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Neil and {then wife} Pegi Young used to hold annual benefits for the Bridge School, an institute for handicapped youngsters. One year, Neil joined two of his old Buffalo Springfield band members, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay, for a performance. Elton also was one of the entertainers in 2010, and that’s when the latter got to meet him.

Richie spoke to EJW about this and more. . . .

EJW: Was this the first time you encountered Elton?
RF: No, on his very first tour of the U.S., he opened for my band Poco--at a college in New Jersey {Glassboro State College}. Imagine that! I do not remember speaking to him at that time but as you might imagine, I was captured by his talent (this was before the theatrical aspect of his concerts started).
EJW: So what happened at the Bridge School benefit? 
RF: I was determined I was going to meet him (when else would I be close enough to such a world talent?) Everyone had their own dressing rooms and, I believe it was the second night I had my opportunity. I was all set with someone who knew him to take me to his dressing room so as not to ‘show up cold.’ When we arrived, he was in conversation with someone (I can’t remember who) but when I entered the room, to my surprise, everything stopped: He looked at me and without missing a beat said, ”Richie Furay–how nice to see you, how are you?”
Needless to say, I was completely taken aback but his warmth and hospitality were more than I ever could have asked for or imagined. Now I know he knew he was on the bill that weekend, but his openness and friendly gesture will never be forgotten.
EJW: Elton recorded at Caribou Ranch, and so did you. What was it like?
RF: I recorded there (I now live about six miles away), both personally and for others. But I never visited while Elton was there. We live in quite a wonderful environment and have seen just about everything, from mountain lions and beers to elk, deer, and even a moose last year.
Caribou Ranch founder Jim Guercio is a friend of mine. We see each other on occasion, and say in touch via email.
The ranch was one of the most wonderful experiences for a recording artist, and the meals were something to look forward to as well–always first class, all the way!
A documentary about Richie’s career is being prepared for release in 2021 (with donations being accepted at It’s narrated by Cameron Crowe, who worked on ”The Union,” the film about Elton and Leon Russell’s album of the same name.

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