I love collecting the tour books, my collection isn't yet complete (will it ever be!) but it's almost there. They are a great snapshot from the visual point of view of the wonderful pictures and the contemporary narrative they contain of where Elton was at that point in time of his career. Always exquisitely produced, they are items to treasure.
Thanks to the angel of the north, I've been able to get my little mits on one right now. The wait till December this year wasn't an option! And waited we have for a new one. The last edition was in 2011, a grand affair that was befitting of all those inside it. However, life can change overnight as it did suddenly in 2012. Bob's passing and Matt's arrival was a significant moment on the Elton timeline. However, the powers that be didn't get the memo on that and up to quite recently...earlier this year in fact...were still selling the old edition. No need to explain to anybody reading this blog the total disregard at best, insensitivity at worst for that state of affairs. Thankfully the penny fell and equilibrium has been restored.
The new edition, entitled 'Elton John Showbook' is a large square sized book in keeping with recent versions. The cover has a mock vinyl record type cover that may play...but that would mean cutting it up to find out. Inside it's lavished with new photos from the current tour. This is important as it includes Elton and the band in action on the new stage design. That bang up to date aspect makes it feel incredibly current. Excellently photographed, Elton having a keen eye for the odd photo will no doubt appreciate their stunning capturing. There's a brief bio text of Elton from John F. Higgins. Bernie has a piece dedicated to him...by none other than Mrs. Taupin. It's a general oversight from her with some personal insights. A man of many talents is our Bernie and she leaves us in no doubt as to what his capabilities are.
The band are featured prominently...as is proper order...with Matt finally getting his dues paid. His mention of Bob is a touching connection with the immediate past.
Ray Cooper also features with two pages dedicated to him.
This is where the multi purpose aspect of the new book comes into focus. It mentions that some or all of the featured musicians may or may not appear. So the new book will be around for a while yet it seems. It's one size fits all edict will cover band, solo or Ray shows. A Ray show...hopefully more than a promise and more of a treat.
Overall it's typical of the standard we've come accustomed to over the years, it's value for money on any day of the week. A colourful souvenir of a colourful performace. An interesting aspect is the fact there's no advert for The Diving Board. But one for the Million Dollar Piano DVD. As I mentioned earlier, life can move on very quickly. One interesting footnote to end on is a 'where are they now' question has been answered. Under the title of tour road merchandising sales is Chris Thomas. Who knew...