Archive for setembro, 2011

9/8/2011 6:49:00 PM

“Beyond Words’ right title for Bernie Taupin art on tour


If the name Bernard John Taupin seems familiar, you have only to check the liner notes on Elton John albums since the 1970s. Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics to nearly all of the Elton’s hits from “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” to “Candle in the Wind.”

But, in recent years, among major art collectors across North America, Taupin, 61, also has gained a reputation as an important abstract artist.

A number of celebrities, actors, musicians dabble in painting, but precious few reach the point of being able to show their work in some of the finest galleries in the country. Taupin is one that’s made the cut.

“I think it’s because I take it seriously,” Taupin said in a call to his home-studio in the mountains overlooking Santa Barbara, Calif. “I’ve appreciated art ever since I was a kid. Thanks to encouragement from my mother, it was something I stayed with.”

It might also be because, as many critics and fans say, he is a genius.

Over the Labor Day weekend, Taupin opened “Beyond Words,” an exhibition, with works for acquisition, in the Wisby-Smith Fine Art Gallery in Dallas. This weekend he will be there to talk about his art.

“The words came first,” he said. Though he doesn’t claim to be a poet. “I prefer to call myself a lyricist.”

The story goes that a submission of song lyrics to a contest in his native England led to the start of his career. Seventeen-year-old Taupin and another youth, who would become Elton John, both lost out in the competition, but one of the organizers told them they should team up. They did, and “Rocket Man”, “Levon”, “Crocodile Rock”, “Honky Cat”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”, “Bennie and the Jets”, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”, “The Bitch is Back”, “Daniel”, “I’m Still Standing”, “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”, “Sad Songs (Say So Much)” and “Nikita” are among the hits that followed.

Moved by the death of the Princess of Wales in September 1997, Taupin and Elton revisited their hit “Candle in the Wind”. Taupin rewrote the lyrics creating “Candle in the Wind 1997”, a tribute to Diana, and another beloved recording that topped the charts.

Nearly 40 years after their collaboration began, they teamed up again for the Broadway production “Lestat: The Musical”, which opened in March 2006.

Jefferson Starship (“We Built This City”), Alice Cooper, Heart, Courtney Love, Brian Wilson, Kid Rock and Willie Nelson have also sung Taupin’s words. He even made a couple of recordings himself and had a band, but those were more experiments than anything.

Taupin is known as an ardent supporter of gay rights, and in 2006, he won a Golden Globe Award for his lyrics to “A Love That Will Never Grow Old” from the film “Brokeback Mountain.”

Taupin said it was in about the mid-90s that he began to follow his creativity onto the artist’s canvas.

“Now I paint all the time,” he said, adding that gaining a large studio to work in has helped. “You might say I was ‘space motivated.’ My studio, and you’ve seen it on the video, is a converted racquetball court.”

Though he’s gained the room to paint big canvasses, he says he still may have to “knock out a wall.”

“There’s no outside light,” he laughed. “So when I see my work on display and presented in proper lighting, it’s a great surprise.”

Bold, vibrant colors are key to his paintings.

While he primarily paints in oils and acrylics, he refers to himself as a “multi-medium” artist.

“Whatever enhances the work,” he said, “but basically it’s either oil or acrylics.”

From Taupin’s Artist Statement for galleries:

“Canvas to me is simply the visual extension of what I have spent my life creating through words. The imagination, in my estimation, is the most powerful tool the artist possess enabling us to conjure up beautiful distraction for the ears and eyes.

I have no formula except that which comes from what I dream, feel and see. To me colors are like words… they express emotions… likewise texture and mediums display an abundance of moods.

I have no set pattern of definitive style, it is hard to conform when there are so many options; house paint and wood stain can be equally as evocative as acrylics and oil, at times all four together can create the desired results.

I find blocks and oblongs of bright color effective, for me they express affection. In the same way their dark counterparts with their fragmented edges and torn middles spell disturbance and pain. The intermingling of all these parts present life…”

While Taupin has shown his works in mostly local galleries, the current show opened a few months ago and will travel to galleries into next year.

“There are about 60 original pieces I’m showing,” he said. “It’s the biggest show I’ve ever had.”

Taupin also lamented the difference between creating paintings and songs.

“You write a song and you part with it, but you hang onto the copyrights, or you should anyway. But a painting, you’re turning over to someone completely and forever. That’s especially hard if it’s something you really love, to say goodbye to it,” he said, adding, “There are about three pieces I feel that way about in this show.”

“Beyond Words” had its premiere at Hamilton-Selway of Beverly Hills, a leading gallery of contemporary art, which was followed by standingroomonly at Toronto’s Liss Gallery. Rock legend and longtime friend of Taupin’s, Elvis Costello, showed up for the opening in Toronto.

“That was a great evening,” he said. “I still can’t believe how well that show went.”

He may be an internationally renowned rock artist, in more ways than one, but he’s always had an affinity for the American cowboy way of life.

Early signs were when Elton dubbed himself Captain Fantastic, Taupin took the label “The Brown Dirt Cowboy.” He’s also spent a considerable amount of time in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was well-known for his quarter horses.

“I used to compete on cutting horses,” he said. “I won my fair share of buckles. But eventually it took a toll on my shoulder and back.”

A marriage or two (including to the sister of actress Rene Russo) and several rodeos later, Taupin settled on a ranch in California with his wife Heather Kidd.

In addition to raising two daughters there, he was, until its recent retirement, co-owner of Little Yellow Jacket, a PBR bucking bull that was an unprecedented hit in the rodeo arena becoming a three-time world champion.

Taupin can be heard hosting “American Roots Radio with Bernie Taupin” on satellite radio Sirius XM Radio’s The Loft channel.

To attend

Even sooner, from 6-9 p.m. Friday and 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Taupin will be giving presentations and greeting art lovers in the Wisby-Smith Fine Art Gallery in The Crescent, 500 Crescent Court, in Dallas. Attendance is free, but to assure space for everyone, RSVPs are requested, (214) 397-0808.


by gmt


Posted on September 9, 2011 at 9:23 AM
Updated Friday, Sep 9 at 9:59 AM

Video | News | Weather | Sports

Fri Sep 09 07:23:38 PDT 2011

Bernie Taupin On Elton John, Songwriting & Painting

Bernie Taupin Presents: Beyond Words


  • Friday
  • Sep. 9, 2011
  • 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM


Wisby-Smith Fine Art (500 Crescent Court), presents “Beyond Words”, an extraordinary collection of artworks by Elton John’s legendary collaborator and lyricist Bernie Taupin, for what promises to be the single most important art event of 2011. Beginning on Friday, September 2, the public will be able to preview the artwork. Taupin will make special appearances at the gallery on September 9th (6-9 pm) and September 10 (6-9pm). RSVP requested: 214.397.0808.

Photos Elton John at Blossom Music Center Sept. 8 2011

Elton John tells world leaders: stop anti-gay discrimination

By Oliver Wright, Whitehall Editor

Elton John will attend the official launch of Kaleidoscope, which aims to get 19th-century British colonial anti-gay laws revoked in the Commonwealth and beyond

Elton John will attend the official launch of Kaleidoscope, which aims to get 19th-century British colonial anti-gay laws revoked in the Commonwealth and beyond
The leaders of all three main political parties in Britain are to throw their support behind a new international gay-rights group trying to combat homophobic discrimination in the Commonwealth.
Top UK music stars Elton John and George Michael have been invited to attend the official launch in the House of Commons of Kaleidoscope, which aims to get 19th-century British colonial anti-gay laws revoked in the Commonwealth and beyond, using business and political pressure.
It comes after campaigners grew increasingly concerned at how homosexual persecution is being actively encouraged by some Commonwealth states – particularly in Africa.
In January, a Ugandan gay rights campaigner was beaten to death after being “outed” by a local newspaper which published photographs of people that it said were gay with the headline: “Hang them.”
Lesbians in South Africa have been murdered and subjected to violent attacks, including so-called “corrective rapes”, while activists in Kenya and Ghana have also been targeted.
Currently, 38 of the 54 members of the Commonwealth criminalise homosexuality. Penalties include 25 years imprisonment in Trinidad and Tobago and 20 years plus flogging in Malaysia. Several countries, including Sierra Leone, Pakistan Tanzania and Bangladesh impose life imprisonment.
Kaleidoscope says while many countries have national gay rights organisations there is no overall international body which can coordinate action.
London has become the base for the new organisation, partly due to the Commonwealth link, but also because it is an international business hub.
The group wants large multi-nationals to pressure regimes to change laws, particularly in more developed Commonwealth countries like Singapore where homosexuality is illegal.
Nearly all the Commonwealth’s anti-gay laws are a colonial legacy. They were introduced by Britain in the nineteenth century and never repealed when colonies won independence. Bisi Alimi, who became the first Nigerian to come out on national TV, is one of Kaleidoscope’s founding members.
Yesterday he said: “As a result of coming out I was attacked, tied up and beaten in my own home in Lagos. For the first time in my life I not only saw a gun but I felt it right against my head. I was forced to leave my country.
“My dream is that others like me will be free to stay and be happy surrounded by the love of their friends and families.”
Kaeleidoscope is supported by Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, as well as by Labour leader Ed Miliband. Mr Cameron said: “In some countries, it’s simply appalling how people can be treated – how their rights are trampled on and the prejudices, and even violence, they suffer. I want Britain to be a global beacon for reform.”
Mr Miliband said: “I am proud to offer my support to Kaleidoscope to protect people from prejudice and persecution across the world.”
Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has agreed to become Kaleidoscope’s honorary president
Veteran broadcaster Paul Gambaccini, who has donated money to the charity, said: “It is time for those of us who enjoy our rights in the UK to support movements for dignity and decency wherever they are located.”
Although not illegal, numerous cases have been brought against homosexuals in recent years. In 2004 a 27-year-old student was imprisoned for 17 years including 2 years hard labour for posting a personal profile on a gay dating site.
The law states that any man performing anal sex is liable for a fine or imprisonment of up to a year. In 2006 a law was passed making it illegal for two people of the same sex to hold hands, hug, or kiss.
Homosexuality remains illegal between males under the country’s Penal Code, punishable by up to two years in prison.
Thejudicial systemis based on the Shari’a and rules that same-sex sexuality activity is illegal and punishable by capital punishment. For homosexual men, lashes are given for the first offence, with the death penalty following the third offence.
Despite making homosexuality legal in 1994, households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.

Open Question

Show me another »

Why did Elton John sing so many songs about America and many of his songs seem to have an “American feel ” ?

did he live in America for awhile?

why songs such as “Crocodile Rock”..etc. are seeming to be more about America than Britain?


please explain what you can

thanks for your answers!

Answers (3)

  • Bernie Taupin who writes the lyrics is obsessed with americana, the old west and the 1950’s. Elton and Bernie are from the post war generation. 1950’s Britain was still quite an austere place and they looked to the rock and roll of America when they were growing up as source of escapism. Bernie Taupin now owns a huge ranch in Montana where he lives full time.


    Documentary about Elton John where he explained his musical influence
    • 1 day ago
  • As much as musicians may claim otherwise, the U.S. marketplace was – and remains – the place to “conquer,” since it can launch many lucrative opportunities in the entertainment industry. With Bernie Taupin, it was bolstered even more because numerous family members had a “world” view of the arts…which certainly led him to his fascination in the myths surrounding America’s Old West…which proved to be pure gold for Elton John.
    • 1 day ago
  • The money was in America.

Sir Elton still has flair, viruosity

Read more:

For 2½ hours on Saturday, there was a sense Windsor could take on the world.

In one fell swoop, Elton John erased decades of a baseless, but palpable, inferiority complex.

His sold-out concert at the WFCU Centre before more than 8,000 screaming, singing and deliriously happy people was an occasion to stand up and cheer for this second city on the Detroit River.

It was a coup of major proportions for the city-owned arena, too.

Apart from junior hockey’s Spitfires – for whom the place was built – a skating show and a Russell Peters concert, most attractions at the $71-million facility since it opened in December 2008 have failed to meet expectations.

Not so Elton John. It was the most anticipated concert in years, and lived up to every expectation.

For 150 minutes, EJ performed many of the songs that have made him a rock ‘n’ roll legend.

He has sold more than 250 million records and won all the major music awards – Grammy, Tony and Academy.

He holds both a knighthood and a Companion of the Order of the British Empire from his home country England, owns homes in several countries, and is one of the original inductees into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Yet, in concert, John appears almost embarrassed by all the accolades.

Wearing his now-familiar embroidered tails that depict a younger version of himself flying a rocket, John performed solo.

His grand piano was wired with a sequencer that boosted the bass, provided a string program, and an echo effect for some of the vocals.

The result was a remarkable blend of new and old. Some of his classic songs, like Levon, Your Song and Rocket Man, had renewed freshness and energy.

And his chops at the keyboard sent the audience into a frenzy several times, as in the Leon Russell-style boogie crescendo of Levon, and a lengthy middle section instrumental on Rocket Man.

His performance of Take Me To The Pilot, heavily influenced by Russell, was perhaps the evening’s high point.

John’s vocals at the age of 64 have lost some of their lustre, and the high notes in Tiny Dancer are snipped. But he still packs a punch in the 40-yearold favourite, Border Song, and the always-popular Honky Cat.

The 27 songs on the bill were mosty well-known hits from the 1970s and 1980s, with the exception of the more recent Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes, an AIDS commentary. He also included Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody) from his recent collaboration with Russell.

When he returned for the encore of Circle of Life/Can You Feel the Love Tonight, he took time to sign dozens of autographs. It was a gracious gesture by a superstar.

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  • by: Rellinger
  • |
  • September 12, 2011 9:47 AM

The Rocket Man still soars–the-rocket-man-still-soars

The Rocket Man still soars – Related Image.

What is the measure of a true professional in any field?

Ability comes to mind quickly as does achievement. But somewhere in the mix is confidence. Confident to try new things. Confident to go it alone. Confident to let your talent speak for you.

This Friday night (Sept. 9) at Oshawa’s GM Centre, Elton John performed solo and reconfirmed his long-standing status as a professional in every sense. At age 64, he can’t move like he once did. There’s no more kicking of piano stools or jumping off Steinways but there is the voice which remains one of the defining sounds of modern pop music.

With more more than 250 million records sold, John’s catalogue of work is unparalleled and on this night, he treated close to 7,000 guests — guests in that it was like a show in his living room — to a heaping platter of that work.

Never shy to speak his mind, John has been criticized for speaking his mind on the state of music today. Sour grapes, many say. He hasn’t had a hit in years. True that but he’s out there backing it up. How? By proving, as he did Friday night, that the measure of exceptional talent, of a true professional is the ability to entertain on your own with no band to cover your vocal limitations or carry you along when you falter. That’s confidence.

John paid his dues years ago. He could have mailed in his show Friday night and still been well-received. But he played the piano and sang — he nailed it — and he signed autographs, for close to three hours. And this was in Oshawa, far removed from the glitz and glamour that are his Vegas shows and world tour events.

The Rocket Man has never soared higher.

Elton John, George Michael, David Cameron Back New Gay Rights Group

By On Top Magazine Staff

Published: September 12, 2011


Elton John, George Michael and David Cameron back a new UK-based gay rights groups launching on Tuesday.
The Kaleidoscope Diversity Trust will launch at an event hosted at the House of Commons.
Kaleidoscope’s mission statement states it will work towards ending discrimination against LGBT people living in commonwealth countries, particularly those in Africa, UK gay news site Pink News reported.
British singers Elton John and George Michael are expected to attend Tuesday’s event.
The organization also enjoys the support of lawmakers, including Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.
Prime Minister David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, also backs the group.
“Our country has made real progress on LGB and T equality and, without forgetting how far we’ve still got to go domestically, it is right that we should now increasingly turn our attention toward bringing about change abroad.”
“In some countries, it’s simply appalling how people can be treated – how their rights are trampled on and the prejudices, and even violence, they suffer. So I want Britain to be a global beacon for reform. That’s why I am delighted to send my best wishes to Kaleidoscope, and wish them well in their work,” Cameron said in a statement.

What Do Tyler Perry, Jerry Bruckheimer, Steven Spielberg, Elton John And Simon Cowell Have In Common? $$$

By THE DEADLINE TEAM | Monday September 12, 2011 @ 4:59pm PDT

Forbes has come out with its annual list of the highest-paid men in entertainment. Tyler Perry leads the pack this year with $130 million earned between May 2010 and May 2011, with five movies and two TV series to his credit over a two-year period. Here’s the Top 5: Perry, Jerry Bruckheimer ($113 million), Steven Spielberg ($107 million), Elton John ($100 million) and Simon Cowell ($90 million).

Elton John’s unforgettable performance sets the stage for larger acts to visit

by Neda Marin • Monday, September 12th, 2011 • Posted in Arts>East Windsor>Events>Music

September 12, 2011 – 11:00 a.m.

Photos by Sanja Frkovic

Sir Elton John put on an unforgettable performance at the WFCU (Windsor Family Credit Union) Arena Saturday, September 10. A record-breaking crowd showed up to enjoy the performer’s chart-topping tunes such as Rocket Man and Benny and the Jets, as well as some of his newer hits from the Union Album – on which he collaborated with Leon Russell – such as Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody).

John performed solo, and even though this was advertised during ticket sales, the realization had struck me like a ton of bricks part way through the concert. He was literally entertaining a huge crowd of fans with just his voice and his piano, keeping in tune and maintaining the upbeat level of energy throughout the entire night.

As Elton sung Crocodile Rock, he paused during the melodic chorus, encouraging the crowd to respond back. Slow to start, everyone soon caught on and the arena filled with the sound of thousands of people singing to the catchy tune.

Matt Burnett, an Elton John lover was “shocked to find out Windsor had pulled in such a big talent, was very happy to see that Elton appreciated the crowd as much as they appreciated him” and considers himself lucky to be a part of such a special show.


Randy Bachmeier made the trip from Penticton (BC) to see Elton John. Bachmeier (centre) is pictured here with friends.

Front row fan, Randy Bachmeier from Penticton, British Columbia, says that this is his twelfth time seeing Elton John live but this is the furthest he’s come to see a show, “I’ve seen him now in Windsor, Calgary, Vancouver, Vegas, Prince George, Kelowna.  All over the place.”

Bachmeier says that the piano man’s success is down to songwriting, “Nobody writes songs like Elton John. There is not one person on this earth, that you can say ‘Elton John’, and they would be like ‘Elton who?’. Everybody knows Elton John.”

There is no doubt that a celebrity of Elton’s status has not yet performed in Windsor (even with Caesar’s Casino hosting several big shows), someone of his calibre who has stayed strong and influential in the music industry for over fourty years; it was a great first for the city.

This succesful night has hopefully paved the way for many other great names and big acts, finally proving that we can host huge events with supportive turnouts. Many have speculated on Windsor’s ability to steer into the entertainment market and Saturday’s performance was the groundbreaking answer we needed: yes, our city has what it takes.

LIVE: Elton John @ SPAC, 9/4/11

Elton John

Elton John

No doubt about it. Composer, singer, pianist and showman extraordinaire Elton John is a superstar. And his recent visit to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center proved it once again in spades.

There was no opening act to speak of. The two cellists that opened the show with a prelude melody were part of Elton John’s band. And when they finished their duet, Sir Elton came out to be greeted by the audience’s thunderous applause, whistles and screams.

The all ages show was easily 20,000-strong with grandmothers standing next to daughters and granddaughters all singing along with the songs.

He may be British-born and 64 years old, but John has helped shape American popular music through his tens of mega Top 40 hits (“Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” etc.) for more than four decades.

The on-and-off rain came down – with thunderstorm rumblings off in the distance – all night long, but that didn’t dampen the audience’s love for Elton John and his music. On the amphatheater stage, John and his bandmates transcended the evening’s bad weather to deliver the highlight concert of the summer season.

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk


Suzanna Lourie’s review at The Saratogian

Michael Janairo’s review at The Times Union

Excerpt from David Singer’s review at The Daily Gazette: “The great ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ did not come close to its proper greatness, neither rising nor falling at any point. But he got underneath ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’ to genuinely lift the band and crowd for the first time. It would have been nice to see him do this a few more times through the show. The tonkish ‘Honky Cat’ hopped nicely, a few dancers bopping inside the sold-out pavilion. He spotlighted his veteran guitarist Davey Johnstone at this point, a nice moment of recognition. John moved into the latter part of the show with classics like the beautiful ‘Daniel,’ a pretty cool ‘Bennie and the Jets,’ ‘The Bitch Is Back,’ ‘Crocodile Rock’ and ‘Your Song,’ his first hit some 40 years ago. John’s best moments were without the band, when he shrunk the sound — and the venue — down to his voice and piano, as he did with ‘Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.’ His voice often strained under the weight of the band; alone, without competing for space, he relaxed and didn’t rush. It seemed the quieter he got, the more exciting the music. Unfortunately, there was not much of that. Instead, they spent more effort over-selling the rock tunes.”

Elton John's Band

Elton John’s Band