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31 Jan 2009

Ladies & Gentlemen: The Fantastic... Patty Perrin!!!

I do like to make interviews with Elton’s current or past members, there will be more, in fact. But it’s special for me those interviews with the eltonites, on what I called the “Eltonite’s Day”. All of we are like a big family. We known each other through the forums or the msbs. I still remember when I began writing articles for what it was, and still is, one of my favourite eltonsites. The person next to me, along with Rocket Baby, gave me free hand to write about I wanted and they believe in me. And I really love those times. So, let me stand up and welcome one of my favourite people, one of my favourite friends... please, an applause for... Patty Perrin.

Hello Patty, thank you very much for the acceptation, it’s an honour to have you here, with me. But first of all… Could you tell us, more, who are you and where are you from?

Well, I'm a profesional actreess and writer, and I had born in Mexico City, where I still live.

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

Yes, I was a teenager when a very close friend of mine (Javier Zavala) was listening the Elton's cover to "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds". I was amazed with the result, so I asked him who was the singer and he told me: Oh, Elton John and then he showed me his record photo and a discovered a funny man wearing a hat, platform silver shoes and huge glasses, and since that moment I became is fan because I was trapped by his talent and sense of humour.

Perfect! 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? Have ever exchanged words with him?

The first time I saw him in concert was at the Azteca Stadium (also the first time he ever pefrormed in my country) and I just couldn't believe he was here. By the moment he played "The One" I really felt my heart bumping so fast that I thought it would get out of my chest, haha... Later, in 2001, Elton return to Mexico and I got the chance to be at other 3 more concerts at the Auditorio Nacional. That year I was very fortunate because I was present at his press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel where I finally met him and even asked him a couple of questions. By that time, I was very in touch with a Radio Station (Radio 590 La Pantera) and they asked me to represent them at that event. I could discovered that Elton is a very friendly and simple man. It was a great experience, believe me!

Sure!! How it was Elton’s reception on last show, in México City? Which was the press reaction and review of this show?

His last time in Mexico was in 2001 when he made a special concert at the Castillo de Chapultepec in benefit of the "Vamos Mexico" Foundation and then he performed 3 more shows at the Auditorio Nacional. The four concerts were sold out and the third one was recorded by the mexican TV cable station "Sky". Everybody was amazed with his playing piano ability and his energy. All the press was present and the reviews were fantastic.

Which could be a great set list, in your opinion? Is there any song that Elton hasn’t played yet, and you think that he should do it? And you prefer the Elton’s solo tours or better with band? With the same musicians as his current band or you miss someone of the past?

Well, Elton uses to play his hits because there are the songs everybody knows and like, but as a fan, I do prefer to hear less popular songs. I LOVE songs such as "Skyline Pidgeon", "Social Disease", "Blessed", "I Think I'm Going to Kill
myself", "Writing", "We All Fall in Love Sometimes", "I Feel Like a Bullet", "Harmony", "Tonight", "Little Jeannie", "Chloe", "Cry to Heaven", "Soul Glove", "Gipsy Heart", "Whispers", "The North", "Without Question", "The Wasteland", "They Call her the Cat" and "And the House Fell Down" just to mention some of them, but it is pretty hard to hear them at concert, specially in Mexico where the radio stations just include Elton's hits, that's the problem... And hearing Elton is always a pleasure. In his solo concerts you can appreciate him a lot as a musician, but when he plays with his band, the energy is incredible. I like both, but if I have to choose, then I say with the band because Davey, Nigel, Bob, Guy and John are also wonderful. And I have to say I miss Dee Murray (as everybody I think) and I'm also "musically in love" with Ray Cooper.... he is so talented!

Right! 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?

To be honest, I do not own anything really special. I was very hopeful to obtain one of his autographs when we came to Mexico but I wasn't lucky enough, haha... So, I could say that my favorite items are the receipts that the Elton John AIDS Foundation send me yearly because of the Lunch Around the World events I host in Mexico City. The letters include a Robert Key signature and also the list of the famous persons involved with the Foundation including Elton (of course), David Furnish, Sting, Donatella Versace, Billie Jean-King and George Michael between others. Everytime I see those letters I feel really happy and proud about this benefit activity.

Ok! Elton had great success in Mexico and his singles reached the charts. “Crocodile Rock”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, “Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy”, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”... Have you got any notice about more chart results? Any mexican compilation or recording on Elton to remark?

Well it's sad to say but in my country you can notice the success of a recording depending if it is also selled by an ilegal way (here we call that "Piratería") and I had seen the "Elton John Greatest Hits 1970-2002" several times, so that means something...

And now? Does radio still playing Elton’s hits?

Unfortunately, there are just a couple of radio stations that cares about that kind of music, so it's not very common to hear Elton. And when you are lucky enough, you can't hear anything else than "Your Song", "Don't Go Breaking my Heart", "Crocodile Rock", "Honky Cat", "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word", and a few more. It's a better idea if you want to hear him to check it out at the music TV channels of Sky (a cable company), that includes Hits of the 70's, 80's, 90's and Contemporary Adult. But in this case I recommend better to buy his recordings.

eltonjohnmexico is surely one of the best eltonsites in spanish language. What eltonites could find in your website? Now you moved to facebook...

Yes, we had to because the msn websites won't be available anymore. I hope that Facebook could bring more fans in touch and my idea is to make it more interactive so everybody could participate publishing news, photos, videos or whatever they want. Unfortunately, I have a lot of work and sometimes it is not too easy for me to update the site, but everytime I have the chance I do it. Elton John México was created in June 20, 2001 because there are a lot of mexican and latin fans which don't speak English so that was something missing there and I thought it was a good idea to help them in that way. Here we try to focus Elton in our latin vision and I think this makes a difference in the web.

And how it was the Lunch Around The World last celebration? What consisted the event and how you prepare it? And there will be more events, then?

Our last event was finished in March 2008, and we were able to donate around 58,000 mexican pesos (that means around 5,800 dollars) to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. I have the permanent and incredible support of a theater professional company ("La Dama de Negro") which allows me to collect money with the audience who goes to see the play, so between every April and the next March, we are able to send more money to the Foundation. This is the way we are doing it, so at the end of this March we will send more funds. That is how it works every year.

Great!!! Would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or something you want to say to other eltonites?

To keep rocking with Elton!... And if someone is rich enough to see him in concert next January 30 at the Colegio Las Vizcaínas in Mexico City, please send us your report (each ticket concert will cost 9,000 pesos, around 900 dollars) so only the healthy mexican people could get there...but we will see him somewhere else, I swear!... Thanks Miquel... You're amazing!...

Finally, could you tell me your five favourite Elton John's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList, please?


But let me see:

1) Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
2) The One
3) Cry to Heaven
4) Blessed
5) Skyline Pidgeon

(Between A LOT OF THEM...)

Thanks a bunch, Patty. Really a pleasure to chat with you. I get funny doing this interview with you, it was an enjoyable and worth experience for me.Thank you very much. Take care.

Thank YOU Miquel... Congratulations for your work and loyalty to Sir Elton!

You're welcome!!

Elton Tourin' Mexico: The Statistics

Elton John has done 7 concerts live in México while on Tour.

He has been in México City D.F. all seven times.

Elton's favourite place is Auditorio Nacional(3), Azteca Stadium (2) and finally Chapultepec Castle and Exconvento de las Vizcaínas (1).

First time he played in México was on November 1992 on "The One Tour" (2 shows). Then it was "Songs From The West Coast Tour" (4, one a benefit concert for "Vamos México Foundation) and recent "Rocket Man Tour" (1).

The largest set list was the 10/23/01 show, on Songs From The West Coast Tour, with 28 songs and the shortest the "Vamos México Benefit" with only 20 songs on the set list.

He has played 43 different songs in México while on Tour.

The songs most played are Daniel, Don't let the sun go down on me, I guess that's why they call it the blues, I'm still standing, Rocket man, Sorry seems to be the hardest word, Tiny dancer, Your song, 7 times.

Then it comes: Mona lisas and mad hatters (6), Philadelphia freedom (6), Sacrifice (6), The one (6), Bennie and the jets (5), Candle in the wind (5), Crocodile rock (5), Funeral for a friend / Love lies bleeding (5), Blue eyes (4), Take me to the pilot (4) and The greatest discovery (4).

Follows: Ballad of the boy in the red shoes (3), Honky cat (3), I want love (3), Nikita (3), Sad songs (say so much) (3), Saturday night's alright (3), Someone saved my life tonight (3), The bitch is back (3), The wasteland (3) and This train don't stop there anymore (3).

And the rest: All the girls love Alice, Blue avenue, Burn down the mission, Holiday inn, Levon, Mona lisas and mad hatters part two, Simple life, Song for guy, The last song, The show must go on, Believe, Can you feel the love tonight, Goodbye yellow brick road, Madman Across the Water.

28 Jan 2009

Ladies & Gentlemen: the EltonJohnAllSongsList doors are wide open today to receive one of the greatest talented musicians of the world...

Yes, I am so proud to have an incredible musician here, in the site. He plays percussion, drumms, sings... he's so complete. Please, eltonites, get up, stand up to receive the fantastic, the incredible, the phenomenon... from Ohio... the greatest John Mahon!!!!

Welcome to Elton John AllSongsList blogsite, John. Thank you very much for the acceptation and for being here. I knew you were very busy but you didn't care about sharing some of your short off time to be with eltonites. I want to thank you for that, because all we are specially happy to be in touch with you... Let's start, then, with the questionaire asking...

At what age did you decide you wanted to become a musician? And why the percussion? You also play the piano and guitar, do you?

I started playing drums at age 12 or 13. My father took me to join the Police Boys Club Drum and Bugle corp and I had to pick between trumpet or brainer there! Then I joined the school band, concert and marching - played the bass drum - it was the coolest cause you are the tempo keeper. The driver so to speak.

Great!!! What were your musical influences? You have been in Marching Band, Orchestra, Jazz band and the Choir...

Some of my main influences were bands like The Doors, Zeppelin, CSNY and Elton too - then I started digging horn bands like Chicago & BST. My brother played sax in a soul band and that turned me onto lots of R&B. I was playing alot of funk and R&B with bands, then I got turned onto jazz and things changed. I became more serious by studying and taking music lessons of all kinds. I play just a little piano and guitar - some chords - I could not do a dinner set!!

hahaha Vocals, drums, percussion, songwriter, producer, groove and beat maker... an endless list for a versatile man like you... You featured with Al Stewart and Peter White, composed soundtrack albums for Wild Whirled Music and even a commercial for Ray Charles. What about those experiences, John?

All those early musical experiences and influences made it the perfect transition to what I do - which really is rhythm based. When song writing and producing someone needs to lead the way in the beat department - I like that role!

I know when something has a pocket or just feels right. And I learned so much about lyrics by listening to the best - Bernie for example.

Yes, the greatest Bernie!!! How you got involved with Elton and how you ended up recording and touring with him? And have you been an Elton fan before?

I got involved with Elton by recording vocal tracks for Davey and Guy. I was playing with Three Dog Night's Chuck Negron at the time but was always doing other projects on the side. That led to an audition, rehearsals in Nice, and my first show in Germany. I have always been an Elton fan - mostly the Madman record. My friend had the songbook and we would sit at the piano in this little bar in Harrisburg Ohio - Woodies - and sing those songs.

Thank you AnnaBCN for your picture... Elton is known for his interest in the music chart successes of his albums and singles. Is that so? Does he follows the charts every week? Do you know if Elton's has a diary of his concerts or set lists?

I think Elton mostly follows the record charts to see what is new. Elton has an incredible memory. He remembers every show he has played and definitely keeps a daily diary of his life. The set lists are saved and stored away so in effect he does have them too.

Wow!!! What could you explain about Elton’s future concerts, through 2009? There will be a new album, then? I read some collaboration with Billy Joel and a new album with Mark Ronson...

Honestly I do not know anything other than the Billy Joel tour, more Red Piano and possibly some new recording but I don't know with whom.

Brigitte, "your best french fan", would like to ask you the following question: “Would like to do a duet with Elton, only piano, vocals and percussions, not in the Ray Cooper way, it could be more like a duet, with your backing vocals, like you did for Roy Rogers at the 60 birthday... Do you enjoy this kind of stuff? And when you will do your own album? You have already a buyer!”

I'd love to do a duet with Elton - who wouldn't!!??

Apart from music, which are your interests? What you like to do with your off time?

In my off time I write music, mess with photography, cycle, do a little home improvement, go to the movies, walk my dog and even play video games.

Finally, could you tell me your five favourite Elton John’s songs in running order, for my AllSongsList, please?

My favorite EJ songs.... tough one...
Levon, Harmony, Captain Fantastic, Madman Across the Wa'er, Believe, All That I'm Allowed. Oops that was 6.

hahahaha thank you anyway, John... Oh, I like your website, that’s on What could eltonites find there?

I'm sorry but I have not done an update on my website for a while. I have a hard time doing it on the road because we move so often - cannot really leave the computer hooked up and every hotel is a new experience at getting online! But please keep checking - i'll get some new pics up there soon!!

I will leave you with some facts from 2008. I did 117 shows, 238 days on the road and about 65 flights. Still sound glamorous?

Hahahaha yes, it sounds!!!! Thank you very much, John. I feel so priviledge to have a current musician of Elton's band, specially you. I could not imagine Elton's band without John Mahon so, please... keep it on. I wish you all the best!!!

All The Best.

Oh... I would like to surprise you, John. You've been so kind with me, though I thought about inviting some people, you know very well, whom kindly wrote me some words for you... So, with my best intentions, here you have it:

Chuck Negron (formely from Three Dog Night Band): "John Mahon was a pleasure to work with and travel with. He always had an up beat personality and smile for you! I remember a show in Guam where the stage had a mountain like back drop which John climed to the top of it, not missing a beat of his percussion! The audience loved it, as I did! I enjoy a good entertainer, and John was one!"

Curt Bisquera (Drummer): "John is a sweetheart of a guy... plays excellent drums and percussion and sings his butt off!!! He's got that mid-west groove thing happening... he's a singers' dream... just ask Elton!"

27 Jan 2009

Famous Mexican Eltonites

Salma Hayek was born on September 2, 1966 in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. She's the daughter of Diana Jiménez, an opera singer and Sami Hayek, an oil company executive. Hayek's father is of Lebanese descent while her mother is of Spanish descent, and the first given name is an Arabic name that means "peace" or "calm".

At the age of 23, Hayek landed the title role in Teresa (1989), a successful Mexican telenovela that made her a star in Mexico. Salma Hayek was Lola in "Living It Up" (2000), a Mexican waitress who befriends Martin, a young, free-spending millionaire. The film included one of Elton's original songs: “Don't go breaking my heart”, covered by Carita.

Hayek is the first Mexican national to be nominated for a Academy Award for Best Actress. Salma become active with amFAR (Foundation for AIDS Research) in 2005. Later in 2008 Salma became a co-chairs and took part in an auction suppoting amFAR. Along with Penélope Cruz, at the Cannes Film Festival, they both "stopped me and asked if they could be bridesmaids (for Elton and David's Wedding)", Furnish explained; but they weren't.

Vicente Fox was born in Mexico City, July 2, 1942. Vicente studied Business Administration at the Mexico City campus of the Ibero-American University. He went on to study for a Diploma in Upper Management, taught by professors from Harvard University Business School. In 1964, he joined Coca-Cola de México as a route supervisor and, while riding aboard a delivery truck, he had the opportunity of traveling almost 2,500 routes, some of which led to most isolated places in Mexico.

With his accumulated experience, he decided to return to Guanajuato to participate actively in business, politics, society, and education, to improve life in his state. In 1991 he ran in the election for governor of the state of Guanajuato. In 1995, he stood again, this time in the extraordinary elections for governor, and won by a significant majority.

President's wife, Martha Sahagún, founded a national philanthropic organization named Vamos México (“Let’s go, Mexico!”), in September 2001. Its first fund drive counted with the help of an Elton John concert at Castillo de Chapultepec in Mexico City.

23 Jan 2009

Elton Tourin' Argentina: The Statistics

Elton John has done 3 concerts live in Argentina while on Tour.

He has been in Buenos Aires all the three times.

Elton's favourite place is River Plate Stadium (2) and finally also Boca Juniors Stadium (1).

First time he played in Argentina was on November 1992 on "The One Tour" (1 show). Then it was "Made In England Tour" (1) and recent "Rocket Man Tour" (1).

The largest set list was the last show precisely with 24 songs and the shortest the "The One Tour" with only 21 songs on the set list.

He has played 39 different songs in Argentina while on Tour.

The songs most played are Daniel, Don't let the sun go down on me, I guess that's why they call it the blues, I'm still standing and Saturday night's alright, 3 times.

Then it comes: Believe, Bennie and the jets, Can you feel the love tonight, Candle in the wind, Funeral for a friend / Love lies bleeding, Honky cat, I don't wanna go on with you like that, Philadelphia freedom, Rocket man, Sacrifice, Sad songs (say so much), Simple life, Sorry seems to be the hardest word, Take me to the pilot, The bitch is back, The one, Tiny dancer and Your song (2).

And the rest: All the girls love Alice, Blessed, Blue avenue, Burn down the mission, Crocodile rock, Goodbye yellow brick road, Levon, Made in England, Madman Across the Water, Mona lisas and mad hatters, Mona lisas and mad hatters part two, Pain, Someone saved my life tonight, Song for guy, The last song, The show must go on.

20 Jan 2009

Famous Argentinan Eltonites

Gabriella Beatriz Sabatini was born on May 16, 1970, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She started playing tennis at the age of 6, and won her first tournament at age 8. In 1983, age 13, she became the youngest player to win the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. She was one of the leading players on the women's circuit in the late-1980s and early-1990s. She won the women's singles title at the US Open in 1990, the women's doubles title at Wimbledon in 1988, and a silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games. She explained she likes "the ballads of Celine Dion and Elton John, and to sing, by myself or with friends".

Carlos Alberto "Charly" García Moreno was born on October 23, 1951. Charly began to show musical talent at an early age. At three, he received a toy piano as a gift, and soon he surprised his mother with his ability to compose and play coherent melodies. In high school he met Carlos Alberto "Nito" Mestre and the two fused their bands to give birth to Sui Generis. In 1972, Sui Generis released its first LP, Vida, which quickly became popular among Argentinian teenagers. After the band disbanded, he formed Serú Girán, what was dubbed "The Argentinian Beatles", where Charly began to receive recognition as a great artist. Charly García debuted as a soloist with a double LP, Pubis Angelical ("Angelical Pubis", in 1982. In 2000, Charly and Nito Mestre decided to bring Sui Generis back to life.

17 Jan 2009

Elton Tourin' New Zealand: the Statistics

Elton John has done 16 concerts live in New Zealand while on Tour.

He has been in Auckland (9 times), Wellington (4), Christchurch (2) and 1 time in New Plymouth.

Elton's favourite place is Athletic Park, Wellington and Western Springs Stadium, Auckland (3 times each). Then Addington Showgrounds, Christchurch (2), Ericsson Stadium, Auckland (2), Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland (2), and finally, Mount Stadium, Auckland; New Vector Arena, Auckland; TSB Bowl Of Brooklands, New Plymouth and Westpac Stadium, Wellington (1).

First time he played in New Zealand was on February 1974, in Auckland, on The "Yellow Brick Road Tour" (1 show). Then it was "1980 Down Under Tour" (2), "Jump Up! Down Under Tour"(2), "Too Low For Zero Tour" (3), "1989/90 World Tour" (2), "The One Tour" (1), Face To Face 1998 Tour With Billy Joel" (2) and finally "Captain And The Kid Tour", "Elton John Solo Tour" and "Rocket Man Tour" (1).

The largest set list was the "Elton John & Billy Joel's Face To Face Tour" with 43 songs and the shortest the "Yellow Brick Road Tour" with only 18 songs on the set list.

He has played 97 different songs in New Zealand while on Tour.

The song most played is Your song, 16 times.

Then it comes: Bennie and the jets (15), Rocket man (15), Saturday night's alright (15), Philadelphia freedom (13), Candle in the wind (12), Don't let the sun go down on me (12), Goodbye yellow brick road (12), I guess that's why they call it the blues (11), Sorry seems to be the hardest word (11), Tiny dancer (11), Daniel (10), Funeral for a friend / Love lies bleeding (10).

Follows: I'm still standing (9), The bitch is back (9), Blue eyes (8), Crocodile rock (8), Pinball wizard (8), Song for guy (8), Sacrifice (6), Someone saved my life tonight (6), Take me to the pilot (6), Honky cat (5), I don't wanna go on with you like that (5), Island girl (5), Kiss the bride (5), Mona lisas and mad hatters (5), Sad songs (say so much) (5), Harmony (4), Hercules (4), Levon (4), The one (4), All the girls love Alice (3), Burn down the mission (3), Crystal (3), Healing hands (3), I'm going to be a teenage idol (3), Mona lisas and mad hatters part two (3), One more arrow (3), Simple life (3) and Too low for zero (3).

And the rest: (Gotta get) A meal ticket, All quiet on the western front, Ball and chain, Believe, Better off dead, Bite your lip, get up and dance, Brown sugar, Can you feel the love tonight, Captain Fantastic & Brown Dirt Cowboy, Chloe, Dixie lily, Ego, Elton's song, Empty garden, Great balls of fire, Grey seal, Have mercy on the criminal, Honesty, Imagine, Little Jeannie, Lucy in the sky with diamonds, My life, Nobody Wins, Piano man, Sartorial eloquence, Something about the way you look tonight, Teacher I need you, Uptown girl, Waltzing Matilda, Where have all the good times gone, Where to now St. Peter?, White lady white powder, You may be right, Ballad Of The Boy in the Red Shoes, Blue avenue, Border Song, Carla/Etude, Elderberry wine, Electricity, I Need You To Turn To, I want love, Nikita, Oh Susannah!, Roy Rogers, Sixty Years On, Stone's throw from hurtin', The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909-34), The Bridge, The Captain and the Kid, The Greatest Discovery, The last song, The show must go on, This song has no title, Ticking, Tonight and Whitewash county.

14 Jan 2009

Famous Kiwis Eltonites

Keith Lionel Urban was born 26 October 1967 in Whangarei, New Zealand. Urban's music interest came early with success in local singing contests and forming a band in his early teens. Growing up then in Australia around Brisbane, Urban first picked up a musical instrument, a ukulele, when he was only four years old. Urban began his career in Tamworth, Australia participating in Tamworth Country Music Festival, having moved there at an early age. In 1991, he released a self-titled debut album, and charted four singles in Australia before moving to the United States in 1992. His breakthrough hit was the Number One "Somebody Like You", from his second Capitol album Golden Road (2002). This album also earned Urban his first Grammy Award win for "You'll Think of Me". His influences take in singer songwriters Elton John and Jackson Browne, the celebrated writing and guitar playing of Elvis Costello as well as musicians such as Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits and Fleetwood Macs Lindsay Buckingham. On "Interview Magazine", October 2006, featured Keith Urban sharing his thoughts with Elton John and explaining: "One of my writers, Monty Powell, and I were talking about records, like your album Tumbleweed Connection [1971], which if they were released today, would probably be released as country. There were a lot of those tunes that I grew up with that weren’t country, but it was inherent in what I was listening to".

Lucy Lawless, born Lucille Frances Ryan, on 29 March 1968 in Mount Albert, Auckland, New Zealand, is an actress and singer best known for playing the title character of the television series Xena: Warrior Princess and for her role as Number Three on the series Battlestar Galactica. Lawless first appeared on Broadway in September 1997 in the Grease play remake, as the "bad girl" Rizzo character. Lucy attended the Elton John and Tim Rice’s AIDA Los Angeles Premiere - 7 November 2001. In her own country, she is a trustee for the National Children’s Starship Hospital and received an Order of Merit of New Zealand from the Queen for services to the community.

10 Jan 2009

Ladies & Gentlemen: the EltonJohnAllSongsList doors are wide open to receive one of the greatest talented musicians of the world...

Please, eltonites, get up, stand up to receive the fantastic, giantic... John Jorgenson!!!!

Hello John, welcome to this blogsite. You are considered one of the world’s most versatile and accomplished guitarists. Although most well-known for your guitar work with bands such as the Desert Rose Band and The Hellecasters, you're also proficient in the mandolin, mandocello, Dobro, pedal steel, piano, upright bass, clarinet, bassoon and saxophone. Really it's nice to have you here, we gonna start

Althought your parents wishes, you first became more interested in the guitar than piano or the clarinet. That was after seeing The Beatles on TV in 1964... What impressed you of them?

I loved everything about the Beatles, their music, guitars, clothes, hairstyles, personalities... and I couldn't escape how much excitement they seemed to cause, especially for all the girls I knew. Although I already played the piano and was just starting the clarinet at that time, I didn't start to think that I could maybe play the guitar until 2 years later in 1966, and I didn't get my first guitar until 1968-but had been playing around a bit with a ukelele that we had around the house for a couple years and borrowing friend's guitars and basses until I got my own to play.

Nice!!! And is it true you’d been playing in Disneyland for a while? What’s the story?

Not at that time, but I started performing at Disneyland at a fairly young age, 16 or 17, and worked there on and off for the next 13 many different bands and shows, doing many different styles of music, from rock to bluegrass to Dixieland.

Wow!!! During The Desert Rose band, you John, won the ACM's "Guitarist of the Year" award three consecutive times. And with the Hellecasters band you won both "Album of the Year" and "Country Album of the Year” for Return of the Hellecasters album. And you have collaborated with other musicians all over the world, artists ranging from Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Sting, Willie Nelson, to Bonnie Raitt and Earl Scruggs have sought out your guitar work. What about all those experiences?

Well, it is always an honor and special to be able to make music with such great artists as you mentioned. As for the awards, again it is an honor to be recognized for the hard work. The response from fellow guitarists to the Hellecaster's music was very surprising to us-we were knocked out to have been voted into those spots by our peers, but when we first decided to play together it was just for one show for fun!! With Desert Rose Band, I have to say with all modesty, it was one of the most accomplished musical acts in the country genre at the time, and still today there are not many acts that have the depth that we did. In fact, the years that I won as guitarist three of the other band members-Steve Duncan on drums, Bill Bryson on bass and jay Dee Maness on pedal steel also won for their instruments, so it was a pretty uniquely talented group of guys.

Of my session work, I have great memories of working on some of Ricky Nelson's posthumous recordings (he inspired me to get interested in country music), and with Johnny Cash on a cover of his song "Big River" by Trick Pony. Playing live and on TV with 50s icons Carl Perkins and Little Richard was amazing too, as I loved their music and they were incredibly influential on so many artists over the years, especially the Beatles!!

Earl Scruggs at 84 is always a joy to play with, and I used to hear him on TV as child when watching "The Beverly Hillbillies". He is up for a Grammy Award this year for a "Live at The Ryman Auditorium" concert recording which I played mandolin, electric guitar and sang on. Since I am also listed as an artist on it, if it wins I get a Grammy too, so I am pretty excited about that.

Great!!! So when you get a guitar in your hands... how do you feel?

Usually good!! Comfortable, at home, sometimes excited, sometimes inspired, often challenged.

And how do you manage to play so many different styles and remain true to those styles?

When I fall in love with a style of music I like to find out all that I can about it-like what actually makes it sound like it does? And when playing the styles, I respect each one, and don't want to impose anything that would not be tasteful onto the music. I am not against fusions of different styles, or ideas from one creeping into another, but I like those to be intentional, not just because someone has not really gotten into a style enough to know what it is.

You have a reputation for as Elton John says "Playing everything but the Kitchen sink...

Yes, I do play a lot of instruments! I usually want to learn how to play something if I like the sound of it...

I also would get bored in school band when I was young, and want to play different instruments to make it more fun and interesting for me.

I have just started playing the bouzouki onstage with my quintet, and that is an instrument that I have wanted to play for a long time. It is not so dissimilar to guitar, but it has its own voice and techniques certainly. I would love to learn the cimbalom too, but there are only so many hours in the day...

Incredible!!! Could you tell us, please, how you got involved with Elton and how you ended up recording and touring with him?

Chris Hillman was the lead singer in the Desert Rose Band, and his wife Connie worked for John Reid in Elton's management, so Elton was familiar with the band and really liked our first album. When it came time to premiere our 2nd album "Running", we did a show in LA at the Roxy that Elton attended, along with Bernie Taupin, Nicolette Larsen, Dave Edmonds, Stephen Stills, Bruce Hornsby, Rose Maddox, and other luminaries.

I met Elton briefly before the show, but after the show he burst into the dressing room and grabbed my hand, exclaiming "Brilliant guitar, fucking brilliant!!" and I was quite surprised, and pleased of course. Literally 6 years later he called me himself and asked if I would join his band to promote the "Made in England" album that had just been finished. Although I was flabbergasted, it actually took about a week of soul-searching to decide that I wanted to give up all the things I had going on, which were a lot, to take him up on the offer.

And have you been an Elton fan before?

Well, I was certainly aware of his music, and had actually sung and played "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" and "Island Girl" in bands myself when it was a hit. I also quite liked the "Blue Moves" double album and had heard all the classic hits on AM and FM radio, as they were staples while I was growing up in California. I remember especially liking Davey's guitar parts in the original version of "Candle in the Wind" and the song "Grey Seal" too.

Elton writes most of his songs in the studio, that’s it?

Yes, usually on his own to a drum pattern looped on a machine.

And how many songs you’d been recording for an albums session?

Although I did 2 tracks for the 'Love Songs" compilation ('No More Valentines" is probably my favorite work of my own on an EJ track) and the oddly-titled "One Night Only" live package, the only proper studio album i worked on was "The Big Picture". It seems like there were probably 16 tracks or so done for that one.

Remember some of the titles that didn’t see the light?

I think most of the tracks that didn't get used for the album have since been used as bonus tracks on CD singles, like "Big Man in a Little Suit" that was written for Billy Joel to sing, but I guess he didn't want to do it. There was another called "Wicked Games" that was quite a rocker, and one called "I Know Why I'm In Love With You" that I had quite an influence on the production, pushing it towards a Pet Sounds-era beach Boys sound when neither Chris Thomas or Elton turned up at the studio...Chris was mad at first when he heard it, but eventually we did finish it so I guess he ended up liking it OK, but not enough to include on the album!!

How it was the “Crop Circles” experience with Davey Johnstone and how it came the idea to both of you?

It was quite a natural thing, really. Davey and I liked playing together and creating music, and we did have a fair amount of time on the road to sit around with guitars and work things out. At the same time the Solid Air record label was featuring a series of CDs pairing up 2 acoustic guitar players, and Sony was promoting a new portable digital recording device, so it all came together really well and Guy Babylon pitched in to do an amazing job of the engineering and editing. He has an enormous amount of both talent and ability and it was a pleasure to work with him.

Will be another second part in the future, with Davey?

I don't know - I guess it depends on if the future throws us together again physically, because if we're in the same room with guitars in our hands, you can bet there will be some creative energy flying around!!

That should be great!!! Davey Johnstone was on tour in Chicago, in 2001, with Elton and Billy Joel when he learned of the tragic news about the dead of his son, Oliver. He returned home to be with his family, naturally. How did you notice about this tragedy? In the middle of the concert? You have to replace Davey, have you?

My last show as a full-time band member was the MSG shows when "One Night Only' was recorded in Oct 2000. I was immediately busy with solo tours, recordings, television shows, etc - kind of like before I started with Elton. It was in the Spring of 2001, and I was in LA getting ready to tape a live TV show, the "Academy of Country Music Awards Show" where I would perform live with a number of the top country acts. We had already rehearsed and done camera blocking, so all that was left was to do the performance the next day. I was also scheduled to do a duo tour of the UK with my good friend and legendary singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell the day after the TV filming.

After the rehearsal I was eating dinner at Terra Sushi with my wife Dixie when the phone rang. It was our dear friend Bob Halley with the horrendous news about Oliver, asking could I come and fill in for Davey. I said of course, that I had to work a few things out, but I would get there (to Chicago) as soon as I could. In utter shock, I called my friend John Hobbs who was the musical director for the TV show to say I couldn't be there the next day for the show. He understood completely and told me to go help my friend, and he would get my parts covered for the TV show. I then had to call Rodney and bail out of his tour at the last minute, and again he was amazingly understanding and as a father himself would do anything to help ease Davey's immense grief. I have to say that both John Hobbs and Rodney Crowell were heroes to me that day, and showed true friendship.

I actually got on the returning flight to Chicago that had brought Davey and Kay Johnstone home, and spent every spare minute rounding up my gear-guitars, amps, pedals, etc. Although I could certainly use Davey's gear, it would not be as comfortable for me as my own.
It was a very tough thing to do, to stand onstage in my good friend Davey's spot and play his parts, knowing why he was not there. In a way it was similar to when I filled in on bass for Bob Birch after his horrible accident in Montreal - invigorating in a musical sense, but very sad in a personal sense. In both cases, I felt very proud that my musical abilities could serve to help out my friends in their times of crisis, there is no better use of skills and talent than that.

John Jorgenson is known as one of the pioneers of the American gypsy jazz movement, your articles and lessons on gypsy jazz have appeared in prominent guitar magazines and you have given master classes around the country. You also tour with your John Jorgenson Quintet... But how do you define this style?

Gypsy jazz is a style first pioneered by gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and his partner violinist Stephane Grappelli with their Quintet of the Hot Club of France in the 1930s. It is a very aggressive, romantic, melodic, virtuosic style that takes a lot of skill and physical ability to play. My Quintet also mixes in a lot of influence from Eastern Europe, Spain, Latin America and the Middle East, so there is a bit more of a world music flavor to my take on gypsy jazz. Just get one of my CDs and check it out, that is the best way to define it!

You introduced the Gitane DG-320 "Modele Jorgenson" 14th-fret D-hole, a Gypsy Jazz guitar. How it was the collaboration with Saga, in 1997?

I actually have 3 Signature model Saga guitars, the DG300, the DG320 and the DG330. They are all specifically for gypsy jazz, but have slightly different features, neck shapes and tones. They started coming out in 2004, and have done really well around the world. One of my friends, Greg Rich worked for Saga at the time, and I had seen one of their guitars that was quite impressive. I could see some room for improvement, so I told him my ideas and he suggested incorporating those ideas into a signature model, so we did.

What about your future projects, John?

I play about 100-120 shows around the world each year with my Quintet, so I will continue to do that for sure.

The next CD coming out is a collaboration with Orchestra Nashville, a very fine orchestra located in Nashville conducted by Paul Gambill. I have either composed or co-composed all but one of the pieces on the project, and that piece was commissioned for the project, so it is an entirely original collection of material unlike has ever been done before-gypsy jazz guitar with full orchestra in a classical setting. I am very excited about it, and the working title is "Istiqbal Gathering" which is roughly translated to "Welcome to a Gathering in the Future", as I envision music in the future to keep cross-pollinating to become even more universal than it is already.

I will also do 2 special concerts with the Grand Rapids Ballet, a fantastic company who will choreograph a whole program of my Quintet's music, and we will perform onstage with the dancers. It should be amazing!

Performing with your own band, John Jorgenson and Friends, playing all the music that has influenced you?

I do hope to play some shows with my electric band as well, we'll see how that goes. I do have a feeling that some projects that I have been brewing for a few years might start life this year, but I don't want to say too much more about that until they actually start to materialize.

Being involved in cinema again , as when you were playing the part of Django Reinhardt in Head in the Clouds movie?

I would love to do more work in films, musically, and even some more intensive acting work. So far I have only been guitar players on camera, it would be fun to have to be something else sometime. I really liked working with director John Duigan, and hope to have a chance to work with him again too.

Why did you leave Elton John's band?

I was originally asked by Elton to tour with him for 18 months, and that seemed like such a long time to me that as I wrote earlier I had a hard time committing to that much time away from all my other projects. Once I got to the end of the first touring season, I felt like more of a member of a big family and Elton invited me to stay as long as I wanted. Although it was an amazing ride, and I got to play not only with Elton but with many other great artists all over the world, I started to miss being able to play my own music and to challenge myself musically with more difficult and more guitar -oriented music. Finally after 6 years I really felt like I needed to get back on my own track, and even though I miss Elton, Davey, Clive, Bob, Guy, John and Nigel I am so happy to be playing my own music and getting the chance to do a variety of other things, like the Earl Scruggs album and the Brad Paisley cut "Clusterpluck" which is also nominated for a Grammy this year.

And we eltonites miss you too, John... As my friend BlueJeanBaby says... would you please please please please please please rejoin the Elton John Band, in the future?

As you know, I have been back a couple times for special occasions -when Oliver passed away, and when Davey's wife was giving birth a couple years later, and also to add pedal steel guitar to some songs on Peachtree Road. I very much doubt that I would ever rejoin full-time, as I would have too much to give up with my own band, etc, but I would certainly join up again for special occasions and I know that Elton knows he can call on me if he or the band needs me, and I will be there for them.

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

That is a hard one, but here goes...

1. Tonight
2. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (like how I got 2 for 1 in there!!)
3. Where to Now, St. Peter?
4. Sixty Years On
5 No More Valentines (but of course I am a little prejudiced about this one...)

Thank you very much. Well, John, it's really an honour to had you in my blogsite. If you had good time doing this interview, I am really happy. I always have been a John Jorgenson fan, so imagine what it means for me to share my time with you. I wish you all the best for you and your loving people.

OK, Miquel, I hope the readers enjoyed it, and nice job with the questions, some of them I have not been asked before! Cheers

Cheers John, sure they did. Oh, before you go, I would like to give you a surprise... I have here three friends of you, they love you so much and they would like to say something about you...

Chris Hillman (from Desert Rose Band, pioneer of the genre known as “Country Rock”):

"John is an incredibly gifted artist, a wonderful singer/songwriter and has the best hair in country, jazz, rock and classical music. An honor and a pleasure to share the stage with him".

John Mahon (percussionist and backing vocalist for the Elton John Band):

"When I joined Elton's band in 1997 and met John Jorgenson I was floored by what an incredible musician he is. Not just a guitar player of course but Sax, clarinet, (which is incredible when you see his Gypsy Jazz band) pedal steel, banjo, mandolin, anything that twangs..... Great singer, songwriter, ... it goes on and on I suppose. I expect to maybe see him in Circque de Soliel balancing a couple of girls in the air! Then of course there is the music knowledge - he has an incredible knowledge of recordings and artists. Mostly though he is just a great person to be around. It would be nice to see more of him but we are at opposite ends of the country".

Charlie Morgan (drummer and percussionist):

I knew from the first moment we met in 1995 that he was someone really special. Despite the fact that he was recovering from a broken shoulder, his playing was amazing. Over the next few years I discovered that he was one of the most creative and talented people I have met in 3 decades of playing. Guitars, keyboards, saxes and clarinet: he has mastered them all, in a business where the best that most people can hope is to master one instrument! But, much more than all that, he is a true friend. I am honoured to call him such

9 Jan 2009

Elton John Tourin' South Africa: The Statistics

Elton John has done 9 concerts live in South Africa while on Tour.

He has been in Sin City(4 times), Cape Town and Johannesburg (2) and finally 1 time in Durban.

Elton's favourite place is The Superbowl, Sin City (4) with Coca Cola Dome, Johannesburg (2) and ABSA Stadium, Durban; t.b.a, Cape Town; Vergelegen State (1).

First time he played in South Africa was on December 1993, in Sun City, on The "Under African Skies Tour" (4 shows). Then it was "Rocket Man Tour" (4) and finally an special show for the 7th Annual White Tie And Tiara Ball.

It's funny, but all the set lists in South Africa had 25 songs, not the special White Tiara Show.

He has played 46 different songs in South Africa while on Tour.

The songs most played are Candle in the wind, Daniel, Don't let the sun go down on me, Sacrifice, Sorry seems to be the hardest word, Take me to the pilot and Your song (with 9 times).

Then it comes: Bennie and the jets (8), Funeral for a friend (8), Levon (8), Circle of life (5), Honky cat (5), I guess that's why they call it the blues (5), I'm still standing (5), Philadelphia freedom (5), Rocket man (5), Someone saved my life tonight (5), The greatest discovery (5), The one (5), Tiny dancer (5), Tonight (5).

Follows with 4 times: Believe, Better off dead, Crocodile rock, Goodbye yellow brick road, I don't wanna go on with you like that, I need you to turn to, I think I'm going to kill myself, Love lies bleeding, Madman across the water, Mona lisas and mad hatters, Pinball wizard, Sad songs say so much, Saturday night's alright for fighting), Sixty years on, Skyline Pigeon, Talking old soldiers, The bitch is back, The last song, The north and Where to now St. Peter?

And the rest: Ballad of the boy in the red shoes, Border song, Carla Etude, My elusive drug and Turn the lights out when you leave.

6 Jan 2009

South African Famous Eltonites

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, was the first democratically elected President of South Africa, having previously been a prominent anti-apartheid activist. Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was Chief Henry Mandela of the Tembu Tribe. Mandela himself was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand and qualified in law in 1942. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party's apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961. Upon his release in 1990, the policy of reconciliation he pursued enabled a peaceful transition to a new, democratic South Africa. He had received the Nobel Peace Prize 1993. In his 90th birthday, Elton John performed "Happy Birthday" in his honour.

Lara Logan was born on March 29, 1971 in Durban, South Africa. She attended Durban Girls’ College (high school) and went on to the University of Natal in Durban and graduated in 1992 with a degree in Commerce. Her journalism career began as a general news reporter for the Daily News (1990-92) and the Sunday Tribune (1988-89), both located in Durban, South Africa. Lara Logan was named a CBS News correspondent in May 2002 and has also contributes to 60 Minutes. She provided daily reports on the war in Iraq and was the only journalist from an American network in Baghdad when American troops invaded the city, reporting live from Firdos Square as the statue of Saddam fell. She hosted the half-hour series featuring past VH1 "CLASSIC 60 MINUTES" interviews expanded with never-before-seen footage and conversations with some of the biggest names in pop and rock music, including Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Ray Charles, Elton John, Sting and The Eagles.

Tammin Sursok was born on August 19th, 1983 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and at the age of 4, she emigrated to Australia. Her mother, Julie is a classically trained pianist and guitarist and as a result, Sursok was brought up surrounded by music. As a youngster, Tammin was involved with the Sydney Youth Musical Theatre where she pursued her interests in acting, music and dance. In the year 2000, Sursok began her role as Dani Sutherland on the popular Australian series "Home and Away". In 2001, she won the Logie Award for Best New Female Talent category. During 2002, Tammin had the honour of being selected as Junior Youth Ambassador for NSW and in 2003 she received the Australian Centenary Medal for her 'Service to Australian Society and Acting'. She also begun taking steps towards starting a music career by writing her own songs. Sursok's second single "Whatever Will Be" was the #1 most added track to Australian Radio in early March and debuted and reached of #13 on the ARIA singles chart, the single became a moderate success. Soon afterm, Sursok's debut album, "Whatever Will Be" was released and reached a high point of #13 on the ARIA album chart. The third single from the album "It's a Beautiful Thing" debuted at #30 in the ARIA singles chart.

4 Jan 2009

Elton Tourin' Russia: The Statistics

Elton John has done 15 concerts live in Russia while on Tour.

He has been in Moscow (8 times), St Petersburg, Leningrad (6) and 1 time in Sochi.

Elton's favourite place is Great October Hall, Leningrad and Rossya Hall, Moscow (4) with Kremlin Palace, Moscow (3), and finally: Kremlin Square, Moscow; Palace Square, St. Petersburg; Pushkin Palace, St. Petersburg and Sochi Stadium, Sochi (1).

First time he played in Russia was on May 1979, in Leningrad, on The "Elton John & Ray Cooper In Concert Tour" (8 shows). Then it was "Made In England Tour" (2), "The Medusa Tour"(1), "Elton John Solo Tour" (1) and finally "Rocket Man Tour" (3), where he dedicated "The Bridge" to the late Miroslav Rostropovich.

The largest set list was the "Elton John & Ray Cooper In Concert Tour" with 32 songs and the shortest the "Rocket Man Tour" in Sochi with only 21 songs on the set list.

He has played 73 different songs in Russia while on Tour.

The song most played are Bennie and the jets, Candle in the wind, Daniel, Don't let the sun go down on me and Rocket man (with 15 times).

Then it comes: Crocodile rock (13), Funeral for a friend (13), Saturday night's alright (13), Sorry seems to be the hardest word (13), Your song (13), Take me to the pilot (11), Pinball wizard (10), Tonight (10).

Follows: Back In The USSR (8), Better off dead (8), Crazy water (8), Ego (8), Get back (8), Goodbye yellow brick road (8), He'll have to go (8), I fell like a bullet (8), I heard it through the grapevine (8), I think I'm going to kill myself (8), Idol (8), Part time love (8), Roy Rogers (8), Sixty Years on (8), Skyline Pigeon (8), Song for guy (8), Strolling in the park (8), Where to now St. Peter? (8), Honky cat (7), I guess that's why they call it the blue (7), Sacrifice (7), I'm still standing (5), Love lies bleeding (5), Philadelphia freedom (5), Burn down the mission (4), Midnight in Moscow (4), Someone saved my life tonight (4), Tchiakoysky's first piano concerto (4), Tiny dancer (4), Madman across the water (3), Sad songs (say so much) (3), The bitch is back (3), The bridge (3), and The one (3).

And the rest: Are you ready for love, Believe, Can you feel the love tonight, Carla / Etude Circle of life, Come down in time, Dixie Lily, Hercules, House, I don't wanna go on with you like that, Made in England, Mona lisas and mad hatters, Pain, Lies, Simple life, Something about the way you look tonight, The greatest discovery, The last song, Ballad of the boy in the red shoes, Blue eyes, Border song, I want love, Moon river, Nikita, This train don't stop there anymore, Ticking.

The Eltonites' Day has the honour to welcome one of the greatest russian eltonites, Ladies & Gentlemen, Nataliaej!!!!!!

Well, Eltonites, first of all I would like to wish you a very happy 2009 all of you. In Russian's flag, the white color symbolizes generosity and frankness; blue: loyalty, honesty, wisdom; red: courage, magnanimity, love. That's what russians are for Elton. Since the beginning, in 1979, until nowadays. So I thought to bring one of them, to chat a little about Elton. Hello Nataliaej, thank you very much for the aceptation, I am happy for that

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

Natalia from Moscow. Russia.

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

I have started to interest in Elton's music in 1995 when I have seen Lion King (11 years old). My parents have divorced during this period. Elton became for me the second father.

Oh, I see... What it was 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? Have ever exchanged words with him?

I've been in 14 concerts. First time, solo in MSC 2003. No, I'm not talk with him. But with my friends met him at hotel. Gave flowers.

You could see that in the following sites, lol!!!

Cool!!! And... how it was the success of Elton John in your country? Which references had russians about Elton, specially after the 1979 gigs? Was there a regular market of western pop music? And are there so many eltonites now?

Elton in Russia is popular. But it is not a lot of active fans. Basically it is youth on the Internet.

Had Elton's record company published some compilations in your country, over the years, particularly different from other countries? If so, which were the name of the compilations and the tracks in?

After 1979 Record Company Melodia has published Single Man. Melodia has translated into Russian all songs. It was very funny.

Oh, what do you think about recent news of Elton going to studio again for a 2009 album? What type of album would you expect? And the record's company release of more DeLuxe editions, without forgetting an special box of Elton's duets and rock numbers, and so on?

I love Captain and the Kid. I wanna that Elton will write down something similar.

And what do you think about Gus Dudgeon, the producer? He was one of best producers Elton worked with? An other producers... which do you like most and what do you think about Elton self-producing? And what could we expect from the new producing team Mark Ronson - Elton John?

Gus was the best Elton's producer. We will see what will make Mark Ronson. I do not wish to guess.

Finally, could you tell me your five favourite Elton John's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList, please?

Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Saturday Night's Alright
The one

And more...

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

Be Happy! More Elton in our lives.

Well, thank you very much Nataliaej. It was fun doing this interview with you. Be happy you too. Take care

2 Jan 2009

The Story Behind... Nikita's Video

Anya Major (born 1966) is an athlete and model who is well known for starred in Apple Computer's famous "1984" commercial and for being "Nikita" on Elton John's video.

In 1983, the Chiat/Day advertising agency held a casting call in London, on behalf of their client, Apple Computer, for what would prove to be a landmark television commercial. The vision of the agency and director Ridley Scott stipulated an actress capable of running up to a large video screen, swinging a sledgehammer in a wide spin, and releasing it at the video screen. Unfortunately, most of the models and actresses tested could not wield the clumsy hammer, much less throw it; in fact, one errant throw nearly struck a passerby at the Hyde Park casting call. Major, an experienced discus thrower who had been discovered at a local health club, won the role with her ability to handle the hammer convincingly. Anya Major proved capable of spinning and accurately throwing the sledgehammer with ease.

Anya also appears as a blond caucasian beauty in soviet uniform on The Ken Russell directed video Nikita. "Nikita" is set along the Berlin walls and it's the story of unrequited love where capitalist Elton in his Rolls-Royce can only observe her from behind the barbed wire and hope that one day the wall will come down and she will go west. In interviews John admitted that Nikita was a male name in Russian, hinting at the song's homosexual view point. However, Nikita is a male or female name meaning unconquered, unconquerable. As a spin-off, she released a single named "Moscow Nights" using the name Anya. With music and text by Bobbie Heatlie and Gordon Campbell, it was a hit in Holland, reaching number 9 in singles dutch charts.

Anya is the Russian form of Anna which means "graceful". Anya Major did not die of breast cancer as it was said and is alive, thank God, and well living in England with her husband and three children.