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11 May 2008

The Eltonite's Day: The Duet Interview about two of the greatest: & Lukesbox!!!!

This is a very special week for EltonJohnAllsongsList, that’s the “Duets” Week. Since Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, there always have been great duos performances: Cliff Richard & Olivia Newton-John, Bono & Luciano Pavarotti, George Michael & Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin & Michael McDonald, Rod Stewart & Tina Turner, David Bowie & Queen, Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond... an endless list. Elton has sang over 200 duets in his career and even did make a record of only duets. For this reason I have to bring on two very special guests for this Eltonite’s Day: Hi Sue, Hi Lukesbox.. Nice to “meet” you two and thank you very much for the acceptation, I am glad and happy to interview you..

But first... Could you tell us, please, who are you and where are you from?

Sue.Uk: I'm Sue I'm 46 and I'm from England

Lukesbox: I often wonder who I am! Being 50 years old has given me ample time to ponder that question. Do I answer that by what I do? If so then I am an emergency room physician. Or my family? If so I am married to a nurse and we have 5 children between us, ages 15-26 and a year old grandson. Or my passions? That would be music, writing, gardening, bird feeding, biking and running. So I guess I am all of those. I currently live in Minnesota, USA, which is in the northern part of the states just below Canada.

Ok!! When did you became an Eltonite? Remember the first time you heard Elton's music and what moves you to buy his music?

Lukesbox: About 1969 or 1970. I bought the Honkey Chateau album and was hooked. Bought every album prior and since. Learned to play the piano by listening to Elton's LP's and playing along on the piano, much to my parent's chagrin. I play by ear and my technique is very syncopated much like Elton's.

Sue.Uk: My older brother first introduced me to Elton's music he was abig fan and when our mum died when we were kids in 1973 I remember sitting with my brother in his room playing Elton's albums over and over thru our tear's,It got us through some very very sad dark times , Elton was there for me in his music in the worst time of my life and has also been there in the best times of my life too and for that I thank him ..his music shall always be very personal to me and be forever in my heart.

Nice. What was it like seeing Elton for the first time and how many concerts have you been? And also, could you tell us if you ever have been in touch with him, get a signed autograph or even, speak with him or with other member of his band?

Sue.Uk: Although I have been an Elton fan for many years the first time I got to see him play live wasnt until 1998 and I have since been to 9 concert's and in July he's playing my home town making it my 10th! I love the buzz of seeing and listening to him play live,he totally mesmerises me,I have seen many live performances by differant musicians but none that compares to Elton! :-)

Lukesbox: First concert was in 1973. Total number of concerts has been 55. Numerous autographs from the stage by Elton. Never met him personally though it is a life long dream. Have met all the current band members and have pictures and autographs with them.

Jesus!!! Luther, Which songs Elton should added to his current set list, that songs you thought you would never hear it live in yours 40 years of elton fan and, suddenly, he played it? And you Sue.Uk, your favourite songs to be on? And, for you, which member of the band is (or was) irreplaceable? Miss someone, now?

Lukesbox: Always wanted to hear Roy Rogers and finally heard it at Madison Square Garden. Would love to hear "All the Nasties" and "Skyline Pigeon" live. Also a medley of Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy along with The Captain and the Kid.

Sue.Uk: I love hearing Empty garden live,even though Elton always say's that he only ever plays that song in NYC, I have infact heard him play that live a couple of times here In England so Elton was fibbing ..haha
I think the great Dee Murry will always be missed and of course it just wouldnt be the same without Davey the long haired Scot up on stage ! and Nigel who BTW grew up a stones throw from me :-)

Great! Well, you know that’s the “Duets” week. Do you like duets, or prefer an Elton “Duet For One”? In that case, which song and which partner have Elton to duet with? Which Duet have not to be happened? Do you detested anyone?

Sue.Uk: I would always choose to hear Elton play alone but Its also nice to hear him duet with lots of differant styles of singers.I always loved his duet with George Michael "Dont let the sun go down" just for the way George introduces him mid song and the moment you hear Elton's voice you think WOW!

Lukesbox: Well I can't say I like "Duets" at all. "Duets for One" is ok but not in my top 100. The only songs that I like as a duet are "Written in the Stars" with Leann Rhymes which is not on the CD. I also like "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" with Kiki Dee.

What about Kiki Dee? Are you a Kiki Dee’s fan? Do you have her records?And, for extension, do you follow band member’s solo careers, for example Nigel as a singer, or Bernie singing his own songs, or Davey with Magna Carta?

Lukesbox: My only experience with Kiki Dee and her music is "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" with Elton. I don't follow her career. I also never followed the solo careers of Nigel, Bernie or Davey outside of their musical relationship with Elton.

Sue.Uk: I dont have any of Kiki Dee's record's apart from when she has dueted with Elton.I do have Bernie Taupin's farm Dogs albums and digest any info I can on his life and career as I have so much admiration for him.I am a lyric lover :-)

Perfect!! Elton was a big star in the U.S. in the 70s, and in the U.K. did well. While “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” was number 2 in the US, was number 16 in UK; while Elton had 7 consecutive number one albums in american charts, in the UK were only four? Other while, in the 90s Elton had number Top 5 in UK while in America they rarely enter the Top 10... Why that difference?

Sue.Uk: Well music in the 70's and 80's in America was rubbish and England already had so many great musicians so of course Eltons music stood out a mile across the pond and it wasnt until the 90's that Brit music went thru a rubbish patch so of course Eltons music stood out more here then ...ha ha just teasing :-)

Lukesbox: When Elton hit the states in the 70's it was almost like "Beatlemania" all over again. As long as there was an album out there by Elton, it was going to sell and sell big. In the 90's it took a long time for Elton to regain his popularity in the states. It never really started to take hold again until "The Lion King". Since then, Elton has regained his popularity but never like in the 70's when he was worshipped as a teenage idol.

Right! And which is your Elton's item that you really appreciate, for being hard to get or for the happiness you've got to have it? One of those in your eltonite room, Lukesbox for example... And you Sue.Uk, have got an eltonite museum room at home, like Luther?

Lukesbox: I've posted pictures of my study with numerous autographed items. My most cherished is the LP version of "The Captain and the Kid" which was signed by all of the band members and Elton on the same day. I also have a bigger than life picture of Elton in my living room which I won on the night Elton debuted "TCATK" at The Rose Garden. There were a lot of items to bid on for "Fashion Rocks" and I was lucky enough to win the picture. I'd love for him to autograph it someday but it is far to large to carry into a concert!

Sue.Uk: dont have an impressive Elton " Museum " on the scale of Luther's ,his collection is truly amazing ,but I do have quite anice collection consisting of all of Eltons studio albums,many bootlegs,most of the Elton books, tshirts,autographs,pictures and files of clippings and all the usual mugs,keychains,bobbleheads,ticketstubs,programmes ect ect as Im a great book lover I would love to own acopy of "A cradle to haloes" by Bernie Taupin and also "the complete lyrics".

Fabulous!! And finally, could you tell me your five favourite Elton's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList?

Sue.Uk: This is always a difficult question as there are so many favourites and you just want 5!..ok well these are some faves of mine.
Made In England, high flying bird,Empty Garden,Indian sunset and Levon.

Lukesbox: WOW, this is tough but I'll give it a go:
1. Skyline Pigeon
2. Your Song
3. Ticking
4. Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
5. The Captain and the Kid

Thank you very much. Would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or something you want to say to your other partner of the interview?

Lukesbox: This has been great although I had to write my answers in between patients in the ER. I can't wait to read Sue's replies. Thanks for allowing me to participate!

Sue.Uk: I would like to thank Luther for being my partner in this interview ,we are rather like two people sat in two rooms at the end of the world but hey it worked for Elton and Bernie,look how succesful they are :-) Thankyou for having us Miguel

You Sue, does your children like Elton? Have you bring them to an Elton show ever? Which was the first Elton’s song you played to them? Is “Steal Away Child” a good song for babies to go to sleep? And what do you think about Elton helping in young musicians career, as with Blue, Ronan Keating, James Blunt or Catherine Britt? Which song would you recommended to young people overdays?

Sue.Uk: My son (26) and daughter (20) both love music but prefer indie and techno ect which is fine by me as I would hate to think I had just brainwashed them with Elton music all thier lives but in july my daughter will be coming with me to see Elton in concert for the first time and shes really looking forward to it ,I have been to many concerts with her but it will be so wonderful for me to be able to sit with my beautiful,wonderful daughter and share with her the amazing Elton in concert ..It doesnt get much better than that..

Thank you very much Sue and Luther, really a worth experience this interview. Wow!!! It was a funny thing and my great priviledge to meet you two. An honour you share your time with AllSongsList. I have no words, to tell thank you is just a little thing, you deserved more. Take care and good luck.

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