The Artful Dodger

I’m getting excited.

Elton John, my rock and roll hero for nearly 50 years, is performing Sunday night, November 20, from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Why is that a big deal, you say? Glad you asked.

One, this concert is his final North American appearance on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, which concludes next year. His last stop in the USA, over 50 years after his epic American debut at the Troubadour Club (also in L.A.). The L.A. Times music critic, Robert Hilburn, attended that show and predicted in his review, “He’s going to be one of rock’s biggest and most important stars.”

Boy, was he ever right.

Two, this event will be livestreamed on the Disney+ streaming service, beginning at 7:30 P.M., Pacific Standard Time, with “Countdown to Elton Live” from Dodger Stadium, with the concert scheduled to start about 25 minutes later.

Dodger Stadium, in case you didn’t know, holds an important place in Elton’s history, as well as the stadium’s.

He performed two sold out shows there in October, 1975. The last act to perform in Dodger Stadium prior to that was…the Beatles, in 1966.

In 1975, Elton John was the biggest thing in rock music. His two latest albums, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy and Rock of the Westies, BOTH entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at Number One, the first time any artist had accomplished that. (Twice that year, he had four albums in the Top 200!) He sold out shows everywhere; over 100,000 people saw him over the two Dodger Stadium shows. He ruled the airwaves; you could hardly turn on the radio without hearing at least one of his hits.

Elton was at his zenith that weekend in Dodger Stadium, the biggest name in the world. Man, what that must have felt like.

And now, as he concludes a lifetime of touring, he returns to that summit one more time.

And he’s invited us all to join him. It’s gonna be an amazing experience, a helluva show.

I absolutely can…not…wait!

The Week’s Best Cartoons 5/21 — Political⚡Charge

Some really good political cartoons, from TokyoSand at politicalcharge.org. Larry

By Lalo Alcaraz The Cartoons By Marc Murphy By Mike Luckovich By Matt Davies By Lalo Alcaraz By Walt Handelsman By John Darkow By Rob Rogers By Joe Heller By Mike Luckovich By Clay Jones By Kevin Siers By Michael deAdder By Ann Telnaes By Christopher Weyant By Mike Luckovich By Clay Bennett By Ann…

The Week’s Best Cartoons 5/21 — Political⚡Charge

A Cat Named Hercules

On this date, March 25, in 1947, Reginald Kenneth Dwight was welcomed into the world, in Pinner, Middlesex, England.

He would grow up to become my rock and roll idol.

Elton. Hercules. John.

In case any of you forgot, let me remind you of this man’s accomplishments in the music world, courtesy of eltonjohn.com:

Elton has achieved 1 diamond, 32 platinum or multi-platinum, and 21 gold albums, over 70 Top 40 hits, and he has sold more than 300 million records worldwide. He holds the record for the biggest selling single of all time, Candle In The Wind 1997, which sold over 33 million copies. Since launching his first tour in 1970, Elton has over 4,000 performances in more than 80 countries to his credit.

Elton is the most successful solo male in the history of the American charts and the third most successful artist overall, behind only Madonna and the Beatles. He has logged 67 Hot 100 entries between 1970 and 2000, including nine No. 1s and 27 top 10s. He achieved seven #1 albums in the three-and-a-half-year period from 1972 to 1975 — a period of concentrated success surpassed only by the Beatles.

Not bad, right? The guy’s had an absolutely awesome career. He’s an immensely talented musician and composer, and he knows how to put on a terrific show. I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing him in concert four times – once alongside Billy Joel – and he’s never failed to deliver.

(I do wish, though, I had seen him earlier in his career, performing in all those outrageous wardrobes and doing handstands on the piano. That must have been spectacular.)

Of course, he’s received a few awards and honors along the way. Again, from eltonjohn.com:

Besides his knighthood, Elton’s landmark awards include Best British Male Artist BRIT Award, 1991; Songwriters Hall of Fame (with Bernie Taupin), 1992; Officer of Arts & Letters (France) 1993; induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1994; Polar Music Prize, 1995; MusiCares Person of the Year, 2000; Kennedy Center Honor, 2004; Billboard Magazine Legend of Live Award, 2006; Songwriters Hall of Fame Johnny Mercer Award (with Bernie Taupin), 2013; BRITs Icon Award, 2013; Rockefeller Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, 2013 and the Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative Leadership Award, 2013. In 2002, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Royal Academy of Music and in 2004 he became a Fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters and Composers.

Elton has won 13 Ivor Novello Awards between 1973 and 2001, been nominated for a Grammy Award 11 times (winning in 1986, 1991, 1994, 1997 and 2000), and received the Grammy Legend Award in 2001. Three of his albums have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, including his 1970 eponymous album. Elton has 4 Oscar Award nominations (winning in 1995 and 2020), and a Tony Award (with 4 nominations) for Best Original Score for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aidain 2000.

Now, at 75, Elton remains part of the current music scene. His latest album, The Lockdown Sessions, includes collaborations with contemporary artists like Dua Lipa, Charlie Puth, Brandi Carlile and Lil Nas X. And he continues his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, no longer on hold due to COVID, on into 2023.

Add to that a happy home life with husband David Furnish and sons Elijah and Zachary, and his continued work with numerous charities like the Elton John Aids Foundation, and it’s clear this guy is not slowing down at 75. Good for him; I wish him all the best.

Happy Birthday, Sir Elton! From the first time I heard you (way back when), I’ve been a big fan. You and your longtime lyricist, Bernie Taupin, have provided a remarkable soundtrack for my life, and I thank you.

Rock on!!

Living and loving, kissing and hugging,

Living and loving with a cat named Hercules

Elton John, “Hercules”, 1972.

Saturday Surprise — A New Street Artist! — Filosofa’s Word

Talent shows up in many forms, and one I find especially fascinating is street art. Courtesy of Jill Dennison, here’s a look at some incredible work from David Zinn, a street artist from Michigan. You’re gonna love it! Larry

Those of you who have followed Filosofa’s Word for a while know that I LOVE street art!  Cute critters and street art are two of my favourite topics for Saturday Surprise and this week I got lucky in finding a new street artist! Meet David Zinn, an artist from Ann Arbor, Michigan who is well-known […]

Saturday Surprise — A New Street Artist! — Filosofa’s Word