Elton John Reminisces On His Friendships With John Lennon & Stevie Wonder


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While calling in from across the pond to join Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Elton John took a look back at his star-studded friendships – particularly with Stevie Wonder and John Lennon. The conversation began as Elton John discussed his current friendships with newer artists, and the singer shared to Fallon that he wanted to continue making younger artists feel appreciated after Lennon and Wonder had done the same for him.

As John sits down, he remembered a time when he refused to celebrate his birthday after having a long day. "It's not one of my brightest and most wonderful moments. I was on 'The Starship,' which was a jet that we were renting. I had just done a show. It was my birthday. And I wasn't happy with the show. So I went up front and sat on my own. And they said, 'Come up to the bow. We want to sing 'Happy Birthday' to you.' And I went, 'I'm not interested in my birthday.' And this happened about three or four times until my publicist burst into tears and said, 'You have to come up there Stevie Wonder is at the organ.' Of course, the plan had an organ on it. 'And he wants to sing 'Happy Birthday' to you.' And I felt such a horror. I felt so bad and I went up there, and he sang 'Happy Birthday' to me. And it's an incident I will never forget, and as I say, I'm not very proud of."

The Starship was a private jet many bands used throughout the '70s that had been made famous by Led Zeppelin. The former Boeing 720 passenger jet had been bought by Bobby Sherman and remodeled to include a bar, seats, tables, revolving armchairs, a TV set, a video cassette and a video library, an electric organ built into the bar, couches, bedrooms, showers, and more. Led Zeppelin famously used the plane during their Led Zeppelin North American Tour in 1973, with Elton John renting the aircraft that same year for his Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Tour.

Elton John recently released his album, The Lockdown Sessions, which saw the musician returning to his roots as a session musician. He explained to Fallon that he initially had no intention of releasing any music, but he continued to be approached by different artists asking if he would contribute to their own singles and records. John agreed and found himself doing the same thing that he had been when first beginning his career.

After the pandemic, John will be preparing to embark on his Farewell Yellow Brick Tour, which the musician says will be his last. The singer is excited to get back out on the road but claims that since he will be 76 once the tour wraps up, he figures that will be it for him. "I can't wait to do it and have a great time, and I can't wait to finish and say, 'No more – I've had enough,'" he said of the tour. However, while John will no longer be hitting the road after this last tour, he plans to continue creating music.


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