Elton interviews...when they're about the music and not 'other' topics are always interesting. Rolling Stone which now champions all things musical by Elton, something that wasn't always the case, has grabbed five minutes to put the burning questions to him. Some very enlightening and some downright bizarre stuff in it...let's see what moss we gather from it. The full text can be found here.
Hip-hop is something I have absolute no interest in. I'm aware of it...as I re tune the radio if I should land upon such a broadcast. So when I see headlines proclaiming Elton wants to make records in the genre the blood does tend to run a bit on the icy side. But if you actually read what he says it's merely a sidebar. We're not (thankfully) going to have foisted on us a whole album of such 'delights'. His collab with Timbaland a few years ago was very good, in a one off setting it's possible to find some gems. But a whole album...let's keep the wanting a bit more wanted.
It wouldn't be a Rolling Stone interview if their favourite sunshine lad wasn't mentioned. They're obviously either unaware (deliberately or unintentionally) that a third album with this fella is something that has as much appeal as a wet weekend on the beach. In winter. Elton's answer is telling, I think. A one line affirmation, a quick diversion to another topic and a much longer explanation of his outside work. I do think (hopefully) we've seen the last of this chap masquerading as somebody competent in making an Elton album...
...which leads to a bizzare insight from Rolling Stone. Some of the younger scribes of today don't a have a Scooby Doo but plenty of Shaggy ideas. Comparing early 70's Elton with Kanye West is off the wall stuff. I wouldn't know one Kanye West song from another, the bits I have heard sound like something that would be best left under the dust bin lid. Scrappy indeed. So if someone can make that connection, then you gotta wonder if they've anything else useful to say. I doubt it. I suspect they're next hair brained idea following on from that would be 'At Home With The Furnishes'...the blood is getting even colder now.
The touring question has arose again. My guess is there'll be very few shows in 2015 and beyond. 2014 is full with tour dates so far, but early Autumn is still blank so any territories not on the list he may be coming your way!! His domestic setup means he will cut back. The Ray Cooper shows coming to America is a dangly carrot. Whether it happens or not, time will tell. The MDP shows only have a limited run this year. It's future does seem to be up in the air at the minute. From what I can gather, the cinema screenings this week seem to have been a major flop in the US. In some places attendances not even in double figures...sounds like a turnout in some recent referendums here. What went wrong will come out in time...more about that at a later date I suspect.
The next part of the interview does tell a great deal. It's no secret that Elton doesn't really like revisiting his older material much. The query as to full album shows demonstrates that. Though I still think with the blank dates in the Autumn he may still do a few special one off shows for the GYBR 40th. Whether he actually does the whole album is up for debate. I suspect he may do very close if not all of it. That would be truly a landmark event if it were to happen. The tour so far this year has seen a gradual expansion of the setlist with songs from it. He then mentions The Diving Board. I've been saying this since last September, Elton tried the songs in concert and they didn't work. He decided that, not anyone else. It's a pity those who bombarded Davey's blog during that bizarre period last year couldn't grasp that concept from the off. Not sure how long it takes a penny to drop in other places...hopefully it's scored a direct hit by now. Notwithstanding the fact that there was no special show to promote the album. As I said before, the Capitol Records preview show this time last year put paid to that. A future blog post on how inept and counter productive they were to follow in the future. As Elton says himself, the songs are only fit for small venues. So a 'Beacon' type show would have been the ideal showcase. But we've had to settle for just Elton and the band since then...tough isn't it not!! The GYBR 40th has lashed The Diving Board out of it...
The final part of the interview brings up Billy Joel. I love Billy Joel. I've seen him with Elton and on his own. So there'll be no Billy bashing here. Plenty of forums to indulge in that aspect of communication for those of that persuasion. When Billy announced his Madison Square Garden residency last year the amount of Billy vitriol that I seen dispensed by some Elton fans could have filled the venue in it's own right. As we know, they both had a falling out a few years ago. Over what, who knows and cares. But all that's in the past, they kissed and made up. I'd be ecstatic if they toured again. It got a bit old when they kept doing it in America exclusively. But it still sold out each time. If they took to the rest of the world again, it might never end.