Billboard.com has called Elton one of the hardest-working men in show business.
In addition to his ongoing touring schedule and his Red Piano engagement in Las Vegas, the entertainer is working on a number of projects, highlighted by a new studio album to be released in 2007.
For that recording, he and longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin are writing a sequel to Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy called Captain Fantastic and the Kid. The first edition, released in 1975, covered the pair’s first 30 years; the second will cover the subsequent three decades and will come out March 20, 2007, five days before the songster’s 60th birthday.
Elton is writing and recording the project in Atlanta. “It was [Sanctuary Group CEO Merck Mercuriadis’] idea, because he said, ‘You’re always saying how Bernie has become the Brown Dirt Cowboy’ — he lives on a ranch in Santa Ynez [Calif.] — and I’m this guy who plays concert after concert, buying art, buying photographs, living a very lavish lifestyle. I’ve become Captain Fantastic.”
“We would have been together then about 40 years by the time it comes out,” John continues. “One of the things I’m most proud of in my life is the relationship I’ve had with Bernie.”
Before this, on November 8, Elton’s Christmas Party will be available, exclusively through Starbucks. The record will include previously released holiday-themed songs from other artists, plus a new duet between Elton and Joss Stone. A $2 donation from each album will go to his AIDS foundation.
What’s more, while Billy Elliot, a musical written by Elton and Lee Hall, continues playing on London’s West End (a Broadway opening is likely in 2006), the EJ/Bernie-penned musical Lestat is scheduled to debut in December at San Francisco’s Curran Theater.
And as previously reported, Elton has a development deal with Touchstone Television for a rock star sitcom, Him And Us. It features ”Max Flash” (based on the Rocket Man and personalities like Mick Jagger and David Bowie) and his entourage. Sex & the City scribe Cindy Chupack is writing the pilot, and our subject may well appear in a few episodes.
Meanwhile, last March, Elton wrote nine songs with the Scissor Sisters for possible inclusion on their next album, marking the first time he had ever written in the same room with someone.
“You know, I’m 15 years sober today,” the Briton replied, when asked how he finds time for all these projects. “That’s changed my life. The energy that I used to spend doing drugs and everything, I spend doing great things, like getting up in the morning, going to Tower Records, trying to find new acts, trying to promote them. I have the most fantastic life. I really love it so much.”