I suppose I could say that I used to 'hang out' with Elton back in the early 70s, that year 1972 when I moved to Chelsea and shared an apartment just off Kings Road, where we could congregate on Saturday afternoons, when Elton would drop in to D J Noel Edmunds' record shop where he would chat and sign albums - he signed my DON'T SHOOT ME I'M ONLY THE PIANO PLAYER gatefold -
and I also remember chatting to him at Harrods, where he was sporting a pink suit, and with manager John Reid (and we saw 2 early concerts of his, one with Marc Bolan - at one of these I had a spare ticket which I sold to a visiting American or Canadian, who pulled out a large joint during the concert, which we smoked, to my initial "you can't do that here" - how very rock'n'roll!). This was also the year I met Joni Mitchell, also in Kings Road - people must just have been more approachable back then, they didn't have entourages and were friendly, as both Joni and Elton were. I liked those first 3 albums of his - the ELTON JOHN album, TUMBLEWEED CONNECTION (you can hear Dusty on background vocals) and MADMAN ACROSS THE WATER - even now the opening chords of "Your Song" or "Tiny Dancer" bring it all back - like Rod's "Every Picture Tells A Story". By the time Elton has succumbed to showbiz glitz we had moved on, and also moved from Chelsea, down to South London .... good though to have Elton back, in good health again, and with a successful album, now lets hope its a popular success as well.
Writer David Plante's book BECOMING A LONDONER will also be an engrossing read, covering as it does his arrival here in the '60s and being part of the Hockney/London literati set, due to his relationship with Nikos Stangos ... another fascinating '60s memoir then; also like Victor Spinetti in his delicious memoirs, Sir Derek has only good to say about Richard Burton with some nice tales of Burton's generosity, including to other actors.
Another look too at Tom Ford's A SINGLE MAN, on tv: I covered this in full in my review (A SINGLE MAN label) - it seems more annoying now: a classic novel turned into a high fashion shoot, with a house and clothes totally not right for 1962 when the story is set, there is no gun or suicide intent in the book where George and Charley (Julianne Moore) are ageing in their late fifties, in rundown homes - not the glamour here in the movie, making it more unlikely that the fit 40s George would suddenly keel over - Isherwood in the novel imagines the time when George's body would give out - not it literally happening there and then when the young student (who is soon got out of his white underwear) is still in the house ....