Elton John gets a final farewell in New York


New York – Hey, no one said retirement is easy.

Just 43 hours after Elton John bid a stunning, enduring, and irrevocable farewell to touring North America with a triumphant three-night run at Dodger Stadium capped off by a global livestream on Disney Plus, he’s already back on stage, this time playing the A grand piano in the middle of Fifth Avenue sings one final, final, ultimate Song.

John’s last actual performance in the States, a curious and secondary finale to his grand finale, was Tuesday night when he briefly stopped traffic in one of America’s busiest commercial districts to open the Christmas shopping season as the surprise guest on Saks Fifth Avenue. Annual disclosure of holiday windows and light show. This isn’t the usual way one would expect the 75-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer to follow through on the end of a 271 show he began planning seven years ago.

But Sachs is donating $1 million to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. And he and his family — his husband, David Furnish, and their two sons, Zachary, 11, and Elijah, 9 — were already heading east to get back home to London. So why not?

“I can think of no more magical way to end my Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in the US than by being here on Fifth Avenue with my family, experiencing both my music and my work with the Elton John AIDS Foundation at New York City,” John said in a fully detailed quote to Sax PR. , which was kind enough to pass it on to The Washington Post:

Furnish called it “the cherry on top of an incredibly beautiful cake” and “a very special one-time” in a phone interview. Furnish, who is also the foundation’s board chairman and John’s director, said the whole point of doing this is that it’s “an opportunity for EJAF.” But as a bonus, he said, “Our family Christmas is going to start, which is great.”

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As the clock ticked down, police closed off Fifth Avenue between 50th and 49th Streets outside the Saks flagship store. A sea of ​​tourists, many in town on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, rushed into the traffic void, swarming to get a better look, with no idea John was on his way, and with a stream of buses and cabs and benches propped up behind them.

At exactly 7:00 p.m., the crew raced to the piano wheel on the sidewalk and two minutes later, John made his grand entrance, riding in a golf cart adorned with large glowing stars, wearing a green blazer with red sweatpants, waving and blowing kisses. Sax thanks, and has David and the kids join him on stage for the countdownAnd the Then pull off a heartfelt rendition of “Your Song.”

And just “your song”.

“It’s one song because we can’t shut down Fifth Avenue for very long or we’ll have a lot of angry New Yorkers,” Furnish said with a laugh. “Your Song” was John’s choice because it was his first hit in America (and two minutes shorter than “Tiny Dancer”).

John barely had time to absorb the applause before he raced off (as best he could while recovering from hip surgery) to join his family in the stands. The front of Sax exploded with the light show, which was designed to look like a tree and flashed with medleys of his songs, including the dance club hit, “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix)” with Dua Lipa. Then the windows came to life, including one that looked like LightBright and another, in honor of John, that had rockets bouncing up and down on the pistons.

There were fireworks! And then it ended. John walked across the street, took a few photos, and entered the store. It lasted 15 minutes, and ended with police officers yelling at distressed photographers and guests Get off the street already Even a city bus can pass.

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Elton John’s concerts may take place in North America, but he still has a lot to offer. His farewell tour — two years behind schedule, after delays due to Covid and his 2021 hip surgery — was halted for a month before he moved on in January for a series of dates in Australia and New Zealand, then the UK and Europe, before finally hanging his shiny captain’s hat in the Stockholm on July 3.

“I’ve made this video so many times,” Miley Cyrus joked in a tribute video to John. that Played during the Los Angeles farewell. Furnish knows people are suspicious, so he wants to be absolutely clear. “Absolutely, he’ll never tour again,” he said. Those days are gone and the curtain has closed on that. do it.”

John will be 76 when this tour ends, and as much as he loves his fans and performing live, Furnish said, “He finds traveling very difficult and he finds being away from his family very difficult. They need us more than ever.”

Furnish said they have been thinking a lot about what it means to be together, and to present themselves publicly as a loving unit, in the past few days. John doesn’t mention it from the stage, but his latest show of Dodgers was the night after the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, when a gunman killed six people at a gay bar, the latest attack on the LGBTQ community. “It was very frustrating and very sad,” said Furnish.

“You know, on the one hand, Elton can bring his husband and two sons on stage to an incredibly warm response from everyone,” Furnish continued. “And it was broadcast live all over the world. In other parts of the world, the promotion of homosexuality and homosexuality is a way of life rather than something completely natural and normal for people.”

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He said the Colorado Springs shooting made them more committed to the AIDS Foundation’s Rocket Fund’s mission, which is to eliminate the stigma of AIDS that leads to People who are “afraid of getting tested for AIDS, afraid of getting their medication, afraid to discuss or disclose their condition openly for fear of accusations based on their sexuality,” Furnish said. Which is why he leaves the door open for John to perform at future charity events.

Over the weekend in Los Angeles, John revisited his historic 1975 shows when he was arguably the biggest pop star in the world. He was also an addict, and was not openly gay, but came out as bisexual. In 1984, he married a woman named Renate Blauel, and divorced her four years later. “The premieres were hard for me because I wasn’t in a very good shape, both mentally and physically,” John said in a pre-show video.

Now he is 32 years old. He has been with Furnish for 29 years. When asked what he would miss about touring as part of a Disney special, he said, “Nothing. I’ve done it since I was 17 in the back of a truck with my first band.”

Furnish said he’s excited about a new chapter. “Could he do once in a while? Could he do something like a stage residency? Possible and maybe not. It doesn’t close the door to the performance entirely.” Furnish pointed to Kate Bush’s 2014 staging of 22 at a London revue as a possible plotline, and said John was keen to dig through his catalog and play lesser-known songs.

But the door is closed on one type of performance. “He’s not having a residence in Vegas,” Furnish said. In the meantime, he’ll probably go out with his kids and ride around in sparkling golf carts in front of Christmas lights for a while.

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