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Happy Birthday, Reg!
by Clint Wayne
2007-03-25 12:10:09
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From Former Pub Pianist to Chairman of Watford Football Club, The Rocket Man, The Pinball Wizard, Captain Fantastic himself, The King of the Outrageous ‘Specs’, Pioneer in the fight against AIDS and Gay Rights, Father Figure to the Stars, Prolific Songwriter and Flamboyant Entertainer, please stand and raise your glass of Moët Champagne to the Greatest Ever Showman of Rock’n’Roll Sir Elton Hercules John as he celebrates his 60th birthday with a typical fancy dress party at Madison Square Garden in New York City with 20,000 of his closest friends in attendance.

The world’s most famous arena and its single most successful concert artist have been strolling down the Yellow Brick Road since 1973. For many artists playing the ‘Garden’ it is the pinnacle of their career but to Elton its ‘home’. For those of you who have never seen Elton John live then hold your head in shame because you have missed one of the great rock’n’roll experiences of all time as he captivates his audience for more than three hours of hits and rare gems.

His legendary song writing partnership with Bernie Taupin, brought about by accident when both answered an advertisement in the New Musical Express, has produced endless top ten hits, which is remarkable considering that the pair never meet preferring to swap their work by post.

I’ve been an Elton John fan for as long as I can remember. Sitting in my bedroom in the early seventies listening to those vintage vinyl albums of ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and ‘Captain Fantastic’, singing along to the ballad ‘Candle in the Wind’ now Princess Diana’s Anthem and belting out the awesome ‘Saturday Nights Alright for Fighting’ until I heard the notorious banging on the ceiling from my not-so-appreciative parents below.

The first time I saw Elton John live was surprisingly through a pair of swing doors at the Brighton Centre while at my wife’s firm’s Christmas Bash. Whilst parking the car I had commented to her about the amount of people and it turned out that Elton was playing just one floor below the party. I managed to slip away to enjoy ‘Crocodile Rock’ and ‘Bennie and the Jets’ before being persuaded to re-join the party by my very persuasive wife.

Part of my 40th birthday treat was to see Elton John at Castle Ashby during his ‘Stately Homes Tour’. On a freezing summer night he performed a remarkable show despite the bitter cold. With the hugely popular ‘Your Song’, ‘Daniel’ and ‘Nikita’ mixed with my own favourites ‘Philadelphia Freedom’ and ‘I’m Still Standing’, which we all were at the end to give him the ovation he deserved.

Having read autobiographies by various stars, including Robbie Williams, England footballer Paul Gascoigne and comedian Jim Davidson, the one common factor is that during their darkest hours of alcoholism and drug abuse the one person who provides the support and seclusion from the press is Elton John. Having also been influential in the lives of both Princess Diana and the Beckhams he really is the ‘Godfather’ to the famous.

The last time I saw him was at the St.Mary’s Football Stadium in Southampton where, once again, he was magnificent not only with his music but also his humorous repartee with the audience. During his latest concert he played my all-time favourite ‘Sacrifice’, well everyone has to have one.

Happy Birthday Elton and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

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Asa2007-03-25 20:50:17
What a guy! Hope he comes to Finland soon.

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