Selected by Dan Grunebaum


With the BIG names in music having wrapped up their BIG summer tours in the West, Japan will see a progression of stars make their way here this fall. Among them, Elton John will be gracing Tokyo with one lone date (contrast that with Eric Clapton' six) at the venerable Nippon Budokan.  

The peaks and valleys of Reginald White’s, a.k.a. Elton John, career have been many, but at the moment the singer seems to be at a high point. Despite losing a much-publicized lawsuit against his accountants, his Broadway play Aida has proven a hit, and last winter's One Night Only live album was well-received also.

It's been a long road for John, who launched his professional career with the band Bluesology in 1965. After a few years of providing backup for touring American soul artists with the band, John grew disillusioned with a supporting role. In his quest to become a songwriter, he met Bernie Taupin, a partner with whom John was to write some of his most memorable songs.

John released his self-named debut in 1970, providing him and co-writer Taupin with their first hit in the form of the classic "Your Song." A string of successes followed, including "Rocket Man," "Daniel," and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," as John had seven consecutive number one albums between 1972 and 1975. But in 1977, John declared he was retiring from music, as his outrageous lifestyle and open bisexuality became fodder for the tabloid press.
Reuniting with Taupin in 1983, John set out on the comeback trail that culminated in a triumphant performance at Live Aid in 1985.

Since then the flamboyant Rocket Man has been married and divorced, drug-addicted and rehabbed, and has won and lost a grab bag of lawsuits. But through it all he has remained immensely popular, wracking up hit after hit and entering a list of Britain's 200 wealthiest people. ’90s highlights include: Duets, the 1993 album featuring collaborations with Bonnie Raitt and George Michael, among others; The Lion King, to which John contributed five songs in 1994, and of course his 1997 song "Candle In The Wind," which he performed for a worldwide television audience of over two billion at Lady Di's funeral.
The latest news, meanwhile, is that John has asked fellow substance abuse veteran Robert Downey Jr. to appear in the video for his song, "I Want Love." The song appears on the British pop maestro's forthcoming album, Songs From The West Coast, due out in October.

Elton John plays Nippon Budokan on Nov 13. See listings for details.

Concert Listings
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana