LAMONT’S MUSIC NOTES-MARCH 25, 2019…HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO REGINALD KENNETH DWIGHT, BETTER KNOWN AS ELTON JOHN. TODAY IS HIS 72ND BIRTHDAY. THE NAME ELTON COMES FROM ELTON DEAN, A BLUESOLOGY SAX PLAYER. JOHN COMES FROM LONG JOHN BALDRY, A BRITISH R&B SINGER. IN 1974, HE MADE ‘ELTON HERCULES JOHN’ HIS LEGAL NAME. HERCULES WAS THE NAME OF A HORSE FROM A BRITISH SHOW WHICH HE ENJOYED.
HERE’S SOME ELTON JOHN TRIVIA:
-He won a piano scholarship when he was 11 to the Royal Academy of Music.
-When Elton auditioned for Liberty Records, they liked his performance, but not his songs. So they gave him a bunch of Taupin’s lyrics, and that’s how the two met. He also famously auditioned for rock groups King Crimson and Gentle Giant … and was rejected by both.
-Has played piano on records by many different artists including George Harrison, John Lennon, Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi, Jackson Browne, Ringo Starr, the Hollies, and Bob Dylan.
-John’s American debut at Los Angeles’ Troubadour featured handstands on his piano and members of the Spencer Davis Group backing him. He was an instant critical success.
-As a child, John didn’t need glasses, but wore them anyway to look like Buddy Holly. They damaged his eyes so much that he was soon forced to wear them.
-After he topped a poll by Cadbury to find Britain’s favorite personality, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London made a statue of Elton out of 227 lbs of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate. He’s the first solo rock star to get a wax portrait made by Madame Tussaud’s. The Beatles were the first rock band.
-His 1975 album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy was a charting milestone for the singer and the industry. Not only was it his first album to enter the US charts at #1, it was the first time an artist ever debuted at the top of the Billboard 200. His other 1975 album, Rock of the Westies, was the second.
-He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 by Guns ‘N’ Roses lead singer Axl Rose, who calls John a major influence.
-John was made an Officer of Arts and Letters by France, one of their highest distinctions.
-At one point, John was responsible for 3% of all records sold on the planet.
HERE’S ELTON PERFORMING ‘GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD ON THE BBC’S TOP OF POPS FROM 1973
photo credit Sarah Lou