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25 Mar 2011

"And away we go!", Liz Rosenthal

"I discovered Elton John in 1989. Over a decade after his commercial heyday. But better late than never. Besides, there was lots of music of his to discover. To this day, I keep discovering it." Elizabeth J. Rosenthal's passion for Elton is well-known. More than 70s concerts on her shoulders: "I act like a 13-year-old, climbing over seats to reach the stage at the appointed time". But more than this, she has knowledge enough to talk about Elton. The excitement of sitting down and reading about your favorite performer it's hard to explain, you have to be a fan to tell, and no one could write a biography book about him as she did. The book we're referring, her first book, "His Song: the Musical Journey of Elton John", was published in fall 2001 by Billboard Books, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications.

That's a very enjoyable and extremely informative book, a must have for dedicated Elton John fans who expected more than Elton's always explained highlights of his life. Focused on Elton's music, we could find everything about concerts, albums, songs, projects, ... but without refusing Elton's personal life: his “coming out” as a bisexual man and, finally, as a gay man or his problems with drugs, alcohol, bulimia, and sexual addictions. It's not casual that "His Song" is the only John biography to be sold in the Elton John Store at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Also, to date, it is the first Elton John biography to be sold in Russia. It's a book to be read twice or third times.

Today, on Elton's Birthday, I thought about dedicating "The Weekend Of..." sessions to Liz Rosenthal as my particular homage to her, and she kindly agree to do an interview with Jack Rabbit. And we found a very extraordinary person. Enrichment talk, always the right words, always discovering something new about Elton. The interview is promising. There will be two parts of the interview, posting on different dates. But, what else we should know about our special guest?

After graduating magna cum laude with a journalism degree from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications in 1982, Liz Rosenthal attended Rutgers-Camden School of Law, from which she graduated With Honors in 1985. Subsequently, she was admitted to the bars of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. For the past 20 years, Rosenthal has been a civil servant, writing regulations for New Jersey state government, testifying before the state legislature about pending legislation affecting the civil service system, and serving as liaison to the State Attorney General's Office.

In 2002, Liz became bewitched by birds, since then reading everything about them that she could get her hands on and going on field trips, with New Jersey Audubon and other groups, whenever is possible. "My separate passions for Elton John’s music and for wild birds have led to, respectively, a published biography of Elton John and a published biography of Roger Tory Peterson, the latter, for those who don’t know, being the man without whom birdwatching would have been impossible", she explained. In the "Birdwatcher: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson", she explores the life of an icon of ornithology, the man who taught Americans the joy of watching birds and who invented the modern field guide. This is the story of a man who loved nature above all, a collection of fascinating stories told by many of the people whose lives were enriched by his passion for birds. The great thing is that you don't have to be a birdwatcher to enjoy this book, you just need to be interested and love nature. The book has received excellent reviews in the New York Review of Books, Birder's World, and Bird Watcher's Digest, as well as in such newspapers as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, and been well-received by various natural history bloggers and birding club newsletters across the U.S.

Finally, Liz is married with Stan, they live in Burlington, New Jersey. Oh, and a favourite quotation, Liz?

"Another old prophet,
perched upon a fence

Ladies and gentlemen, the open doors of AllSongsList are all wide open to receive one of us, one of us eltonites, but one of the bests: Ms. Liz Rosenthal!!!! for more information about the book

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