Story By: G.H. Harding
Elton John

ELTON’S PIANO --- On July 1, 2014, Eagle Rock will release The Million Dollar Piano by the inimitable Elton John. This amazing show was filmed in high definition and will be simultaneously released on Blu-ray and DVD.

Million Dollar Piano is packed with John classics including: “I’m Still Standing,” “Rocket Man,” “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Your Song,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Circle Of Life,” “Blue Eyes,” “Bennie And The Jets,” “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” “Crocodile Rock,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” and many more. 

Also included is the track “Indian Sunset,” (from John's brilliant 1971 Madman Across The Water album) performed by John with percussionist Ray Cooper. Cooper, who did the so-called two-man show with John in Russia all those years ago, is stand-out spectacular. It is, without a doubt, a major highlight in the package.

The Million Dollar Piano was filmed over multiple nights in 2013 at John’s residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The show has been running since September 2011, with the most recent leg spanning 16 shows between March 29 and April 26, 2014. The concerts are the culmination of Elton’s decades long partnership with Yamaha pianos (the 1st one being titled The Red Piano). 

The multimedia staging is phenomenal with vast screens behind the stage illustrating the songs and the piano itself acting as a screen for graphics and animations. 

As well as the 19 song full set from the show, the DVD includes as a bonus The Making Of The Million Dollar Piano, a feature which tells the story behind the concerts; including several behind-the-scenes comments from John-creative director Tony King. For tech-heads, as well as true-blue EJ fans, it is an extraordinary behind-the-scenes tale; from the development of the idea, on a cocktail napkin, to the actual design and execution; and the first time John sees it onstage. Priceless! 

In addition, there are four extra tracks filmed in Kiev in 2012: "Candle In The Wind," "Sacrifice," "Sad Songs (Say So Much)" and "Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me." 

Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, is one of the most highly acclaimed and successful solo artists of all time. He has achieved 35 gold and 25 platinum albums, has sold more than 250 million records worldwide, and holds the record for the biggest selling single of all time. Over the five decades since his career began in 1969, Elton has played almost 4000 concerts worldwide. He has been awarded numerous accolades including five Grammy's, twelve Ivor Novello Awards, an Oscar, a Tony, the BRITs Icon Award, induction into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame and the Kennedy Center Honor. He is the third most successful artist in the history of the American charts, behind only Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

RINGO’S BEACON STAND --- Seems like quite the show last week as Ringo Starr and his All-Starr band headlined The Beacon Theatre. Oddly enough, the marquee on the theatre read Star … not Starr.

Guests like Steve Van Zandt, Judy Collins, Billy Squier, and Mark Rivera, joined the band at the end; which included Toto’s Steve Lukather and Todd Rundgren. Lukather reportedly is producing Starr’s next album.

By all accounts the concert was superb. Go Ringo!

CLOSING NOTES --- Disney’s Newsies shutters in August …

Monkee-Micky Dolenz is interviewed today in L. A. for Oprah Winfrey’s Where Are They Now series. The episode will air in mid-August on the OWN Network. And, don't forget Dolenz appears at NYC’s B. B. King’s July 30 …

The international trailer for Fox Searchlight‘s September 12 crime drama The Drop has been released on the web. The Brooklyn-set feature stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and the late actor James Gandolfini, who passed away a year ago Saturday. 

The film centers around Hardy’s Bob Saginowski, an ex-con turned bartender who finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry, which sends a ripple effect through the neighborhood to his friends, family, and the gangsters on the block. Gandolfini plays Marv, another ex-con who is trying to go legit. 

Directed by Michael R. Roskam; The Drop is based on the short story Animal Rescue from author Dennis Lehane, who wrote Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone Baby Gone.

It looks terrific. Check it out: HERE...

Friday night at the U. N. were the second-annual G.O.D. Awards where actress/singer Rebecca Holden (with Tony LeBron) performed their new single, “Dreams Come True.” It was the first time we had seen Holden perform and was astounded. What a voice! Lebron was the perfect accompaniment to her. Producer Joel Diamond -who was the MC of the night – watched proudly. Also seen in the audience were PR-pasha David Salidor and writers Marcy MacDonald and Mark Bego. A great night ...

This year's New Music Seminar apparently went off without so much as a whisper. Did you hear about it? Did you read about it? Other than generating a terrific profit for the current operators, it seems to have been a total bust ... even the music press virtually ignored it.

Let's retire it again!