October 12, 2003

Philadelphia Freedom, I don't love you

I think Elton really meant: "You want to know why I hate Americans? Because so many of them say my career jumped the shark after Rock of the Westies." (Via Porphyrogenitus, who has been driven to near-despair by the intractability of the self-hating Western liberal intelligentsia. And -- full disclosure, I first left this comment here, but I wanted to share. And -- yeah, Elton John was my he's-all-that back when I was in high school. But that thing he did with Kiki Dee, what was it? Whatever -- and then the Sassoon jeans commercial were it for me. Westies was the last album I ever bought of his.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at October 12, 2003 12:22 PM

Actually, I sympathize a bit with Elton here. I hate Dennis Miller too. I'm sorry he's on our side.

Probably, Elton thought this was no place to inject politics. The quote, as reported in the Houston Chronicle was, "This night is about charity, not washing your dirty political laundry. I love America, but if you want to know why the world hates America, I can give you two words: Dennis Miller."

This suggests that Elton was more ticked off at the political nature of Miller's bit, rather than the actual content. Now if he can only tell that to every lefty idiot he shares a stage with, he'll be doing good.

This does not mean he does not merit a sharp slap from the Cliche Fairy, as well as the Stupidity Fairy. (I like Nicole Hollander's---"Sylvia"'s creator---collection of odd fairies and goddesses; of course, Hollander deserves a couple of swift belts these days, too.)

Posted by: Angie Schultz at October 12, 2003 at 02:21 PM

Elton John and Kiki Dee, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," 6 weeks at number one in 1977 if I I remember correctly. I actually liked it pretty well. (Forgive me, I was only 19)

I like to keep art and politics separated. I don't expect President Bush to be able to write a good song or sing well so why should I expect a singer/songwriter to make sense talking foreign policy? Still, I'm glad most of my favorite music was written by dead guys.

Posted by: Lynn S at October 12, 2003 at 02:45 PM

Uh, no. His career jumped the shark after "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". "Rock of the Westies" was a cute title, but he did few things worth listening to after 1973.

Posted by: Ken Summers at October 12, 2003 at 04:22 PM

"I only like it when they make fun of people who are not me." Homer Simpson

Posted by: cardeblu at October 12, 2003 at 04:32 PM

Yep, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was the last goodie. After than, he just kind of faded off until he got the big boost when Princess Di was killed.

Posted by: LeeAnn at October 12, 2003 at 06:16 PM

And Elton didn't take advantage of the death of Diana for his own career. No, um, of course not. He didn't even write anything new, just a reworking of Candle in the Wind.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at October 12, 2003 at 07:55 PM

Angie: I don't feel one way or another about Dennis Miller. I wasn't intending this to be some sort of defense of the man. If you ask me, his career also jumped the shark a while ago, though I can't pinpoint exactly when.

But I don't see why Miller doesn't get to "inject politics" into everything when every other artist or artist-wannabe on the planet -- including Mr. Dwight -- gets to squirt their political opinions anywhere and everywhere (cough Viggo Mortenson cough). And since the multitudes of fans worldwide these people have seem to lap it up when celebs air their political opinions, I doubt seriously that that is why America is so "hated" by the world. In fact, I think that a large contingent of America-haters probably hate us more because of the way we promote and nurture the careers of people like Elton John, instead of clapping them in irons or burying them under walls. On the other hand the idea that artists shouldn't have any political ideas is an odd one; they are people too, despite the fact that many of them seem to be little smarter than Trigger.

Others: I admit I picked Rock of the Westies because it is the last Elton John album I bought. It still has some vaguely rock-like noises on it, and there was a time when I would have to listen to "A Bullet in the Gun (of Robert Ford)" over and over again. (Don't ask.) But the less said about "Island Girl" the better.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at October 12, 2003 at 08:30 PM

Just a small further observation: If Miller had been spouting liberal views and someone verbally upbraided him like that, he would have screamed "crushing of dissent!" and "McCarthyism!"

Oh, and I didn't mean to imply that EJ did nothing worthwhile after GYBR, just not much (I actually like "Tiny Dancer" and the original "Candle", but for the love of humanity, please don't ever mention "I----d G--l" again.

Posted by: Ken Summers at October 13, 2003 at 09:48 AM

Sorry, Ken, but I must point out that "I.G" was the last Elton record I bought. Got it on 7". "Rock of the Westies" was definitely the shark.

"GYBR" was the first LP of any band I ever bought. Mowed 3 lawns for the cash when I was 11. Double LP. It cost $11.00. 1974. Still got it as well as most of his earlier output.

I was a little perplexed at Elton's outburst. I mean, didn't whoever booked the show know Dennis' born-again conservative shtick? So if he's in the show and Elton knew that and agreed to perform anyway, he oughta shrug and carry on. It's unprofessional to rag on other acts from the stage even if you don't like 'em.

Save the slagging for the "after party".

Posted by: JDB at October 13, 2003 at 10:20 PM

You bought "I.G."?

I'm sorry. Have you sought professional help? ;)

Posted by: Ken Summers at October 14, 2003 at 09:09 AM