I usually log onto http://www.pandora.com/ on mornings like this, creating the perfect, motivational radio station to keep me moving and upbeat as I dust and clean.
Today, I'm into Elton John.
Today, I'm into Elton John.
In 1975, the first album I ever bought was "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy." I had to ask permission, since I was only 12. My dad took me to the store to get it. Inside it had a magazine-like insert with all of the lyrics, photos, and artwork. I would lie on my bed and look at it over and over. It had things I'd never seen before! I STILL have that insert, and as soon as I find it, I'll photograph it and insert! I think it's inside my piano bench.
I had a stereo...a real one...that my parents bought me at a Zale's Jewelry Store in 1975! It was a Panasonic with 2 huge speakers, My dad would always buy me classical music...but I wanted to "rock," and who could be a better choice for a 6th grader than Elton John! I have every song memorized! I even sat at my piano and figured out almost every single tune! Throughout the 70's, I had a lot of friends who were also pianists...and we bought as many Elton John music books as we could afford and sang, played, and fantasized throughout many a sleepover. We didn't know that he was gay, but I don't think it would have mattered it we did...
He wasn't even gorgeous, BUT he was British. I also loved Freddy Mercury at that time, another gay musician with odd teeth. I would sit in my room with my big Koss headphones on, listening to the music, singing at the top of my lungs, at my piano (yes, it was in my room). My brothers would pound on the door and tell me to be quiet, but I didn't hear them because the volume was too high! When I'd finally finish one side of an album, I'd be really embarassed, realizing how loud my voice was! My middle brother, the mean one, would tease me for days and tell all of his friends. At school on the playground (6th grade was still elementary school then) they'd sing and follow me around. I'd be so embarassed!!!
But, it didn't stop me. When I listened to "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," my mind would take me places I didn't know existed! I thought about weird women, HP demands (what the heck are those?), and princesses. I was raised Southern Baptist, so you can just imagine how guilty all this made me feel...and I was always afraid my parents would find out!
I saw Elton in concert in 1978 in Portland at the Memorial Coliseum. He came onstage wearing a white tuxedo with a tall, white top hat. His piano was centerstage, placed on a rotating circle, meaning he sat at the piano and it slowly spun around 360-degrees throughout the entire concert, so we saw him from ALL angles! Seriously, I was in the 4th row back (when you're a member of a fan club, you get priority-seating!) and screamed the ENTIRE time! At one point, he stood up, walked to the edge of the stage and took off his hat...then he threw it into the audience!!! Oh My God! Girls went wild! I was so lucky to have parents who let me do this stuff. My mom was only 19 when she had me and she, herself, was into some pretty good rock music. She listened to The Rolling Stones, The Police, and David Bowie. I grew up with Bowie and Beatles...as well as Frank Sinatra and others. However, my mom remarried when I was 4 and things changed a lot. Less music, more stress.
Anyway, to this day, I play Elton John daily on my piano. My daughter, too, has picked up on this and plays "Your Song" almost as beautifully as me (wink, wink!), as well as "Border Song," "Tiny Dancer," and many, many more!