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6 Feb 2016

Jack Rabbit in London (part five)

1996 first time in London: it was what I called the Elton John Tour (Pinner, Northwood Hills, Watford, 101 Wardour Street, EJAF, ...). 1997 it was the second: Promoting The Big Picture album and living the impacted Princess Diana death. 2004 the third on Woodside and EJAF and Rocket Music. 2009 the benefit event at the Royal Albert Hall with Elton John and starring Ray Cooper. Finally, 2016, the signing event at Hvm Record store and more. Twenty years in all, spending worthy times in London related to Elton John.

Always when I am travelling to see Elton John in one of his shows, as many of eltonites I suppose, the first lines of Rocket Man comes to mind. But this time, the line "And I am gonna be high as a kite by then". When on Monday 25th January I was sitting at home I couldn't imagine that the dream I had since my youth, since my eltonite early days, will appear without noticing. A message from a friend awaring me about that, a faster registration at Hvm booking tickets, and a message telling "you are in". Such incredible how lucky I was. I arranged the same day my travel plan and I booked the hotel (Princes Square again, it seems to be my place there). The following days were destinated to fullfill the agenda while I was in the city for two and a half days. Allsongslist deserved to pay more attention while trying to complete the list of songs.

So when the aircraft arrived to Gatwick from Barcelona, I went directly to BBC Maina Vale studios, it was around 10 in the morning (I wake up at 03:30 am). Just three people waiting there, and some in a car. I went on BBC reception and I guess the man who attended me still couldn't believe I asked to be at the show. Obviously he kindly said I couldn't. So I had to wait outside  while I was listening Elton on the interview with Ken Bruce performing some beatiful rendition of some of his classics added to some new ones. I went directly to one of the cars also waiting: press, I could imagined before. "When you see that car over there moving, just go ahead as faster as you can". Ok. By 12:00 am that car, a magnificient Red Bentley approached to one of the doors, and immediatily security made their presence. Some runnings and Elton suddenly appears. Almost twelve eltonites were there and Elton stopped to sign some treasured items. Ipad on hand I began to make pictures of Elton, while press behind me were pushing. "Hi Elton" and "see you later" exchanged with "Hi" before get into the car. Well, first round.

The way to Hmv in Oxford Street was so faster. I got there at about 01:00 pm. Just took a walk on the store buying something and then when I got outside I found some dearly eltonite friends: Mark Giles was there, Jane Bradley and Jane Behrman. Some pictures in front of the advertisement and waiting turn. 

Doors opened at 04:00 pm and somebody went for us. Going upstairs, to one private place. About 50 Hmv VIP members would be the first to go. Suddenly, applauses began and the idol made his entrance. David Furnish was behind. Elton took his seat behind the curtains, and the queue starting to move. General excitement. We could hear the album play all the songs. Could not forget the faces of people when they left the place. "No pictures are allowed". Upps!!! "Leave your bags here". My three years old daughter made a picture about Elton and David.

I explained then to him how worried I was to see Júlia (my daughter) loves Enrique Iglesias and Taylor Swift, but how "Blue Wonderful", her favourite song, took interest and played over and over, until she began to say "Ton Chow" (as Elton John) as if Elton was chinese. He smiled and replied "How sweetie". So when my turn arrived I was so impacted to see the man: "Hi Elton, I am so happy to be here". "Hi, it's my pleasure". He looked at me and while I said what I had in mind to say, for years, in case I got the chance, he kindly thank. We shake hands, gave me the autograph picture and I left. I looked behind again to see if it was real or just a dream. 

Someone took a picture of me leaving, I don't know who, but I could have no more words enough to thank. Also to the one who made the picture of Mark and me waiting with Elton. I saw David Furnish and shake hands too while saying some kind words. Security didn't allowed me to stay more time there (obviously) and had to go out. Then just waved goodbye to Mark, Jane, Sandra and Jane. I was so fortunate to meet in person Keith Hayward, the man who have written two wonderful books about Elton, precisely I have one on my bag, so he kindly agreed to sign it. I left the store and went to eat and drink something because I absolutely forget to do on the excitement. Didn't have so much time to touring, I went to see the musical of Billy Elliot, although I doubted with this or going to Watford to see the match againast Chelsea. Immediatily then I went to the hotel, check in and go to sleep. The day after I had to wake up at 07:00 am because someone is awaiting me related to my allsongslist archive.

Just I got time to leave the underground to Westminster station to see the Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben. Everytime I came to London that's obligated. So next turn was to go to a certain place I could not say, to see someone I could not say, and to exchanged info about the songs written by Elton. Allsongslist has about 1.000 songs written or sang by Elton, what I couldn't imagine is that I noticed outtakes and songs never heard. I had so short time to complete my allsongslist so it was hard to pick everything up, but I did. Thankfully allsongslist database was so complete, but despite of this, I had so hard work.

When I left the place, I realized Elton gifted Saint Pancras Station a beatiful Yamaha Black Piano while improving some tunes of his own songs. I couldn't be there. So, when everything finished, I went to the hotel again while going to the airport to get back home. When I arrived home I got my own copy of the "Wonderful Crazy Night" album I purchased. My cd player was ready to listen and play the new material. Yes, sure, that album it will be a winner. Almost now it had the appropiated promo, it semt that Elton was everywhere!!!

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