I first really got into Elton John around the release of “Don’t shoot me, I’m only the Piano Player” back in 1973. I was 12 years old. I would listen to the radio just to hear “Daniel” and “Crocodile Rock” I was so happy when my older brother, Terry bought the 8 track. I wore it out!
“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” was my next fixation. I didn’t own a copy of this, but on Tuesday nights we went to Bible study. I rode with my friend, Nancy Meadows (Gerstenschlager)…..well, her mom drove. After the meeting, her mom always would stop over at her friend’s house. His son had a vinyl copy of this wonderful album! Nancy’s mom said we could listen to it while she visited with her friend. I was in my own little heaven! Those tracks on that album hold so much meaning for me!
Later on, when I turned fourteen, my mom and dad divorced. My older sister had moved to Lutz, Florida. So my mom decided to move as well. My new school was Land O’Lakes Junior Senior High. I was in Ninth Grade. I knew no one. Just one shy girl in a strange place with no friends. My love of music was a huge comfort to me. I tried to make friends. But honestly, I cannot name one person from that school. What I do remember is spending my entire study period in the library with homemade cassette tapes of Elton John music. I had bought a copy of “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy”. I was absolutely in love with Elton John’s music. He had made an impact on me that would stay for decades As I sit here today and remember myself as that fourteen year old, lonely girl, listening to “Funeral for a Friend” on a crappy school cassette player, with bulky, cracky, headphones. Those details were not important then. I would have loved to listen on a nice system. But I only remember the joy it brought. How I knew every note, every word. Then, last night, thirty-seven years later, I actually got to hear, and see Elton sing “Funeral for a Friend”, and hear his marvelous band play. It was a truly emotional experience. This alone was worth the price of the ticket!
We didn’t stay in Florida. By tenth grade, I was back in good ole Coweta County.
As I finished out my high school career, my musical tastes widened. I had, and still have, so many musical interests. But Elton was always there. His talents abound. When he collaborated with Tim Rice on the Lion King soundtrack, my respect and admiration for him raised to another level. What an amazing set of songs!
He has touched me with his love and humanity. His rendition of “Candle in the Wind” when Princess Diana died was so heartfelt. That song is so lovely and meaningful. For me, it makes me think of my niece, Laura. Whose life was also ended way too soon.
Elton is so professional as an entertainer. Just magnificent! He gives his audience a wonderful show. He plays the piano so brilliantly. And that in itself, is an enigma. His fingers are not long and lean. They are not the fingers you would associate with a pianist. When they showed close-up shots on the jumbo tron of his digits stroking the ivories. It made my jaw drop in awe. How does he do that with those! But I guess if you have the gift, fingers are optional!
I lived out a “bucket wish list” dream last night. I saw a life long favorite performer/singer, LIVE in Macon, Georgia! He put on a show, sang almost all of my favorites. And I got a T SHIRT! (thanks, Jan) I shared this event with two of my sisters, Brenda, and Margie, my niece, Shelly, and my BFF, Jan. https://bhplayon.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/sir-elton-johnyes-im-a-fan/