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31 Aug 2008

Jack Rabbit In London (and IV)

I returned to the EJAF in 1997 but they changed their headquarter. That was not so long so, I went. I called and they opened the door. I meet a guy called Michael (can't remember the name). He was so gentle with me and asked me where I was from. He gave me a book, a signed picture of Elton, three cds (he had then "The Big Picture", not released when I was there, but told me he couldn't give it to me for obviously reasons), a subscription to the East End Lights Fanzine and when I asked him about Elton, he showed me Elton's office at the foundation: unbelievable!!! He had one jacket there, gold discs on the walls, paintings, ... wowww!!! A pity he wasn't there, he was in America. Me and Michael lost contact after two or three letters days on. Actually, I don't know if he still is in the Foundation working. I returned again in 2004, again in a new headquarter (see picture), and nobody could give any reference to Michael.

Rocket Pictures was the same headquarter than the Foundation, but there was a recepcion. It wasn't the same, because the recepcionist didn't let me to be there, unlike the other times.

Last station was Woodside. I went to Windsor, I did a picture as if I was Elton on the cover of "A Single Man" album, and I took the bus: west on Castle Hill toward Market St., then on the left on High Street, Kings Road, bear A308/Albert Rd until Straight Road. Half an hour until I arrived at destination, as the bus driver said to me: Bells Of Ouzeley Pub and then on foot.
But between here and Woodside should be about another half an hour walking and it was mid afternoon. I wasn't sure the bus driver said the best option for me. So I was a bit disappointed. On the left there was a park, with boats, and people strolling around. I met a gentle person, one man called John who gave me the correct direction to go to Woodside. My surprise was when he offered me to drive by car. I inmediatily said "yes". So, we went. We turned right at B3021/St Luke's Rd, continue toward St. Luke's Rd and, finally, Crimp Hill Road, and Woodside.

It was incredible. I had seen so many pictures of eltonites like me, and their pictures in front of Elton's house, and finally I had mine. John told me he met Elton one time and he remembered when Elton was in town walking and people didn't recognize him because he didn't wear glasses. I wanted to pay the trip to him but he didn't accept it, because he thought he spent great time chatting with me. Whenever you are now, John, God bless you!!!

30 Aug 2008

Jack Rabbit In London (III)

"Hammersmith. That's it!. Walking around until I find EJAF". I was surprised for the type of old house building. A moment of doubt but finally, I was inside the Foundation.
A man, James Locke, came to help me and told me what I need. "Oh, I have to confess. I have not AIDS, fortunetely, but I am a big fan of Elton. If you don't mind to give me some brochure or something like that". He smiled and gave me a book about the Foundation. He told me Elton's a great boss but wasn't there at the moment. After chating a while, I wish them good luck in their projects and left the house. Next station: Pinner and Watford. A long run only to take a picture where Elton lived in his childhood and the stadium that saw him as a president of a Football Club. A T-shirt, some pictures and came back to the hotel. I was so sad when I left London behind that I felt I have to come back again.

And so I did, one year later. Augoust 1997. Second day, at the hotel, in the morning I put on the TV and saw the terrible new: Elton's friend, Princess Diana, died on a car accident in Paris. It's true that the whole country was in a shock.
Elton entered serious to Wesminster Abbey and did a superb performance. It was so emotional and I could see people crying while "Candle In The Wind" was on the air.

25 Aug 2008

Jack Rabbit In The Big City (II)

Picadilly Circus was a little bit disappointing for me. Maybe I was influenced by typical postcards of the place: the neon lights, the punkies... But when I arrived there, the neon lights were as big as I thought and I coudn't find any punky. But I found something I really like: that was "The Rock Circus". Oh, I've got to go there, there could be Elton. Rock music with its intense vitality and astonishing diversity was there alive and... rocking. And Elton was there: his wax figure, of course. I sat at the piano with him, and it was "bbbb... benny and the jets". Funny enough!!!

After that, the next two days were tourism: the Tower of London, the Bridge Tower, St. Paul's Cathedral, National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery (with a nice picture of Elton too) and long walk to Hyde Park and St. James' Park. I saw squirrels, yes, but anyone stole my food, no. And Madame Tussaud Wax Museum: too many people out there, waiting to enter, and a bit expensive ticket. And no Elton there. "Elton's only in Rock Circus" told me the watchman.

Next time had to be Elton's Tour. And it was. I went to Lancaster Grill, near New Oxford Street 71-75, round the corner, to take a cup of coffee like Elton & Bernie did some day. New Oxford Street, where it was Dick James Studios, there was only the old building, nothing else. Round the corner, in a bar, I saw some figure that looked like Elton's mum. But that was my imagination, she couldn't be Sheila Farebrother. 101 Wardour Street, where it had to be Rocket Records Company, there was nothing, only the building again.

"Where I could go now?" I said to me. "Ok! Let's go to Elton John AIDS Foundation" and to Pinner and Watford, trying to find Elton's roots..."

To Be Continued Tomorrow

4 Aug 2008

Jack Rabbit In London (I): The Elton John Tour

The first episode begin with a dream came true: I visited London for first time. It was 1996. Only me. Well, with an old suitcase. And some money. I told goodbye at home, "you can book my room" I said to them. I wanted to live an adventure, in the big city. Travellin' from Spain, arriving in London and... what was presented.

I wrote in a book every Elton John adress because I wanted to do what I called the Elton John Tour. Some clothes, money and little more. A lot of illusion, yes.

I arrived in London on 8th july 1996, it was monday. I kissed the floor when I went off the plane. I was there. I took the subway and bring a site on the panel, the most central possible. Bayswater... well, that's fine!!! Near Hyde Park. Not an expensive hotel. Royal Bayswater Hotel, Queensway. I thought: "Let's gonna practice my english". Wow!!! It was difficult to speak the language. One thing was being in english class, other thing speaking fluently in the city. They didn't understood me. Only I had to say: "I wanted a room". When I began speaking in english, he answered me in spanish. "Hell! I may do it very badly. But... How he knows I am... spanish?"

A shower, the camera and my daily travel. First objective: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Houses Of Parliement and Westminster Abbey. "Oh!!! That's Beatiful. There are many guards, and closed streets. Who comes?" It was Nelson Mandela, who visited the Queen in Buckingham Palace. Some pictures... "Well, go to Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus".

1 Aug 2008

Elton In Advertising: Some Of The Campaings

Elton's TV commercials:
In 1994 Elton recorded Edith Piaff’s classic “La Vie En Rose” for a french TV commercial promoting Cartier.

Elton has also appeared in TV ads for Sasson Jeans (1984), Cadbury Chocolates (1985-86) and the state of Georgia (1995). The clothes company sponsored Elton’s 1984 American Tour after he and Taupin approached Sasson with the idea for the ad. The slogan became “Sasson Say So Much”. Rimmel cosmetics used the “your eyes” verse from “Your Song”.

Elton's Radio Commercials:
Among his radio recommendations: Greenwich Village’s The Pink Pussycat Boutique (1976), specializing in sex toys.

Print Ads:
Elton has supported Roland Pianos, Pioneer, Ebony Menswear, and Chess King Men’s Stores.

Elton's Tour sponsors:
Space Montain (1995), Citibank (1998), Revlon (1992) and Diet Coke (1990).

1979 was the beginning of many Versace fashion campaigns by Avedon. One of the seasons included Elton, posing in various sensual postures.

Elton made for the Ronald McDonald Children's charities a gift cd, including 10 tracks: Take Me To The Pilot, Burn Down The Mission, Friends, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, Madman Across The Water, Tiny Dancer, Honky Cat, Crocodile Rock, Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, and Levon.

1995 appearance VISA Gold. With the collaboration of MBNA America Bank to raise funds for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Viva Glam IV, a frosted rose and gold shimmer lipstick, was introduced with Mary J. Blige, Shirley Manson and Elton John in 2002. Every cent of the selling price of MAC’s Viva Glam VI was donated to the MACAIDS Fund to support men, women and children affected with HIV and AIDS.

To celebrate the first time Elton John has ever played the state of Vermont, native ice cream kings Ben & Jerry have concocted a new flavor dedicated to John called “Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road,” with all proceeds benefitting the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The ice cream is described as “an outrageous symphony of decadent chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough, butter brickle and white chocolate chunks.” We assumed “brickle” was just a made-up word to make a punny tie between the ice cream and John’s hit “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” but butter brickle is actually the stuff that Heath Bars are made of. “Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road” will be saying goodbye sooner rather than later, however, as the limited edition flavor will only be available in B&J’s Vermont Scoop Shops from July 18-25.

Other campaings:

Airtrain Airways, one of America’s largest low-fare airlines, and XM Satellite Radio, a number one american satellite radio service, celebrated the official roll out service on its flights, with a world-class audio entertainment service. Elton unveiled a commemorative aircraft livery that adorned a select number of planes.

Royal Mail Advert oversaw a number of innovative campaigns to raise the company's profile, one of those included the Christmas advertisements featuring Elton John (yes, the man that thought internet should be closed) on a PC computer demanding a surprising product.

God Milk? Their ads would typically feature people in various situations involving dry or sticky foods and treats such as peanut butter. The person then finds himself in an uncomfortable situation due to a full mouth and no milk to wash it down. At the end of the commercial the character would look sadly to the camera and boldly displayed would be the words, "Got Milk?". Elton wore too a milk mustache for the got milk/Milk Mustache campaign. The singer donated his fee for the ad to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The ad featuring Sir Elton debuts in the December 25 issue of Time magazine, hitting newsstands December 18.