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Elton John World News: Editorial: Elton after Billy

Editorial: Elton after Billy-- Posted by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday 10 June 1998 @ 2:00 - GMT

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">By George Matlock, editor


After Billy Joel's exit, Wembley Stadium tour organisers offered ticket refunds to disappointed fans, but said only a few hundred asked for their money back from the 50,000 tickets sold for the Sunday June 5, 1998, show.



There's good news for German fans:


Elton WILL play ALL scheduled tour dates in Europe, he told U.K. radio station Capital FM Saturday.


"It was a little odd not seeing Billy there because we're so used to doing this thing and not seeing the piano and him across from me was very strange," he said.


"I feel really sorry for him. I spoke to him yesterday and he's

 in a really bad way and he feels terrible.


"This is the sort of thing that you cannot take a risk with

because it could mess up your voice for all time, so he's just got to get it rested until he's ready to come back and I will go to Dusseldorf, Munich and Berlin and do these shows on my own."


On June 5, after cancelling the Manchester show, Billy admitted he did not think he would be able to "hack" going on tour again, saying: "In the old days I could scream and punch my way through it, but now it wouldn't be fair to my fans."


But Elton dismissed the suggestion and said he thought Billy would be back: "I don't believe that for a second because Billy is a great performer and a great artist. I've retired so many times before. I've stomped off many a stage and said I'm not coming back, so take it with a pinch of salt," Elton said.


We hope Elton's right, because until now the Face To Face Tour has covered all of one artist's country (USA) and none of the other's (England). Scotland is not enough!



...But there could be dismay to British Elton fans:


According to some British newspapers in the past few days...the Rolling Stones aren't the only act thinking of scrapping British concert dates due to a new U.K. tax rule.


Top-sellers planning to refuse to stage concerts in Britain, include the Spice Girls, Elton John and Oasis, according to the Times newspaper.


While we've learned from reliable sources that Elton may perform in England in November, and that the tour will go on for another year, the news of the Rolling Stones situation won't help.


We say: Elton, don't do it!


If Sir Elton decides to quit British gigs, it's bound to strain the very cordial relations he currently has with the Labour Government, and in particular with British Prime Minister

Tony Blair.


Maybe that rift is already opening - on the Des O'Connor World Cup Party show in Britain on June 3, both Sir Elton and Blair were invited on the programme. While other guests were often sharing the chat-show couch...Blair and

Sir Elton were on after each other but not together. Des even introduced Elton after Blair left the stage thus: "There are few people who can follow the Prime Minister. But here's someone who can follow anyone. It's Sir Elton John." Enough said!


What's more, Elton would face the risk of alienating many of his fans, the same way as Rolling Stones' fans think the band's only interested in the money. Elton's image of generosity would be tarnished. So...Elton, Don't Stop, thinking about tomorrow, it'll be alright, better than today!

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