My practice area revolves around retirement, and, with that wholly inadequate tie-in, I move on to reporting that I just witnessed Elton John's first NY-area installment of his farewell tour. Several thoughts:
- The Bernie Taupin thing is amazing. I've never fully understood how he's able to channel the performer's inner self in a way that it's frankly all but unimaginable that the words are written by someone else. I think he's one of the great poets of all time, harkening back to whatever classic poets you want to name. That the poetry is set to music doesn't diminish it. I think that Elton intentionally honored Bernie by leaving out of the set both the Broadway stuff and the couple of huge covers (although, to be fair, as he himself said, there simply was no way to get to all the material - his book is staggeringly broad).
- He cemented his status with me as my favorite mainstream rocker of all time. In fact, even though I'm built more as a straight-ahead guy (see, e.g., AC/DC, G 'N' R, Led Zep and the like), for me he's right up there with any of 'em.
- His voice was utterly solid in-range - good as ever, if you ask me (although with the concession that the falsetto is no longer there). And his piano playing hasn't lost a single nit. Incredible. He gets more noise out of that thing than anyone. Not only unsurpassed, but the best (with all due respect to Billy Joel).
- His rendition of Levon was a top-three (not even sure what if anything is ahead at number one or two) performance from among anything I've ever seen from anyone.
Not entirely sure why younger generations shouldn't/wouldn't appreciate this. His music seems timeless. I know it's as trite as it gets to say it, but . . . you Rock. Thank you.
P.S.: While few if any readers will understand this, I would like to say (having absolutely nothing to do with the above Elton John post) - Rocky, we love you, and always will.