To Sir, With Love!

Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in Pinner, Middlesex, a suburb of London SEVENTY ONE YEARS AGO TODAY.

A Big Bacchus Happy Birthday to Sir Elton!

Come in to Bacchus today for an end-of-the week respite, a bloody mary and some delicious flatbread pizzas or sandwiches. Here’s a little you may not have known about one of the celebrities at the forefront of gay rights.

By age three, he was playing piano, and by age 11 he was studying at London’s Royal Academy of Music. He later dropped out to work as a music publishing errand boy and play rock ‘n‘ roll at night. His trivial early band was called Bluesology, and went on to back such legendary acts as Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles and the Isley Brothers.

In 1967 he met and began working with aspiring lyricist Bernie Taupin. They went on to form one of the most successful songwriting partnerships in rock history. Early in his career, Elton was known for whimsical costumes and wild glasses. He's taken the stage wearing a duck suit, a sequined baseball uniform and a Ronald McDonald outfit. He wore the colorful clothes to help create a spectacle and offset his shyness onstage.

In early 1971, Elton had cracked the American charts with “Your Song,” which peaked on the Billboard charts at Number Eight. It would be the first of his 25 Top 40 hits of the 1970s. In the 70s, John and Taupin turned out hit after hit, placing 25 singles in the top 40, 16 in the Top 10, and sending six (click to play, below) to number 1.

More from his storied life....
In 1979, he was the first rock or pop star from the West to perform in the Soviet Union!
In 1992, he founded a charity called The Elton John AIDS Foundation.
In 1995, he won an Academy Award for Best Music (Original Score) for Lion King.
In 1997, he re-released and performed "Candle in the Wind 1997" at Princess Diana's funeral.
In 1998, Queen Elizabeth II named him an Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

In 2000, he won the Tony Award for Best Original Musical Score for "Aida."
In 2001, he performed “Stan” with Eminem at the Grammys. This was the start of a long friendship.
In 2005, he marries David Furnish in a civil partnership ceremony, after 12 years together.
In 2008, "Billy Elliot: The Musical," featuring a score composed by John, opens on Broadway and goes on to win ten Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Elton and David have two children born to a surrogate: Zachary Jackson Levon, born December 25, 2010, and Elijah Joseph Daniel, born January 11, 2013.

This past January, Elton John announced that his next world tour will be his last.

“I’ve been touring since I was 17 with various bands. I though the time is right to say thank you to all my fans and say goodbye.”

The final tour will begin September 8th, last three years and will include 300 shows across five continents.

JL