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15 Nov 2008

The Eltonite's Day (XLII): One of the greatest eltonites of the world... Mário Marinato

This Sunday we have an special guest. He's from the country we have been talking this week, of course. And he's one of the greatest. He's thoughts, he's comments about Elton, cleverly constructed and interestingly explained: Mário Marinato. Welcome to allsongslist and thank you for the acceptation.

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

I'm Mario Marinato, from a city called Cachoeiras de Macacu, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. I'm a systems analyst and writer, having already published two books. I'm 28 years old, just married and, inspired by Elton John's work, I'm studying to play the keyboard.

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

It all started when I first saw the movie The Lion King, two years after its first release. By that time I was 16. I loved the songs and when I discovered that there was a soundtrack available to be bought, I got my copy as soon as I could. When I took the cd to my job, a coworker said he had an Elton John album at home: it was the Love Songs compilation, from 1995. We listened to it and I enjoyed it so much that I bought this one too. A few weeks later the same guy borrowed another Elton John album from a friend: this time it was The Very Vest of Elton John, from 1990, which I enjoyed even more and bought it too! A few months later The Big Picture was released and then I grabbed my copy. Until today, it remains as one of my favorite albums.

In 1997, inspired by the sad happening with Diana and the huge success of the Candle in Wind 1997 single, a Brazilian TV channel aired two special programs showing dozens of Elton's clips, which, of course, I watched. Then, there were two clips that really thrilled me: the first one was Believe, because that was a song that I liked when it was released but I never cared about who sung it. The other one was the Your Song version from the 1986's Australian Tour. I really loved the way Elton John changed the song on the last verses and I knew that I had to watch the complete concert. A couple of months later I managed to watch the full video from that show and then I realized that Elton John was the thing I wanted to hear for the rest of my life.

Since then, my love and admiral for his work have only increased. I think he's a great pianist, musician, singer, showman and composer. There's no other artist whose songs move me so much. He's got so many albums, so many songs, and I rarely dislike one of them. I like listening even to Victim of Love, which is an album many people regard as his worst.

Wow!!! 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?

Well, in fact there are two things that make me happy to have: the first one is my The Lion King Soundtrack album. I really love it and I would never lend it to anyone. The other one is the deluxe box of the Elton 60 DVD, which I bought from Amazon.com, because here in Brazil only a simple version of it was released. It was expensive but it was worth each cent I paid.

Oh, What could we find in your great website about Elton, on www.therocketman.hpg.com.br?

In my website you can find a biography, lyrics from all of his albums, some pictures and the translations of the booklets that come with the albums. It hasn't been updated since 2002, because I had some changes in my life and could not work on it anymore. Anyway, I have plans to make a huge update on it, with a clearer and lighter look, new technology, and even move it to a new address.

We expected to. Right. What was it like seeing Elton for the first time and how many concerts have you been? Have you even been front row?

Seeing Elton for the first time? Oh, God, I could never see him live! The first time he came to Brazil was on 1995, when I didn't knew who was he (and even if I knew, I was too young to attend it). Fortunately, there are two shows scheduled to take place here in Brazil next January, and my ticket for the show at Rio de Janeiro is already bought! As there are no seats and the ones who arrive first get the best places, I'll try to get there early, and be as near as possible to the stage. If you manage to see any videos from the show, look for a Brazilian flag: that might be me! That will really be a dream coming true and I can't tell you how excited and anxious I am.

You'll gonna enjoy it, of course!!! What is like being an eltonite in your country? Which are the brazilians preferences in music and which is Elton's place there?

When it comes to buying albums, it's really hard, because his old albums are not in catalogue here. If you want, for example, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road or Caribou, you have to buy it second hand or import it. In the last few years, as internet usage grew here, and sites such as Orkut spread, I was able to meet many good friends and share opinions and stories, which is something really great.

Talking about Brazilian musical taste, I think that, in overall, it's decreasing. The quality of the music being played on radio and TV programs is usually poor, musically and lyrically speaking. Artists like Elton John, Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli are losing their space year after year. Many people see them as old-fashioned and bad music.

Just to give you an example, Elton's last studio album, The Captain & The Kid, had only 5000 copies released! On the radios that still play his songs, you usually hear only the same seven or eight songs: Skyline Pigeon, You Gotta Love Someone, Rocket Man, Sacrifice, I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Little Jeannie and Nikita. I really wish they played some of his newer songs, like Tinderbox, Original Sin or I Can't Keep This From You.

I see... Elton had such success in Brazil between 1972-1975 and his singles reached the charts. "Skyline Pigeon", "The Ballad Of Danny Bailey (1909-34)", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "One Day At A Time"... had great success in the music charts... and there are nice collectibles releases, specially Eps or special editions of standard albums, in Brazil. Which collection of Elton you recommended and how could you value Elton's success in Brazil, although he didn't played there ver often, unfortunately?

Back in the seventies and eighties, there were some special releases, specially compilations. There's this album, named The Art of Elton John, that included even some not-so-famous records, like Chameleon, Donner Pour Donner and I Heard it Through the Gravepine. But recently we have had no special editions. Some of his most recent albums I imported because the special editions were not released here: Songs From the West Coast, Greatest Hits 1970-2002 and Peachtree Road. That's exactly what I'll do with the Red Piano DVD, because its Brazilian edition will not include the bonus CD.

There are two recent collections that I recommend to someone who wishes to buy an Elton John album: the first one is Greatest Hits 1970-2002, which includes most of his best songs. The other one is The Rocket Man, his last album, which had a Brazilian-specific edition, and includes Skyline Pigeon, his hugest hit here.

As his record company does not promotes him here, many people think he's already dead! Others ask me if he's that kind of artist who plays only one or two shows a year. I hope that after his shows in January people will pay more attention to him and more of his music get played by radio stations.

We hope so!!! Recently we knew about Elton's new projects for the following year, and it was a surprise to see ho much Elton is in form, preparing concerts with Orchestra, with Billy Joel or Ray Cooper, and, although we couldn't expect it, he was again thinking about releasing a new album... What kind of album could you expect and what kind of shows he should give, including the format of the show and the most-wanted set list?

I'd love to have a rock album. Listen to what he did with Ann Wilson on the new version of Where To Now, St. Peter? and you will know how hard he can go. What about another album like 17-11-70? I would love to hear songs like The Wasteland, I'm Still Standing and Love is a Cannibal played by a bass-drums-piano band.

If I was able to create a set list to a "17-11-70-like-show", I would include many of his rock songs: The Wasteland, I'm Still Standing, The Bitch is Back, 16th Century Man, Pain, Street Kids, Grey Seal, Lady Samantha, January, Levon, Crocodile Rock, Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting, I Just Can't Wait to Be King, Hard Luck Story, Meal Ticket, Pinball Wizard and, of course, Love Lies Bleeding / Funeral for a Friend.

That would be a great set-list, certainly... Looking back the years, Elton and Bernie affronted different genres of music, from pure pop, to classic rock, country, reggae or disco... Which could be the secret of their worldwide success, because they made a classic song most every year? What part of Bernie is on Elton's success?

I will never be able to explain what's their secret. That's one of the things that happen once in a lifetime: it just happens and you have to be thankful to be able to hear what comes from it. It's incredible how they can make a tune out of nothing, in a couple of minutes, and when you hear it you know that it's memorable.

Even though most people does not even know that Bernie exists, he surely plays an important role in this story. For those who are fortunate and can understand the lyrics, it's really great to grab Bernie's hand and travel to all those imaginary worlds he takes you to. Indian Sunset, Ticking and Turn the Lights Out When You Leave are some of the best examples of his incredible creativity. As a writer, I really appreciate what Bernie can do with words, even though sometimes I can't figure out what he wanted to say (The Emperor New Clothes and The One are good examples of it).

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

As everyone says, it's a bit hard, but here they are:

1 - Circle of Life
2 - Believe
3 - Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
4 - I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That
5 - Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Thank you very much. Would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or something you want to say to other eltonites?

One last thing I want to add is that I really enjoy your blog! I love reading the interviews and the stories about the albums and songs. It was a great pleasure to be interviewed for the Eltonite Day. Keep rocking!

Oh! It was my pleasure to have you, and I am glad you like my blog. Thank you very much for your kind words, specially for being here and enjoy your first Elton's show, Mário. Really I had an enjoyable time shared with you. Take care.

1 comment:

Thiago said...

WTF!

Mário's becoming famous in this "EJ world"...

=]