Runaway Dinosaur

For the love of the music…..

See The Music Vol XI – Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza

Posted by jhochstat on May 6, 2008

See the Music Volume XI is here with a re-cap of Elton John’s mountaintop concert at Ischgl! This edition is a special double-bill, collaboration with friend and music critic Bradford Goodwin on words and Beana Bern on megapixels. It’s a treat to have Brad chime in on this one and we’re hopeful we’ll hear more from him….

See the Music Vol. XI – Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza

Elton John’s star reached its zenith in the late 1970s, just when I had gotten old enough to shop without parental supervision – and immediately started squandering my weekly allowance on music.

Strange, then, that I would wait until the age of thirty-three to attend one of his concerts. Even stranger that I would have to travel to Tirol, Austria, to a town with a name as unpleasant-sounding as “Ischgl,” ride a cable-car to 2300 meters above sea level, and then waddle through shin-level snow on a Saturday in the first week of May to wait for “Sir” John to show up twenty minutes late for the pre-performance press conference – all to witness this dimming, yet undiminished luminary twinkle his way through numbers I hadn’t actively listened to since my pre-teen years.

Still, I was impressed by his nimble wit, his earnest, yet irreverent answers to the often awkward questions tossed at him by the press (“Sir Elton, why do show so many naked bodies in your videos?” “I love naked bodies – doesn’t everyone?”…”How does it feel to be living legend?” “Well, I suppose it means I’m not dead.”), by his boyish grin and peroxide blonde bowl cut, and of course, by the big white letters across the chest of his Sea World-blue ski parka, which spell out the word “ICE CREAM.”

Aside from some surprisingly unpretentious name-dropping (note to crowd: when you’re worth £250 million, you tend to know people) and an unflinching refusal to set foot on snow, John seemed genuinely appreciative of both the pristine Alpine backdrop and the opportunity to perform in the setting for a second time.

And perform he did. To judge from the reactions of the panic-inducing throngs of concertgoers, John’s candle hasn’t burned out just yet. The nearly 30,000 skiers, snowboarders and other, more traditionally-dressed concertgoers who showed up at this pastoral paradise in the sky to party with the artist formerly known as Reginald Kenneth Dwight seemed either to be having a good time, or to be drunk enough not to know better. Not that there was time for doubting; John had his mojo working in a Slidell second. By the third song in the set, he was hardly to be kept in his seat, preferring instead to launch into handstands on the minor keys while flinging judo back-kicks, or to simply hop atop the piano and shake it Little Richard-style. Soon, though, I was ready for my nap.

Near the end of the set, my friend turns to me and asks: Doesn’t it seem surreal that we’re standing on a ski slope in the Alps watching ELTON JOHN sing Philadelphia Freedom? Not really, I answer. If we were standing on a ski slope in the Alps watching Elton and his old friend John Lennon perform their celebrated rendition of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds together while sporting Little Richard masks – that would be surreal.

Me, I prefer reality: Elton, or the real Reginald, if you will. For a guy who managed to get in at half-price, I certainly got my money’s worth.

If you’d like to check out the whole album from the Rocket Man’s mountaintop show, click here.


Text: Bradford Goodwin
Photos: Beana Bern
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One Response to “See The Music Vol XI – Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza”

  1. My friend on Facebook shared this link and I’m not dissapointed that I came here.

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