There are some recording artists who come and they go. Who have a massive hit, sometimes 2, then fade away and never produce another decent song, let alone album, ever again. (see Vanilla Ice, Milli Vanilli, I could list more but you probably won’t know them, and the list is extensive.)
Then there are artists who may put out a couple of decent albums, enough songs to make a “Best of”album in an attempt to re-sell some of their hits. They have huge tours, make a lot of money, then fade away (or break up). (See anyone like Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Billy Ray Cyrus, this list is also extensive).
Then there are artists who truly stand the test of time, delivering countless hits, on countless albums. Who are so good that you don’t know which song you want to listen to first. Who decade after decade, generation after generation, their music is loved by young and old. If you’re lucky, you will get to see them perform at some point in your life. Their concerts sell out in seconds, even 40 years after they first started performing. They have so many hits, you leave their concert thinking about the great songs they DIDN’T play. They are the true definition of “Legend.”
I saw a legend last night. An absolute musical genius, who performed his whole 24 song set even with bronchitis, and against doctors orders. Today’s acts could learn a thing or two from this guy. Over 60 years old, performing for over 40 years. Some people think he’s “queer” or “too gay” or just plain “weird.” Most geniuses are a bit strange, a bit different. I just think he’s fan-fucking-tastic. His music reminds me of my dad, because he is the reason I ever listened to it in the first place. You can’t help but move your body and tap your feet to his rock songs, and his ballards? Well they could easily bring tears to your eyes. He’s a musician, a song writer, a performer, and has more talent in his little finger than many have in their whole bodies.
If you don’t know who I’m talking about by now, I seriously question your musical knowledge (and taste).
I am so thankful for not only Elton John’s music, but music in general. I’m thankful for the songs that come on the radio at exactly the right time you need to hear them, that speak to your very circumstances. The songs that make you smile when you are driving on your own, windows down, radio UP and the songs you can just cry to, that nurse your broken heart because they.just.get.it.
I’ve just finished Jodi Picoult’s “Sing You Home” in which one of the main characters is a music therapist. As in she uses music as therapy to connect with people, to soothe people, and she’s not taken very seriously. I think music therapy is very real, as real as retail therapy at the very least! Who hasn’t had a good old cry, laugh, dance, or even a nice quiet glass of wine, to music that has suited their mood, circumstance, environment? It connects with you on so many levels it’s impossible to acknowledge them all.
I’m lucky to have seen Elton John twice in my life. What an experience. Concerts that I will never forget. I hoped last night that maybe somewhere, somehow, dad was watching that concert with me. Thanks, Elton, for a fantastic night, and for decades of entertainment.
Playing Thankful Thursday with Kate. Come play along!