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24 Feb 2014

Celebrating 30 years of AllSongsList. My Tribute to the Most Rellevant Eltonites: now, Adam Chester (part One)

3. Adam Chester

When I had the list about those I chose to celebrate the event, I thought about ones related to Elton. He was on the top of my list. As Davey Johnstone told me on his question and answer website,, Chester is the one who learns all Elton's songs Davey may require for rehearsals. So, he's one of those who knows everything on Elton's catalogue. As he is an Eltonite since his youngness, the one who covered his walls with Elton's posters, the one who fell asleep listening "Someone Saved My Life Tonight". "Captain Fantastic" is one of his most favourites albums.

A brief bio about Adam Chester, reads he works as a professional composer, as we said, a piano player, as we know, and a singer-songwriter who is employed as the official "surrogate Elton": "he sits in the piano as Elton John, playing and singing while rehearsing", Davey explained. He's been playing the piano since the age of 4, and studied music composition at the University of Southern California. Adam's father, Elliott, died from cancer when he was 8. His mother took a job as a social worker for the juvenile courts in Miami to pay the bills. 

Adam provides a concert of contemporary favourites and his own compositions. His repertoire is far-ranging: anything from The Beatles to Gershwin, rock and roll to old standards. Also, Adam's compositions have been used in television, radio and films: for example, he provided the accompaniment for What's My Line Live on Stage. And his the primary musician  at Westside Unity Church, in Culver City.

Davey, of friend of his since the 80s, called him to join the band in 2005, for the Captain Fantastic's Boston and New York special shows. Adam arranged and conducted a large choir for Elton's 60th Birthday concert held in Madison Square Garden. He also recently composed the choral section of Elton's single, "Home Again", that was performed live by the Royal Academy Of Music Choir at the British Icon Awards in August of 2013, and at USC and the Grammy's last September by members of the USC Chorus.

Apart from being a brilliant composer and musician, he'd written a close autobiographical book. "S'Mother", released in 2011, tells the story of a man and his mum through some of the 1,000 letters she sent him advicing, updating news or making opinions, expanding her motherly instincts far away than the "miss you" and "how the things are going" kind of notes. Adam spent most of his life trying to run away from her, but where she couldn't reach him personally, the letters would. There's also a blogsite about this on: S'motherboard. In fact, first it was the blog and then, after he started receiving mails from therapists, religious wise men, conselours and other smothered sons and daughters, he decided to write the book.

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Pictures courtesy of Adam Chester

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