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Elton and Jose Carreras on German TV
Monday, October 31 2005

Elton John will support Jose Carreras' fight against leukemia during his TV Gala 2005 on German television on December 15, 2005.

Besides presenting one of his own songs, Elton is expected to also perform a duet with Carreras during the live broadcast which will start at 8.15 pm on "Das Erste" (available over satellite in many European countries).

Tickets for the gala are available online at www.ticket-galerie.de.

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Video clip from NYC fan meeting
Sunday, October 30 2005

We have compiled a short video clip from the Elton Fan Meeting at New York City's Hard Rock Cafe on September 24, 2005.

Click here to stream the Windows Media file (recommended for broadband connections only) on your computer. If you have a slow connection, right-click the above link and save the WMV file to your computer for local playback.

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    Ted Howe reveals the jazz soul of Elton John
    Sunday, October 30 2005

    Jazz master, pianist and arranger Ted Howe rocks on his second release on Summit, swingin’ the music of pop/rock icon Elton John with full aplomb into the jazz scene!

    Joined by jazz superstars Joe LaBarbera and John Patitucci, this disc delivers what Howe fans have learned to expect – the unexpected and the extraordinary.

    Ted Howe invents and uncovers Elton’s jazz roots, from vintage favorites to obscure gems and contemporary classics.

    Originally hailing from Boston as a student of famed Berklee teacher Harry Smith, Howe eventually joined the Berklee faculty himself. He then went on to tour, conduct, arrange and play with some of the most famous names in show business, including Mel Torme, Bud Shank, Zoot Sims, Buddy DeFranco and Joe Williams, to name a few.

    Striding in as Fats Waller, then swinging with Nat King Cole-style block chords, Howe’s "Bennie and the Jets" blasts from the past to any generation. As a cha-cha, you’ll love "All the Girls Love Alice" too much to sit down, as subtle harmonic sophistication reinvents the story of "Alice".

    Elton’s eloquent instrumental "Carla Etude" inspired Howe’s jazz waltz treatment à la Bill Evans. Sink into John Patitucci’s haunting arco bass and Joe LaBarbera’s brushes and spice. Greasin’ in from big band to blues, "Philadelphia Freedom" takes on a new identity.

    But, believe it, Elton devotees can still sing along! On "Border Song," Patitucci’s exquisite upper register floats in a contemporary melodic presence...but gospel soon takes hold as this trio com-mu-ni-cates!

    Howe’s translation of "Circle of Life": mambo! Vibrant, fast-moving and fiery, this is an exciting, virtuostic display of Latin percussion, expanding the "Circle" beyond the jungle. Sinatra missed "Blues Eyes"...but you won’t, as Howe strides in again for a time travel back to the days of classic dark lounges for this romantic gem.

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    Bernie Taupin feared bucking bull retiring
    Sunday, October 30 2005

    Little Yellow Jacket is retiring, and for those who don't put on cowboy boots and a hat in the morning and want to know why that's significant, just ask Bernie Taupin. This bull is so good, Taupin may have to write a song about him.

    "He's maybe the greatest bucking bull of all time," Taupin says. Forgive Taupin for being a little prejudiced. He's part-owner of the 1,600-pound monster who tosses cowboys with disdain and then sometimes struts around the arena enjoying the applause.

    It's usually not even a fair fight. The average rider lasts only 2.67 seconds before getting a face full of dirt.

    Little Yellow Jacket won't be bucking much longer. He makes his final appearance on November 5/6, 2005 at the Professional Bull Riders championship before heading out to a life at stud on a North Dakota Ranch.

    Taupin has seen a lot of performers in his time. But this bull is so revered that on October 28, 2005 they brought him into a darkened arena at the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino, aimed a spotlight at him and let him enjoy a standing ovation without having to buck anyone to get it.

    "He's a great athlete to me, like a Joe Montana," Taupin says. "He's got that kind of character in that genre. I don't feel stupid comparing him to great athletes because his whole persona is almost starlike."

    Taupin developed a fascination for the American West long before he ever grew rich writing songs, and headed out there when he and Elton arrived in the United States on tour in 1970.

    "When I was a kid all I wanted to do was get to the United States in some way, fair or foul," Taupin says. "I was always enveloped in the western culture even as a kid. I was never interested in English history, just American. I was studying the Civil War when I was 10."

    Taupin is living the life he always dreamed of as a kid. He's an American citizen now, raises cutting horses on a ranch above Santa Barbara, CA, and is thrilled to be in a partnership with Joe and Nevada Berger and Tom Teague that spawned Little Yellow Jacket.

    Bull of the year on the PBR circuit the last three years, Little Yellow Jacket has allowed only 12 of 86 riders to stay on the required eight seconds.

    Some bulls throw themselves around the pens and in the back of the chute just before rides. Little Yellow Jacket takes it all in calmly, just waiting until the gate opens and the action really begins. This bull has an attitude.

    "He just really wants to win, you can see it in his eyes," bull rider Chris Shivers said. "He just has this desire to win and he seems to understand what it's about."

    Taupin expects a good performance from his bull in the PBR finals, where one rider will walk away with $1 million. He's in New York this week for work on a play he and Elton are taking to Broadway in the spring, but will fly back to Las Vegas to see his bull in action one final time.

    "Nothing on earth could stop me from being there," Taupin said. "I've had way too much fun not to be there for the last hurrah." Don't expect to see Elton there with him.

    "No, we live in two different worlds and that's fine," Taupin said. "I think the key to our longevity is that we keep out of each other's pockets."

    As for Little Yellow Jacket, the future looks even better. He'll make some guest appearances around the country, but mostly enjoy himself breeding his retirement years away. Turns out he's pretty good at that, too.

    "He's already got a lot of babies out there bucking great," Taupin said.

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    Sanctuary warns of 'serious loss of capital' ahead of accounting review
    Sunday, October 30 2005

    Music group with Elton John and Robert Plant on its books, says accounting review could seriously hit books.

    Sanctuary, the music group with the likes of Joss Stone, Robert Plant and Elton John on its books, has warned that it is facing a 'serious loss of capital' as it commences a review of its accounting policies.

    In an announcement released on October 28, 2005 Sanctuary said that it was in 'continuing discussions' with auditors Baker Tilly as it undertook an accounting review which would 'alter the balance sheet significantly' and see the group show net liabilities on its September 30, 2005 balance sheet.

    The group announced a review of its business in June 2005, and has since undertaken a cost reduction programme in addition to the accounting review announced today.

    Sanctuary said that the review could 'give rise to prior year adjustments', 'alter its methods of estimation in certain areas' and give rise to exceptional items in its accounts.

    The group said it was investigating whether the impact on its balance sheet constituted a serious loss of capital as defined by Section 142 of the Companies Act (1985).

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    City forgave loan for concert
    Saturday, October 29 2005

    Mayor Street said that organizers of the July 4, 2005 Elton John fund-raiser don't have to repay $400,000, statements indicate.

    At the direction of Mayor Street, the city has forgiven a $400,000 loan to the organizers of July's Elton John benefit concert, according to financial statements releaseded on October 28, 2005.

    The money represents a large part of the $1.15 million in city and state taxpayer money spent to put on the event.

    All told, Philadelphia-based AIDS organizations will receive $300,000 from the concert - far short of the $1 million organizers had anticipated when they announced the event in February 2005.

    Those charitable dollars could shrink still. A nonprofit community group, Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods, said yesterday that it expects an outstanding $167,000 loan for the concert to be repaid "as soon as possible." The nonprofit had already bailed out the concert organizers by forgiving an additional $500,000 in loans.

    Notwithstanding any of those money problems, concert organizer Mark Segal called the Elton John fund-raiser "an overwhelming success."

    "As a first-time effort, this was a learning experience for us all," said Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News. "Yet despite unforeseen challenges and perhaps overly optimistic projections, what we accomplished is pretty remarkable, and something everyone in Philadelphia can be proud of."

    Street - who has a close political relationship with Segal - yesterday defended his decision to essentially transform the $400,000 loan into a grant. "It was a good deal and a worthy cause, and we are extremely pleased and proud of the event," the mayor said.

    Held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the concert drew more than 500,000 fans and was viewed by just as many people during a one-hour live telecast.

    Contributors raised a net total of $1.1 million. But internal operations were filled with fumbles.

    The Art Museum ball, expected to attract 1,000 supporters paying up to $2,500 a ticket, drew only 600 people. T-shirts, hats and other merchandise barely sold.

    No corporate citizen stepped up to provide a jet to fly Elton in from Ireland and back to France to continue his concert tour. That cost organizers $167,085.

    And because of an existing arrangement with WPVI-TV (Channel 6), organizers' hopes to broadcast the concert nationally was scuttled, limiting phoned-in donations from TV viewers to $62,700.

    In addition, Segal and others believe they lost a publicity edge when it was later announced that Philadelphia was to host the Live 8 concert two days earlier.

    Hoping to raise $2 million, organizers had intended to divide the proceeds between Elton John's international charity and local AIDS service groups. But as part of the deal to bring Elton here initially, $1 million had already been promised to his foundation - leaving just $102,000 for the local AIDS groups.

    Recognizing the scant profit, the EJAF is redirecting $200,000 of its money to help Philadelphia-based AIDS groups.

    The financial statements, obtained yesterday by The Inquirer, show the city contributed a total of $500,000; the state gave $600,000, most of it through a grant for the annual Sunoco Welcome America July Fourth celebration; and $50,000 came from the Convention Center.

    The statements also show the organization in the black, making no mention of the $167,000 debt to Citizens Alliance, a nonprofit associated with State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo (D., Phila.).

    Asked about that debt, Segal said he expected to receive another grant to cover the payment. Ken Snyder, a spokesman for the alliance, said, "We expect to be repaid as soon as possible."

    Snyder said the $500,000 in loans was forgiven on condition that Segal's group raise $250,000 for area AIDS-awareness programs, and another $250,000 as seed money to organize a fund-raising concert next summer.

    The Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Fund is administering funds raised and spent through July's Elton John AIDS benefit concert. According to financial statements:

    Income $3,635,276

    • In-kind contributions: $854,060
    • Viewer donations: $62,700
    • Sponsor revenue: $755,000 (includes the following):
    • Art Museum ball revenue: $201,140
    • Citizens Alliance: $500,000
    • Welcome America: $400,000
    • State of Pennsylvania: $200,000
    • City of Philadelphia: $500,000
    • Convention Center: $50,000
    • Merchandise and concessions: $111,651

    Expenses $3,533,191

    • Art Museum ball: $227,510
    • Concert and other ball expenses: $621,721
    • Elton John AIDS Foundation: $1 million
    • Administrative costs: $475,438
    • Production costs: $595,112
    • Elton John transportation (jet): $167,085
    • Talent costs (band and equipment transfer): $337,374
    • Miscellaneous: $108,945

    Net Income $102,085

    SOURCE: Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Fund

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    Elton John pilot strikes chord at ABC
    Saturday, October 29 2005

    After kicking around the various developmental corridors of ABC for the past year, a comedy pilot backed by Elton John has finally received the green light.

    The pilot, based loosely on Elton's life and those of some of his peers, will follow the life of a graying rock star, his manager and other assorted hangers-on. It is titled "Him and Us".

    Cindy Chupack, a veteran of "Sex and the City" and "Everybody Loves Raymond," is writing the pilot, which will likely be a single-camera comedy, the showbiz trade papers report. She'll also executive produce with Elton; the singer's personal assistant, Bob Halley; "Desperate Housewives" exec producer Michael Edelstein; and Bruce Roberts.

    Elton is also expected to write original songs for the series with long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin.

    "Him and Us" first went into development about a year ago, but it passed through last spring's pilot season without a formal pilot order. With a script now written, ABC and sister studio Touchstone TV decided to forge ahead.

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    Elton's shoes are up for auction
    Wednesday, October 26 2005

    Spectacular shoes belonging to 34 of the most glamorous names in show business including Sir Elton's were unveiled this week to promote the release (November 11, 2005) of the new Cameron Diaz film 'In Her Shoes'.

    Shoes have also been donated by Cameron Diaz, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Dame Kelly Holmes, Cherie Blair, Sienna Miller, Claudia Schiffer, Drew Barrymore and many more.

    <Over the next two weeks bidding will take place on the Breast Cancer Care website. Please see www.breastcancercare.org.uk/inhershoes to view the shoes and get involved in the bidding!

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    Tickets for San Francisco Run of 'Lestat'
    Wednesday, October 26 2005

    Tickets for the pre-Broadway world premiere engagement of Lestat, the new Elton John-Bernie Taupin musical based on the vampire characters of Anne Rice, go on sale the day before Halloween 2005.

    Tickets for the December 17, 2005 to January 29, 2006, San Francisco run go on sale 10 AM October 30, 2005. The production at the Curran Theatre is presented as part of the 2005-2006 Best of Broadway season, under the direction of Carole Shorenstein Hays and Scott E. Nederlander.

    Lestat will arrive on Broadway in spring 2006 at the Palace Theatre following the California engagement.

    Tickets for Lestat in San Francisco range in price from $30-$90 and are available online at shnsf.com, through Ticketmaster by calling (415) 512-7770, at ticketmaster.com, at all Ticketmaster ticket centers and at the Curran Theatre box office (445 Geary, Monday-Friday Noon-6 PM). For groups of 20 or more, call (415) 551-2020.

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    "Red Piano" dates for 2006
    Tuesday, October 25 2005

    Elton's schedule for the "Red Piano" shows at Caeasars Palace in Las Vegas for the first half of 2006 is now available.

    Please see the Elton John Tour News for a complete list.

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    "The Red Piano" in Las Vegas on October 22, 2005
    Monday, October 24 2005

    Fan report by Tony Centofante.

    Some may recall that it was just three weeks ago when I wrote a review of the Captain Fantastic show in Atlanta. The decision to attend that show was made on short notice but I was so happy I decided to do it.

    One reason I hesitated was because I had already purchased tickets months ago to see The Red Piano show. The reason the third weekend in October was selected was because that was the only time everyone I wanted to see were there at the same time: Don Rickles at the Stardust, Barry Manilow at the Hilton and Elton John at Caesars Palace.

    Thanks to frequent flyer miles from Delta and some restraints on gambling the costs for the trip were kept low.

    We arrived at Caesars Palace in the late afternoon and after dinner went to the Elton John store. I finally found my dream job! If only they had a location nearer to my home in Tennessee then I would be all set. What a feeling to be in a place where the career of EJ could be celebrated. CDs, books, clothes and trinkets and all with the name Elton John on it.

    The most expensive item was the numbered and autographed platinum discs for Elton John Greatest Hits 1970-2002 in a frame with the album cover picture surrounded by the cover picture of every other album. At $850 it was only about $800 out of my price range!

    If this were a regular Elton John show, then my review would be all positive. Elton was in a good mood and his piano and vocals flourished on all but a couple of songs.

    But, this is "The Red Piano" so the show part of the show by David LaChapelle also has to be judged. And that is where this review will be negative. First, the stage layout before the show looked cheap with areas of unlit neon signs scattered about. The stage hands are dressed like painters in all white jump suits and they not so inconspicuously walk around the stage when it is time to plug something in or inflate something.

    "Bennie And The Jets" started the show at 7:40 p.m. and the only effects for this song are giant letters that spell E L T O N in neon colors flickering throughout the song.

    Elton then greeted the crowd and said this was his 79th Red Piano show. You would be amazed how many times Elton said the exact same thing at this show. For example: "Welcome to the Colosseum...home of Celine Dion...but not tonight." How stale is that?

    "Philadelphia Freedom" was next and the first video was played. Inexplicably, the video starts with the Empire State Building. I thought the name of the song was "Philadelphia Freedom"? Anyway, after that it was a decent video with a collage of images from the 70s with a few pictures of EJ thrown in the mix.

    "Believe" was next and was welcome to hear since he does not usually play this song on tour. But, the video was crap. A shirtless man dancing was the added dimension given to this song.

    Then, another scripted intro for "Daniel" (BTW, if you like Elton saying the word f*** then this is the show for you). I usually hate this overplayed song but I wanted to hear it tonight to see the video that explains the song. The video was so clear that after the song was over I had to explain the meaning to the person I went with.

    "Rocket Man" was next and the video for this was from "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore" with Justin Timberlake played in slow motion to last 12 minutes. Can anyone explain to me what this video has to do with "Rocket Man"?

    After "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" was a surprising change to the setlist. "Sorry Seems To Be Hardest Word" was next. Elton gave a good intro to this song telling the story of his recording session with Ray Charles who triumphed in the studio despite declining health. Question: How can you tell when there is a setlist change at the Red Piano? Answer: no video at all. That was also a shame since images of Ray Charles would have made this song all the more powerful.

    I was disappointed that Elton has given up on playing "Answer In The Sky" at these shows. In what has to be termed marketing mismanagement, Elton is playing no songs at these shows from his two latest releases: Captain Fantastic and Peachtree Road.

    "Candle In The Wind" was played without an intro and only Marilyn Monroe in the video. This video was successful in portraying some of the pain the woman must have gone through. However, there was also a nude shot of her. I thought this was in very poor taste and a disgrace to her memory.

    It took until "Pinball Wizard" for a video to be played that enhanced the song. Quick flash images of the city of Las Vegas and the Captain Fantastic pinball game were shown.

    "The Bitch Is Back" featured the Pamela Anderson pole dancing video. It had nothing to do with the song but at least it was easy on the eyes.

    By now the stage was starting to be filled to excess. Some of the items on stage were an inflatable ice cream cone and cigarette butt. From the roof of the Colosseum a giant inflatable nipple.

    Ironically, the best video of the night, "I'm Still Standing", was shown featuring pictures of Elton from all stages of his career. But, my view of it was partially obstructed by the giant inflatable nipple. Yes, I never thought I would write a review that said my view of the stage was blocked by a giant inflatable nipple!

    "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" featured the rush to the stage by those in the front rows and balloons and confetti falling from the ceiling. It was funny to watch the two security people right behind Elton point people back when they got too close.

    The two people next to me were drunk the whole show but even they sobered up enough to mention all the crap that was going on that detracted from Elton's performance.

    Before the encore some audio played that was hard to make out and then Elton returned for "Your Song" with inflatable letters spelling L O V E to end the show at 9:25 p.m.

    As you can tell, I have some problems with this show. The night before I saw the Barry Manilow. His show is called "Music And Passion" show and it was much better than the Red Piano. I had never seen him before and like so many others wanted to hear one time the songs you hate to admit you liked when growing up.

    It is obvious Manilow has seen The Red Piano and uses some elements from it but at the same time has created something completly different.

    There are some videos but they better relate to the song he is playing. For example, half of the video of "Mandy" from 1975 is played and then Barry finished the second half of the song live.

    In between songs long stories were told about his life. At one point in the show he walked to one corner of the stage where a little piano bar was set up to recreate his earlier years. Later in the show he walked to the other corner of the stage where a little comedy club called Rock Bottom was set up to show a low point on his road to stardom.

    At the end of the show a glass stage falls from the top and Barry sings standing above those in the front rows. All of a sudden the Balcony seats were the best in the house. Unlike Elton, Barry changes his show nightly. His mostly black band and backup singers gave the show a real soul feel. They even did the Stevie Wonder song (and EJ 1970 soundalike favorite) "Signed Sealed Delivered".

    With Barry you get a man who has been to the top, suffered through a backlash but has no hard feelings and is genuinely happy to have his career reborn with this new show at the Hilton. Barry's show is reestablishing his legacy.

    On the other hand, Elton's show is camp and detracting from his legacy. I always thought an Elton show that featured music and movies would be so special but this show is not it. This show would be fine if he did it a few times a year but he is committed to doing this at least 150 times. While it is convenient for Elton because it cuts down on his travel and the show is shorter, he is doing a disservice to his fans in places like Fargo that will not see him anytime soon because he is in Las Vegas.

    I know this review sounds negative but keep in mind my last four concerts were with orchestra at Radio City Music Hall, the debut of Peachtree Road at the Tabernacle, the Captain Fantastic show at Philips Arena and now The Red Piano at the Colosseum. Do you see now why this show does not stack up to the others?

    For that reason, I would recommend that people avoid paying more money to see this shorter and stranger show and instead see Elton someplace else in the world nearer to your town.

    Following is the complete setlist of Elton John "The Red Piano" in Las Vegas on October 22, 2005:

    • Bennie And The Jets
    • Philadelphia Freedom
    • Believe
    • Daniel
    • Rocket Man
    • I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
    • Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
    • Tiny Dancer
    • Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
    • Candle In The Wind
    • Pinball Wizard
    • The Bitch Is Back
    • I'm Still Standing
    • Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
    • Your Song

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    Elton to tie knot in style
    Sunday, October 23 2005

    With only a few months until his wedding, Elton John is focused on choosing his celebrity bridal party, reports the Sunday Telegraph.

    Elton intends to marry his partner of 11 years, David Furnish as soon as possible after December 21, 2005 – the date same-sex marriages will become legal in Britain.

    Although the couple insisted they wanted a "low-key" ceremony it is more likely to be one of the hottest showbiz weddings of the year.

    Victoria Beckham and Liz Hurley, longtime friends of the pair, are top contenders to appear in the bridal party – whether as bridesmaids or groomsmen is yet to be decided.

    Elton anticipates the wedding, most likely to be held at his $18 million estate in Windsor, Berkshire, will be a lavish affair.

    "We won't try to hide it, there's no point in that," he said. "It will be a celebration."

    The ceremony is expected to be held Claridge's Hotel in London or in the private chapel of the Windsor property.

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    How I met Elton ...
    Thursday, October 20 2005

    Fan report by Ruth Gill.

    I couldn’t quite believe it when I had a phone call to say I had won the Elton John competition. I thought, wow, a pair of tickets to Billy Elliott but it was to be much more than that. I had won tickets for two people to see Billy Elliot, one nights stay in a London hotel, flights to Las Vegas, tickets to see the Red Piano concert and the chance to personally meet Elton John!

    My boyfriend Richard and I went to London on October 6, 2006, saw Billy Elliot which was amazing and stayed in a wonderful hotel for the night. The next day we were flown out to Las Vegas, what an amazing place! We collected our tickets and back stage passes to see the Red Piano concert on October 8, 2006, we got all dressed up and headed for the Colosseum. We were taken to the green room and were greeted by Arthur, Elton’s dog, he is so cute! Davey Johnstone and Nigel Olsson were there chatting to people, that was surreal.

    We were called through to meet Elton John in his room and were so nervous, he shook our hands and asked where we were from and we had a chat. Bob Halley was also there with us along with Arthur!

    Elton took us through to his dressing room to show how glamorous it was, it was amazing! Our photograph was taken and then it was time for the show to start. We sat in a private box for the concert and it was fantastic.

    Elton was a pleasure to meet, a really genuine person and we know how lucky we are. We are both huge fans and I am glad I helped Richard fulfil his lifetime ambition.

    Many thanks to those who organised our once in a lifetime trip, especially Doug D’Souza and Chris Clarke.

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    Sir Elton John becomes patron of EuroPride London
    Thursday, October 20 2005

    Sir Elton John has accepted an invitation to become a EuroPride Patron, giving the event two Peers of the Realm and a brace of Knights among the high-profile supporters.

    “I am delighted to be a Patron of Euro Pride – especially as it will be focusing on the issue of homophobia through its 'Pride Against Prejudice' initiative,” Sir Elton said.

    “This is a crucial theme, and one which both complements my work with organisations such as Amnesty International, and is also inevitably linked with the issues around stigma and HIV/AIDS that I see in the UK through the work of my own Foundation.

    “With news of a terrible homophobic attack in London this weekend, we are reminded that these issues still need to be vitally addressed in society today,” he emphasised.

    Jason Pollock, Chief Executive of EuroPride London said he was delighted that the legendary gay pop star had agreed to become a patron.

    “[Sir Elton] genuinely feels that the issues EuroPride London will be addressing are essential to the basic human rights of the international LGBT community.”

    Sir Elton John joins an illustrious panel of Patrons, which include Sir Ian Mckellen, Lord Waheed Alli, Lord Chris Smith, Stephen Fry, Rhona Cameron, Michael Cashman MEP, Peter Tatchell and Wayne Sleep.

    Plans are already well advanced for the 2006 EuorPride Festival from June 17 to July 1, 2006, and will culminate in the 'Prides Against Prejudice' conference aiming to unite Prides throughout Europe in a concentrated campaign against prejudice and homophobia, particularly in Eastern European countries.

    On EuroPride Day, Saturday July 1 2006, the parade will start in Oxford Street at 1pm and will, for the first time, boast over 80 floats and hundreds of walking groups.

    The Parade is followed by the Pride Rally which will continue the Prides Against Prejudice theme. Meanwhile over in Leicester Square the Virgin Mobile Cabaret Stage will again host an afternoon of top entertainment culminating in the finals of ‘Drag Idol Two’.

    Most of Soho will be closed for the day for the EuroPride Food Fest, Travel Ally, Speed dating, dancing, a commercial market, and many other attractions.

    EuroPride Day is a free international LGBT community festival and is supported by the Mayor of London.

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    Celebrity auction includes Elton Gold Record
    Wednesday, October 19 2005

    New York Restoration Project has an new online auction that coincides with their Hulaween gala in New York City on October 31, 2005.

    At the gala, Sting and Trudie Styler will be honored for their environmental work, Sir Elton John will perform, and Martin Short will serve as auctioneer for five sensational “live” celebrity auction lots.

    The auction is now open for bidding and has some interesting lots including spending a day with Martha Stewart, being on set with Robert DeNiro and listen to Faith Hill record a Holiday album in her studio.

    There also is a Gold Record for "Madman Across The Water" from Elton John, signed by the man hymself.

    One of the strangest but also most fun sounding lots is the chance to play bocce ball with Glenn Close in Maine (who knew Glenn was a bocce ball fan?).

    The auction also includes vacations, a gown from Goldie Hawn, a necklace from Better Midler and a Toyota is donating a 2006 Prius which will be driven to the winner’s driveway by Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler. The bidding wraps up on November 8, 2005.

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    All-star CD to help hurricane victims
    Monday, October 17 2005

    Artists, labels, songwriters and publishers, all waiving their royalties, have joined forces on Hurricane Relief: "Come Together Now", an all-star double album to benefit victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

    Due in mid-November 2005, Hurricane Relief has 30 confirmed tracks so far, most of which are previously unreleased, and more will be announced soon. Among live recordings are Elton John's "I'm Still Standing", James Brown's "Try Me", Coldplay's "Fix You" and John Fogerty's "Born on the Bayou". A version of Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" spotlights Ringo Starr, Mary J. Blige, Gwen Stefani and Andrea Bocelli. Eric Benet, Michael McDonald and Wynonna Judd link voices on "Heart of America". Barbra Streisand submits the unreleased "I Believe", and Bonnie Raitt contributes her current "I Will Not Be Broken".

    The set has a strong Crescent City tilt, with Sting's "Moon over Bourbon Street", Harry Connick Jr.'s "City Beneath the Sea" and Kirk Whalum and Coolio's "When the Saints Go Marching In". Also contributing are Norah Jones, Dave Matthews, Clint Black, Louis Armstrong, John Mayer, the Neville Brothers, Fats Domino and Brian Wilson.

    Title track "Come Together Now", originally penned by actress Sharon Stone and others for the tsunami tragedy, brings together Natalie Cole, The Game, John Legend, Wyclef Jean, Joss Stone, Celine Dion, Mya and 19 others.

    The cooperation of EMI, Sony BMG, Universal, Warner and Concord, along with the Recording Industry Association of America and participants' unions, means that at least $15 from each CD (suggested retail price: $19.98) will go to the hurricane relief efforts of the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and MusiCares.

    "The creative community always responds to a tragedy," says RIAA chairman Mitch Bainwol. "I don't think Katrina changed the instinctive reaction. But the fact that it was New Orleans, which is so important to the music world, did touch a chord in a particularly poignant way. People rallied immediately, within hours. All the labels wanted to play ball."

    Coordinating plans and obtaining clearances entailed more logistics than persuasion, Bainwol says. "Everyone had the right attitude," he says. The quickly produced multi-brand project isn't just unprecedented on the business side; "it's also a fantastic combination of genres and generations. We hope the timing and broad appeal makes it a really great gift."

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    Elton tantrum nearly killed big hit "Tommy"
    Sunday, October 16 2005

    Who legend Roger Daltrey has revealed his pop star mate Elton John nearly scuppered their classic rock opera, Tommy, reports the Sunday Mail.

    In November 2005, the group release a three-CD set which features an all-star performance of the story of the pinball wizard.

    But Elton almost sabotaged the gig after throwing one of his famous tantrums. Roger said: "Elton had a bit of a 'moment' at rehearsals and no one knew if he'd actually turn up. "I was ready to jump in - to sing Pinball Wizard - if he hadn't appeared.

    "The night before, I had to sit pretending I was playing piano and singing in his key." The new CD - which also features The Who's other rock opera Quadrophenia - also sees Pete Townshend reveal why he used to smash his guitars.

    He says: "The guitar smashing thing wasn't what it appeared. I was never angry on stage. I was very cool. It was definitely an artistic act."

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    Elton honoured with Ella Award
    Wednesday, October 12 2005

    Elton John's famous friends were out in force in LA on October 10, 2005 to honour their pal.

    The Rocket Man was given an Ella Award for his contribution to music and his humanitarian efforts.

    Joss Stone, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick and Celine Dion were just some of the top names that sent warm wishes to Elton. Elton said he was truly touched and humbled to be recognised by Society of Singers.

    Accepting his award he said: "I am truly humbled as a British artist to be in such eloquent company. I came here in 1970 with my partner Bernie Taupin, my song-writing partner who is here tonight. We have had quite an amazing career and ride and we are still riding after 38 years and we are still happily riding away and I am very proud of that."

    Society of Singers (SOS) was founded in 1984 and held its premier fundraising event the annual ELLA Award, named for its first recipient Ella Fitzgerald, in 1989.

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    Elton and Bernie on BBC radio
    Tuesday, October 11 2005

    Johnnie Walker Drivetime on BBC Radio 2 on October 10, 2005 dedicated the whole hour between 6 and 7 pm to the 30th anniversary of the Captain Fantastic album.

    The 'Cruising' songs which are usually chosen by listeners were "Bitter Fingers", "Writing" (Live at Wembley, from the bonus CD) and "Tell Me When The Whistle Blows".

    They then had Elton on the phone live from Caesars Palace and Bernie on the phone live from his ranch, often doing a three-way conversation. Bernie revealed he's already been working on the follow-up album to Captain Fantastic.

    You can listen again to the whole thing at the BBC radio website.

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    German Elton fans wanted for TV report
    Tuesday, October 11 2005

    The following is a call for German speaking fans who are willing to be filmed for an Elton John story on German television. Hence, the remainder of this news item will be in German.

    RTL Explosiv sucht für einen Bericht im Rahmen von Eltons Konzert in Hamburg am 5. Dezember 2005 deutsprachige Fans, die schon ein bischen länger dabei sind, also ruhig ein paar Jahre älter sein dürfen, die aber trotzdem noch die Energie eines jungen Fans haben, also stundenlang vor der Show an der Halle eintreffen, um sich die besten Plätze zu sichern, etc.

    Wer sich angesprochen fühlt und bereit wäre, sich von einem RTL Kamerateam filmen zu lassen, der möge sich bitte per e-Mail melden. Schreibt bitte Euer Alter, Anschrift, E-mail, und Telefon in die E-mail und erläutert kurz Eure "Tourpläne" für die deutschen Konzerte von Elton im Dezember 2005. Idealerweise reist Ihr von weit her an und seid vielleicht sogar in einer Gruppe von Fans unterwegs.

    Ihr wisst ja, wie die Leute vom Fernsehen es mögen: Je verrückter und wilder, desto besser.

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    Sanctuary cuts a quarter of staff
    Monday, October 10 2005

    UK music management business and record label Sanctuary is to cut its workforce by a quarter after a series of profit warnings following weak trading.

    The firm, which has offices in London, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Berlin, is to cut 175 jobs but has not yet said where the axe will fall.

    Sanctuary's stable of artists include Sir Elton John, the Manic Street Preachers, Morrissey and Iron Maiden. The firm said it hoped the move would soon return it to profitability.

    Shares in Sanctuary, which were priced at 43 pence in mid-June 2005, were up slightly on Monday, by 0.33% to 6.12 pence. The music firm said it hoped to achieve annual cost savings of between £7m and £8m.

    "I am confident that we have a high quality business and, with a much-reduced cost base, I believe we are well placed to rapidly return to profitability going forward," said executive chairman Andy Taylor in a statement.

    Sanctuary said negative headlines following a series of profit warnings in the past six months had hit its business, particularly its records division.

    It now expects a trading loss before exceptional items for the year to the end of September 2005 - compared with market forecasts at the start of the year for profits of up to £30m.

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        Saturday, April 2 2005 at 01:09:37

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    Michael Jackson sees Billy Elliot
    Monday, October 10 2005

    Pop star Michael Jackson took in the West End musical of Billy Elliot on his visit to Britain on October 9, 2005.

    The singer arrived at London's Victoria Palace theatre in a people carrier and security staff forced a path for him through a scrum of fans and photographers to the building's front door.

    Jackson turned up at the theatre 15 minutes after the show's scheduled start after leaving the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane, where he is staying, a mile away.

    Jackson has been mostly in hiding since he was cleared in June 2005 of 10 charges of child abuse and plying a minor with alcohol.

    He is understood to be in London to record a charity song, From The Bottom Of My Heart, in aid of victims of Hurricane Katrina.

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  • Elton joins Billy Elliot team for "Thank you" party
        Wednesday, August 10 2005 at 11:50:32

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    Elton: Moss is lucky
    Monday, October 10 2005

    Elton John says Kate Moss was lucky to be caught doing drugs - because it forced her to get help.

    Sir Elton, who survived his own cocaine hell, said he is delighted the Mirror's revelations about his friend led to her going into rehab.

    Speaking for the first time about the 31-year-old model's fall from grace, he revealed: "I'm just glad Kate is there, I am happy she is doing something."

    Kate is being treated at the Meadows Clinic in Arizona - and in an opimistic message of support, Sir Elton said it was the best possible place for her.

    He explained: "I think Kate has made a really positive move. The Meadows is a great place. It is where two close friends of mine went. Kate is in very good hands."

    He said his own drugs battle lasted 16 years because he was never found out. "The great thing about England is that the media will give you a very hard time. They won't let you get away with it. I wish Elvis Presley had lived in England because if he had, he would probably still be alive today.

    "Plenty of people must have told her to do something about it. But plenty of people told me and it took me 16 years to go and do it."

    The supermodel will spend 30 days in "medical treatment and therapy" at the £2,250-a-night clinic. And she received a boost last week when she was signed up for the cover of W magazine in America.

    It followed a string of lost contracts after her drugs secret was exposed.

    Sir Elton, who was relaxing after the latest in a series of lucrative shows in Las Vegas, added: "I really hope Kate gets better because she's a great girl and I love her to death."

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    Elton joins Peel tribute single
    Sunday, October 9 2005

    Sir Elton John is joining a group of musicians recording a tribute song to the late DJ John Peel.

    He will sing and play piano on a cover of the Buzzcocks hit "Ever Fallen in Love", alongside The Who's Roger Daltrey and Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant.

    The single will be first played simultaneously across all BBC radio stations on October 10, 2005. It will be released on November 21, 2005, with proceeds going to the Amnesty International charity.

    Newer bands including The Futureheads, El Presidente and The Datsuns will also play, along with Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks.

    Elton said: "It is always important to remember people who encouraged and helped you early in your career. The thing I loved about John was his passion for new music and his praise for things he totally believed in."

    Peel, who was renowned for championing new bands, died aged 65 on October 26, 2004 while on holiday in Peru. To mark the first anniversary of his death, October 13, 2005 has been designated John Peel Day, with concerts being performed in his name around the world.

    The first opportunity to see the video for "Ever Fallen in Love" will be on Channel 4 the same day. A concert in London featuring New Order will be held the previous evening.

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    Robson set for blast-off
    Sunday, October 9 2005

    ActorRobson Green had to appeal to Elton John to save his latest £6million TV series from crash landing. Green is about to make his BBC1 comeback in six-part drama, Rocket Man.

    It was nearly scrapped after Elton's publishing company withdrew permission to use his 1972 hit song as the title music.

    But after seeing a tape of the series - about a man who dreams of launching a rocket into space - they agreed.

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    Elton John and David Furnish's company to produce "Boy Girl Thing"
    Friday, October 7 2005

    Samaire Armstrong (HBO's Entourage) and Kevin Zegers are starring in "It's a Boy Girl Thing", a romantic comedy developed by Elton John and David Furnish's production company.

    Sharon Osbourne, wife and manager of rock star Ozzy Osbourne, also stars in the project, which began shooting in Toronto this week and moves next month to the United Kingdom.

    Armstrong and Zegers play two teenage next-door neighbors who are sworn enemies. Waking up one day to find themselves in each other's bodies, each sets out to destroy the other's high school reputation before going from infuriation to infatuation. Osbourne and Maury Chaykin (Where the Truth Lies) will play Zegers's parents.

    Nick Hurran (Little Black Book) is directing from a script by Geoff Deane. "I see it as a romantic comedy within a body-switching movie, [rather] than just a high-concept movie," Hurran said. "It happens, but most of the enjoyment is out of the romantic comedy." Hurran also said Elton, via his Rocket Pictures banner, has been instrumental in helping the movie get traction. "He's good at getting it together and getting it out there, which for an independent movie, that's a huge part of the battle. It's not under the studio system, and a producer like him provides openings. He's a fantastic asset."

    Elton and Hurran are putting together the soundtrack, and Elton might contribute a new song. There is no U.S. distributor for the movie as of yet. Prospero Pictures is also producing. Zegers starred in the Air Bud movies and appears in the upcoming Transamerica opposite Felicity Huffman. Armstrong, who played talent agent Ari's assistant in Entourage , will next be seen with Lindsay Lohan in Just My Luck.

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    Elton John comes to Nepal gays' aid
    Wednesday, October 5 2005

    Ignored by their own government and targeted by the police, Nepal's gay community has found a champion outside their country - in Sir Elton John.

    Last month, Elton's foundation pledged $25,000 to Blue Diamond Society (BDS), a Kathmandu-based organisation fighting for the rights of gays, lesbians and transgenders in Nepal and trying to spread awareness among the gay community about safe sex practices.

    "It is a lot of money in Nepal," said Sunil Pant, founder of BDS. "We have established a hospice in Kathmandu for AIDS patients who have reached an advanced stage and have been abandoned by their families."

    The newly set-up hospice has two patients currently. BDS has also set up a second hospice in Butwal in southern Nepal, near the Indian border, and train members of the community to look after AIDS patients.

    In traditional Nepali society, where parents desire sons and daughters are regarded as burdens, homosexuality is taboo. Gay men with pronounced feminine traits are often thrown out by their families.

    "They have few skills and virtually no means of livelihood," Pant said. "No one wants to hire them. So they end up as sex workers."

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    Elton John and band performed in Atlanta on October 1, 2005
    Sunday, October 2 2005

    Fan Review By Tony Centofante.

    The adventure begins ten days prior when I attended Paul McCartney in Atlanta. I had decided to see him instead of Elton since it may be the last time Paul goes out on tour (and Elton probably has 20 or 30 more years left in him!). Out of curiosity, I went to the box office to see if Elton was sold out. It was not. But, that was not the best part. I was able to get $65 front row side stage (compared to $125 plus service changes for other parts of the arena). I was right next to the ramp from where Elton walked on to the stage. The way the section was laid out you actually felt like you were on the edge of the stage looking directly at Elton! Everyone around me could not believe what great seats they had for the price paid.

    For those wondering why Elton did not sellout Atlanta instantly, consider that Philips Arena has concerts in the next two months by Paul McCartney, Coldplay, Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond and U2. I also think this is why Elton is doing such a long show so as to distinguish himself from the rest of the pack.

    If the shows at Madison Square Garden last week were his career best, then last night at Philips Arena in Atlanta would have to come in at a close number two.

    It started at 8:10 p.m. with Elton greeting his American hometown audience. He said he was so happy to be in a city where he could go to bed after the show without getting on a plane. Then, Elton explained the format of the show quickly ending the suspense for those who may have traveled thousands of miles to see it. The show would begin with the album recorded in town Peachtree Road and then the jukebox section would be next. What? For those who were holding their breath Elton put their minds at ease. Then, Captain Fantastic would be played. And finally ending with more from the jukebox. So, before the first note was played it became apparent this would not be a copycat of the Boston and New York shows.

    The new material was warmly received. Elton had fun with some of the intros. He introduced "They Call Her The Cat" by saying it was about a sex change and then adding that "I think some of the people in the front row know all about that". And then before "Freaks In Love" saying this is about most of us who are not perfect and have not had plastic surgery, facelits, buttlifts, lipo, etc. And then he started laughing and said "Except for the people in the front row!" It was nice to see Elton go off from his usual tightly worded scripts.

    "Porch Swing In Tupelo" and "Answer In The Sky" sounded better than the album versions. "Turn The Lights Out When You Leave" was introduced as "our next single" and the Teri Hatcher video played on the screens.

    The best of the new songs on this night was "All That I'm Allowed (I'm Thankful)". It soared to an exciting conclusion with help from the choir.

    It was 8:50 p.m. after the first eight songs. No idea as to what would be played next. Looking at the Boston and New York setlists, I thought to myself it would be better to not play two albums in a row but have "Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" separate them to keep the casual fans from getting bored. Elton must have realized that too because once the fog started to fill the arena it became clear that would be the next song.

    The song that needs to leave the setlist "Daniel" followed and as has become tradition that is my cue to go walk around for a few minutes.

    I returned to my seat in time for another new intro to "Take Me To The Pilot" followed by "Rocket Man" with another new outro. Those who say it's the best version ever may be right. "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" was dedicated to Ray Charles.

    After "Tiny Dancer", Elton introduced everyone on stage. And then the moment the diehards had been waiting for. It was 9:50 p.m. and the Captain Fantastic section was next. The title song was well done. I was most excited to hear "Bitter Fingers" as that is the only one of the songs I've never heard live. It was a good version but slower than the album version as Elton seemed to have a hard time keeping up with the pace of it. Surprisingly, he skipped "Tell Me When The Whistle Blows" and then went straight into "Someone Saved My Life Tonight".

    One thing I started to notice at this point in the show was that everything started to sound just a little slower than usual. It could have been Elton being deliberate not wanting to miss a note in front of his hometown audience or maybe he is human after all and is actually a little tired after a series of marathon shows. Everything still sounded good but nothing towards the end of the show blew me away as being the best ever.

    The final Captain Fantastic tune "We All Fall In Love Sometimes/Curtains" was intoduced as his best love song ever and dedicated to his writing partner Bernie Taupin.

    At 10:30 p.m., Elton said "Let's rock out" before launching into "Philadelphia Freedom". But, in my mind I was still listening to the Captain Fantastic album and the last bonus track on it. I thought that was a genius setlist decision to place the Captain Fantastic section at this point in the show.

    And of course the standard favorites to end this four part show. The only disappointment was that "Empty Garden" did not make it out of Madison Square Garden.

    Anyway, I came within an inch of Elton as he walked by me for the encores (oh well, shaking hands with him at an Asheville solo show in 1999 will have to do). I saw Elton's Personal Assistant Bob Halley (yawning during "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting...I wonder how many times he has listened to all the hits?). And I saw Elton's dog walking around the side stage area not bothered at all by the decibel level.

    The 32nd song was "Your Song" and Elton walked off the stage for the final time at 11:20 p.m.

    Following is the complete set list of the Atlanta show on October 1, 2005:

    • Weight Of The World
    • Porch Swing In Tupelo
    • Answer In The Sky
    • Turn The Lights Out When You Leave
    • My Elusive Drug
    • They Call Her The Cat
    • Freaks In Love
    • All That I'm Allowed
    • Funeral For A Friend
    • Love Lies Bleeding
    • Bennie And The Jets
    • Daniel
    • Take Me To The Pilot
    • Rocket Man
    • I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
    • Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
    • Tiny Dancer
    • Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy
    • Bitter Fingers
    • Someone Saved My Life Tonight
    • (Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket
    • Better Off Dead
    • We All Fall In Love Sometimes
    • Curtains
    • Philadelphia Freedom
    • Sad Songs
    • Levon
    • Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
    • The Bitch Is Back
    • Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)
    • Crocodile Rock
    • Your Song

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    Elton John and band performed in Nashville on September 30, 2005
    Saturday, October 1 2005

    Following is the complete set list of the Nashville show on September 30, 2005:

    • Weight Of The World
    • Porch Swing In Tupelo
    • Answer In The Sky
    • Turn The Lights Out When You Leave
    • My Elusive Drug
    • They Call Her The Cat
    • Freaks In Love
    • All That I'm Allowed
    • Funeral For A Friend
    • Love Lies Bleeding
    • Bennie And The Jets
    • Daniel
    • Take Me To The Pilot
    • Rocket Man
    • I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
    • Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
    • Tiny Dancer
    • Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy
    • Someone Saved My Life Tonight
    • Philadelphia Freedom
    • Sad Songs
    • Levon
    • Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
    • The Bitch Is Back
    • Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)
    • Crocodile Rock
    • Your Song

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