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Music Industry Figures Talk About Elton And His Visits Down Under

Written by Chief Editor.

Well, here we are in the outback.”

The West Australian has observed that Elton kicked off his first-ever Australian concert at Subiaco Oval on October 17, 1971, with that quip.

As with his first outing, the Australasian leg of the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour kicks off in Perth. Looking back, Dennis Cometti, who was a disc jockey at 6KY, who sponsored the concert, recalls the headliner's ''powerful voice.''

He adds: As we know he returned many times but I doubt he ever sounded so good. His early stuff was outstanding and his voice that night was like a punch in the stomach.”

Meanwhile, promoter Michael Chugg says: ''I saw him at Randwick Racecourse (in Sydney) on that very first tour and it was a windy day--the roof on the stage and the drums blew away. It was just incredible because he kept going. Nothing has ever thrown Sir Elton.''

Chugg says that the cricket and soccer-loving superstar is always drilling him on new Australian artists.

“As soon as he arrives in the country, he goes to his hotel, drops his bag and goes to the record stores,” he said.

Chugg recalled Sir Elton asking for 40 Gurrumul albums after hearing the late indigenous singer perform as the support act at his Darwin concert in 2008. Those albums were later distributed to UK music movers and shakers, leading to Gurrumul’s career launching in the UK and Europe.

Other Aussie artists also have caught the Rocket Man's eye. He has collaborated with dance trio Pnau and championed singer-songwriter Alex the Astronaut, country star Catherine Britt and teenage singer Ruel.

“I am still at heart a fan,” Elton stated. “I still love going into the record store. I love what I do. I’m not coasting. I’m not just doing it because I need the money.

“I’m doing it because I absolutely love it as much as I did when I got my first 45rpm (records), which were At the Hop by Danny and the Juniors and Reet Petite by Jackie Wilson.

“It still has the same magic for me. A lot of people get burnt out by it but I don’t because I love it.

“I’m so lucky to be involved with music. It has given me everything in my life.”

Sir Elton plays HBF Park on November 30 and December 1. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.