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3 Apr 2010

The Eltonite's Day with... Trang Le

Hello eltonites. Today on the Eltonite's Day we have a very special fan. I met her for the "Original Sin Event" and I was so impressed to see her knowledge about Elton. Today is her Birthday, so it makes more special the date today. Hello Trang Le, thanks for your acceptation, it's really an honour to have you here.

But first... Could you tell us, please more, who are you and where are you from?

My name is Trang Le, aka reginaldkenneth47 in all the EJ forums. I’m from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I’m currently studying in Vienna, Austria though.

Perfect. 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 it was around the summer of 2004. I discovered who Elton was due to the song Sacrifice. It’s such a big hit in Vietnam you can find it everywhere. My first impression was...this guy is old (because his hair was white, I didn’t know that he died it white), where are all his children? Why does he still have to sing to earn money? (What a wrong impression I had). I was so fascinate by him I asked my mom and she said that he’s not poor and he’s even a knight (to a kid like me a knight is something very impressive), she also told me that she liked him a lot due to a lot of his songs, especially Candle In The Wind for Princess Diana.

Then some weeks later I found the album “Love Song” in my mom’s cabinet. I put it on my CD player just because it has Sacrifice on it, but I was totally blown away. Especially when it came to Someone Saved My Life Tonight. I have never heard something like that before. And then it came to Can You Feel The Love Tonight, I recognised the tune right away even though I hadn’t watched The Lion King for years because it was my favourite film when I was little, I watched it once per day at least. It was when I started becoming obsessive to Elton. Also you have to count the DVD One Night Only, it was the first time I saw Elton “live” I was blown away by a guy so talented and the interaction between the member of the bands.

Wow!!! 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?

It’s my first Elton John ticket. It’s not even a ticket but a lift to the mountain since it was a free show on top of the mountain in Ischgl, Tirol, Austria. It was my first concert ever, not only Elton concert, I was so happy to hold that in my hand with the feeling that I was going to see Elton in person in just some hours. Also that ticket was a “children” ticket for people below 16. I’m of age now so it’s some fond memories to look back.

Right. What was it like seeing Elton for the first time and how many concerts have you been? Have you even been front row? And also, could you tell us if you ever have been in touch with him?

I’ve seen Elton twice. (2 more this June) Both times I was front row. The first show was a free show for general admission so the one who came earlier got better place, and I went there on the first lift up so I was one of the first people. I stood right in front of him. He looked at me a lot, I think he was surprised to see a little Asian girl acting like a freak, even Bob laughed at me for jumping on and off singing along.

The second show was a solo show. My ticket was not the best, but they let us rush to the stage. I wasn’t prepared for that so when I saw people running up the stage, I just ran there and forgot my pack along with the things I wanted him to sign. Anyway I ended up on the front again. And I think he recognized me because that show wasn’t very long after the first show. Also some songs before that I showed up a banner “Watford beats all the blues” (referring to the FA Cup in 1984 where the Everton fans showed the sign “I guess that’s why they called it the blues”) with the Watford FC logo on it. Elton saw it, stopped walking, read it, pointed to me and said “Hey there, thank you”. It was a great moment.

Hahahaha great!!! And which could be a great set list, in your opinion? Is there any song that Elton hasn’t played yet, and you think that he should do it? And you prefer the Elton’s solo tours or better with band?

I don’t need such difficult songs like One More Arrow or Live Like Horses to make an appearance. But I really want a few changes in the setlist. The Ray Cooper earlier setlist was great, but Elton dropped out the obscure songs and it’s the same old thing now. He could have dropped something like Daniel or I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues once in a while and put in something new (not completely new, I don’t even hope for that), it’d make the setlist look more refreshing. With other artists I check the setlist every show, with Elton I check it only at the beginning of a tour, a shame actually. I don’t say that I hate any song though, I’d totally sing along with them in concert, but I’d totally SCREAM if there are obscure songs.

Just dreaming but I’m willing to pay double just to hear Elton sings Cold As Christmas now.

You know this is the week of Billy Trudel. Elton has worked with several musicians along his career. Which are your favourite band members? Do you miss someone, now?

Davey is my favourite band member, then close after him is Nigel. Even in the first concert of Elton that I saw, the ONO show, I was very fascinated by them, especially the warm welcome back of the fans to Nigel (I didn’t know why he was welcome back, then) and I loved how the whole band seemed having a lot of fun. And Davey, he’s just great. Even now when I listen to a lot of music, especially rock music and like a lot of guitarists, I still think Davey is a great-but-underrated guitarist.

One person I wish I could see live with the Elton John Band is Dee. When I first got Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and saw the pictures of a whole band I was surprised to see Dee there, because he was the only one I didn’t see in ONO, and I wondered where he was. I asked the people on Hercules and was very sad when I was told that Dee passed away a long time ago. I still wish I could see a show with Dee. He seemed very active onstage and fooled around a lot. I love Bob a lot but I have to say Dee was more active.

What is the place for Elton in the world music, today?

I think Elton is very well-respected although his catalogue is very limited to the younger listener. It’s not that Elton has a small catalogue, but the number of songs that are exposed to the common listeners are very limited, we always get the same songs on radio like Your Song, Daniel, etc, and also the same goes for concerts. Elton doesn’t force the casual to discover his less-common but great catalogue. I know Elton are scared that the casual fans don’t like his “non hit” songs, but look at Bruce Springsteen or other musicians, many plays a great variation of songs from show to show, that’s the best way to make the listener discover “new” songs and the “die-hard” wouldn’t feel bored.

But all in all, not many artists that are still alive sold as many records as Elton did. Almost everyone knows at least a song of him. If he’s being promoted properly by his record company, he would have sold even more, but let’s face it, they are not going to do that.

What do you think about the new project with Leon Russell? What could we expect about this album? And about T-Bone Burnett as the producer?

I’m not familiar with T-Bone Burnett and Leon Russell’s music, to be honest. But we have been asking for a change, now a change has come, so I welcome it. Sure I have doubts about a few things, and I have to say I’m not that impress by the “leaked song”, but I’m still positive about the album. Moreover, a new Elton John album is always a good thing.

For anyone who hasn’t know, I have a facebook page for the new album!/pages/Elton-John-And-Leon-Russell-New-Album-Coming-Soon/270187469154?ref=ts

The page will be changed when we are sure about the name of the album, but if you join now, you’ll still be notified when we do change

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

Latitude – Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding – Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting – One More Arrow – Cold As Chirstmas

Would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or something you want to say to other eltonites?

I have to say I miss a few Eltonites that have gone away; I hope they would come back. It was full of fun back then when I first joined Hercules.

Oh, once you said about Elton: "His eyes and smile are the things that make me want to look at him over and over". Do you think Elton's attractive?

Being away from home on my own, sometimes Elton is my only friend/guardian. When I’m down, looking at his smile I feel calmer, I can say to myself “Come on, at least Elton is still smiling, it’s not that bad”. Moreover, seeing him in concerts, no matter live or recorded, I always think he has a genuine passion sparkling from his smile and his eyes, that’s one think that still keep me as an Elton fan. I know he loves being there performing to us.

For sure!!! Thank you very much Trang Le. I had great time here with you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us eltonites. All the best!!!

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