China's Long March meets the Marching in Milan man. At long last, we can chant "Marching In China". Elton will perform in several Chinese territories in September, including Hong Kong, independent Taiwan and most eye-catching of all, communist China (see Newspad July 30, 2004).
It will mark the first time that Elton has played on mainland China good and proper. Although he has played Hong Kong on numerous occasions, that used to be a British colony. And after 1997 when the territory was handed over to land freeholder China Elton turned down a chance to play there reportedly because the Hong Kong municipal authories insisted that sound be kept down and concert-goers be handed headphones to hear the gig.
So, while Hong Kong will be rewarded for its patience with a fabulous show from Elton, as always, the mainland will have a chance to sample Elton too.
Elton's only previous occasion in the People's Republic of China was in 1985 as chairman of Watford Football Club when the team played a series of eight friendly matches - and won them all - against Chinese teams.
Many artists have shunned China over the years because of the authorities perceived limited ability to combat widespread and lucrative music piracy and bootlegging industries.
In case you are wondering what Milan has to do with this, Elton wrote a song called Marching in Milan for the Versace Paris fashion show in January 1996.
[Ed. eltonjohnworld has long whispered in articles that it would be nice if Elton would go to China. There are still many places in the vast eltonjohnworld where Elton has not performed and maybe that number of deprived areas will become less numerous in the future. But let's be honest about this - to have not managed to play in a major superpower as China is a major oversight. Elton is fixing that snag now. Well done.]