystem” will be an asset to the foundation.

Last year, A+E Networks set up the White House evening featuring Elton on piano. This was when Elton sang for an audience which included nurses, teachers, and AIDS activists. He also received a National Humanities Medal from President Biden, which was unexpected.

Elton has said that the Lemon-Twigs don’t follow rules with their songs . . . and sometimes that’s the way it ought to be. They were Elton’s guests on this weekend’s edition of Rocket Hour.

Also over the weekend (and still available for your listening pleasure), the Elton-John-World podcast featured Adam Chester in an exclusive interview by George Matlock. He fills in for Elton during rehearsals and other events. And he’s a composer, arranger, and musician in his own right.

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