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23 May 2009

The Eltonite's Day With... Andrea Grasso!!!

I've met very interesting eltonites over there. What is amazing is that everyone have their own history and it's great to listen those stories. I went to Italy to the promo of "Peachtree Road" in 2004. More than the concert, which it was great, it was meeting great people, fantastic and passionate elton fans, ... One of them is the man on my side... AllSongsList has the honour to receive the fantastic, the incredible, the unrepeatable... Andrea Grassooooo!!!!!!! Hello Andrea... Nice you are here... Thank you for the acceptation, really a pleasure to have you... Could you tell us, please, who are you and where are you from?

I’m a 32 year old boy from Italy… to be precise I was born and live in Sicily, the island at the end of Italy.

I’m a fan/collector of Elton and currently I’m one of the three admins of the Italian forum (, that we like to see as a sort of an Italian Fan Club.

Also, I sometimes help Beppe, the owner of the Italian site (, with the translations of the lyrics and other stuff.

I also had the idea (and developed it along with Beppe and Simona) of a site entirely dedicated to Elton’s collectors, that right now is still at its start (; if one day we will manage to at least half-complete it, it will be very interesting for every Elton fan!

Great! When did you become an Eltonite? Remember the first time you heard Elton's music and what moves you to buy his music?

I remember having first seen Elton in an Italian TV show in 1988 singing “A word in Spanish”, but being very young at the time I wasn’t really interested in music, but that’s when I knew who he was!

Then I became interested in his music in 1992; when The One came out, it was very successful in Italy, so I was lent both The One and The Very Best from classmates; useless to say that I got mainly caught by The Very Best. After one year of hearing few Elton albums from tapes copied from someone else’s CDs, in 1993 I actually started to buy Elton’s records, and soon I was keen to have them all!

Ok!!! What was it like seeing Elton for the first time and how many concerts have you been at? And also, could you tell us if you have ever been in touch with him, got a signed autograph or even, spoken with him or with other members of his band?

Although my first aborted plan to see Elton live was in 1994 (it was a show with Ray Cooper in Rome), I was still too young and with no money to travel, so the first time I actually went to see him was in 1998 in Pesaro. I can’t remember exactly the feeling when I saw him for the first time, but I was surelly very excited and couldn’t believe that the man that I followed for many years was right in front of me.

Until now I’ve seen 9 concerts, and hopefully very soon I will see his 10th.

I know maybe 9 concerts are not much for a huge fan, but the main problem for me is that he often plays in the North of Italy, while I live in the South, so going to see him in the North involves big money (flights, hotels…) and also his tickets were always very expensive!

At the concerts I had several autographs from him, and also I shortly met him in Venice, but that’s a long story and somehow I’d like to keep it for myself. Never had any physical contact with any musician of his band, but as you know, I interviewed some musician of his past bands through Internet.

And how should be your dream concert? And which one of Elton's live shows you thought you should have been at, if you could, even back in time?

My dreamed concert would be Elton (with or without his band) playing only songs that he never played live so far! Mainly B-sides but also some unknown or long-forgotten album track! NO HITS at all!
If I could go back in time, I’d probably go to any concert from 1973; apart from that, Troubadour 1970, Dodger 1975 and even Central Park 1980.

Fine! Which are your favourite albums, or the Elton´s must to have songs that should be in an eltonite's ipod?

My favourite three albums are GYBR, Captain Fantastic and Made in England, but I like every Elton’s album, apart from Victim of love (which anyway I listen to every now and then); I also like Ice on fire and Leather Jackets; of course I can’t consider them among his best, but I like them.

As far as an i-Pod compilation, I have done in the past compilations for friends for trying to “convert” them to the EJ world, and usually I do a “personalized” compilation depending on which kind of music my friend likes.But myself, I prefer not to “mix” Elton songs in an i-Pod, I just prefer to listen to the whole albums with all the songs in their original running order (without “skipping” anything)!

If I should listen to “mixed” Elton songs, I would choose only demos and unreleased songs.

How was the success of Elton John in your country? Which references had italians about Elton, specially in the 70s and 80s? And the most succesful albums? Could you still hear Elton´s music now on radio stations?

Well, Elton’s success in Italy is very strange. I can’t really say much about the 70s/80s because I was a child not following music, but I think Elton was never much a mainstream artist here, rather a “cult” artist.

I can tell you that “A word in Spanish” was a big hit here (as I said before I watched the performance of this song in an italian TV show) and also “Town of plenty”, since its videoclip was used to end everyday a very popular show for children; consequently, Reg Strikes Back had a big success here, probably more than in England! Another album that had a huge success here was The One, along with the title-track.

Also, in 1995 Believe topped the italian single chart, but I never understood why….and The Big Picture was a huge success here as it was in every other country. But after that, I think that the following albums didn’t have a big success in Italy, just one or two weeks appearance in the TOP10 and then disappearing.

Anyway, everytime Elton plays in Italy, it’s almost a sold-out….but when you search for Italian fans in the streets or in the Net, you rarely find any of them!

Yes, we can hear Elton’s songs in Italian radio stations, but mainly the 70s/80s hits. When “The heart of every girl” was released, though, a radio station that you can define “AOR” passed this song very often, and so they did with "Electricity"! Once in the car late at night I was VERY surprised to hear "Mellow" on this station… but it’s a case of a clever radio station (Radio Capital), the other common stations only pass the usual hit every now and then.

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?

Probably the first autograph that he did on an LP of mine was the item that gave me most happiness.

Talking of rarities, the most hard to get for me were three Cdsingles: Duets for one (Spanish promo), Stan (with Eminem) and Flames of paradise (French promo).

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

1.Funeral/Love lies bleeding
3.Someone saved my life tonight
4.Goodbye yellow brick road
5.The one

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

To Italian fans: please visit our forum! ;)

To the hard-core fans/collectors from all over the world: why not gather ourselves in a forum or somewhere else to discuss Elton’s music in deep? Nothing against the new fans (I was one of them many years ago) but I got a little tired of forums where people asks where this certain B-side can be found or if someone can pass them for free as MP3! I’d like to talk and discuss with real experts and with longtime fans to compare our collections or to discuss Elton’s life and music to an higher level than usual; and of course to trade unofficial material! ;)

Thank you very much, Andrea, really a worth experience for me to do this interview. An honour you share your time with AllSongsList. Take care and good luck.

Elton In Italian Music Charts

Top 1

Crocodile Rock / Elderberry wine
Something about the way you look tonight / Candle in the wind 1997
Don't let the sun go down on me / I Believe
Believe / The one (Live)

Top 2

The One / Suit of wolves

Top 3

Don't Go Breaking My Heart / Snow queen

Top 4

Daniel / Have mercy on the criminal
Sorry seems to be the hardest word / Sweet thing

Top 5

Healing hands / Dancing in the end zone
That's what friends are for / Two ships passing in the night

Top 6

Rocket man / Tiny dancer
Through the storm / Come to me

Top 9

Sorry seems to be the hardest word / Shoulder holster

Top 10

Blue eyes / Hey papa legba
Runaway Train / Understanding women

22 May 2009

Happy Birthday, Bernie!!!!!!!!! AllSongsList Homage To The Most Greatest LyricWriter Of The World

Bernie Taupin was born May 22, 1950, at Flatters, a farm house, between the village of Anwick and the town of Sleaford in the southern part of Lincolnshire, England. Taupin left school at age 16 and held various jobs as a young man. He worked as a farm laborer, in a factory, and as an apprentice printer. Taupin admitted to Billboard that he was "insubordinate" and got himself fired from the printing job, partially because it seemed like an eternity before he would be a full-fledged printer. As a young man, Taupin enjoyed writing and was encouraged in this effort by his mother. In 1967, after working at various jobs unsuccessfully, he went to London to respond to an ad in the New Musical Express. Placed by the new independent label Liberty Records, it sought artists and composers.

Taupin began working with Elton John at age 17. His first lyric written in this joint effort was called "Scarecrow," a demo that was never recorded. John had been making demos at Dick James's studio and used some of Taupin's lyrics before they met in person. Finally, they were introduced at the studio; afterwards, they went to the nearby Lancaster Grill on Tottenham Court Road, where they agreed to do some songs together.

By the time they worked together on the Tumbleweed album, which was released in 1970, Taupin and John had developed a style of collaboration in which Taupin worked alone, giving the lyrics to John who then developed the melodies. Taupin's writing habits have since changed; where once he simply sat down and wrote unaccompanied, he now finds using a guitar helpful in the creative process. He plays chords on the guitar as he writes the lyrics.

In 1980, Taupin recorded his first album as a singer, "He Who Rides the Tiger". Although he demonstrated a more-than-adequate vocal ability, the album failed to make a dent in the charts. Taupin later suggested in interviews that he didn't have the creative control he would have liked over the album.

In 1987, he recorded another album entitled "Tribe". The songs were co-written with Martin Page. "Citizen Jane" and "Friend of the Flag" were released as singles. Videos of both singles featured Rene Russo the sister of Toni his wife at that time.

Bernie married Maxine Feibelman in 1971. The two divorced in 1976 and Taupin remarried in 1979 to mentioned Toni Lynn Russo. He and Russo divorced in 1991. Taupin then married Stephanie Haymes on 21 August 1993 and has two stepdaughters with her. They divorced in 1998. Bernie is now married to Heather Lynn Hodgins Kidd, whom he wed 27 March 2004 and has fathered two daughters, Charley Indiana and Georgey Devon.

Taupin had a fascination with the American West as a child. He was interested in the history and, particularly, the people who lived during the time of the gunslingers. He read books about Billy The Kid and Wyatt Earp. This interest eventually led him to move to the United States, where he has lived for over 20 years. He settled in California, became a United States citizen, and now raises cutting horses on a ranch in Santa Ynez Valley, California. With his new lifestyle, Taupin has become the image of the Brown Dirt Cowboy.

"Bernie Taupin to me is the greatest lyric writer that ever lived on the face of the planet." W. Axl Rose, singer.

"Without Bernie, basically, there wouldn’t have been an Elton John. I mean, without that stroke of good fortune and kismet as it were, Elton John probably wouldn’t have happened. I’m just a purveyor of Bernie’s feelings, Bernie’s thoughts" Elton John, Captain Fantastic

Read more:

15 May 2009

Peachtree Road: Elton's Quiet Place

One of America's best known streets, Peachtree winds north from downtown Atlanta through the heart of Buckhead, closely following the Chattahoochee ridge route of the Indian-era Peachtree Trail. Downtown, it's Peachtree Street, but after it merges with West Peachtree and heads north, it becomes Peachtree Road.

Some of Atlanta's grandest churches, such as the Cathedral of St. Philip, are on Peachtree, as well as some of the region's glitziest shopping centers: Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza. Writers have always found Peachtree irresistible, and it's almost a character in Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind" and Anne Rivers Siddons' "Peachtree Road." One of the city's most recognizable skyscrapers is the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel, with a cylindrical design and all-glass exterior. Atlanta's Hard Rock Cafe is across the street, at Peachtree and Andrew Young International Boulevard.

About the origin of Peachtree Road name, it all started in the 18th century, according to Donald Rooney, a curator at the Atlanta History Center, when an Indian trail emerged along the route. It started as a raised land ridge that was convenient to natives seeking a high observation point during floods. "It can be debated if Peachtree was actually named for a peach tree" Rooney said. "Peach trees were not indigenous to the area." Historians speculate that a large peach tree might have grown at the site of a military fort once anchoring the route. Others theorize that Indians used a pine tree there for resin, also known as sap or pitch, and called it a "pitch tree."

Scotty Greene, president of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, said to that Peachtree is "exploding." "The evolution of this is what’s interesting," he said. "In 1997 there was one tower...then you had the classic Wakefield [Peachtree and West Paces Ferry] and Elton John’s building [Park Place] and the one across from The Peach [The Phoenix] and now that stretch all the way to Peachtree Battle will have more modern-day projects – the new urban ecology."

Elton has 1 1/2 floors in the Park Place building. His entire photography collection is placed there. He fell in love with the city when he went to do some recording many years ago. He has said Atlanta is the only city in the world where he can just live a normal life because the locals pretty much leave him alone and are not overly impressed by his celebrity.

Paul Diaz owns Tree Sound Studios in Norcross, located just 20 minutes from Buckhead. Around Diaz on the wall are albums by artists who have worked with Tree Sound Studios, including Usher, Backstreet Boys, Trey Lorenz or Elton John. Elton John's "Peachtree Road" album was recorded there.

13 May 2009

Marlena Jeter's Beatiful Songs!!!! A must have!!!

Marlena Jeter aka LENA J’S debut album entitled “LOVE STORIES” is a diverse collection of songs that will appeal to R&B purists and the Hip-Hop Community as well. Well known for his collaboration with Elton, among other artists like Lionel Richie, this very talented R&B singer is currently featured on the Dr. Martin Luther King tribute album "The Message In Music". Her song on the album, "Live The Dream", is currently the most downloaded song off the album on iTunes. The track was produced by Kirv, who is one of Dr. Dre's co-producers.

"Love Stories" is set to drop in June 2009 through her label Lady J Enterprises. Besides Kirv, Lena is also working with Battlecat and Beatmasta Wes (UGK, India Arie). "Think I Might", "What Would I Do?", "Love Me Up" and, specially, "The Promise"... I really love the richness and smoothness of her voice. Very recommendable!!!

Available on sites like iTunes,, and A must have for eltonites and music fans in general who appreciates the beatiful melodies!!!


11 May 2009

Missy "Three Gold" Gymns done it!!!!

Allsongslist is proud to have one of the greatest gymnastics of the US. She did it again: three medal golds in a row!!! She's an eltonite, she gave us an interview days ago, and we're so happy for her because she is a champion.

Here's an extract of his thoughts about this wonderful new:

"It is all wonderful. We went there on Friday night and chilled out. I met with both of my sponsors from Reebok and NIKE and share with them all about my routines and using Eltons music. Then the next day, it was time to finally put Eltons two new routines to the test. First was the Balance Beam. I was a bit nervous, but the judges were great and then I was ready to go. I scored very high on that apparatus using Eltons Tiny Dancer. By this time, I was calm. A while later, I was watching the scores of the other gymnasts. They were all great. I thought to myself, " Oh Wow!, they are awsome. An hour later, it was my turn to do the Floor routine. That is a new routine as well. It is to Eltons Saturday Nights Alright for Fightin. As soon as I heard that song come on, I pulled it together and hammered out that routine. As soon as I was finished with that routine, I new I had the toughest routine coming up. A bit later, I received my score for the floor routine and it was Awsome as well. A judge approached me and said " Missy, take it all" Next and finally, was the routine that I was a bit nervous about. It was my Uneven Bar routine to Eltons "Burn Down the Mission" I not only had my work cut out for me on the apparatus, it was the last routine of the night so all eyes were on this routine. I knew as soon as that song started, I focused and pulled everything I had and went for it. As I went through the routine, I was in total focus and I thought to myself, come on Missy, nail it. The audience as well as judges were supporting me and then I came to my final element which was my dismount. I knew I had to go for it and pulled the double layout dismount and nailed that and I had a standing ovation from the judges as well as the audience. I thought "perfect, I nailed everything. As soon as I left the mat, they had my score and I new I had my third Gold Medal of the night.

After the meet, both my sponsors came up to me and congradulated me and I will now be headed off to Reebok and NIKE to visit. That's when there will be more discussion on everything".

Without question... She's the best!!!

10 May 2009

Eltonite's Day: Ana From Colombia!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elton is well known every where, every country, because he is a worldwide artist... But, being an eltonite in Colombia have merit. Those countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, even Spain, the predominance is latin music. So, I would like to interview someone who really adores Elton... I have to bring one of the greatest fans Elton has in Southamerica... Ladies and gentlemen, a big applause for the person next to me... the beatiful, the fantastic, the incredible... Ana!!!!!!!

So thank you for the acceptation, really a pleasure to have you... Could you tell us, please more, who are you

First of all thanks to you for giving me the chance to talk about Elton John's music, it is a topic I really enjoy to talk about. My name is Ana Milena Yance, I am 18 yeard old, I am a student and I live in a city called Barranquilla in Colombia, South America.

Great! When did you became an Eltonite? Remember the first time you heard Elton's music and what moves you to buy his music? all started one day at school. My english teacher used to bring songs for our listening activity and we were supossed to listen to the song and fill the blank spaces in the lyrics she gave us. So this day she brought Sacrifice and once she played it I just fell in love with the song. I had heard it many times before,but it was that time when I really payed attention to its beautiful melody and lyrics and I just loved it. I just thought the song was so pure and perfect and since then I got more interested in Elton John's music and became a fan.

Ok!!! 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, get a signed autograph or even, speak with him or with other member of his band?

This question makes me sad, because I have never really gone to an Elton concert. I had the chance to go 3 months ago. I had been waiting for that all my life, because Colombia is not a place where Elton gives concerts as often as in other countries. It was the first time he came here after so many years and I was so excited about finally having the chance to go, but for many reasons I could not make it and I got really upset, but I keep hoping that someday I will. And well...the closest contact I have had with him is an autographed picture I got from him 3 years ago. I sent him a letter and he just sent me that picture back and I thought it was awsome!! I can not explain how happy I was when I got it and I consider it one of the most valuable treasures I have.

And how should be your dreamed concert? And which one of Elton's live shows you thought you should be there, if you could, even back in time?

My dream concert would be a concert where I am in the front row and Elton invites me to the stage to sing with him haha, and after the show is over he lets me go backstage to have some nice talk.I know it sounds crazy but that's how I picture the concert of my dreams. And if I could go back in time to assist to any EJ live show I would definetly go to the one I missed this year in my country. I think I will always wish I had been there.

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?

The autographed picture he sent me, as I said it is a very important treasure for me, because the day I got it was one of the happiest days of my life.

True. What is like being an eltonite in your country? Which are the colombians preferences in music and which is Elton's place there?

I haven't really met so many eltonites here. I have met people who like his music, but most of them aren't as crazy as me hahaha. Besides they just play a very few of his songs here. In fact I have only heard Sacrifice being played here on the radio, that's why it is the song people know the most. To be honest everybody here knows who is Elton John, but most of them don't know much about his music. I think he might have more fans in other cities though.

Any colombian compilation or recording on Elton to remark?

I just know about an LP that was released here in Colombia, it was called The New Great Talent – Elton John, but there are probably a few more.

Oh, once you said "I am really really good at memorizing lyrics. There are LOTS of songs that I can sing exactly as they are written..." What do you think about Bernie's lyrics?

Well, yeah I am very good at memorizing lyrics and things in general and I love singing Elton John songs out loud when I am alone at home haha. I think Bernie's lyrics are very deep and hard to understand sometimes, you really need to analyse them because most of the time the real meaning or what they are trying to say is not what you think they say when you first read them. I must admit that many times I just sing the songs without knowing what they really mean.

Also you said: "OF COURSE I find Elton attractive. He's really really handsome"... really is he?

Yes, of course he is. But you also need to take into account that you asked me that a long time ago. When I was arround 13 or 14 years old I wanted to marry him haha I had one of those crushes people have on singers, actors and famous people in general. Now I am more grown up and I see him more like a great artist and someone I admire very much, but I still think he is an attractive man.

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

Without a doubt Sacrifice is in the first place , because that song made me an Elton fan and it has been my all time favorite, followed by Daniel, Rocket Man, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Crocodile Rock. I always tend to change the last 3 places, but the first 2 have always stayed the same.

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

Well, to all the Eltonites out there I would like to say congratulations, I think we are all loyal fans. We are doing a great job, we have a lot of websites and a lot of Elton John groups, blogs and spaces to exchange opinions, information, pictures and all kind of stuff, it's like an EJ universe haha, I love it!!. And I would also like to tell Elton, if he ever reads this, to please come down here and give more concerts, he doesn't come that often to this country and it would be really great if he did.

Thank you very much, Ann, really a worth experience for me to do this interview. An honour you share your time with AllSongsList. Take care and good luck.

2 May 2009

Eltonites About David Paton

"Back in 1995 Bob Birch (EJ's bassist) was hit by a vehicle in Montreal on the MADE IN ENGLAND tour. Bob was badly hurt and David Paton received a call from the Elton John HQ and was asked to fill in IMMEDIATELY on the tour! David graciously agreed and helped save the rest of the tour. In fact, David was the bassist at the next city (Detroit - Palace of Auburn Hills) and was excellent...I was fortunate enough to be there for it. I was worried that he wouldn't be able to play that huge 2 3/4 hour setlist but he was simply great.

That 1995 performance wasn't the only time that I was fortunate enough to see David Paton. I also went to see EJ and the Band in an all-time record rainfall in August of 1986 at the Toronto CNE. Whoa! Lightning, thunder, and buckets of cold rain! But a really hot show!

The band's version of "One Horse Town" remains, to this moment, one of my most enjoyable concert memories. After the eerie intro to the song, they just blew us away. "Can I Get A Witness" as an encore was pure heaven - David Paton always seemed to enjoy playing live and the band had a great sound on that tour. Songs like "Sad Songs" and "This Town" (check the great live version of this from 1985 on Youtube) really excelled live with this line-up."