And he did the song about Tony Danza

I once wrote a joke headline about Prince playing Widnes Labour Club to illustrate something highly improbable.

Then Elton John announced he would be coming to town and playing at the home of Widnes Vikings and suddenly that headline didn’t seem that funny.

Elton, with his Vegas residency and 300 million worldwide record sales, would surely not be pitching up in Lowerhouse Lane.

Not THE Elton John. Has to be a tribute act.

And yet, at exactly 7pm on Sunday June 18th, there he was. Emerging into the sunshine from the side of the stage in a long sparkly jacket to a rapturous ovation and launching into a beefy version of The Bitch is Back.

I was moved to comment that it was the weirdest thing I’d ever seen.

After a couple of songs he greeted the crowd with the words `Good evening Widnes’ and the weirdest thing I’d ever seen title had lasted for just eight minutes. We had a new winner.

elton 2

Twenty-four hours after watching Guns n Roses tear it up at the London Stadium I was near enough in my own back yard watching someone who could scoff at the 100 million units they’ve shifted and point to seven number one albums in the US in one incredible three-year period, Tony, Grammy and Academy Awards and just about every other honour the music world can bestow.

And he was really good.

Not in a life-changing, blowing the roof off (metaphorically speaking as the Select Security Stadium has no roof) OMG what have I just seen kind of way. But in a professional, honed, perfectly judged, hit-laden kind of way.

He delivered sincere tributes to George Michael and those killed in the terrible incidents that had shaken London and Manchester, and also to the thousands who were in attendance.

Elton’s songs are the part of the the very fabric of the 70s and 80s and he treated us to a fair selection. Your Song, Rocket Man, Philadelphia Freedom, Daniel, Tiny Dancer, Sad Songs, I’m Still Standing – the list just grew and grew.

He ended with a solo version of Candle in the Wind, the crowd swayed and then he was gone.

But he’d really been there…hadn’t he?

One thought on “And he did the song about Tony Danza

  1. Oh, see, now, I do love me some Elton John, I do. I don’t own his records because I know I wouldn’t play them. There’d always be someone else vying for needle-space on my record player, and besides, those songs are in the ether all around us and I can sing most of them word for word without prompt.

    I haven’t ever seen him live either, but my mate Richard was in attendance at your show and sent two videos through that excellent Whatsapp they have now – Candle in the Wind and Rocket Man since you asked – and it did indeed seem like an evening of glory and celebration for those in attendance. After all, there’s not been a crowd of as many happy, smiling faces in that rugby ground for quite some time now. Where’s that wink emoticon?

    It was those Pet Shop Boys on a BBC radio documentary that first alerted me to Elton’s excellent Tantrums and Tiaras documentary, which is essential viewing in my domicile and I heartily recommend it. He’s a good sport is young Elton and I send more power to his elbows.

    Like Guns n’ Roses before him, Elton plays fairly regularly in my new home town so maybe I’ll check him out here, and also help him to hit that sadly missing high note from Rocket Man. He’s getting on in years is the lad so we’ll forgive him for that.

    In fact, long may the old chap play around our block for a good few years to come.

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