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25 Sept 2009

1977: Goaldigger's Chronology


Only 1,000 copies of "The Goaldigger's Song" single were pressed, with 500 of those being signed by Elton, and were mail-order only and cost the princely sum of a fiver-big money in 1977. It was recorded to raise money for the Goaldiggers football charity (formed to provide football pitches in deprived areas of the UK). The A-side was just Elton and piano, the B-side was a (mostly) spoken word piece explaining about the charity, featuring the voices of Jimmy Hill, Brian Moore, Elton and Eric Morecambe. It came in a Rocket records company sleeve.

Panther De Ville. (1974-85). Sitting on a giant 142 wheelbase, the tubular-framed De Ville used either a Jaguar 6 or 12 cylinder engine. With it's flowing wing lines and big headlights it was retro-styled on the 1930 Bugatti Royale. The car was brought new in 1977 by Elton John.

10 April

The Sunday Express reported that Elton and his then manager John Reid were to open an eating establishment in London's Covent Garden and would be called "Friends".

2 May to 7 May

Elton John and percussionist Ray Cooper were challenged to run six shows at the Rainbow Theatre, all in the same week. They accepted, and did all six shows with great success, which also became some of the very few live appearances in '77. The opening night was a gala performance in aid of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Apeal. The material is mostly from the '70 - '74 era, but with some welcome additions from 75/76. The major part of the set list consists of ballads.

4 May

Daily Telegraph reported that Elton had apologised to Princess Alexandra for repeating details of a private conversation. The Princess had asked him at a backstage party if he took cocaine. “I thought it was very amusing and that is way I repeat it. Of course I do not take cocaine. It was only meant as a light-hearted comment” justified Elton about the incident.

11 June

Elton achieved a long time ambition when he became chairman of Watford F.C. The club was founded in 1881, first playing at Cassio Road ground, before moving to Vicarage Road in 1922. In 1975 Watford were relegated to the Fourth Division. However, they were adopted by Elton John in 1973 first as president and from 1977 as chairman. He had a declared ambition to take Watford into the First Division. And it began their remarkable climb to the top.

17 June

Baledictory Ball Charity Concert at Shoreditch College Chapel, Egham, featuring Elton solo. The members of the social committee decided to call upon famous local, Elton John who lived up the road and ask if he would perform. Elton did the gig for two bottles of wine.

1 August

Rocket Records Party celebrating Kiki Dee’s recent album and US tour, at One Fifth Restaurant, New York. Elton joined Kiki for two numbers: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart and I’ve Got The Music In Me. Blue also appeared performing a set.

2 August

Elton joined Bonnie Raitt and Kiki Dee onstage at the Dr. Pepper Central Park Musical Festival, at Wollman Rink in New York. Dr. Pepper is a soft drink and the festival ran 1977 to 1980, before moving in 1981 to Pier 84 on the Hudson River.

13 September

“Greatest Hits Vol. II” was issued in Britain and October 1 in US. This release precipitated by the settlement of a dispute as to whether the DJM recording had been satisfied.

1 October

Elton became the first non-athlete artist to be honoured in Madison Square Garden’s Hall Of Fame, in New York.

12 October

Elton and Bernie special guest appearance in New York, in Sam Goody's record store at Rockefeller Center, signin’ a new picture book by David Nutter, “Elton... It’s A Little Bit Funny”, chronicling the 1976 American and British tours. Bernie had written the narrative as well as prefactory poem “On The Road” , a look back to the succesful songwriting’s duo last year of glory. Histeria reigned behind barricades as young women shed tears and screamed.

Week of October 25, 1977

The Muppet Show, Episode 38. Original Airdates: February 6, 1978 (New York), February 10, 1978 and (LA). “The idea of having Elton on the show doing all that crazy stuff with those flamboyant costumes, the most big crazy glasses and feathers everywhere, particularly excited The Muppets” explained Brian Henson: “Until they called him and asked him what he wanted to do and he said, "You know I'll do anything but what I really don't want to do is I don't want to do those crazy, flamboyant costumes with all big feathers and big glasses and stuff" so naturally that was a bit of a problem for The Muppets because that's what we were really looking forward to so this whole episode is about The Muppets really wanting him to do that flamboyant crazy look and him not wanting to but as always The Muppets always sort of win out in the end."

In an elaborate set with Elton John singing “Crocodile Rock” in a crocodile infested swamp, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem performed in all-new costumes while Elton wears a huge elaborate get-up. Kermit reprimanded the crocs for eating the guest at the beginning of the show. After that, Kermit convinced Elton to hear Scooter’s song that sounded horrible; he was trying to do “Bennie And The Jets” and Elton showed Scotter the way the song should be done. Elton and Dr. Teeth's band were back again to the more traditional (and less dangerous) Electric Mayhem stage playing “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. In a conversation between Kermit and Sam, Sam asked why “why does (Elton) dress like a stolen car?”. Kermit went on to explain how musicians have always been fancy dressers. Sam refused to believe Mozart would wear such things as wigs, high heels, and silk stockings and the two place a bet. Scooter settled the bet with a picture of Mozart Elton John just gave him. The highlight of the show was Elton’s duet with Miss Piggy on “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with Miss Piggy addressing to Kiki: “Eatcher heart out, Kiki!”. Closing the show, Kermit also joined in the costume capers looking somewhat like a cross between Elton and a psychedelic bumblebee as the rest of the Muppet cast show off their threads. Elton takes his curtain call in a more traditional suit. Scooter surprised, told Elton: “Boy, Elton - you look WEIRD!” and Elton said “Well you guys are all dressed like stolen cars!”. This episode was nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Directing for a Comedy-Variety or Music Series".

3 November

During a special Charity performance in Aid of the Royal variety Club of Great Britain and the Goaldiggers, in the Empire Pool, Wembley, Elton announced that he was to be retired to an astonished audience of 12,000 screaming “Nooooooooo!!”. Elton’s decisition was because “There’s a lot more to me than playing on the road”. He jammed with Stevie Wonder on an encore, for “Bite Your Lip, Get Up And Dance”.

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