Elton John reflects on David Bowie, talks musical collaborations and fashion

With a week to go until the release of Elton John’s 33rd studio album, Wonderful Crazy Night, the iconic musician stopped by SiriusXM for a Town Hall and performance hosted by David Fricke on The Spectrum (Ch. 28). The award-winning musician answered questions from an exclusive group of fans about the impact of David Bowie’s career, his collaborations, the importance of fashion, why he continues to put out new music and more.

Elton John credits Bowie for discovering his original producer Gus Dudgeon and arranger Paul Buckmaster

“When I heard Space Oddity, I thought it was the most incredible record I had probably heard for a long time up to that point,” he recalled. “And the production and the arrangement of that song, I said, ‘Whoever did that, I really want to work with them.'”
When asked why he is so enthusiastic about collaborations with a wide range of artists, he said it comes down to having fun and learning more about his craft.
“Getting to work with people you love and admire and getting to play on stage with them is a huge huge buzz,” he explained. “It’s so much fun, especially when the other person is a great performer, and you learn something.”
Elton John is known for his over-the-top stage attire, so when asked his thoughts on fashion, he said its all about giving the audience something memorable.

“It’s part of the ritual for me,” he said about dressing up for performances. “It came from people like Elvis and Little Richard and Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran who always look fantastic, and I like bands to make an effort … it adds a little bit to the excitement … you’re wondering what the hell he’s going to wear, and it’s exciting.”

When asked why he continues to put out new music instead of cashing in on nostalgia by touring his hits, he said it comes down to the help he gets from his songwriter Bernie Taupin.

“I always want to put out new music, and I think it’s much easier for me because I have a lyric writer,” he said. “I have someone who can paint the picture for me before the song is written. And we’ve never been in the same room ever. And its not changed since we started writing 49 years ago when I first wrote a melody to his lyric and played it to him. And it’s still the same feeling.”

The Elton John Town Hall will premiere on The Spectrum (Ch. 28) Thurs. 2/4 at 5 pm ET with rebroadcasts airing Fri. 2/5 at 12 pm ET; Sat. 2/6 at 2 pm ET; Sun. 2/7 at 1 pm and 11 pm ET; Mon. 2/8 at 7 am ET; Tues 2/9 at 6 pm ET; and Wed. 2/10 4 pm ET. Additionally it will air on The Blend (Ch. 16) Thurs. 2/11 at 8 pm ET; Fri. 2/12 at 3 pm ET; Sat 2/13 at 9 am and 12 pm ET; Sun. 2/14 at 5 pm ET; and Mon 2/15 at 3 am ET.

Wonderful Crazy Night is due out February 5 on Island Records.

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