Would you like to see photos from Elton’s final tour or learn what he thought of it all? Fans can find out when Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road: Memories of My Life on Tour is published. Sir-Elton said it’s been ”a beautiful journey,” creating this book and recalling significant people and places. And the stories are about past tours, too–not just Farewell Yellow Brick Road. David Furnish penned the foreward. While a tome might be anticipated, Disney Books has it clocking in at a more modest 256 pages. It’s due on 24 September.
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Next month is Christie‘s Elton John auction, with something for everyone. That’s particularly true of Opening Night, with selections such as a Yamaha piano; Versace dinnerware; Robert Mapplethorpe‘s charming photo of grapes; lovely heart-shaped sapphire ring from Cartier; and a Bentley Continental which Elton claims still has the ”most gorgeous smell from the butter soft black leather seats.”
Sartorial choices include the Louis XIV-style costumes worn by Elton and David Furnish for the singer’s 50th birthday party (including Elton’s periwig) and Annie Reavey‘s ivory and gold 1971 stage outfit, which was borrowed years later by Bray Film Studios for its Rocketman recreations. If that’s not enough, the costume features Elton’s signatures in crayon. We’re told each marking is unique and best appreciated in person.
According to various media outlets, Elton used the aforementioned piano while composing music for Billy Elliot and Aida. Indeed Christie’s has offered confirmation–so we wonder why it’s not among the lot details, which focus instead on the logo, soundboard, and legs. It is also surprising to learn Christie’s has doubts about some of Elton’s outfits. Two, which were ”probably” created by Annie Reavey, are part of the Out of the Closet online sale. One’s a woven brocade jumpsuit; the other is a multi-coloured cape. A representative from the auction house explained to ej.w that the costumes appear to be from the same era as when Annie was working with Elton. However, they don’t have labels and some of Elton’s personal friends also created clothing for him.
Other Out of the Closet ensembles were worn in support of the 21 at 33 tour, and were ”probably” fashioned by Bob Mackie. These include a stunning kimono-inspired jumpsuit and a lime-green number. Christie’s is certain, though, that a short sleeve shirt with rhinestones as well as yellow high waisted trousers with suspenders and feathered hat came from Bob.
By the way, there’s an act called Out of the Closet. Jason Paris, who conceived, produced and stars in Elton Out of the Closet, says it is a tribute act, but doesn’t consider the players to be a tribute band.
”EOOTC is a scripted theatrical piece with a story arc and other attributes characteristic of theatre pieces. A tribute band is just that–a band.”
Other than I’m Still Standing, Jason told the Elton Blog, they perform only seventies material. That includes Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, for which Jason invites an audience member onstage.
In addition, there are regular duet partners, such as ”Marilyn Monroe” for Candle in the Wind and ”John Lennon” for Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.
Elton and the real McCoy enjoyed a hit with Whatever Gets You Thru the Night, but Sean Lennon wasn’t impressed. In 2020, he told Rolling Stone it didn’t ”age well.” In fact, he thinks the tune was successful only because it was a duet involving a couple of major stars.
John Lennon also accompanied Elton on Lucy-in-The-Sky-With-Diamonds, where the former Beatle was credited as ‘Dr Winston O’Boogie.’
More recently, ”Dr K,” better known as musician Brendan Kavanagh, was livestreaming as he played keyboards–with an EJ connection–in London, England. A tourist group from China objected to being filmed, and the heated argument led to the piano being temporarily sealed off. We’re talking of course, about the instrument donated by Elton after his impromptu performance for commuters at St. Pancras Station in 2016.
Dr K asked Talk-TV‘s Piers Morgan whatever happened to free speech. Piers joked that with the uproar, his guest has become bigger than Elton. Incidentally, the singer’s team has been contacted about the situation. As of press time, there’s been no comment.