Selected by Dan
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 Whites, 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
Elton John plays
Nippon Budokan on Nov 13. See
listings for details.