Elton John

ARTICLE ABOUT Elton John FROM New Musical Express, January 16, 1971

I guess Elton John had the time to chat for hours at the beginning of his career. When you become a superstar everyone wants a piece of you and the time you have available for others become very limited. Mr. John have had an amazing career, but at a cost of his personal freedom to do a lot of the things that you and I take for granted. So, he has not only given us a lot of great music, but in a way, he has also sacrificed a normal, anonymous life for us. That is one thing that you can`t buy with money… so treasure your mundane, non-celebrity life.
Read on!

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Elton now `tight and funky` – Clapton

Just starting his first British tour, Elton John spoke to me about America, films, touring, audiences and a million other things… We talked for hours: you can do that with Elton because he is such a naturally exhuberant person – an interview becomes an animated chat.

By Gillian Saich

ELTON JOHN sat perched on the edge of a buff-coloured sofa in his new flat near Marble Arch. When he got excited about things he bounced up and down and flung his arms around like a rather outsize schoolboy. Huge rings adorned his fingers as usual and dressed in tight-fitting red trousers and a “stars and stripes” t-shirt he looked like any other rock-crazed 23-year-old native of Pinner!
Elton, his bass player Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson went to America on their first tour at the beginning of October and returned just before Christmas with an estimated $25,000 in their pockets.

America made us tighter

“America did a lot of things to Elton John the band,” he revealed, “it made us play a whole lot better, we’re tighter. So tight I can’t believe it myself sometimes.
“I’m really pleased, so are Dee and Nigel. Eric Clapton came to see us at one of our gigs and he said he couldn’t believe we were a British act because we were so tight and funky.
“One thing that makes us play well is that we get on well together. There are only three of us, a more compact number, and we only had one small row in all the time we were there – and that was over in a few minutes.
“We’re happy knowing that we’re going to do a good gig. Don’t get me wrong. We have to fight a lot of the time to win the audience, especially in places like San Francisco.
“My favourite audience is the `eventually’ kind! The one that you win if you work really hard. This is a challenge and keeps you on your toes so that if you work hard and do a good set then the reward is the audience on your side.
“San Francisco audiences are considered ‘never’ audiences, they are so blase. They’ve seen everything before and are impressed by nothing, yet we managed to win them after a hard fight.”
While touring, Elton’s piano is provided by the promoter of each gig.

Out of tune upright

“I never came across a bad piano in the States, but in England it seems to be different. I’m prepared to put up with a baby grand, but at one gig we did the other day, all that was provided was an out-of-tune upright. What do you do?
“I’m not going to do a moody and refuse to go on because the kids have paid to see us, so I had to do my best. Some promoters haven’t the faintest idea who they’re cheating. Why should the kids suffer? They’ve paid to see a good show and they’re entitled to it.
“One of the most exciting things on the American tour was a ‘live’ radio show we did for ABC Radio in New York. They wanted us to do it the first time we were there but we didn’t have the necessary work permits.
“We got it together this trip and it really was fantastic. The sound was excellent. I don’t know whether you are already aware, but there is very little live radio in the States so when it happens it creates immediate interest.
“We had an audience of about 100 people and we got such a buzz we played for an hour and a half without interruption. They stopped the news, the commercials, everything, and just ran straight through.
“Our record company taped it on an eight-track machine and I brought the tapes back here where we intend to issue it as a live LP very soon. ‘Burn Down The Mission,’ with which we close our act, lasts 25 minutes, one complete side of the album. Also we did `Amoreena,’ `Honky Tonk Women’ and ‘Take Me To The Pilot.’

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Issue it as live LP

“I’m looking forward to having a ‘live LP’ released because the atmosphere is so great it makes me feel that it is actually better than a studio version.”
The album “Elton John” is on the verge of becoming a gold album in America alone and “Your Song” which is in the U.S. Top Twenty has sold more than if it were No. 1 for weeks over here!
Even with all this happening the majority of the British public are dismally unaware of the multi-talents of Elton John — we must be mad to leave it to another nation to discover a native genius.
During a conversation I had with Elton John some time ago he mentioned that he was very much against singles being taken off albums, and yet “Your Song,” a track from his second album’s currently on release in Britain as a single.
“I don’t have much choice in the matter,” Elton commented. “It’s all up to the record company. I can voice my preference but that’s as far as it goes.
“In this case I don’t mind because it is obviously a very popular track. It’s often played on the radio and it has done extremely well for us in the States so it seems a logical step to take — besides — Tony Blackburn has promised to make it his Record Of The Week.”
We also discussed something we touched on many moons ago when Elton didn’t want to go on the road.
“I really didn’t want to do gigs then because I had done it all with Bluesology,” he explained. “All I wanted to do when the whole thing started about eight months ago was sit back and write songs.
“You know how lazy I am: I hated the idea of getting a band together and rehearsing, but when the last album was so well received I got the feeling that it would be good to go on the road and now — only six months later — I consider that Nigel reckons amongst the top five rock drummers in the world, he’s got so much more confidence. We all have. I think even he is surprised at his own improvement.”

Done it all before

The film score for “Friends” that Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin completed before they went to the States in October, is being released as an album on Paramount in March — this should prove a monster seller.
Unlike most film music, the songs stand on their own without the film. It’s like listening to another excellent album of completely new tracks. “Can I Put You On,” one of the tracks that Elton played me during the interview is already being included in their stage act and with its exciting funky ending is proving one of the highlights of his show. “Michelle’s Song” is one of the gentler tracks and Elton considers it a possible single.
Elton John is rich enough to retire tomorrow, but he wouldn’t. His first love is music although he admits that it’s nice not to have to worry about money any more. Just to prove it he has bought himself ‘a new machine’… a pale mauve Aston Martin, and given his year-old car to his flat-mate….

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The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
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ARTICLE ABOUT Elton John FROM Sounds, November 8, 1975

This article really shows you how incredibly BIG a star Elton John was in the middle of the 70s. His fame have remained almost constant since then and he certainly still is one of the most well-known people on this planet today. Well done, Elton!

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The Artful Dodger

Nobody has played Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles since the Beatles in 1966. Elton John changed all that last week. To celebrate the occasion he chartered a jet and flew 120 people over there. Among those on board was Elton`s mum – and Mick Brown.

I FIND out this is Elton John Week in Los Angeles on the 10 o’clock sleazo-input news. Wedged between an item linking bacon with cancer and a story about a 13-year-old girl being shot in all-girl gang war, there is film of Elton in a chartreuse suit and sequined bowler hat inaugurating his star on the pavement of Hollywood Boulevard. The stars on the pavement of Hollywood Boulevard extend for some three miles, both sides of the street. They were planted in the Thirties, a monument to Hollywood’s infatuation with itself and the Dream. It is probably the only shred of tradition you will find in this town.
Everybody who was ever anybody in Hollywood has a star — Myrna Loy, Bob Hope, Clarke Gable, Doris Day, even Lassie. But Elton’s is the first rock star. He looks pleased: makes a speech. England’s in a bit of a bad way at the moment, he says, so it’s a bit of a boost in the old arm for this to be made Elton John Week. He jumps around and makes jokes and laughs a lot and waves to the crowd. Then back into his limousine and up to his house in Beverley Hills.

Unholy

Elton lives up in Beverley Hills in a house he bought from the head of Warner Bros pictures. On a clear day those hills are like paradise. with the city spread out below, as far as the eye can see. Other days the smog hangs in a thick grey/yellow blanket and the view over Babylon is obscured. This is Elton John’s town, and for him the Dream is made real. What Elton wants, Elton has.
Occasionally he may descend from his chateau to distribute the largesse of his presence like bread on the waters of this unholy town. Into Tower Records on the Strip, the largest record-store in the world, to spend — what 500, 1,000 dollars? on albums. Elton is a fan, and isn’t that every fan’s dream? Or to phone up a local radio station and become a dee-jay for the day? He does that too…
Sometimes a 60 ft facsimile of Elton peers down on Sunset Strip where all the world — or all those who matter — pass in their Coup de Villes and English Bentleys. But this is Elton John’s town, and Elton John Week and on Saturday and Sunday he plays the 60,000 seater Dodger stadium and all the tickets were sold out in an hour and a half, so who needs his facsimile on Sunset Strip? Right now it’s Bruce Springsteen — rock ‘n’ roll’s future the billboard says.

Gossip

Nonetheless, it is impossible to escape the sense of Elton’s presence. You can’t go more than 15 minutes without hearing one of his songs on the radio; every record shop has an Elton John display in its window or his record catalogue on special offer, and the street and the business grapevines are crawling with rumour, gossip and high anticipation. This is, after all, the biggest — the very biggest — thing to hit LA in ages.
Southern California is Elton John territory. It was his appearance at the Los Angeles Troubadour five years ago which catalysed the metamorphosis of Reg Dwight, journeyman musician into Elton John superstar, and neither Elton nor Southern California are about to forget it. He has performed in California each year for the past five years now. Last year he played five consecutive nights at the Angeles forum, packing 18,000 paying customers a night. In a special commemorative six-show charity engagement at the Troubador earlier this year, Elton raised 150,000 dollars (£75,000) for the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute. High-rollers like Cher, Ringo and Mae West paid 250 dollars a ticket for the show, and there were 100,000 postcard applications for 25 dollar (£12.50) tickets.
And now, just two mont later, two shows at the Dodger Stadium. Dodger Stadium! Nobody has played Dodger since the Beatles in 1966, a fact which is inevitably inviting comparison between the two acts, dividing loyalties between the old and the new music.
But they are unnecessary. Suffice it to say Elton is un questionably the biggest-selling, biggest drawing and biggest money-making performer in America at present. He has earned seven gold singles, nine gold albums and nine platinum albums. His last album ‘Captain Fantastic’ set a precedent by entering the US albums charts at No 1 in its first week of release.
The sceptical look for a chink in the armour, a sign — no matter how slight — that his star is on the wane. October 12, one notes, marked the first week Elton didn’t have a single in the American Hot 100 for two years. A disappointment, apparently, as he was hoping to break Pat Boone’s record of four unbroken years in the singles charts. One remembers that the last time one saw Pat Boone he was taking time off from Jesus to do commercials for underwear on the sleazo-input. But then just this week Elton’s new album ‘Rock Of The Westies’ has emulated the record of ‘Captain Fantastic’ by entering the charts at No 1. May the circle be unbroken …

THIS is Elton John Week, and the biggest Superstar in the business is playing Dodger Stadium. To celebrate the occasion he has chartered a jet at a cost of £50,000 and flown in a party of 120 people from England. There is Elton’s mum, and the lady who used to live next door in Pinner, aunts, uncles (one cynic suggests you can tell Elton’s relatives by the Cartier jewellery), friends, staff of Elton’s record company, Rocket (the one he owns, but not yet records for), accountants, lawyers, business associates and a handful of journalists. Russell Harty has come along with a film crew to make a documentary for `Aquarius’; Rodney Marsh has come along too, for the ride.
The party are doing LA, Disneyland and Universal Studios, and the swish boutiques of Beverley Hills or the Roxy Theatre and the Rainbow Bar; a hang – out – cum – meat market where piranha groupies cruise, eyes like grappling hooks, their 16-year-old brains charred by coke; where one sees Robert Plant and Mick Ralphs and half of Three Dog Night and the waitress says in this place if you’ve got a name you can get anything you want, but personally if she were a guy she wouldn`t lay 99 per cent of the girls here, not knowing what you`d catch into the bargain and as far as she`s concerned they can stick their 200 bucks a week with tips because she`s had enough of all this ego-bullshit.
And outside in the parking-lot, where the hipsters pose beside their Mercedes or Ferraris and bodies are bought like so much super-market merchandise, one notices two girls, their heads shaved, wrapped in dung-grey blankets, sullen and vacant-eyed. One carries a small kitten; and somebody says they are followers of Charles Manson. But that`s Hollywood…
Everybody is trying to get to Elton John, but the shutters are up. Rolling Stone want to do a story, but Elton’s office aren’t co-operating. But then Stone did do a story last year that was — a little too close to the knuckle for Elton’s liking …
Requests for interviews from the English contingent are similarly deflected. Elton is rehearsing; a bit tied-up right now; he did interviews for the English weeklies before the Wembley Show earlier this year and has nothing to add to what he said; perhaps at some unspecified time … Even the taxi driver finds it strange: Elton always seems so amenable to publicity when he’s in town, he says; you’re always reading interviews in the newspapers; or likely to hear him doing live broadcasts with even the smallest radio stations. Perhaps he’s afraid of over-exposure? Perhaps …

Cheap rooms

One has come to respect the taxi-drivers here. Lawrence Ecrlinghetti, the beat poet, was in town last week, saying he came to visit a city and found one big freeway instead. He’s right. Los Angeles is a city of roads and cars — not of people. Nobody walks and there are few buses. If you don’t have a car you take a cab. Driving around all day, radio cranked up, one ear on the conversation going on in the seat behind them, cab drivers have their finger on the pulse of the city and the pick of the grapevine. They are oracles, prophets, informers.
This cabby had picked up Elton five years ago, immediately before the Troubador breakthrough, when Elton was still making do with cheap hotel rooms. Funny that, because he’d never have thought Elton would make it, not as big as he has anyway. He’d found him kind of uninteresting as a person, not much conversation. But, hell, he writes good songs and look at his following. There’s no knocking the guy: no knocking him at all …
Elton is unavailable (or unwilling) to do interviews, but a meeting with John Reid, his manager, is arranged. Reid has managed Elton since 1970. A former label-manager for Tamla Motown in England, he was in America for a sales convention at the same time as Elton’s Troubador breakthrough, and became his manager three months later. Reid is quiet and polite, friendliness tempered with the sort of defensive wariness that manager sometimes have around journalists. One senses that he doesn’t trust too many people, which in his line of business is probably just as well.

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Contracts

His Beverley Hills office is functional rather than luxurious; on the wall there are colour blow-ups of Elton, fine-art originals and a large map of North America with flag-pins indicating the venues for the present tour. There are 13 pins — all west of the Rockies, 16 shows, with an average attendance of 19,000 for each gig.
Reid declines to estimate how much Elton eventually will earn from the tour — he hasn’t been paid for any live performances in America since 1973 when the US Internal Revenue Service froze payments pending the settlement of a double-taxation agreement between America and Britain.
1975 has been an important year for Elton. says Reid, with unprecedented sales and live performance successes. On a more practical level, he is now free to record for his own label, Rocket. ‘Rock Of The Westies’ is his last new album for DJM (a compilation album will fulfill his contractual obligations to that company). Furthermore, his American contract with MCA originally reported to be worth some eight million dollars to Elton  -(less than the actual figure, says Reid) has been extended, and the distribution deal for other acts on Rocket with MCA is also about to be extended. His new contract will stipulate only one album per year, as opposed to two at present.
Although Reid describes Elton as being “very productive naturally” he feels the two-album-a-year contract was too tight. “There is danger of the music being prejudiced by an artist having to produce two albums. I don`t think to date it has been damaged by that. There is a lot of prejudice in the eyes of the press though, some reviews suggested he’d made ‘Rock Of The Westies’ simply to complete a contract commitment, which is absolutely not true. It upsets him for people to write things like that without checking their facts.
“The fact is that ‘Captain Fantastic’ was actually recorded in August 1974 and released nine or 10 months later, and by the time it was released he just wanted to get back into the studio and make a new album.”
Elton himself subsequently introduced the new album to the 60,000 audience at Dodger with a peculiarly defensive preamble in which he explained that he had been criticised for releasing `Westies’ so soon after ‘Captain Fantastic’, but when a musician gets a new band together the first thing he wants to do is make music with them, right? Right.
“With the new contract”, Reid continues, “we have a more flexible situation where he can work at his own pace. If he wants to make two albums a year he can do it, but then he doesn’t have to make another one for a year after that if he doesn’t want to.”

With less pressure from recording commitments Elton will be able to spend more time touring, and also devote more energy to his activities within Rocket. There are plans to tour Europe and the Far East next year, and promoter Mel Bush is putting together an itinerary for a comprehensive tour of Britain. Reid describes Elton`s last English appearance, at Wembley, as “3-2 to the Beach Boys – a mistake, but not a disaster…”
For Rocket, Elton has already produced one Kiki Dee album and was responsible for signing Neil Sedaka to the label. And there are plans to increase the label roster further. Rocket were, in fact, offered the contract of an ex Beatle – “he didn’t play guitar or write many songs,” says Reid – but passed on the ‘financial aspects’ of the deal. Reid thinks the offer was made “more out of courtesy than anything else.”
Reid baulks at evaluating his personal contribution to Elton’s success. “I don’t know how responsible I am. He’s responsible obviously, but the team-work that goes on around him is the important thing. People like Gus Dudgeon and myself just give him the machinery to carry out what he does. I can persuade him from making silly decisions. He’s terrible at choosing album titles and picking singles, for example. `Island Girl’ was originally scheduled as a single; then it was pulled back and ‘Dan Dare’ scheduled in its place; then that was pulled back and ‘Island Girl’ released. That’s one occasion where we came to loggerheads.

Eccentric

“He wanted to call ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road` `Vodka And Tonic’ and ‘Rock Of The Westies` `Bottled And Brained`. He’s not irresponsible; he just doesn’t know where to draw the line…”
Why, one wonders, does Elton sell more records than anybody else in the world? “Because he works harder. He tours a lot, makes frequent public appearance, and, of course, his music is good.” That good? “People can identify with him too, which is important. I think they sees him as an amiable, very talented eccentric — which is what he is.”
One remarks that there is something unnaturally wholesome and untainted about Elton`s image. He appears too pure — almost pristine — to be true, curiously lacking either the raunchiness, sexuality or innate agression — that renegade impulse – which fires most rock stars. “Harmless faggotry”, one Hollywood rock manager called it. “He doesn’t threaten like Bowie or promise like Jagger.” In fact, it is more of an asexuality, not in the sense of having transcended sexuality, but of never really having awoken to it at all. “He sometimes calls himself the Cliff Richard of rock and roll”, says Reid. “I don’t think it’s pristine really. He has a very ‘fun’ image. But the days are gone where you can build an image like that for someone. It just happens to be what he is.”

THE stadium nestles in the hills above downtown Los Angeles, a sweep of three tier stands around the baseball triangle. Fans have been camping out overnight to get stage-side seats and by mid-day the stadium is almost full. The audience is predominantly young but very mellow — archetypal sun-kissed California teenagers. There is little evidence of dope or even drink and none of the underlying tension, ugliness or discomfort which often characterises stadia gigs. Obviously this audience is here to have a good time.
Emmylou Harris opens the afternoon with a selection of songs from her last and her forthcoming albums. Emmylou has a sweet, high voice and a fine country band behind her, but the sound is too light — great for clubs, but not for religious festivals, which is what one senses today will turn into …
Joe Walsh is next on, standing amongst some tacky plastic palms and cacti, two drummers and a bass-player (Joe Vitale, Andy Newmark and Willie Weeks), behind him; keyboards to the left; guitarist and the Clydie King trio to his right. From the outset something is obviously wrong. The sound-balance is terrible; as if everything on stage is being miked through the bass and snare drums; the singers are mixed too high, and Walsh too low, effectively muting his lead-guitar lines. The sound perks up as the set progresses, but Walsh and band never really get on top.
Walsh is obviously a good guitarist and an occasionally accomplished song-writer, but he really needs to start composing or at least performing more varied material if he is ever to build on his reputation; while his songs may work in the studio, on stage they sound forced and over-stylised. Only on ‘Welcome To The Club’ and ‘Rocky Mountain Way’, both aggressive enough to steam-roller aside any reservations, do Walsh and the band really start to cook and by then their set is over.

It is 2 pm now, Elton is not scheduled to appear for another hour. The crowd amuse themselves building pyramids, pitching frisbees, hustling for souvenirs. The smog has risen from the city below the stadium now, and the hills behind the stage are softened by a yellow haze. The stadium itself is packed, and you can almost reach out and touch the excitement in the air.
At 2.45 the first bars of ‘Your Song’ can be heard from a piano. The curtain across the front of the stage parts to reveal Elton and the piano on a platform, gliding forward on rollers. Dodger Stadium erupts in a vast, breathtaking surge as everybody rises, jerked upright by sheer release of nervous excitement as Elton is at last visable.
The platform halts; Elton continues the song: the crowd quieten slightly, contenting themselves with a deafening round of applause after each verse, and a tumultuous barrage of appreciation at the end of the song.
“Don’t worry’. says Elton. “We’ll play as long as you want to … ” More applause. ‘I Need You To Turn To’, from the ‘Elton John Album’ follows, with Elton again accompanying himself on piano, before introducing the rest of the band and three back-up singers. ‘Take Me To The Pilot’ follows, with Elton’s piano, James Newton-Howard’s iconoclastic synthesiser squirls and some blisteringly assertive guitar-work from Davey Johnstone all combining with obvious relish to give the song height and weight.
This is one hell of a band to have here; Roger Pope and Kenny Passerelli have the rhythm section tightly buttoned down; the addition of Caleb Quaye on guitar gives Johnstone the freedom to fire-off some freewheeling leads, against Elton’s piano runs; while Ray Cooper bobs from one piece of percussion to another, hitting bells, blocks, and chimes with artful abandon.
The beat goes on. ‘Country Comfort’, `Levon’, ‘Rocket Man’. During ‘Dan Dare’ Elton throws his white sequined bowler-hat into the audience; there is a mad scrummage, a sea of flailing hands before the hat is sucked under and the crowd readjust themselves. There is a curious discipline about this audience: sitting down as the songs begin, rising in unison as they build, to sing and dance along with the choruses, and sit down again at their conclusion.

Up, down, up, down in perfect harmony; it is controlled abandon; a mellow, happy, almost loving, collective loosening-up. People hug each other in excitement as favourite tunes begin, arms sway in time, the atmosphere is extraordinarily good. Elton finishes the first set with `Hercules’ and ‘Empty Skies’. He has played for just over an hour. “We`ll be back with the rock`n`roll set…”, he promises.
He reappears after 20 minutes, in a sequined baseball outfit in local team colours. Such taste! Such respect! The crowd bay delightedly. He plays ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and ‘Bennie And The Jets’, ‘Gotta Get A Meal Ticket’, and ‘The Bitch Is Back’, for which Billie Jean King joins in the chorus while Elton leaves the piano to strut and mince around stage, beside himself with the thrill of it, and fall to his knees to play Davey Johnstone’s guitar with his teeth and hurl his piano-stool to the back of the stage, with childlike abandon rather than adolescent petulance.
Behind me on the field, two Blacks, one with the legend ‘YOU’RE BETTER OFF DEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T HEARD ELTON’ printed on his shirt, attack imaginary pianos, mouth every word of every song and fall to their knees in supplication at the end of each number. When the first strains of ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’ strike up both will burst into uncontrollable tears …
For ‘Lucy In The Sky With Dimonds’ Elton reminds his audience not to forget the Beatles (how many other artists could get away with doing that?) and pays further tribute with `I Saw Her Standing There’, complete with the guitar-riff from ‘Day Tripper’. Ringo is apparently backstage, but he does not appear.

Reminder

‘Philadelphia Freedom’ follows and then ‘We All Fall In Love Sometimes, with another curtain parting behind the band to reveal the James Cleveland Choir, like a band of black angels in white satin splendour. “Elton saves …” scream the black guys as they break into sobs. Then it’s ‘Saturday Night’ and the entire stadium is on its feet, boogieing, clapping, singing along, the tiers literally trembling under the strain. The energy is incredible, unbelievable: there are 60,000 people here and every one of them must be singing.
Elton has left the lead vocal to the Holy Choir and is now up on the piano brandishing a baseball bat at the audience, taking hapless swings at tennis-balls being thrown on from the wings. This goes on for five, perhaps 10 minutes — this mass song, hysterical mantra — `Saturday, Saturday, Saturday night’s all right’ before collapsing into wild applause and an equally frenzied and extended version of ‘Pinball Wizard’.
Then finally it is over. It is 6.25. Elton has played some three dozen songs for almost 3 1/2 hours. The audience don’t ever bother to call for more. To deliver it would be impossible.
“Elton Saves, Elton Saves”. As the crowds drift slowly out of the stadium the two black guys remain on their knees, chanting, crying, mind-confused by the sheer magical overwhelming power of it all. “Elton Saves.” One can almost believe it.
I take a cab to Hollywood Boulevard to look at Elton’s star, maybe take a photograph for posterity. The taxi driver lights himself a joint (only in LA …), takes a couple of deep hits. It’s a funny thing, he says, about music … you got heavy metal freaks and country freaks and acid rock freaks and whatever the hell else kind of freaks. But everybody likes Elton John. Isn’t that right? We stop to look at the star. It’s nothing special; just a star in a slab of concrete; tourists snapping off pictures. Y’see, says the taxi-driver, even intelligent people like Elton John. That’s what makes him different.
The next day feminists in Los Angeles call a one-day strike on womanly duties to celebrate ‘Alice Doesn’t’ Day. Elton John leaves for Paris, and a four-month holiday. The Hollywood idyll is over for now, but the Dream, one thinks, has begun.

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The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!
1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Elton John FROM SOUNDS, November 9, 1974

A very entertaining article with Elton John written by Mike Flood Page. Mr. Page was the News Editor for Sounds from 1974 – 1975. His awards include three BAFTAs for interactive work and three from the Royal Television Society  including best TV documentary series. His work nowadays is with something called OurBeeb that runs a site called openDemocracy – for those of you that would like to investigate further, you can go here: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/ourbeeb/

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Captain Fantastic

Elton John is well into his current American tour and has been to see the big fight between Ali and Foreman… still quite hoarse he managed to talk to Mike Flood Page.

“You didn`t go to the fight last night did you? We went in Chicago; the atmosphere in the place was incredible. Not one person was shouting for Foreman, the audience was 90 % black and it was all: `Ali! Ali!` I was quite hoarse by the time I came out.”
It is 11 a.m. in Chicago, 5 p.m. in London and instead of telling me the latest Elton John news, all our boy from Pinner can talk about is the big match. With the transatlantic phone rates what they are it`s an expensive time to wax enthusiastic about boxing. Eventually, Captain Fantastic as he appears on the new album, recorded in July, is dragged back to the subject of the current US tour.
E.J. and entourage are around a third of the way through the tour, and have holed up in Chicago for a week using it as a base from which they will fly to gigs. This is the first US tour the band have done where they have sold out every date in advance, often in record time and Elton is understandably happy about it: “We`re playing really well, it`s just tightened everybody up. We have a special stage and I`m really pleased.”

RESPONSES

There was a little aggro at one date they were due to play in New Haven Connecticut, firstly there were forged tickets on sale in large numbers and then there was a riot in which the police for once were worsted, as a result New Haven is off and a day has been added in Boston otherwise things are going fine, and Kiki Dee who is opening the show, is also drawing rave responses despite a little nervousness at first.
The new album, “Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy” was recorded at Caribou before the tour began, but is not due for release until next May to allow a year from the release of Caribou, rather than flood the market with Elton John, as happened back in the days of “Madman Across The Water”. The material for the album was written on the crossing to the US on the S.S. France and Elton describes it as: “Just experiences of Bernie and I, how we got together through the advertisement, and all our experience up to the `Empty Sky` album.”
Did this presage the start of a series of albums, along these lines, I enquired? A sort of instant “History Of Elton John” a mythology in the making? “No! God forbid! We just set it around the idea of our disappointments and things. It`s really not a concept album. There`s a few personal songs in there as well. It`s the first time we`ve written an album where Bernie has had the running order for the songs before I wrote the melodies. That was very strange; but it`s worked out well.”
What did he feel about the new album compared with the last one, also recorded at Caribou, in the light of the highly critical comments producer Gus Dudgeon had made about “Caribou” a couple of weeks earlier?
“Well `Caribou` was made in like ten days, whereas this time we really cooled it and had three or four months off, cancelled the English and European tours because we were exhausted. And when we went over to Caribou this time we booked five weeks studio time which we`ve never had the luxury of doing before. Also with `Caribou` there were a few personality problems; everyone was shouting at each other because we were tired. I still like the album, I prefer it to `Don`t Shoot Me`, but there you go.”

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This time there were not the additional musicians that there were for the previous album, although Elton himself plays mellotron and Arp and Ray Cooper is featured more heavily than before. He feels that if anything is added now it will be some Moog synthesiser by David Henshaw, so it seems as if Gus Dudgeon`s hope of a Tom Bell arrangement has fallen through.
There was also the appearance, up at the Caribou ranch, high in the mountains outside Denver of John Lennon, who guests on the new E.J. single, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” due out in mid-November. How had that come about? “I met John last year; and then when I was in New York after getting off S.S. France, I saw him again and he said, `come down to my sessions.` So I did, and ended up doing, `Whatever Gets You Through The Night`, and `Surprise` from the album. And he was going to LA to do a song which he had written for Ringo, and I said:
`On the way back, why don`t you come up to Caribou? `Cos we`re gonna do, `Lucy In The Sky` and he said, `sure`.
And so John Lennon appears on the new Elton John single, while Elton sings with John on his, which looks set for an American number one at this moment. “He had a good time, except he couldn`t get used to the altitude; he had to keep rushing to the oxygen tank. I got on really well with him, `cos he works the same way I do in the studio. We really just had a laugh. I`ve really got a very strong affection for him.”
John Lennon is by no means the only person with whom old Hercules has been collaborating for recording purposes lately. Apart from the well publicised appearance on Rod Stewart`s album, Elton sings with Neil Sedaka on the latter`s new single in the US (where Sedaka is signed to Rocket Records); and plays piano on one of the tracks on Ringo`s next elpee. All a bit of a turnaround for the man who even a year ago, had hardly played with anyone outside his own sessions, since the days when he was a humble pianist doing those sessions which produced the Woolies soundalike records with the likes of David Byron now of U. Heep.

“Well, just now I seem to be the world`s top paid session singer, but no-one ever asked me before! Usually they think: we won`t have him on it, boring old fart! I only appear on people`s records that I know. I`m just beginning to enjoy myself and loosen up a bit.”
The conversation then gracefully wound its way to the subject of the Christmas Show, for the first time this year, Elton`s Christmas party will go out live on TV on Christmas Eve. A spectacular first for Elton and something no other rock artist has achieved. What plans did he have for the show?
“No idea at the moment! We did a gig at the Festival Hall in May when we did a sort of history of Elton John. We played `Empty Sky` and something off every album. We started with a three-piece and added Davey and then Ray, and it went down really well. So I`ve got that sort of concept in mind. I`m not going to do any new songs at all; `cos when the new album comes out we just want to do a special gig where we play the whole of the new album. So at Christmas we`ll be playing numbers from, `Madman` that we don`t play anymore, like `Holiday Inn` and `Levon`.
“I should like to bring the stage over from the States and we`ve got the most incredible new lighting system which it would be nice to use at Hammersmith. It`ll be something special anyway.”
Elton also expressed a keen desire to use a brass section, as he is on the US tour where he is backed up by the Muscle Shoals horns, who are unfortunately not likely to be available come Christmas. He also hopes to encourage Nigel Olsson to come out from behind his drum kit to perform his single, a remake of the Bee Gees classic, “Only One Woman”, which they recorded while up at Caribou working on Elton`s album. Elton`s US tour finishes on December 3 and he will be back the next day “Cos I have to catch the Crystal Palace home game”, and in time to finalise things for the Christmas concerts; and he hopes some dates in the New Year, which are in the planning stages right now.
Ever the discophile, Elton began to go on about the new records he had picked up in the States, such as a song by one Gloria Gaynor which had made number one in the New York soul charts and was nowhere yet in the national stakes. He also anxiously enquired how the Lennon record was performing over here. His last question was direct:
“Is there anybody moving out of England yet?” I passed on what little I knew of those lucky enough to need tax havens. “Well tell everybody that I ain`t moving out. I can`t leave my football team”. And with that he rang off.

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Ken Boothe, Van Morrison, Pink Floyd, Pete Brown, George Harrison, Roger Glover, David Puttnam, Mott The Hoople, Bad Company, Phil Spector, Thin Lizzy, Janis Ian.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Elton John FROM SOUNDS, January 13, 1973

Several other artists are mentioned in this article, besides the piano playing rocker that is the 70s Elton that we love a bit more than the later version of Elton on this blog. But whatever your preference, whether it is the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s or 10s version of this man – he has made music that will be played in one version or the other for a whole lot of years to come. Legend.

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Mr. Spaceman And The Egg Plant

Elton John talking to Jerry Gilbert

The piano player hobbled up atop four-tier boots – outrageous dress for wearing around the house at mid-day when the last of your party guests from the previous night had only recently tiptoed off into the morning.
Elton`s New Year knees up had closed at dawn; today he was holding court within the portals of Hercules, his spacious home in Virginia Water on the crest of Surrey`s stockbroker belt.
Everything was now beautifully serene – only the props were the same – the giant egg-plant Elton had bought as a young vegetable at the Chelsea Flower Show, which now completely obscured his grand piano and appeared to be growing and twitching by the second. “I`m afraid it`s going to eat me one day”, contemplated Elton as he picked his way tentatively towards the hi-fi.
At strategic points around the house Elton keeps unlikely species of stuffed animals which aside from being eminent focal points, are also highly functional for they provide instant guide lines to the house.
For example the lavatory is situated in the pink fluorescent bathroom and to locate the above you make a left turn at the bison and it`s first on the right after the warthog.
Elton betrayed little that had happened the night before as he sank into the sofa and began to answer questions in his usual assiduous fashion. But every once in a while the phone would ring and he would find himself answering the usual spate of inquisitive aftermath questions that follow such veritable affairs.
“No… no, Marc didn`t come… just wait `til I see the little twerp… he doesn`t really like a knees up you see… not galactic enough for him…”
Suddenly we were on the surface on the moon; Mr. Spaceman in heavy checks and giant platform boots – his new cosmic remedy for weightlessness. The egg plant continued to grow, observing our every move.
The room swelled with the latest album from the gang – a splendid concept called “Don`t Shoot Me I`m Only The Piano Player”, and right now it could be an apt summary of the disputes in which Elton is involved with manager Dick James over the release of the new single “Daniel”.

THREATENED

It`s not quite certain how many times Mr. James tried to contact Elton during the course of our interview but Elton successfully managed to avert, divert, revert, subvert and generally ignore the stream of calls that threatened his telephone.
But what of the album? “We did it at the Chateu d`Herouville again, but the next one we`re doing in Jamaica because there`s a battle to see who owns it at the moment, so it`s being shut down temporarily… and I don`t record in this country”, he steamed.
“Well I can`t go back to doing sessions at Trident”, he qualified after a short pause. “I used to do sessions with session musicians before I made “Honky Chateau” but after the “Madman” album and we added Davey I went through a radical change and I wanted the group to play on the albums instead of using session musicians; so we decided to go over to France last January and do the “Honky” album because Davey hadn`t played with us before.
“It was so nice to get away out of it – I wrote all the numbers out there and the band rehearsed while I was writing them and I`d just never got that involved with a band before. Now I just can`t visualise going back to the normal routine session – it`d just drive me mad.
“In Jamaica people have said that the music will come out sounding a bit dirtier and looser, and quite honestly I`m trying to work towards that now: I`m not unproud of my records but I`m trying to get a bit more balls into it now, I mean we`re quite a heavy band onstage now and gone are the days where I used to sit down and sing half an hour of unaccompanied numbers.”

Elton supports his theory of environmental music by illustrating his alternative homeland – Los Angeles. “You can always tell an LA record – the Eagles, for instance, sum up LA and they sound better in LA than they do anywhere else. Bread and Loggins and Messina are other pure examples of music that sounds great on your car radio while you`re driving along.
“For example in England, no other country in the world apart from Germany could produce a group like King Crimson who are really strange and weird because I don`t think they are capable of doing that in the States. Those new German bands that are coming along are very German for instance… goose step music, y`know”.
Which bands did Elton feel represented typical indigenous English music? “Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Soft Machine… groups like Yes, you could never get a group like that in the States, or Genesis who are so typically English. But in America there are a lot of good bands who don`t seem to believe in themselves. Loggins and Messina are very nice – that guy sounds like me a bit, he sounds like Jose Feliciano.”
Elton has now found a tempo which enables him to commute between London and LA. “We`ve got down to one tour a year here now. We did a three-week tour at the beginning of the year, almost unannounced, to break Davey and now the band has been given a tremendous boost by Davey joining, because it really was on the verge of stalemate before that. We`ll be doing a big tour of England in March and April I hope, but I think one tour is enough.
“I can never work up any enthusiasm for British tours – it`s something I know I have to do. I never look forward to it after America, although once I`m on it, I`m all right. The terrible thing is there`s nowhere to play – you don`t need a 25,000 seater stadium in every town but you haven`t even got 5,000 seaters over here. I don`t even dig the Rainbow too much because there`s such a lack of atmosphere and you just can`t buy atmosphere.

“If it was in Manchester or Glasgow it would probably be incredible but London`s like San Francisco, everyone`s so sophisticated because they`ve seen everything.”
Elton John is a man who always has plenty of surprises under his belt. At the Royal Variety Show he appeared in outrageous red, white and blue and produced a delightful photograph taken with Liberace, in whom he found moral support and by whom he was gloriously outdazzled.
Simultaneously he was undertaking an American tour throughout which he featured the inimitable Legs Larry Smith. “It really went down a storm; we did it to try and get a little English humour over to America, because they really don`t have our sense of humour at all and even the Monty Python film I don`t think has been too much of a success. We just wanted to get a bit of outrage going and the kids really appreciated doing “Singing In The Rain” – it was just English insanity and a nice break instead of presenting the kids with a normal two-hour rock show.
“It seems that not enough people are going out of the way to give people a show, but it`s very hard to plan things – like the Larry thing was planned on the spur of the moment, it was just a one off thing and we won`t do it again, but the nice thing about it is that as a result Larry will probably be able to get his own band together and go out there, which he wants to do. But he cheered me up no end – we both held hands when we were flying because we were both petrified.”
During the course of 1972 more and more bands have gone in for theatricals although Elton was one of the genuine forerunners of camp rock and general stage antics. “It got to the point before Davey joined where I was getting p—– off with everything – playing the piano and the whole jumping up and down bit but now I realise I`m stuck with it and I really do enjoy it.
“When I first started dressing up, everyone said `What a c–t` but then all of a sudden everyone`s dressing up like crazy. I don`t think I was responsible. I think it just had to come. The syndrome of going on stage with a pair of levis… I mean the singer-songwriter syndrome fell flat on its face in 1972, it finally did its last swan song.

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“The glitter thing got a bit of a drag actually, so I toned down – it really became awful with all these groups lurexing their way onto `Top Of The Pops` – I really couldn`t take that because they do it seriously – they really think they look good, but I`ve always done it with a sense of stupidness like `Here I am, don`t I look a c–t`. But here I am singing `Rocket Man` with a pair of Z-O-O-M glasses on and I`ve always gone out to send myself up”.
So had 1972 been a good year for rock in general? Elton felt that it had. “It began to get rid of the singer-songwriter and also so many good things happened like Roxy Music, Genesis and Rod Stewart came out with an album that was every bit as good as `Every Picture` which is no mean feat.
“Then there was David Bowie, who I think is amazing, and Roxy Music, which is a perfect example of what we were talking about earlier. In America you had Loggins and Messina, and there you had a 1972 version of Crosby, Stills and Nash; there was the John McLaughlin album which was amazing, but I don`t think there was anything that came out of America in the form of a major force, apart from black music; it became a power again. Black people are beginning to do their own thing and it`s not just five men in a row in satin suits again.
“Glitter rock was a bit predictable and rock and roll came back for its annual visit and that p—-d me off.
Aside from his many TV screen appearances Elton is also featured in Marc Bolan`s film “Born To Boogie”. It was something in which he enjoyed partaking, although he was fairly critical of the way the screen had been used generally to exploit rock music. “I was only in it for a minute – Ringo and Marc just said come down for an afternoon… but I enjoyed it.
“But I do feel television is more interesting for rock music because by the time a film comes out it`s a year and a half old.

HIDEOUS

“If you saw `Woodstock` now you`d think what a dated film it was, and I think films are more or less a record of what actually happened – I mean the Monterey Film is so embarrassing, it`s hideous. `Born To Boogie` is just a film about Marc Bolan, it isn`t anything else.
“But television is much more interesting and if you had a live show I am convinced that people would watch it if you had it on at 6 or 7 o`clock like `Ready Steady Go` – it would be amazing. `The Old Grey Whistle Test` is OK but it`s on at a ridiculous time and it`s a bit like the BBC 2`s progressive rock show. `Top Of The Pops` is one of the most boring things in the world, sitting around in that studio all day, but I do it because I want my record to sell. I hate the programme but what else is there… I could do so many shows like the `Cilla Black Show` but I turn them down. I still get offers to do `Basil Brush` and `The Val Doonican Show`.

APPEAL

“I think we appeal to all sorts of different people – it`s the same sort of audience that the Moody Blues appeal to which I don`t particularly did because… I`d like to go out there in front of a Greatful Dead audience but that sort of audience have got a prejudice built up against you before you start. I`m sure I could go out on stage and out-rock anybody in the world because when I`ve been second on the bill to anyone I`ve thought `Right you bastards`… I don`t really mean it but you have to go on with that attitude.

DERIVATIVE

“I mean I`ve just got stuck with that string image and being a bit of a plastic person because I write derivative songs… but everyone writes derivative songs. John Prine sounds like Bob Dylan and I`m a John Prine fan. I really love his album but there`s no way he`s a superstar.”
Elton is finding progressively that there aren`t sufficient hours in the day to accomplish all the things he would like. And the fact that he has now formed his own record company – Rocket Records – threatens to occupy a further chunk of his time in 1973.
“It was formed largely because I wanted to get away from the syndrome of the big record company – for example Warner Bros. Columbia and EMI release X amount of records a week and if you`re a newcomer you`re a dead duck.”

POTENTIAL

“What I really want to find is younger musicians – get a 16-year-old band, they needn`t be that good but at least if they`ve got potential… everybody around has been around for years and you just need a bit of fresh air. There must be young bands somewhere but unfortunately the semi-professional scene in this country has gone down the drain and that`s where all the talents came from originally.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Fairport Convention, Ronnie Wood, Jon Hiseman, Pentangle, Claire Hamill, Ray Davies, Al Kooper, Procol Harum, Hemlock, Graham Bell, Uriah Heep, Brinsley Schwarz, Martyn Wyndham-Read, John Peel.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.

ARTICLE ABOUT Elton John FROM SOUNDS, November 27, 1971

A great little interview with Elton where he mentions several of the great artists of the time. He also have some interesting remarks concerning the concert scene.
Enjoy.

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Elton – a madman slowing down…

Interview by Penny Valentine

It`s been a funny old year for Elton John. I mean from the things you read you might be led to believe that Britain`s number one feted superstar of 1970 came a right cropper in `71. All those put downs, all that cynical reaction, all that knocking because he fancies walking out on stage in a teddy bear bow tie and white boots, kicking his piano stool away a la Little Richard.
Not on at all. British musicians should take their job seriously we all know that. People who actually look as though they`re enjoying themselves on stage always end up having a hard time. You`ve only got to look at Elton to realise why Bolan and Stewart weren`t going to be allowed to get away with it for too long. We build `em up and knock `em down in this country. Strange really. Remember Joe Cocker?
Of course Elton John has just returned from a complete sell out US tour, of course he did fill the Greek Theatre in LA every night for a week. Of course this time last year he did have four albums in the US charts at the same time (which nobody deigned to mention much) and he is one of those rare British artists who can pull in 10,000 people a night minimum in the States – can 10,000 people a night be wrong?
The parallels between Elton, Bolan and Stewart are obvious. Although they all appeared to leap out of thin air on to the rock circuit the fact was that conversely they`d all bashed away for years trying to break ground. Because, then, they were all successful they`ve all been shredded into neat pieces by critics who somehow object to large scale success. The nature of their climb had given them only a good back-up to take all the rubbish thrown their way.
Unlike both Bolan and Stewart though Elton is basically much easier to get at. He`s a susceptible man, easily hurt, vulnerable, nervous even in the friendliest company. That he`s sometimes in danger of sounding a bit bitter about all the knocking is something that nobody in their right minds could blame him for. Wasn`t he, after all, lauded and feted on one hand – the Great White Hope and all – and then smashed down with the other?

KNOCKS

On Wednesday he`s been back from the States for two weeks in which time he`s moved house, sorted out new recording plans, planned to add a new guitarist to his line-up and got ready for his British tour which opens this week and is a sell out. (In fact, Croydon`s Fairfield Hall said they could have sold out all over again.)
He`s lost a lot of weight and he`s toned down in his Yves St. Laurent shirt and trousers.
Elton John could, financially, give up his live work tomorrow and get out of the rock business for good – but it`s doubtful that he will just yet: “I still enjoy it and I`m certainly not going to pack up because I get knocked. I wouldn`t bow down to criticism in that respect”.

ACCLAIM

“Madman Across The Water” – his latest album – has surprisingly in a time when it really hasn`t been hip to praise him, had very good critical acclaim. It may well be the last orchestrated album he does. Paul Buckmaster wants to get into his own work and Elton himself feels he`d like to get back to pure rhythm section. After the tour he`s off to the South of France to record at the Stones` studio.
“I was amazed you know when `Elton John` came out that we didn`t get more haggled at for having an orchestra on it after `Empty Skies`. And although `Tumbelweed` did get more attacked on that score in fact there were only a couple of tracks – like `Burn Down The Mission` – where the orchestra came up on a large scale. Gus (Gus Dugeon) and I have already talked about the next album and we want to get back to basic sound. I mean I`d love to do a Rod Stewart or Neil Young type of album – it`s time for a change.
“Adding the new guitarist next year will give us more scope I think. We`ve proved better than anyone that piano, bass and drums can make it in a loud rock act, but there`s hardly any room for solos at the moment. I have to provide rhythm and solos on piano which is a bit of a drag and I think someone fresh in the group will take a bit of responsibility off me and give us a new lease of life.”
Future plans also include cutting out a great deal of the leaping about and extrovert stage act which Elton thinks has turned a bit sour on him over the past couple of months. I ask him if this is due to the criticism he`s had which has markedly pointed out its distaste with such paraphernalia…

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BITCHY

“No. I just like getting credit for what we`ve done and nobody seems to be doing it. We have been very successful in the States and I want people to own up because they tend to ignore it here. That kind of thing does upset me. I got very upset for the first couple of weeks and then the criticism reached a very bitchy level. I don`t mind album criticism which can often be helpful, but when they started saying things like Lesley Duncan`s album was okay even though I was on it – well that`s being bloody evil for the sake of it.
“The sad thing is that I`ve gone out of my way to be nice to everyone and I end up getting kicked in the teeth for it. Everything gets so out of hand in Britain. I mean all the dressing up started as a joke, something for a laugh, a spontaneous thing, and people have taken it seriously. They must be joking mustn`t they? The only thing about stopping the leaping about is that I think it stopped being spontaneous. I mean everyone knows now that at a certain point in the evening I`ll kick the stool away and go into frenzied antics. It`s wearing a bit thin – it is for me anyway.”
Whatever the decisions, the criticisms, whatever the future 12 months holds one thing`s certain – and that`s that the British rock scene should hold on hard to artists like Elton John. He is one of the very few musicians we possess that have brought the audiences back into the theatres and the main reason he`s done it isn`t simply by the music alone, good though it is, but because he brought with him some colour and excitement so sadly lacking in British music.
“The rock scene is stagnating in Britain. Since I`ve been back the only three new albums I`ve liked have been from America, Lindisfarne and Yes. There`s so much rubbish around. Music has become too technical and precise – I think I`ve been to blame too as far as records are concerned. It`s lost all that lovely rawness. T. Rex and Rod Stewart`s albums are the best rock albums I`ve heard all year – just raw raucous rock and roll. I think one becomes too polished and the awful thing is that there are no bloody young musicians bringing that energy back into music. Free were about the only new young band that were doing it and they went and split up.

PROSPECTS

“Why aren`t there any new musicians? Well for one thing it`s a bit of a closed shop – more a case of who you know. And I think it`s hard for a new band to get off the ground here. They have to flog themselves to death for two years before they have a chance and the prospect un-nerves kids that might come in. Anyway most of them are into football now – the kind of age group that were playing guitar when the Beatles started now go to football matches.
“Now it`s just a job and everyone`s saying `Oh how much advance are we getting on the album`. There`s no magic left. I mean James Taylor`s the biggest name in the world but he`s not really exciting, he`s a bit of a wet fish really to see live. I`m sure this is a reason festivals are dying – who do you put on to draw real crowds? The last two festivals I went to were Dylan at the Isle of Wight and the Stones in Hyde Park. They hit directly they came on stage. But the big artists that have come up in the last couple of years just don`t have that same identification. Fairport are very entertaining and I like watching them, so are the Faces and T. Rex. That`s about it. Marc Bolan is really our only hope if he can keep it up and forget about the knocks – and how long`s it taken Rod Stewart for god`s sake?
“These people are the new sex idols if you like, and it`s just as well they`re around. Well I`m not, that`s for sure. I don`t know where I belong”. He smiled suddenly for the first time in the conversation: “People seem either to love me or hate me but then I`m not so sure I`m not happy about that really.”

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I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!

This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Redbone, Frank Zappa, Redwing, Carl Palmer, B.B. King, Bill Williams, Alice Stuart, Fanny, Robbie Robertson, Lesley Duncan, Dave Burland.

The original music paper this article came from (pictured at the top) is for sale!

1. Send me an e-mail if you are interested. Send it to: geirmykl@gmail.com
2. The offer should be 20 $ (US Dollars) to be considered. (This includes postage).
3. We conduct the transaction through my verified Paypal account for the safety of both parties.