At first, piano rocker Ben Folds used to cringe over comparisons to iconic players such as Joe Jackson, Billy Joel and Elton John.
That was six years ago. This is now. Folds, who regularly gets phone calls of encouragement from Elton, has paid tribute with a version of Elton's Tiny Dancer on his latest album, as previously reported on eltonjohnworld.com
Folds, 36, has made peace with the inevitable references to his keyboard-pounding elders. In autumn 2002, he released Ben Folds Live, which included a cover of Tiny Dancer.
"There's no telling what I said about [Elton] when we were first starting out," Folds says. "That's probably what you do when you're young, to try and distance yourself. And I'm glad that he probably never read any of that stuff. Now he'll call up and give me encouragement and have me sit with him onstage. So I did [Tiny Dancer] as a little tip of the hat to him."
Since Folds first gained attention in 1997 with the hit single Brick, he has been lauded as successor to Cole Porter.
On January 9 and 10, 2003, Folds arrives at the Beacon Theatre to play a pair of shows originally scheduled for December. (They were postponed when he came down with pneumonia toward the end of his tour).