Elton and Me
So what was up with you a year ago next week? Me? Oh, thanks for asking. Nothing much, I was just at Elton John’s second stop of his farewell tour. Seriously, though, it was an amazing event, held at an arena filled with 20,000 delighted fans. Much as I love his music, I had never seen him live, and knew this was my last chance to do so. My “date” was Sheridan, who treated to the tickets.
During the concert, the Great One thanked the audience for his nearly 50 year (!) career. He first performed in Philly at the Electric Factory in 1970. I was 13 at the time, and unaware of either Elton John or, really, Philadelphia. But after I got to high school, I became a fan, and last evening’s 24 song performance included most of his greatest hits, many from the era that evokes some of my strongest musical memories (the 70’s and 80’s). I can picture my angst-y teenage self in Atlanta, lying on my bed, listening to “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” and “Tiny Dancer” and “Rocket Man” and “Take Me to the Pilot” all of which he sang (and played the heck out of on piano) yesterday. He also sang some more recent numbers, but it was the oldies that the crowd came to hear, and we were not disappointed.
Sir Elton looked just the way you’d imagine-shaggy hair, crazy jacket, huge glasses. The special effects were astounding (when he played “Burn Down the Mission,” it actually seemed as if his piano was in flames). He played for almost three solid hours with no break of any kind, and it was clear he adores being onstage. This “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour is final because he has a husband and two small sons now, and wants to spend as much time with them as possible.
I have a couple of odd connections to Elton John: he lives part of the time in an Atlanta apartment building, where he owns two floors. That happens to be where my dear friends Molly and Jeff live (when I visited, Molly and I took the elevator to one of his floors to see the hallways filled with artwork—EJ was out of town, sadly). And years ago, when sister C was manager of the men’s department at Neiman Marcus, Elton would come in and clothes shop often. By all reports, he is a very nice guy, and uses his fame for good (His AIDS Foundation has raised over $400 million dollars to date).
We can’t all be superstars, of course. But we can be the stars of our lives, doing the things we love, sharing our talents (and we all have them), making a difference. So, from now on, I will try to take a page from Elton John’s book. Not taking up songwriting, not wearing ridiculous getups. But putting a little more pizzazz and sparkle into my days, and giving every minute I am here on earth, my very best.