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30 Dec 2008

Russian Famous Eltonites

Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova (born in Moscow, 7 June 1981) is a semi-retired Russian professional tennis player and model. Anna received her first tennis racquet as a Christmas gift in 1986 at age 5 and, in 1986, she became a member of the prestigious Spartak Tennis Club. Kournikova debuted in professional tennis at age 14 in the Fed Cup for Russia, the youngest player ever to participate and win. After her success in the juniors, Anna turned pro in 1995. She won two ITF singles tournaments, the 1st in Midland, Michigan, and the 2nd in Rockford, Illinois. Anna Kournikova, an eltonite, joined Elton John’s tennis team at the event called Advanta WTT Smash Hits. Last Smash Hits charity tennis exhibition to Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA, raised over $400,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Atlanta AIDS PArtnership Fund.

Roman Arkadievich Abramovich, was born on 24 October 1966 in Saratov, Russia. A Russian billionaire and main owner of private investment company Millhouse Capital, is also the owner of Chelsea F.C., an English Premiership football club. Roman was an orphan at 3, and had to live with relatives as a child. He started commercial activity in the late 1980s when Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms permitted small private businesses. Abramovich founded five companies to conduct resale and act as intermediaries, eventually specializing in trading of oil and oil products. In 1999 Abramovich began charitable work in the Chukotka region in Siberian Russia, a cold, impoverished region of the country. Abramovich was particularly interested in helping children and established the Pole of Hope charity to help the people of Chukotka. Roman Abramovich and Irina, attended a charity concert given in 2001 by the British singer Elton John in the Catherine Palace outside St. Petersburg.

Mikhail Gorbachev, Born on March 2, 1931, at the village of Privolnoye, Krasnogvardeyskoye District, Stavropol Territory. Graduated from the Law Department of the Moscow State University and by correspondence from the Economic Department of the Stavropol Agricultural Institute. From 1970 to 1978, First Secretary, CPSU Stavropol Territory Committee. The March 11, 1985 extraordinary plenum of the CPSU Central Committee elected him General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. Member of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet. In that period of his political career, Mikhail Gorbachev proposed a number of radical social and political reforms, which became known as "perestroika". Since 1991, he has been president of the International Fund of Politological and Socio-Economic Studies (Gorbachev Fund). Elton John, in 2007, was at a stunning gala dinner in aid of the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation. Hampton Court Palace provided an imposing backdrop to the event, hosted by Mikhail Gorbachev to raise funds for the foundation, which was established in memory of his late wife Raisa to help find a cure for cancer in children.

"Happy New Year" Messages To Eltonites (II)

"Merry Xmas and Happy New Year all you wonderful Eltonites!!!!!
Love Catherine Britt x
" (Catherine Britt, Country Music Artist"

"Happy New Year to my fellow Elton fans! EJ is the best and I hope you all have the chance to see him live in concert in 2009!" (Liz Rosenthal, author of "Elton John: His Song" book)

"Happy New Year to all Elton fans the world over, im going to see him play tonight in London and i cant wait to ring in the new with his wonderful talents. I wish you well best wishes. Cdx" (Chris Difford, Lyricist Producer and Solo Performer)

25 Dec 2008

The Wishing Happy Xmas & Happy New Year Messages

"Happy Holidays to all the Eltonites!! I hope you have a peaceful 2009! Much Love, Matt" (Matt Still, engineer & producer)

"I'd like to wish ALL of you dedicated Elton John fans out there a wonderful Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year! Now the USA has a change of government, let us try to rebuild the bridges that the Bush administration destroyed. 2009 will be a year of reconnecting! Peace, Charlie" (Charlie Morgan, drummer)

23 Dec 2008

Famous Finnish Eltonites

Tarja Kaarina Halonen is the current President of Finland. She began her first six-year term of office in 2000 and was re-elected on January 29, 2006. She is the first woman to hold the office. Halonen was born on 24 December 1943 in the district of Kallio, Helsinki, traditionally a working-class area. From 1975 until 1996, she was a member of Helsinki City Council. Additionally, in 1979 she was elected to Parliament as a member for the Helsinki constituency. Throughout her political career, Halonen has been a strong supporter of human rights and international solidarity. She describes herself as a "relative pacifist", meaning that she doesn't support unilateral disarmament. As a SETA's activist member, she attended board meetings and participated in planning how to achieve legal changes. Back then, Finland still had a law prohibiting 'encouragement to lewd acts between persons of the same sex'. Halonen, a MP since 1979, made in 1981 a proposal in the parliament, together with a group of other MPs, to repeal that prohibition and to start the work towards gay-inclusive anti-discrimination legislature.

Mika Pauli Häkkinen, The Flying Finn, was born in Helsingin maalaiskunta (now Vantaa), Finland on September 28, 1968. When Häkkinen was five years old, his parents hired a go-kart for him to take to a track near their home. On his first lap, Häkkinen was involved in an accident, escaping unhurt. Despite this crash, Häkkinen wished to continue racing and after persistently annoying his parents. After a move into British Formula 3 in 1989, Hakkinen won the championship in just his second season, with West Surrey Racing. After his first experience in Formula 1 with Lotus, he moved to McLaren in 1993. He was employed as a test driver, Ayrton Senna and Michael Andretti being the race drivers. In 1995 a serious accident during practice at the Australian Grand Prix brought him within inches of his life. A tyre had deflated at high speed with the result of a hard impact into a tyre wall, severe head injuries and a coma. However, he recovered and returned to racing, and won his first GP in 1997, which was the European Grand Prix of that year. Häkkinen announced his retirement from competitive motorsport on Sunday, November 4 2007. He was quoted as saying that the decision "was not an easy one," but added that "racing is still in my blood and this decision does not mean that this will prevent me from racing for pleasure.

Veteran defender Sami Hyypia, born on October 7, 1973 in Porvoo, Finland, is firmly established as a Liverpool legend after nearly a decade of unblemished service. Hyypia played ice hockey initially but went on to pursue football as his career owing to his parents’ influence. His foray into the world of football started at Kokkolan Palloveikot and later at KuMu before he joined Myllykosken Pallo (MyPa), a Finnish football club, in 1992. While he was in MyPa, the club won the Finnish Cup in 1992 and 1995. At the age of 22, he went to Newcastle United to catch a glimpse of English football. In 1995, Sami Hyypia joined Willem II Tilburg, a Dutch football club, and played 100 games for it during his tenure of 4 years from 1995-99. In his final season, he captained the club to qualify for the Champions League and won the title of Premier League’s Player of the Month. Liverpool signed Sami Hyypia in May 1999, and he went on to share the captaincy with Robie Fowler during 2000-01. He was awarded the Finnish Football Association’s Player of the Year title in 1999, 2001-03, and in 2005-06.

17 Dec 2008

Elton Tourin' Finland: The Statistics

Elton John has done 6 concerts live in Finland while on Tour.

He has been in Helisnki(5 times) and 1 time in Turku.

Elton's favourite place is Hartwall Arena, Helsinki (3) with Elysee Arena, Turku (1), Ishallen, Helsinki (1) and Olympic Stadium, Helsinki (1).

First time he played in Finland was on May 1982, in Helsinki, on The "Jump Up! Tour" (1 show). Then it was "Face To Face Tour", without Billy Joel due to illness, (1), "Songs From The West Coast Tour"(2) and finally "Peachtree Road Tour" (2), where the keyboards were played by Lindsay Vannoy.

The largest set list was the "Face To Face Tour" with 30 songs and the shortest the "Peachtree Road Tour" in Turku with only 22 songs on the set list.

He has played 63 different songs in Finland while on Tour.

The song most played are Bennie and the jets, Daniel, Funeral for a friend / Love lies bleeding, Rocket man, Sorry seems to be the hardest word and Your song (with 6 times).

Then it comes: Crocodile rock (5), Don't let the sun go down on me (5), I guess that's why they call it the blues (5), Philadelphia freedom (5), Sacrifice (5), Take me to the pilot (5), Tiny dancer (5), Saturday night's alright (4) and The bitch is back (4).

Follows: I'm still standing (3), Mona lisas and mad hatters (3), Pinball wizard (3), Sad songs (say so much) (3), Someone saved my life tonight (3), American triangle (2), Answer in the sky (2), Ballad of the boy in the red shoes (2), Candle in the wind (2), Goodbye yellow brick road (2), Have mercy on the criminal (2), Holiday inn (2), I want love (2), Oh My sweet Carolina (2), original sin (2), The wasteland (2), They call her the cat (2), This train don't stop there anymore (2) and Turn the ligths out when you leave (2).

And the rest: All quiet on the western front, All the girls love Alice, Ball and chain, Better off dead, Blue eyes, Can you feel the love tonight, Captain Fantastic & Brown Dirt Cowboy, Chloe, Circle of life, Elton's song, Empty garden, Great balls of fire, Grey seal, Honky cat, I don't wanna go on with you like that, I saw her standing there, If the river can bend, Lucy in the sky with diamonds, Nobody Wins, Piano man, Simple life, Something about the way you look tonight, Song for guy, Teacher I need you, The one, Twist and shout, Uptown girl, Where have all the good times gone, Where to now St. Peter? and Whole lotta shakin'.

16 Dec 2008

Unforgettable People (XXXVIII): John Jorgenson

John Jorgenson was born in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1956. into a musical family. His mother was a piano teacher and his father an orchestra conductor and college music professor. The Jorgenson family moved to Redlands, California, before John's first birthday. His father took a job as a professor of music at the University of Redlands. John's mother continued to teach piano lessons in the Jorgenson home. John says, "Music was always around. A bunch of kids would come over our house everyday and play the piano. So to me, as a kid, it was nothing special. Everybody did it. Every kid that I saw played the piano. "Growing up in Southern California, John was playing both the piano and the clarinet by age 8. At 12 he got his first guitar and practiced voraciously while continuing to study classical music on woodwinds. By age 14, John was playing professionally.

Jorgenson did not come to prominence until 1985 with the Desert Rose Band, which he co-founded with Chris Hillman. The band earned five # 1 singles and garnered several awards. During this time, John won the ACM's "Guitarist of the Year" award three consecutive times. In 1993 Jorgenson formed another award-winning group, the guitar trio The Hellecasters, along with Will Ray and Fairport Convention guitarist Jerry Donahue. Originally conceived as a "one off" gig for fun, the group went on to produce three acclaimed CDs and a live video, winning both "Album of the Year" and "Country Album of the Year" from the readers of Guitar Player Magazine for the stunning debut effort Return of the Hellecasters, released in 1993.

John's work with the Desert Rose Band also caught the attention of rock legend Elton John. John explains, "Chris Hillman's wife, Connie, worked for Elton's management company for a long time, so Elton knows Chris. Elton knows everything about music history. He is really into it. So obviously he knew Chris. Connie gave Elton a copy of the Desert Rose Band's first album and he loved it. We were doing a gig at the Roxy in 1988 to promote our second album. Lyle Lovett was the opening act and in the audience was Bruce Hornsby, Dave Edmunds, Nicolette Larson, Stephen Stills, Bernie Taupin, Rose Maddox, and Elton John. I had met Elton just briefly before the show, but I didn't have anything to say to him because he was a star and I was just a guitar player. We did the show and it went really well. After the show we were in the dressing room and I was standing by the door. Elton burst into the dressing room grabbed my hand and said, "Brilliant guitar, f***ing brilliant!" I was shocked. I'd become friends with Elton's guitar player Davey Johnstone and at the time I was starting to do a lot of session work. I'd played on Bonnie Raitt's Nick of Time and I had worked with producer Don Was. Don was producing a couple of Elton's cuts on a box set and so I thought maybe I'd get a chance to work on one of Elton's recordings. John received the first call from Elton in September of 1994. He stayed as a member of Elton John's band through 2001.

John Jorgenson is known as one of the pioneers of the American gypsy jazz movement and he has performed with some of the most respected European proponents of this style, Bireli Lagrene and Romane. He has performed as a solo artist as well as collaborated with other musicians all over the world. His articles and lessons on gypsy jazz have appeared in prominent guitar magazines and he has given master classes around the country. In the world of Gypsy jazz music, John Jorgenson has long been know as one of the best American masters of the Django Reinhardt guitar style. In 2002, when the musical director for John Duigan’s film "Head In The Clouds" was looking for someone who could faithfully re-record two tracks from the Quintet of the Hot Club of France for use in the film "Guitar Player Magazine" editor Micheal Molenda recommended Jorgenson. John not only transcribed and recorded the Hot Club’s “Blue Drag” and “Minor Swing” for use in the film, he also played the role of Django Reinhardt in the movie. The latter, released in early 2005 and starring Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz, features John on camera as Django Reinhardt, complete with burned hand and gypsy moustache. Additionally, John released three gypsy jazz guitar instruction books and DVDs Because of his international reputation as a gypsy jazz player.

Currently living in Nashville, John tours worldwide playing gypsy jazz with The John Jorgenson Quintet. He also performs in the UK with his electric band, John Jorgenson & Friends, and continues to collaborate with other artists live and in the studio. "A joke people tell about guitarists is, 'Why does wearing glasses help a guitar player's phrasing? Because they have to stop and push the glasses up their nose,'" Jorgenson says. "Some guitar players will tend to just play and play and never take a breath."

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15 Dec 2008

Louisianians Famous Eltonites

Ellen Lee DeGeneres (born January 26, 1958) is an eleven-time Emmy Award-winning American stand-up comedienne, television hostess and actress. She hosts the award winning syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show. DeGeneres started performing stand-up comedy at small clubs and coffeehouses before working her way up to emcee Clyde's Comedy Club by 1981. DeGeneres' comedy material became the basis of the successful 1994-1998 sitcom Ellen, named These Friends of Mine during its first season. The ABC show was popular in its first few seasons due in part to DeGeneres' style of quirky observational humor. Ellen reached its height of popularity in February 1997, when DeGeneres made her homosexuality public on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

How Ellen selected the music on the show? "I've adopted the philosophy of Socrates: "If it sounds good in my car, it'll sound good on the show." And audience could see her laying on Elton John's piano while he's singing, in one of the many times she invited him. Also, Ellen DeGeneres attend the 16th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards viewing party at the Pacific Design Center on February 24, 2008 in West Hollywood, California.

Tim McGraw was born Samuel Timothy McGraw in Delhi, Louisiana, a town in Richland Parish, the son of a waitress, Elizabeth (Betty) Ann D'Agostino, and a relief pitcher for the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies, Frank Edwin McGraw Jr., also known as Tug McGraw. He grew up listening to a variety of music: country, pop, rock, and R&B. He attended Northeast Louisiana University on a baseball scholarship, studying sports medicine, and it was only then that he started playing guitar to accompany his singing. McGraw's fortunes changed with the lead single from his 1994 "Not a Moment Too Soon" album. McGraw's follow-up, 1995's "All I Want", immediately consolidated his stardom with the number one smash "I Like It, I Love It." The album topped the country charts, reached the pop Top Five, and sold over two million copies. Over 1996, McGraw supported the album with an extensive tour, accompanied by opening act Faith Hill. In October, after the tour was over, McGraw and Hill married.

In 2002, Tim McGraw bucked country music traditions by recording his album "Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors", which also featured a a startlingly faithful cover version of Elton John's classic "Tiny Dancer". "I've always loved the feel and the vibe of Elton John's original version of the song, and when I heard it in Almost Famous it really jumped out at me and I felt like I could do something with it," says McGraw. "It was a challenge to record such a well-known, classic song, but I think we did a pretty good job."

Anne Rice (born Howard Allen O'Brien on October 4, 1941) is a best-selling American author of gothic and religious-themed books. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history. "My birth name is Howard Allen because apparently my mother thought it was a good idea to name me Howard. My father's name was Howard, she wanted to name me after Howard, and she thought it was a very interesting thing to do." Rice became "Anne" on her first day of school, when a nun asked her what her name was. She told her "Anne", having felt it was a pretty name.

She completed her first book, Interview with the Vampire, in 1973 and published it in 1976. This book would be the first in Rice's popular Vampire Chronicles series, which includes 1985's The Vampire Lestat and 1988's The Queen of the Damned. On April 25, 2006, the musical Lestat, with music by Elton John and lyrics by Bernie Taupin, it was based on Rice's Vampire Chronicles books and opened at the Palace Theatre on Broadway. Despite Rice's own overwhelming approval and praise, the show received mostly poor reviews by critics and disappointing attendance.

13 Dec 2008

Elton John Tourin' Australia: The Statistics

Elton John has done 161 concerts live in Australia while on Tour.

He has been in Sydney (59 times), Melbourne (38), Brisbane (20), Perth (20), Adelaide (14), Hobart (3), Hunter Valley (2), Werribee (2) and 1 time in Canberra, Canungra and Thuringowa.

Elton's favourite place is Entertainment Center, Sydney (39), Entertainment Center, Perth (15), Entertainment Center, Melbourne (14), Entertainment Center, Brisbane (10), Festival Hall, Melbourne (9), Festival Hall, Brisbane (8), Horden Palladium, Sydney (8), Memorial Drive Tennis Centre, Adelaide (7), National Tennis Centre, Melbourne (7), Opera House, Sydney (6), Entertainment Center, Adelaide (4), Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne (4), Cricket Grounds, Sydney (3), Derwert Centre, Hobart (3), Cricket Grounds, Melbourne (2), Park Mansion, Werribee (2), Randwick Racecourse, Sydney (2), Subiaco Stadium, Perth (2), Tempus Two Winery, Hunter Valley (2) and finally: Acer Arena, Sydney; ANZ Stadium, Brisbane; Barossa Arts & Convention Centre, Adelaide; Burswood Dome, Perth; Cricket Grounds, Adelaide; Dairy Farmers Stadium, Thuringowa; Elysian Fields Polo Estate, Canungra; Kooyong Tennis Centre, Melbourne; Members Equity Stadium, Perth; Qlt. Tennis Courts, Brisbane; South Football Ground, Melbourne; Stage 88, Canberra; W.A.C.A. Grounds, Perth and Westlakes Stadium, Adelaide (1)

First time he played in Australia was on October 1971, in Perth, on The "Madman Across The Water" Tour (5 shows). Then it was "Yellow Brick Road Tour" (3), "Down Under Tour" 79 (10), "Down Under Tour" 1980 (13), "Jump Up! Down Under Tour" (12), "Too low for Zero Tour" (19), "Tour De Force With The MSO" (26), "1989/90 World Tour" (20), "The One Tour" (17), 1998's Leg of "Face to Face Tour" (8), "Journey Through Time Tour" (9), "The Captain and the Kid Tour" (8), The "Elton John Solo Tour" (8), and finally "Rocket Man Tour" (2).

The largest set list was the "Tour de Force With MSO" with 34 songs and the shortest the "Madman Across The Water Tour" with only 20 songs on the set list.

He has played 137 different songs in Australia while on Tour.

The song most played is Your Song (with 161 times, always played ).

Then it comes: Rocket man (148), Bennie and the jets (139), Saturday night's alright (138), Sorry seems to be the hardest word (133), Don't let the sun go down on me (131), Candle in the wind (124), Tiny dancer (123), Funeral for a friend (120), I guess that's why they call it the blues (118), Philadelphia freedom (116),
Daniel (109), I'm still standing (105), Blue eyes(95), Take me to the pilot (92), Mona lisas and mad hatters (91), Love lies bleeding (84), The bitch is back (84), Goodbye yellow brick road (75), Sad songs (say so much) (72), Pinball wizard (64), Burn down the mission (63), Song for guy (62), Sacrifice (60), Crocodile rock (55), Levon (54), I don't wanna go on with you like that (45), Sixty years on (45), Tonight (45), Someone saved my life tonight (44), The one (42), Have mercy on the criminal (39), Island girl (39), Kiss the bride (39), Healing hands (37), Mona lisas and mad hatters part two (37), Madman across the water (36), Carla / Etude (35), I need you to turn to (35), The greatest discovery (35), Harmony (33), The king must die (31).

Follows: Cold as Christmas (26), Heartache all over the world (26), One horse town (26), Slow rivers (26), Song for you (26), Teacher I need you (26), This town (26), Simple life (25), Ego (23), Nikita (23), Better off dead (22), Hercules (22), Honky cat (22), Where to now St. Peter? (22), Brown sugar (20), Crystal (19), One more arrow (19), Roy Rogers (19), Too low for zero (19), Ballad of the boy in the red shoes (18), Waltzing Matilda (18), Blue avenue (17), I want love (17), Stone's throw from hurtin' (17), The last song (17), The show must go on (17), Whitewash county (17), All the girls love Alice (16), Skyline pigeon (15), Whole lotta shakin' (15), Border song (14), Holiday inn (14), Bite your lip, get up and dance (13), Little Jeannie (13), Sartorial eloquence (13), White lady white powder (13), (Gotta get) A meal ticket (12), All quiet on the western front (12), Ball and chain (12), Captain Fantastic and Brown Dirt Cowboy (12), Chloe (12), Dixie lily (12), Elton's song (12), Empty garden (12), Nobody Wins (12), Where have all the good times gone (12), Believe (10), Crazy water (10), Electricity (10), He'll have to go (10), I fell like a bullet (10), I heard it through the grapevine (10), I saw her standing there (10), I think I'm going to kill myself (10), Idol (10), Part time love (10), Twist and shout (10).

And the rest: The wasteland, This train don't stop there anymore, Ticking, Can you feel the love tonight, Great balls of fire, Grey seal, Honesty, Lucy in the sky with diamonds, My life, Oh My sweet Carolina, Original sin, Piano man, Something about the way you look tonight, The Bridge, The Captain and the Kid, Uptown girl, You may be right, Amoreena, Ballad of a well known gun, Can I Put You On, Come down in time, Country comfort, Friends, Honky tonk women, I'm going to be a teenage idol, Indian sunset, It's me that you need, Just like Noah's Ark, Postcards from Richard Nixon, Rock me when he's gone, Rotten peaches, Circle of Life, Elderberry wine, Step into Xmas, The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909-34), This song has no title, Tinderbox.

12 Dec 2008

The Story Behind "Music Change The World"

It was 1985 when this 8 year old australian boy called Brendan Woithe wrote a song, "Music Change The World", which it was used by 2 MMM to promote Bob Geldof's "Live Aid" Concert. Also it exists a 1986 australian video in which Elton performed “Music Change The World”, used by the promotion of an YMCA benefit. Brendan was one of the Winners of the International Children’s Peace Prize. At Christmas '85 it had been the presentation of Brendan to Her Majesty The Queen when song closes Royal Celebration of Youth as the Finale broadcast on New Year’s Day International Year of Peace.

"Can music change the world? Fucking right, it can," Bono from U2 said. "At Live Aid, I remember Bob Geldof saying how obscene it is that a black piece of vinyl is saving lives. It's obscene the way the world is. And it's absurd that a singer in a rock band puts on a pinstripe suit and goes for a walk down Wall Street banging on doors. But you know what? They opened."

But what happened to the young boy, twenty years then? Now Brendan is a composer & sound engineer who increasingly is working in new music and audio areas, attempting to bring new sounds and techniques to a wider audience. Since completing a master in sound at the Australian Film Television and Radio school, Brendan has worked as a composer, sound engineer and designer for varied projects including an ABC/Becker documentary, Unfit to Command (composition), Bent St Theatre’s Time Machine (composition and sound design), ABC’s AFI award winning comedy show Double the Fist (sound) and new Fox 8 drama Love My Way (sound). Brendan has recently won the 2004 International MPSE (Motion Picture Sound Editors) Golden Reel award for Best Sound for the short film Terratoma and has also won the Sydney Golden Eye and Kaleidoscope awards for best sound in short films. He is currently working on dermis, live sound sampling and manipulation of a saxophone quartet and live electronics.

He could always explain Elton sang one of his lyrics... although he was eight years old!!!

Elton John In Australian Charts

Top 1
Don't Go Breaking My Heart (1976)
That's what friends are for (1985)
Something about the way you look tonight / Candle in the wind 1997 (1997)
Ghetto Gospel feat. Indian sunset (2005)

Top 2
Crocodile Rock (1972)

Top 3
Goodbye yellow brick road (1973)
I'm Still Standing (1983)
Lucy in the sky with diamonds(1974)
Don't let the sun go down on me (1991)
Nikita (1985)

Top 4
Sad songs (1984)
Philadelphia freedom (1975)
I guess that's why they call it the blues (1983)
Blue eyes (1982)

Top 5
Candle In The Wind (1974)

Top 7
Daniel (1973)
Heartache All Over The World (1986)
Sacrifice (1990)

Top 9
Can you feel the love tonight (1994)
Passengers (1984)
Little Jeannie (1980)

10 Dec 2008

Famous Australian Eltonites

Born in Cambridge, England in 1948, the youngest child of Professor Brin Newton-John and Irene, daughter of Nobel Prize winning physicist, Max Born, Olivia moved to Melbourne, Australia with her family when she was five. At 14, Newton-John formed a short-lived all-girl band, Sol Four, with three classmates and often performed in a coffee shop owned by her brother-in-law. Her 1973 U.S. album debut, "Let Me Be There," produced her first top ten single of the same name, with Olivia being honored by the Academy Of Country Music as Most Promising Female Vocalist and a Grammy Award as Best Country Vocalist. Elton and Olivia have worked together: on her Oscar Night TV special Hollywood Nights (1980), and the title track of Olivia's 1988 album The Rumour co-written by Elton, who also sang backup. Like Elton, she also enjoys tennis, gardening and walks along the beach with her dogs.

Ian James Thorpe (born October 13, 1982), Australian swimmer, is regarded as one of the greatest middle-distance swimmers of all time after winning the 200 and 400 metre freestyle races at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He has won five Olympic gold medals, more than any other Australian. Elton and Ian hosted party in honour of David Beckham at Cafe Sydney on November 26, 2007 in Sydney, Australia.

Mark Anthony "Baz" Luhrmann was born in Sydney, Australia, on 17 September 1962, in the back seat of a car in which his mother was being rushed to hospital. While he was still a baby, his family moved to rural New South Wales, and Luhrmann grew up in the small town of Herons Creek, where his father ran a petrol station and a movie theatre, both of which would influence his filming. Baz Luhrmann has stated Italian grand opera as a major influence on his work including the Moulin Rouge. Luhrmann is well known for embracing the emotional power of music. In his works, he has embraced a variety of musical styles from contemporary to classical opera, and his lack of prejudice concerning music was encountered as a child. Having been old friends and Sydney soulmates for years, Elton and Baz's collaboration hit new heights when Sir Elton debuted 'The Drover's Ballad' during a concert at New York's Museum of Modern Art the same night Baz hosted the Australia world premiere in Sydney.

6 Dec 2008

Elton John Tourin' Norway: The Statistics

Elton John has done 24 concerts live in Norway while on Tour.

He has been in Oslo (17 times) and 1 time in Bergen, Fredrikstad, Kristiansand, Langesund, Stavanger and Trondheim.

The Elton's favourite place is The Spectrum, where he played 14 times, then: Drammenshalle, Oslo (3), Koengen, Bergen (1), Stadium, Fredrikstad (1); Sor Arena Kristiansand (1), Wrightegaarden, Langesund (1), Gamle Stavanger Stadion (1) and Torvet City Square, Trondheim.

First time he played in Norway was on May 1982 on The "Jump Up!" Tour (1 show). Then it was "The Breaking Hearts Tour" (1), "Reg Strikes Back Tour" (1), "The One Tour" (2), "Made In England Tour" (3), "The Big Picture Tour" (3), "The Medusa Tour" in 2000 (2), "Songs From The West Coast Tour" (2), The "Elton John Solo Tour$" (4), The "Peachtree Road" (1), "Rocket Man" Tour (2) and finally the recent "Red Piano" (1).

The largest set list was the "Jump Up! Tour" and also the "Elton John Solo Tour" with 29 songs and the shortest the "Red Piano" spectacular show, with only 17 songs on the set list.

He has played 95 different songs in Norway on Tour.

The song most played is Rocket man (with 22 times).

Then it comes: Don't let the sun go down on me (21), I guess that's why they call it the blues (21), Daniel (20), Sorry seems to be the hardest word (20), Your song (20), Bennie and the jets (17), I'm still standing (17), Sacrifice (17), Crocodile rock (16), Philadelphia freedom (16), The one (16), Funeral for a friend / Love lies bleeding (15), Candle in the wind (14), Honky cat (14), Saturday night's alright (14), Tiny dancer (14), Someone saved my life tonight (12), Mona lisas and mad hatters (10), Nikita (10), Take me to the pilot (10).

Follows: Pinball wizard (9), The bitch is back (9), Blue eyes (8), Simple life (8), Burn down the mission (7), Circle of life (7), I don't wanna go on with you like that (7), Ballad of the boy in the red shoes (6), Border song (6), Carla / Etude (6), Goodbye yellow brick road (6), Hercules (6), House (6), Original sin (6), Sad song (6), The greatest discovery (6), Tonight (6), Something about the way you look tonight (5), The last song (5), American triangle (4), Believe (4), I want love (4), Levon (4), Song for Guy (4), This train don't stop there anymore (4), Ticking (4), Are you ready for love (3), Can you feel the love tonight (3), Come down in time (3), Dixie lily (3), Great balls of fire (3), Have mercy on the criminal (3), I need you to turn to (3), Lies (3), Made in England (3), Mona lisas and mad hatters part two (3), Pain (3).

And the rest: Blue avenue, Harmony, Holiday inn, Kiss the bride, Madman across the water, Moon river, Oh My sweet Carolina, Teacher I need you, The bridge, The show must go on, The wasteland, A word in spanish, All quiet on the western front, All that I'm allowed (I'm thankful), All the girls love Alice, Ball and chain, Better off dead, Captain Fantastic & Brown Dirt Cowboy, Chloe, Electricity, Elton's song, Empty garden, I saw her standing there, Island girl, Nobody wins, One more arrow, Porch swing in Tupelo, Sixty years on, The king must die, They call her the cat, Too low for zero, Turn the ligths out when you leave, Twist and shout, Where have all the good times gone, Where to now St. Peter?, Whole lotta shakin'.

5 Dec 2008

More Info About "The Drover"

On 11/18/08 I wrote here that Elton John had writing a love song for Baz Luhrmann's epic movie "Australia". This romantic drama, which is set in pre-World War II Australia, stars Nicole Kidman as an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch, and Hugh Jackman as the cattle driver who helps protect her property from greedy English cattle barons.

Now I could tell you that this film was in post-production right up until the last minute. Because of this we’ve been told that the soundtrack is still in the process of being pieced together due to the final product finishing recording only three short weeks ago!

Angela Little as the credits start rolling, you’ll hear her singin' "By The Boab Tree", a song the musician also co-wrote. If we’re lucky we’ll also get the album with her rendition of "Waltzing Matilda" as used on some versions of the trailer. Also featured on the soundtrack will be The John Butler Trio performing, "All Night Long". And there's "The Drover", an original song penned especially for the film by Baz Luhrmann and Elton John.

The release dates will be the following:













3 Dec 2008

Ladies & Gentlemen: please stand up to welcome one of the greatest drummers of the world: Charlie Morgan!!!

Charlie was one of the first sticksmen to master the art of playing alongside drum machines with pinpoint accuracy, while at the same time creating a dynamic live feel. Over the past two decades, Charlie Morgan has established a reputation as one of the most respected and successful players in the world of drums, appearing on albums by Elton John, Kate Bush, Nik Kershaw, Air Supply, Tina Turner, Gary Moore, Beverly Craven & Tasmin Archer. And he gives me the opportunity to chat a little with him.

So, thank you very much Charlie. It's a privilege and an honour for me to do this interview.

You are very welcome. It's great to be able to chat with you.

After signing recording contracts with a several bands, you decided to concentrate on session work. Your success came with Kate Bush's "Lionheart" album in 1978, following Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Queen & Nik Kershaw, among others. Also you collaborated with spanish band Mecano, with Hans Zimmer precisely. Which memories have you got to work with those artists?

Well, they are all so different. I think that's why I loved session work so much. Every day was a challenge for me. The McCartney sessions were a lot of fun. We hung out at his studio in the south of England, along with Duane Eddy, Jim Horn and Phil Pickett (Culture Club) as well as my old friend, Nick Glennie-Smith (Studio owner, film composer). Phil Ramone was producing the sessions, and Linda came and spent some time with us all. I remember chatting with her a lot. She even gave me a photo she took of Paul playing guitar in their kitchen. I have it back in storage in the UK.

I have known Hans Zimmer for a long time. We both worked a lot at Nick Glennie-Smith's studio in London, and when he first got into movie scoring, I played drums for him. I think the first movie was called "The Fruit Machine".... kind of horror/suspense movie. I remember the main character gets beheaded! We recorded Thelma & Louise in Hans' own studio: Hans, for some reason, decided we would do the LAST cue first, so I got to see them driving off the cliff before anything else!

The Nik Kershaw sessions were amazing. Such an incredible talent. I was knocked out by his musicianship and writing ability. I remember turning to producer Peter Collins at one stage and saying: "this guy's a genius."

I never met Tina Turner during the Thunderdome session. I was working with writer, Terry Britten, and sound engineer John Hudson. I knew the song would be a big hit at the time. Sometimes, you just know.

Great!!! By the mid 80's you were one of the two top-call session players in your country. Could you tell me how you got involved with Elton and how you ended up recording and touring with him?

Actually, it was through the Nik Kershaw sessions. As you probably know, Nik sang and played guitar on "Nikita" (along with George Michael). During the session, Elton mentioned the drumming on the "Human Racing" album, and Nik told him about me. Apparently, he asked Gus Dudgeon to contact me and have me play on a couple of tracks. That was the "Ice on Fire" album.

Have you been an Elton fan before?

I was a huge Elton fan, right from the first album, through Tumbleweed Connection and Madman, Yellow Brick Road etc. Capt. Fantastic is one of my all-time favourite albums.

Nice!!! During "Ice On Fire" sessions, Elton asked you to join him for a charity show to be held at Wembley Stadium later in the year. That was LiveAid! I read that you couldn't hear Elton, and he couldn't hear you, during the show and that you had to watch the tapping of his food in time to beat. It was that so?

Yes, the monitor system went down for the first song and I just watched for EJ's foot to tap in time.

Incredible!!! Leather Jackets sessions were in the middle of Elton's worst drugs days. Lot of material from those sessions weren't as good as Gus Dudgeon should expected, and Elton's mood was up and down. What do you remember about that period?

I do remember the sessions being very long, sometimes well into the early hours of the next morning. But it was also a productive time.

If that wasn't enough, Elton began to have serious problems with his voice, at the America's leg of the Tour. How Elton announced his throat problems and he had to been operate?

In the latter part of 1986, Elton was really struggling with his voice. By the time we were in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, it was obvious he was going to need surgery. I remember he told us towards the end of the tour. The last night of the tour, in Sydney was an emotional affair. I think Elton sang that night as if he would never sing again, because there WAS a possibility of this being the case. "Don't Let the Sun Go Down" was especially good that night. I remember looking across at the end of the song, and there were tears streaming down Elton's face. He put everything into it.

Yes, he did!!! Also it was a 1985 recording session with Cher on that time. And the Don Was sessions in 1990… What do you remember from those sessions? Do you have in mind the name of some of the tracks they were recording? And you know why these projects didn't come out?

I wasn't really involved with the Cher sessions, OR the Don Was sessions.

Anna from Barcelona has the following question for you: Elton has been described by most people who have worked with him as a hard working, a perfectionist and a very professional performer. Is he such a perfectionist and would you say he was difficult to please as a boss? Any anecdotes you could share with us?

I think he has always chosen his musicians amongst the people he respects, so he likes to let us do our "thing." That being said, when he gets an idea, or wants you to play something, he never has any problems telling you his idea. I always thought he was such a great musician, and had so much respect for his writing and playing that I was happy to do his bidding.

Also 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? Is Adrian Collee his archivist? You know if Elton's has a diary of his concerts or set lists?

Yes, he has always paid a keen interest in new artists, and the popular music charts. Probably why he has remained at the top of his profession for so many years.

After followed six Elton studio albums and 14 years of concerts, finally you left the band in 1998 and a new drummer player Jack Bruno joined. I read you decided to make a complete break and he relocated to Orlando, Florida...

I had to come off the road originally because I was going through a very nasty divorce. After the divorce I settled in Orlando (which was originally only a temporary measure, but became the longest time I lived in one place - EVER) with my second wife. We now live in Nashville, Tennessee. Even when I still lived in Florida, I would drive the 750 miles to Nashville on average 15 times a year, just for sessions and gigs.

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

Very difficult choice: I think I'll have to go with, in reverse order....

5: Where to Now, St. Peter
4: I Believe in Love
3: Don't Let The Sun Go Down (from Live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)
2: If the River Can Bend
1: Burn Down The Mission

But there are so many Elton songs that I love, this really isn't fair!!

Thank you!!! You have a great website on We could see "news" section, the "store" section with beautiful products, and enter to your blogsite… What we could find there?

We are working on changing the format, to a much more 'open-architecture' system. Until then, the site is a little bit disorganised. Bear with us, and there will be a new site soon.

You had recently published a collection of drum loops, both in stereo (AIFF) and multi-track (WAV and AIFF) formats, for download. This is really a very useful tool for aspiring songwriters. What we have to do if we are interested in?

The site is and again we are in the process of building it, and making some changes. But it IS up & running, and I am recording some new loops. You can choose stereo loops (in AIFF form) or multitrack loop, if you want to mix your own drum sound.

You're an independent, freelance, drummer/producer/composer, with over 35 years experience in the Music Industry. You're a regular with two band: Orleans (, both in the studio and live, as well as Classic Rock revue, RPM ( Also you were backing the amazing guitarist John Jorgenson, another Elton veteran. And you run a home-based studio facility from your house in Nashville, Tennessee, where you record drum tracks for many clients worldwide. You're really a busy person, are you?

Yes, I keep very busy. I am really trying to push the session work - both in my own studio, and in the studios in Nashville, which is a huge music centre. In July I flew to Los Angeles to record for the new Barry Manilow album: “Greatest songs of the Eighties”. I have also done work, in my own studio, for Disney, both Disneyland, Tokyo and Paris! I'd really like to do less road-work and more studio stuff. After all, it was Elton that really took me out on the road. Before that, I was mainly a studio "cat".

Finally, could you explain a little bit about your future projects, please, Charlie? I know you did the re-recording original Bond theme tune with David Arnold…

Yes, that was tremendous fun. I hadn't worked with David Arnold for almost 11 years (since the Tomorrow Never Dies movie soundtrack sessions). We re-recorded the original (Monty Norman) guitar theme with a 71 piece orchestra, all together! What a buzz.... The venue was AIR Lyndhurst studios, in London, in September.

I am working on a project for world peace... as musical director. Look out for World Peace Tour for Children!

I'm also working on a charity album (again for children) with guitarist, Robin George ( He now lives in Spain, and is putting together a star-studded cast for this project: already on board are John Whetton (Asia), Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep), Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple).

Apart from that, I am networking with songwriters in the Nashville area, to record drum tracks for their songs.

Well, that's the end. You have been very kind to me, you should know how much eltonites we love you and remember you. You are a sweet and lovely person, Charlie. We'll never forget you. God Bless You and good luck in all of your projects!!

Thank you, Miquel. Thank you, everybody! I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy and prosperous New Year! Now we have had a change of government here, let's hope America can become once again a shining example to the world!

Thank you Charlie. Oh! I've got a surprise for you. You didn't know when we chatted, but I've got three people, that love you so much, they have something to say to you. I am sure you will love it, and if that make you happy and smile, that should be perfect for me:

John Jorgenson: "Charlie Morgan is very special to me too. We have gone through a lot together, playing together in the very smallest places imaginable and to thousands of people. The thing I love about Charlie is that he always plays his best no matter what, and gives a lot of respect to the music. We have been friends now for 13 years, and both of us has gotten married in that time, moved at least once, been in several different bands, and now we both live in Nashville"

Larry Hoppen, the "voice" of Orleans Band : "Charlie is not only one of the world's best pro drummers, DP experts and musicians. He is a true friend, generous, thoughtful and with a worldview not just intelliegent and born of travel and experience but of understanding of history. It has been my privilege and pleasure to play music with him and get to know him since we met in 2001. A true British Gentleman, CM has recorded under the most trying circumstances (with me)and knows the value of a great joke. '-)"

Mortonette Jenkins (now Stephens): I'd like to say that Charile Morgan was a pleasure to work with and is an excellent Drummer. Peace.

Thank you John, thank you Larry, thank you Mortonette for collaborating. I am sure that Charlie will smile when he read this...

2 Dec 2008

Unforgettable People (XXXVII): Charlie Morgan

Charlie Morgan, born on 9 August 1955 in Hammersmith, London, England, is an English drummer and percussionist. Educated mostly in west London, at St Peter's Primary School, Hammersmith, Chiswick & Bedford Park Preparatory School, and Latymer Upper School (also responsible for the education of such luminaries as actors as Hugh Grant or Alan Rickman). Charlie spent a brief interlude in Geneva, Switzerland, between 1967-69, where he learnt to speak fluent French, and also first began playing drums.

Upon his return to London, Charlie continued his education at Latymer, eventually leaving school in 1973 to pursue a career in the music industry. "When I first started working in the studio, there were hundreds of “demo studios” in London... places where songwriters went to record “demos” of their latest tunes" explained Charlie. "I cut my session teeth on working in these places, as well as doing radio sessions for the BBC".

Charlie's successes came with Kate Bush's Lionheart album in 1978, followed by a single and world tour with the final line-up of the Tom Robinson Band. In 1980/81 he toured and recorded with the British singer-songwriter, Judie Tzuke. But it was legendary Australian Julian Mendelsohn who was the responsible to involve Charlie in Nik Kershaw's project, working on his first 3 albums: Human Racing, The Riddle and Radio Musicola. "In fact, it was my work on Nik's albums that brought me to the attention of Elton John. So you could say I owe Nik (and his producer, Peter Collins) quite a debt of gratitude" reminds now Charlie. By 1985, he was one of the busiest session drummers in Europe. Later that year Elton invited him to play with his band at Live Aid: "As we left the stage after our short set, Elton said: ”Lets’ put this band on the road.” Charlie added.

As Elton John's drummer for thirteen years (1985-1998), Charlie recorded 6 albums and toured the world a dozen times.

Charlie has over 150 album credits and has appeared on numerous international TV shows and movie soundtracks. Amongst the other artists Charlie has recorded with are: Paul McCartney, Tina Turner (We Don't Need Another Hero, from the movie: Mad Max, Beyond the Thunderdome), Mecano, Mocedades, Nik Kershaw, Tracey Ullman (They Don't Know), Matt Bianco, Gary Moore, Alan Stivell, Pete Townshend (Iron Man).

He currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his second wife, Jerilyn, and has been a regular player with 1980's hit-band, Orleans since 2000, as well as another Classic Rock outfit: RPM. He also runs an independent, home-based studio, Manicdrums Productions, where he records drum tracks for clients from all over the world.

Charlie Morgan’s Specialties:
drumming, production, engineering, composition

Charlie Morgan’s Interests:
motor sports, skiing, horse riding, cycling, hiking, computers, technology, history of religion

Charlie Morgan’s Honors:
Honorary professorship of Rock Drums, Royal Academy of Music, London


1 Dec 2008

Famous Norwegian Eltonites

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway was born on 22 September 1971 in Oslo and she is the only daughter of King Harald V and Queen Sonja. She is fourth in the line of succession to the Norwegian throne, after her brother and his two children. At birth, she was not in line to the throne, because until 1990, only males could inherit the Norwegian throne. Princess Märtha Louise is a certified physiotherapist. On 24 May 2002 Princess Märtha Louise married in Trondheim author Ari Behn (born 1972 as Ari Bjørshol; he later took his grandmother's name). Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn have three daughters.

Henning Solberg (born 8 January 1973 in Askim) is a Norwegian rally driver. With co-driver Cato Menkerud, he currently competes in the World Rally Championship (WRC) with Stobart M-Sport Ford. Solberg is the older brother of the 2003 world champion Petter Solberg. Henning Solberg’s unexpected meeting with a tree at the end of one day meant he finished well out of the points. But the poor guy was without his trusty codriver Cato Menkerud, who was at home with his family and newborn baby. However, he emailed Rally Radio to say hi and to request a song to show his affection for Henning: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John.

John Carew is a professional football player, born on September 9, 1979 in Lorenskog, Norway. His father is Gambian and his mother is Norwegian and he was born and brought up in Norway. On November 18, 1998, John Carew made his international debut for the Norway national team. John Carew was signed by Aston Villa in a part-exchange deal with Olympique Lyonnais for Milan Baros on January 22, 2007. He is well known for being a religious person, and also makes donations to charity. After joining Aston Villa, he has been a regular face at hospitals around Birmingham. He visits the children in these hospitals and donates a part of his payroll towards hospital running costs, a movement initiated by Aston Villa.

27 Nov 2008

Famous Arizonans Eltonites

Around 1976 Alice Cooper and Elton were friends and neighbours. Some members of Elton's band, like Davey Johnstone, Dee Murray or Kiki Dee collaborated with Cooper. When Bernie was apart from Elton, he wrote several lyrics for Cooper, for example "How You Gonna See Me Now?" where Bernie definated himself as a "hobo in the snow".

Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier on February 4,1948. He helped to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, and is seen as being the person who "first introduced horror imagery to rock'n'roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre". His experience in the sanitarium, for an alcohol treatment, was the inspiration for his 1978 semi-autobiographical album "From The Inside", which Cooper co-wrote with Bernie Taupin.

Linda Maria Ronstadt was born on July 15, 1946 in Tucson, Arizona. Establishing her professional career in the mid-1960s at the forefront of California's emerging folk rock and country rock movements, genres which later defined post-60s rock music, Linda Ronstadt became the lead singer of a successful folk rock group, The Stone Poneys. Later, as a solo artist, she released Hand Sown ... Home Grown in 1969, considered the first alternative country record by a female recording artist.

Major criticism and praise involving Ronstadt's politics arose during a July 17, 2004 performance at the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas. Towards the end of her performance, as she had done across the country, Ronstadt spoke to the audience, praising Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore's documentary film about the Iraq War, and dedicated the song "Desperado" to Moore. Ronstadt's comments, as well as the reactions of some audience members and the hotel, became a topic of discussion nationwide; the incident prompted international headlines and debate on an entertainer's right to express a political opinion from the stage. Following the incident, many friends of Ronstadt's, including The Eagles, immediately canceled their engagement at the Aladdin. Ronstadt also received immediate telegrams of support from her rock 'n' roll friends around the world, such as The Rolling Stones, and Elton John.

25 Nov 2008

The Story Behind "Into The Old Man's Shoes"

"I'm moving out of Tombstone, yeah with the sun behind my back
I'm tired of people talking of things that I lack
Ever since a week ago, the day he passed away
I've been taking too much notice of the things they've had to say

And all they say is you ain't half the man he used to be
He had strength and he worked his life to feed his family
So if that's the way it has to be, I'll say goodbye to you
I'm not the guy, or so it seems to fill my old man's shoes

That beatiful country song penned by Bernie's pen, has its story in Tombstone. The boy he's talking about was moved to escape from comparisons to his heroic father.

Tombstone is the most famous of Arizona mining camps with its colorful history. Tombstone was the place were man lived fast and died quickly. Discovered by Ed Schieffelin in 1878, the mine went on to produce millions. One day in 1877 the prospector Ed Schieffelin stand in Camp Huachuca and he looked on the mountains in the northeast. The rich colors of the mountains looked to him very promised and he decided to go there and dig a little. He toll that to the soldier who stand beside him and the soldier warned him about Apaches who controlled the area, and he say to him "All you'll find in those hills is your tomb-stone". In February 1878 decided Schieffelin at go alone on the search after his fortune. He found a rich silver ore (on the place were he was hiding in two nights for Apache Indians and in the memory what the solders tell him, he registered the two lots: "the Tombstone" and "the Graveyard". He decided that his brother Al shall see the ore and check the ore value, so he traveled all the way to Signal (now ghost town about 170 mile in airline from Tombstone). Brothers returned together with Signal assay Richard K.Gird, who saw the ore value, and he over talked the brothers to bee theirs partner. On the way back Ed found two places more with silver ore and registered the lots as "Lucky Cuss" (he called him self that) and "the Toughnut" (he counted that will be "a tough nut to crack"). 40 million dollars in silver (value of 1.7 billion dollars today) was the result from those and others mines in the area between 1880-1886. Tombstone who flourished under the hunt of silver in the beginning of 1880 was known as one of the most notorious and violence towns, - here was silver the king, - but anyway so was a Tombstone the most nice and cultural town in the West.

West of the city, behind Tomb-stone graveyard is one pyramid looking stone monument who marked Ed Schieffelin grave place, who wished to be buried on the place were he hide in two nights for Apaches short before he found the big silver ore.

24 Nov 2008

AllSongsList Got The Chance To Chat With A Great & Well-Known Artist: Old76

Dear Eltonites: it's my pleasure to count here with one of most talented people we could find in Eltonite's world. I really love his art, he's such a fantastic person, I've been privileged to chat a little with him and I am so happy. Please, everybody should get up to receive the only one, the giantic, the fantastic.... Old76!!!

So, Who are you OLD76 ?

I am a Rocket Man, not the man they think I am at home... Well, seriously, my name is Walter V and I am from Belgium. I lived the past 51 years in Belgium and since the existence of the Elton John Forum, I started to learn another Elton John fan, who is probably more crazy about him than myself.. Mostly everyone, let's say the 'older' EJ forum generation, knows I'm talking about 'suezq'. Since the beginning of this year we're living together in Arizona USA.

When your interest in art began and why did you chose Elton as your inspiration?

My interest in Art started already when I was a young boy, making drawings, painting, collages were my thing. I followed Art lessons and Art history lessons later, but I didn't have much time for it as I also had a busy job at the Brussels Belgian airport being a cargo agent.

My father is also a very gifted landscape painter and he also taught me a couple of things.

I really started to draw in 1988 and over the years I made over 1300 Artworks, if you want to call it that way, in all kind of (mixed) media.

Why Elton John? I have been a fan from him since the early seventies. He participated once in 1970 at the Knokke Music contest, even before he went to the USA I saw something in him although I didn't realize that at the time. Some years later when ROCKET MAN came out, I realized that it was HIM that I saw that day on the television, so my interest grew from day to day.... But it took a few years more to buy the first record of him, GREATEST HITS I, because in the previous years I was a poor boarding school student. That was in 1976, and therefore I chose my nickname on the Elton John Forum to be 'old76'. I also remember that I once had the album GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD in my hands, but I didn't buy it at that time because my favorite song ROCKET MAN was not on it....

For my artwork I didn't chose him... it HAD to be him. I was so obsessed (in a positive way) with his music and Bernie's lyrics that I had to bring them over on drawing paper, my personal view how I saw the songs. I listened and taped them over and over again, and while I was making my drawings I listened to his music mostly. Some songs and lyrics are very personal, some I try to create my own meaning of them on paper.

Over the years, I made (roughly) 600 drawings and paintings about the Elton John Songs. This September-October I made a lot of collages too.

Which period of Elton's life do you prefer, cause you find it more interesting, in artistic terms ?

In Artistic terms I personally like to draw Elton mostly with his 1979 look, f.e. when he was in Russia... but I have drawn him in all his different periods. It doesn't matter. The nineties look, 1992-1999, I wasn't crazy about that, but I have done him too then... The Seventies Elton I like the most, and the 2000's Elton too. To express on paper a song I don't have to draw him, I just try to express my meaning about the song, and if anyone else sees something else in it, well, so be it, and that is perfectly fine for me. In fact I like that.

However, this year I have drawn him more than ever before... He was (roughly) in more than 50 percent of my works.

Has Elton known your job? Do you send him some of your piece of arts ?

The answer of both questions is ... from 1988-2007 NO and NO again. It was all personal, I did it for myself as a sort of hobby after a long day's work at the airport.

But it all changed a little bit in 2008... when I met Suezq.

We handed some of 'old76' prints to Elton on stage to sign and he noticed it. Later a lot of other forum members got some old76 prints signed and went to different concerts with old76 drawings in their T-shirt...

I also made a Birthday card for his 61st birthday, which was presented to him with his favorite flowers, in Las Vegas. Forum members Mary and Nancy organized that all with great success and they have become very good friends of us.

Later there was the Australian LATW event and forum member Erol the Kid gave Elton on stage the Artwork that I especially had made for this event. Elton showed it to the crowd.

Later on I made some poster drawings for Mary for her Orlando LATW. By this way I want to express that she is really one of the greatest Elton John fans in the world in true heart and soul.

Are you interested in other artists too ?

Yes, I am a MARK KNOPFLER (DIRE STRAITS) fan, too. I've seen them a few times in concert, as they performed before at the Rock Werchter Festival ground a few times. ROCK WERCHTER is Europe's most popular and best festival and I saw over the years a lot of great artist performing there like PInk Floyd (I'm a fan here too), Rolling Stones, Sting, R.E.M., Bob Dylan, David Bowie and even Michael Jackson, to name a few....

By the way, I live(d) at appox. 1 mile from the Werchter Festivalground.

Finally, also Elton performed in Werchter last year July and ofcourse I was there too. I was a little bit disappointed that he didn't sing JUST LIKE BELGIUM.... LOL, Elton.

So, yes, I make also drawings about other artist's songs.

Which products could we find in your exposition? And what we have to do to buy one of your works ?

Most of my drawings are music related... but I have also made a lot of drawings concerning my travels through Southeast Asia, and it's a little bit funny, but even these drawings I always try to give a music related theme, from Elton or other artists...

If you are interested in some artwork, just contact us via our website. This website is created by my wonderful partner Sue who stands behind me in everything I do and is a true motivation to go further with the things I am doing. Without her, I wouldn't be the same today.

And there is also where you can find some of my Artwork and also Suezq's artwork, who is also a beginning but talented watercolor artist.

Finally, could you tell us, please, in running order, your five favourite Elton John songs and why they are special for you?

Through the years I have drawn a lot of EJ songs... some are more special than others. You could say that for almost every EJ song there is something I can find back in my own life....


A special attention also for YOUR SONG, because it is my partner Suezq's favorite and it has now a special meaning for both of us.

Wow!!!! Really I am happy to had you here. It was nice for me and I feel so fortunate. Thank you very much, by heart. Would you want to add something more for the eltonites here?

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed. Your website is fantastic!

If anyone is interested in seeing more of my artwork, please visit my website at

I strongly recommend it, of course, people!!!!

23 Nov 2008

Jack Rabbit In Munich: The Fan Convention

When I took the plane to Munich, I couldn't imagine that I would spend one of the most beatiful weeks of my life. What's a fan convention? well, a get together where we could met another eltonites and talk hours and hours about Elton (really it's hard to do it in my homeplace, lol). Stephan was the leader of a well-organized fan convention. We went to Hard Rock Café to lunch and began to explain our histories about Elton. Everybody had one at least. I understood that we simply love Elton, we are so loyal to him, we adore him. I met people from Japan, Sweden, Ukraine, Switzerland, Spain (of course), France, Israel and Germany. I remember all of them very well, although I didn't had the chance to speak with all of them individually. Also all wore a pin from Hercules and another pin about I-Don't-Know-What-Blogsite-It-Was-Talking-About, some friki eltonite should give them. Ahhhh!!!

I still feel the nervous sensation when we went together to the Munich Olympia Halle. Elton was in a good mood and obviously in form. After his lengthy explanation about how he had crossed out the last verse to "Daniel", everybody was laughing about that, and an surprised Elton said "God, your English is soooo goooood". And after the Rocket Man video, Elton joked with the audience and asked them a question: "You know, that wasn't really me in the movie. Was it a) Michael Schumacher, b) Barack Obama or c) Justin Timberlake?". That delighted the audience, everybody was laughing too. All the videos are beatiful and David LaChapelle did a wonderful job, what the video of "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" impressed me. I was waiting that, trying to imagine how LaChapelle would explain Elton's suicide attempt; yes, that surreal situation in the line of one of bests Woody Allen's films: the man prpearing the pillow, opening windows, opening the gas oven and putting his head inside. I really liked the "Believe" video too and the fantastic "PinBall Wizard" one. My God, the Red Piano it's rally an spectacular show.

Set List:

Bennie and the Jets
Philadelphia Freedom
Rocket Man
I Guess That's Why They Call They Call It The Blues
Someone Saved My My Life Tonight
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
Tiny Dancer
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
Candle In The Wind
Pinball Wizard
The Bitch Is Back
I'm Still Standing
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
Your Song

I was so sad because Victoria and Elizabeth couldn't bring the flowers they bought for Elton. And I hear somewhere other people had plans to give a present for Elton without success (you know what I mean dears!!!)

And I couldn't forget three wonderful people I met. They gave me a fantastic weekend, they were so amazing, so friendship and so beatiful. I danced with them and I sang with them all the songs like I never did. I finished exhausted buy happy. That's what it counts for me. My best wishes to them and I really wish I could have a new chance to be at their side other day. Ferran, Brigitte and Anna: since that, you always have a place in my heart. Thank you for being as you are.