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When Elton, Sting, Don Henley, and other performers staged a charity concert in 1993 to benefit the Walden Woods Project (to preserve forest around the historic Walden Pond in Massachusetts), Fred Mudge was there. 

 

Ten years later, Elton played at his friends’ 40th wedding anniversary gala, held at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. This was for Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his wife, Myra. Fred was here as well.
 
Mudge is a Boston-based piano tuner who has also worked on Elton’s regular gigs. He recalls that one time, the piano was ”horribly out of tune.” The reason, he explained to EJW, is that the headliner bangs the keys so hard, especially on rockers like Bennie and the Jets. And he wears ”really large rings.”
 
His favourite client was his friend, Chick Corea (who died last year). Fred also has appeared on movie sets, tuning Norah Jones’ piano for Ted, starring Mark Wahlberg and a teddy bear voiced by Seth MacFarlane. 
 
Another piano tuner who has been called upon to assist Elton is Aidan Delacey-Simms. He told this website that on the 22nd of August at 8:30 a.m., he went to a private marquee near Knaresborough.
 
”I was kept completely in the dark, probably to avoid any social media leaks as this was a private party. Elton was referred to as ‘The Artist’ and I was given an hour to get his Yamaha up to concert pitch and perfectly in tune. Which I managed despite the racket being made by the huge amount of workers setting up the stage; lights; catering; flowers etc.”
 
The British piano tuner and restorer continued: ”The set list attached to the piano was the first giveaway {with full and partial titles like ‘Daniel,’ ‘Tiny Dancer, ‘Philadelphia,’ and ‘Circle’}. Then the autocue above the piano had his speech whizzing across while I worked.
 
”I was gone before he arrived but it was later confirmed by the company that booked me that he was performing. I understand from another customer who had a friend at the party that Rod Stewart was in attendance as well. I believe it was a private birthday party; there may have been a fundraising element to it but I’m not sure.”
 
At any rate, Aidan, who has also done jobs for Dionne Warwick, Lesley Garrett, Julian Lloyd Webber, Suggs, and Jools Holland, wishes he’d stayed to see it.