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Feathers, Tumbleweed, And Other Connections.

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Jerry Lee Lewis died on Friday morning at the age of 87. Elton paid homage on Twitter by posting a photo of the two of them, and writing: ”Without Jerry Lee Lewis, I wouldn’t have become who I am today.”

He added that Lewis was a ”brilliant singer” who ”pulverised the piano” and was a trailblazer.

Elton once said that he used to only hear ”sedate” piano playing . . . that was until he got to know the rock-n-roll-pioneer’s music . . . particularly Great Balls of Fire.

Bernie Taupin also posted his thoughts about the entertainer. He wrote on Instagram that Lewis was ”the fire in the boiler room and undisputed king of redneck rock & roll” as well as ”a bellyful of blue thunder whose piano playing inspired non guitar playing musicians to tear the piano apart.”

Bernie has also been impacted by The Band. He said that on Tumbleweed-Connection, which just turned 52 years old, there is a ”down-home” theme and ”country-rock Band style.”

In news about another music veteran, the official trailer for Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Over is out. If you watch, you’ll catch a glimpse of Elton.

It premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival, and makes its TV debut on CNN on the first of January. The documentary will include stories about Dionne’s hits, including That’s What Friends Are For, recorded with Elton, Stevie Wonder, and Gladys Knight. The single raised over three million dollars for AIDS research and prevention. At the 25th amFAR Gala in New York City, the four friends performed it live.

Elton has discovered an innovative way to raise funds for his AIDS Foundation, although this is limited to UK residents. On 2 November 2022, he launches a limited edition Rocket Man Marmite. The product will be available at Sainsbury’s supermarkets. The label is inspired by Terry O’Neill‘s iconic ”Feathers” portrait of Elton.

  • A similar coat-of-wings has been travelling the world–passed on to new owners at a series of Elton John concerts. It has become a symbol of love, joy, and connection, and was created by Donna Ingram. She first wore the outfit when Elton played Bristol in July, and hopes it will go ”full circle,” and wind up with the pop star. Ingram says she was even ”photo-bombed” by Elton himself.

With Elton’s huge wardrobe, garment bags are a must, right? Julien’s Auctions will soon be offering one of them. If you flip-through-the-catalog, and check out Lot #1293, you will notice a Cartier bag which includes a black tag with former manager John Reid‘s address. Other highlights of the Icons and Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll Auction are ”Gold” and ”Platinum” record awards for Blue Moves and Elton John, and a couple of tour programmes signed by Elton and Bernie Taupin. The auction runs from 11 November through 13 November.

  • Since ”special guests”  are yet to be announced for the Elton John Band‘s final Dodger Stadium shows next month, tongues have been wagging about the possibilities. Britney Spears is among them. MT is hoping for appearances by notables who have joined Elton onstage over the years–or at least during his pair of 1975 concerts at the Los Angeles, California, stadium: perhaps Caleb Quaye, James Newton Howard, Kenny Passarelli, or Billie Jean King?
  • Meanwhile, reviews of Elton’s latest musical have been coming in, and the verdict is mixed.

A couple find Tammy Faye to be shallow, while another considers it to be ”great fun.” Most seem to think that Katie Brayben does well in the title role. One critic, Fiona Mountford, thinks the show is likely to be seen in other venues after its Almeida Theatre run (through 3 December in London, England), and that Elton and Jake Shears‘ songs are ”strong and catchy,” particularly the closer, See You in Heaven. Others, though, are not impressed with the tunes and don’t think Tammy Faye has anywhere else to go!

  • A select number of tickets for the 25th anniversary celebration of The Lion King on New York City’s Broadway will benefit the Entertainment Community Fund (which used to be called the Actors Fund).

The Minskoff Theatre event will be held on the 13th of November.

  • Two days prior, Flippers-Roller-Boogie-Palace will open in London, England. It’s the latest incarnation of the popular but short-lived hotspot visited by Elton and other celebrities. Just last year, a book called Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace 1979-1981 was published.

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