50 years ago today, 23-year-old Red Dwight performed his first of eight shows at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, CA. He awed his audience and transformed into the diva Elton John before their own eyes. A superstar was born.
By the time the week was over, Elton had performed in front of much of the Hollywood music elite…and even some future collaborators.
“I couldn’t really make up my mind back then whether I was Reg or I was Elton… but I know who I am now,” Elton John says of the golden start of his career.
The audience loved it and the next day it became apparent that the critics loved it. The LA Times reported that rock music had a new star. Elton John sold 30,000 copies in the space of two weeks.
Of these songs, just five were on the only Elton John album actually available for sale at the time. One song was a Rolling Stones cover, one was the B-side to his Border Song single, and two were from a record that would not reach American ears for another five months.
Commenting on the large percentage of unfamiliar material in the set, David Rosner said, “If the songs weren’t really good, the show wouldn’t have worked.”
John is one of the many artists that are saddened by what’s happening to the music venues across the country, being forced to close down due to the pandemic. “Those places, venues where you could touch the audience, you could smell the audience, are where I learned my craft, and if they go, where are artists going to play?” he said in a recent interview with British GQ Magazine.
Elton John is releasing a double-LP album on UK’s Record Store Day, August 29th. In addition, the Grammy winner announced via tweet today that he would include a new chapter in the paperback edition of his recent autobiography, “Me,” that is “full of backstage tantrums and celebrity drama.”
I was so touched by the response to ‘Me’ – my autobiography – that I wanted to add something special to the paperback. You’ll find a new chapter bringing it right up to date, full of backstage tantrums and celebrity drama. – E xx 🚀 #EltonJohnBookhttps://t.co/EuikJJ9TWb pic.twitter.com/wL3Inm2B99
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) August 24, 2020