Sir Elton to sue banker for £700,000 – after charity date ‘no-show’

The pledge was allegedly made at the annual White Tie and Tiara Ball, held by Sir Elton and his partner David Furnish

By Lewis Smith

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The charity auction was held to raise funds for the Elton John Aids Foundation


The charity auction was held to raise funds for the Elton John Aids Foundation

The charity auction was held to raise funds for the Elton John Aids Foundation
A banker is at the centre of a £700,000 legal battle after being accused of reneging on a charity pledge to Sir Elton John.
Spencer Lodge, an investment banker based in the
United Arab Emirates, is said to have placed the winning bid to spend a
day with the singer and his partner, David Furnish.
charity auction was held last year at a ball organised to raise funds
for the Elton John Aids Foundation (Ejaf) but Mr Lodge has, according to
a High Court action, failed to pay.
The £700,000 pledge was allegedly made at the
annual White Tie and Tiara Ball, which has been held by the singer and
Mr Furnish since 1999 at their home in Windsor to raise funds for the
foundation. Sir Elton is backing the legal action and is reported to
have been furious about the affair.
“Both David
and Elton, and everyone involved with the Ejaf, are really angry about
this,” a source told the Daily Mirror. “Elton is not personally hounding
the man and demanding the cash back but he is fully supportive of the
legal proceedings to benefit the charity.
lot was a one-off opportunity to make his charity an astonishing amount
of money. Organisers had actually secured another bid of £650,000,
which, of course, they would have been delighted with.
there was a misunderstanding as Mr Lodge was changing lawyers but still
nothing has been resolved, so that’s why it has gone this far,” the
source added.
Mr Lodge, who owns an investment
advisory business, is said to have made the charity pledge for a day out
with Sir Elton and Mr Furnish that included visiting some of the
couple’s charitable projects in the UK.
Mr Lodge
was unavailable for comment but his solicitor, Keith Pearlman,
confirmed that “a claim has been received” and said the action would be
“vigorously defended”. He said he was “unable to comment further”. More
than 1,100 projects have been funded by the Elton John Aids Foundation
in 15 countries since it was set up in 1992.
has provided more than £40m in grants as it pursues initiatives designed
to help people affected by– or at risk of – HIV/Aids. The help offered
includes providing food, medical care, counselling, housing and legal
The White Tie and Tiara Ball raised £5.2m this year and since 1999 the event has raised more than £40m.

Summerside hosts the Rocket Man

CBC News


Sep 14, 2011 7:31 PM AT

Last Updated:

Sep 14, 2011 7:20 PM AT


Elton John played to a sold out show in Sydney, N.S. Tuesday night.

Elton John played to a sold out show in Sydney, N.S. Tuesday night.CBC
time has finally come for more than 10,000 Elton John fans as the
Rocket man plays the first of two shows Wednesday evening in Summerside.

Welcome signs were up all around Summerside and everyone with a role
to play in making John’s visit a memorable one was busy this week
getting ready.

Mike Jackson was hired to be John’s local florist.

“Well Elton is a huge flower lover, so he always has to have fresh
flowers in his dressing room and his lounge,” said Jackson. “So we did
several pieces.”

John landed on the Island at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Summerside Airport at Slemon Park.

“He came off the plane in a tracksuit and right into the car, so not
much of a picture, “ said fan Sharon Brownrigg, who waited at the
airport to see him land.

If John’s show Tuesday night in Sydney is any indication, the 5,400 ticket holders won’t leave Credit Union Place Wednesday night disappointed.

Tuesday night’s show heard John play 27 of his best loved hits.

Elton is a popular ticket. Computer systems crashed when tickets for the Sydney and Summerside shows went on sale in late July, as up to 20,000 people attempted to get seats.

However, if fans are hoping to catch a glimpse of John roaming around Summerside, they better think again.

CBC News talked to officials at Slemon Park, who said John will be
flying off the Island after his Wednesday night show, and he will return
Thursday evening for his second performance.

2nd Elton John show sells out

CBC News


Jul 29, 2011 2:53 PM AT

Last Updated:

Jul 29, 2011 2:53 PM AT


Elton John's second Summerside, P.E.I., show sold out in about 90 minutes.

Elton John’s second
Summerside, P.E.I., show sold out in about 90 minutes. Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian PressTickets for the second Elton John concert in Summerside sold out in about 90 minutes Friday morning.

There were familiar complaints from ticket buyers who tried to buy
online, similar to those who tried to purchase tickets for the Sept. 14

The previous Friday, the system was overwhelmed by more than 20,000 people vying for 5,400 seats at once.

Officials from Credit Union Place expected issues again.

Many people didn’t take any chances with the internet. They were
already lined up last night. At least two sisters in the line-up had
been camped out since Wednesday. About 140 of those in line did get

Some buyers said the website appeared so overwhelmed it would boot them off in the middle of their purchase.

Event manager J.P. Desrosiers said software experts worked all week
to try to ensure the credit cards of unsuccessful buyers wouldn’t be
charged, but he could not make a personal guarantee. A third-party
company manages the ticket system.

Elton John named top pop earner

Sir Elton John has been named the highest earning male pop star – making £63 million last year.

The 64-year-old Your Song star raked in more than music mogul Simon
Cowell in 2010, thanks to his extensive back catalogue and a world tour
that grossed £130 million, placing him fourth in the Forbes magazine
list of the highest-paid men in entertainment.

US actor, director, screenwriter, producer and author Tyler Perry topped the list, earning £82 million.

The money was brought in from his TV shows, Meet The Browns and House
Of Payne, his hit series of movies based around his drag character
Madea and his upcoming acting role in I, Alex Cross.

Jerry Bruckheimer, who helps produce hit films and shows including
CSI, was named the second highest-paid man in entertainment with £71
million, after the latest Pirates Of The Caribbean movie grossed £632.5
million at the box office.

Director Steven Spielberg was third with earnings of £67 million,
partly thanks to his highly anticipated upcoming films War Horse and The
Adventures Of Tintin.

X Factor’s Simon Cowell rounded off the top five with £57 million.

At number eight is Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio, who has
earned £48.7 million in the last year, thanks in part to the deal he
struck with Christopher Nolan to star in his box office hit Inception,
agreeing a share of the profits.

Outspoken US radio host Howard Stern also made the top ten with £48.1
million and Tiger Woods was the best-paid sports star with £47 million.

Sir Elton gets wild reception in Sydney
Pop hits earn biggest stir from Centre 200 crowd
By STEPHEN COOKE Entertainment Reporter
Wed, Sep 14 – 6:37 AM

Elton John signs an autograph during his show Tuesday night at Centre 200 in Sydney. (STEPHEN COOKE)

— Sir Elton John may have left us scratching our collective heads with
his decision to return to the Maritimes to play shows only in Sydney and
Summerside, but it wasn’t hard to understand the method to his madness
when the pop legend took to the stage at Centre 200 on Tuesday night.

guaranteed sell-out shows in Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island, at
higher-than-average ticket prices, the man once called Captain Fantastic
was greeted with one of the warmest and, towards the end of his nearly
three-hour show, wildest receptions that the Sydney arena has ever seen.

long lines of ticket holders were still inching their way through the
front doors of Centre 200 and squeezing through the narrow mezzanine
around the lower bowl to get to their seats, John climbed the stairs to
the stage accompanied by a schmaltzy canned overture and the jet-fuelled
roar of nearly 6,500 fans. Sitting at his MIDI-rigged Yamaha grand
piano, he felt out the crowd with the early ’90s ballad The One, singing
it with a huskier edge than he did 20 years ago, but not lacking in
power due to the lower range. With the ball rolling, the 64-year-old pop
star stood to acknowledge the crowd with fists raised in triumph, it
was a pose we’d see a lot of over the course of the evening.

those who also attended his shows at the Halifax Metro Centre in 2008,
Tuesday night’s setlist didn’t offer much in the way of surprises. Even
the “deep catalogue” album tracks from his self-titled 1970 album, 60
Years On and The Greatest Discovery, were holdovers from those shows.

didn’t seem to bother North Sydney Elton John fan Jack Penny, who was
sporting the Rocket Man Tour T-shirt from the Halifax show. “This is a
fantastic show, and Centre 200 is a terrific venue for him to play in,”
said Penny, who was able to get prime tickets just that morning when 200
additional seats were released. “We never thought he’d come here, but
then we saw him six years ago in Las Vegas. That was a completely
different show, he was on a rotating stage with a lot more lights.”

Canadian tour dates may not have Vegas production values, but with his
track record and still-formidible performing skills they’re not really
necessary when he’s got tunes like Your Song and Levon to get listeners
from several generations singing and swaying together. There aren’t many
acts out there that can get a standing ovation after every other song
with only a grand piano and some effective mood lighting.

song is about a dancer–no, not that one, that comes later–who got AIDS
and died in the early ’80s,” said John in his intro to The Ballad of
the Boy With Red Shoes, from 2001’s Songs From the West Coast. “It was
during the Ronald Reagan administration, which didn’t lift a finger to
fight the disease. It took a child named Ryan White, who I got to know
quite well, to die before the government really took action.

the fight against AIDS was held back by right-wing, so-called
Christians … F— them, I say,” he cursed with strong invective to an
encouraging wave of cheers, also acknowledging the AIDS Coalition of
Cape Breton, which displayed a banner outside Centre 200 before the
show. “They do great work.”

The ’80s were at least kind to John
chart-wise, but stripped of their glossy production I’m Still Standing
and I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues have aged a bit better
than you’d expect with the former finding a moodier tone while the
singer barks out the lyrics with defiant confidence. On the latter, his
piano coaxes out a bluesy undercurrent buried in the original, trimming
its overly sentimental tendencies.

Going back further, John has
rethought the way he sings many of his ’70s hits, a necessity following
throat surgery which reduced his upper register. It’s most noticable on
tunes like Daniel and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road where his voice used to
descend from on high, but now he hits them head on with renewed
conviction and the songs — not to mention Bernie Taupin’s adroit lyrics —
are no the worse for the vocal wear and tear.

The one new song
of the evening came from John’s well-recieved collaboration with his
mentor, Leon Russell, The Union. For many, the phrase “new song” usually
means “time for a bathroom break” but those who ducked out missed out
on You’re Never Too Old to Hold Somebody, a superior soul ballad from an
artist who says that at this point in his career he no longer feels the
need to try and crank out pop hits.

That thought bodes well for
future releases, but it’s the pop hits that people came to Centre 200 to
hear, and have helped make John the highest earning musician in the
world, according to this week. After an incendiary Take Me to
the Pilot he unleashed the motherlode, starting with his ode to Marilyn
Monroe, Candle in the Wind, while the arena darkness lit up with
swaying lighters, cellphone screens and LED devices. Later overhauled as
a Princess Diana tribute, the song is still drenched with emotion, and
John doesn’t try to wring any more out of it than he has to; it’s more
effective as a piece of sad resignation than a mournful cry, and it
plays out beautifully.

By now the crowd knows the end is near,
and as the first few bars of Honky Cat’s bayou boogie rings out it’s up
on its feet, with many rushing to the front of the stage to the
consternation of security staff.

John doesn’t object, instead he
plays to the folks down front, leading a call and response of “Benny!”
during Benny and the Jets, before blending in In the Mood and Bumble
Boogie that has the entire audience clapping, dancing and stomping their

“He’s got a little more life in him now, doesn’t he?”
remarks the gentleman sitting on my left, and he’s right, but it’s not
just the gap-toothed grinning glam-pop icon that’s rejuvenated, it’s the
whole building, twisting and singing the “Laaaa, la-la la-la laaaa”
part to Crocodile Rock, that’s had a few decades stripped away.

returns to sign a couple dozen autographs, and dedicate his final
number Circle of Life to a hope for a better world for his infant son
Zachary, free from senseless hate and prejudice. It’s a thoughtful
sentiment, although I know we’re all going to wake up the next day with
those blasted “Laaaa, la-la la-la laaaas” stuck in our heads.