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How Juliet Johnstone raises money for her school
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Elton’s band gives a benefit show, but T-shirts say “Sorry, No Elton”

Sunday 2
February 2003 @ 16:38
– GMT

Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone, who’s lived in Calabasas for six years, was happy to help organise Sunday’s benefit for Lupin Hill Elementary School. “This is my payback to them for all the love and support they’ve shown our family,” he said.

7-year-old Juliet Johnstone helped bring about Sunday’s first annual “Rock the Canyon” benefit for Lupin Hill Elementary School‘s music and arts programme. Davey and the rest of Elton’s band — minus Elton himself — will headline a two-hour, family-friendly show at The Canyon in Agoura Hills to raise money for the Calabasas school.

Click here to enlarge the pictureThe gig on February 2, 2003, features the entire Elton John band —  backup singer Ken Stacey, keyboardist Guy Babylon, bass player Bob Birch, guitarist Davey Johnstone, drummer Nigel Olsson and percussionist John Mahon — will perform at the benefit for Lupin Hill Elementary School.

Johnstone figures he and the band will kick off Sunday’s benefit show with a mix of Elton John classics and rock ‘n’ roll standards like Hey Jude, Brown-Eyed Girl and Have You Ever Seen the Rain? Handling the vocals will be singers Ken Stacey and Billy Trudell, both of whom have toured as backup singers with Elton.

Also on board will be Adam Chester from Fox channel’s The NFL Show, who is a singer-songwriter in his own right, and jazz/new age pianist Jim Wilson.

Also, 4 Star Mary — a Los Angeles pop-punk band that has had several songs featured in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series — will perform. The group’s drummer, Chris Sobchack, is Olsson’s guitar tech on the road.

Johnstone is also psyched about another part of the show: getting to perform with Juliet, who’ll be appearing with the rest of the Lupin Hill Tiger Chorale.

Click here to enlarge the picture“It’s gonna be a blast getting the kids up on stage with the band,” Johnstone said. “I can’t wait for that. They’re going to do a couple of songs with us, including John Mellencamp‘s The Authority Song, which should be a bit of fun.”

The concert will be recorded for CD and video release and should be available through the school in a few months.

At the concert, Johnstone will auction off a Yamaha acoustic guitar signed by everyone who participated in the star-studded Elton John tribute concert January 17, 2003, at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim.

“It’s an amazing piece,” said Johnstone. “Elton signed it, Ray Charles signed it … Brian Wilson, John Mayer, Norah Jones, Michael McDonald, Randy Newman, Brian McKnight, Bruce Hornsby … you name it, they all signed it.”

Juliet is Davey Johnstone’s third child to attend Lupin Hill. In the autumn, Charlie, who’ll be 5 years old by then, will be the fourth.

“It’s a great school with great teachers,” said the 51-year-old Johnstone, who’s lived in Calabasas for the past six years with his wife, Kay, and in Oak Park for five years before that. “They do good work there and they’re doing it on a shoestring budget. This is my payback to them for all the love and support they’ve shown our family.”

It was a little tricky convincing John’s management to allow him to use the words “Elton John Band” in all the advertising, but convince them he did — with one stipulation.

“I just have to ram it down everybody’s throats that there will be ‘no Elton,’ ” he said, laughing. “Elton will not be at the show. Maybe next year or the year after that I can convince him. But this year it’s just me and the guys. That’s why all the T-shirts and posters say, ‘Sorry, no Elton.’ “