The Many, Many Weird Guest Appearances of Sir Elton John

Categories: Elton John

Elton John may be one of the most silently pervasive artists ever. At award shows, tribute concerts, and even on random albums, including his most recent stint on Fall Out Boy's currently #1 Save Rock and Roll, the "Candle in the Wind" crooner knows how to steal the spotlight from whichever star is supposed to be at the forefront of a performance. So let's take a look back at some of the best Elton appearances, whether live or in the recording studio, and see how weird they can get.

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High Highs Talk Elton John, the Price of Beer in New York, and the Isolation of Australia

By Kai Flanders

Last January, Brooklyn-by-way-of-Australia indie-pop songsters High Highs released a self-titled EP. NPR called its underwatery layers "immediately endearing," and NME listed them as one their 50 best new bands of 2011. Their phone rang. Elton John's people were on the line. They were signed to his management company, and Captain Fantastic himself gave them a nod during a speech at his annual London Christmas party. That year showed how a band can rise without having a proper album -- High Highs' as of yet untitled full-length is due out early next year.

We caught up with lead singer Jack Milas and multi-instrumentalist Oli Chang over shrimp dumplings, stuffed eggplant, and Tiger beer at Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown. (The street was once a deadly place: The Tong Gangs of the 1930s shot each other to pieces in this alley that became known as "the Bloody Angel.") Chang has Kramer-like hair and is more soft spoken than Milas, but both retain their homeland's accent. It's a melodic, almost sing-songy sort of speech; the gruffness of New York's lexicon has yet to filter it's way into their mouths.

See Also:

- Elton John Calls Madonna A C**t
- American Idol Elton John Week
- Dive Bars Across America

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100 & Single: Buy An Adam Lambert Album, Strike A Tiny Blow For Gay Rights

About a year ago, the movie Bridesmaids opened in the U.S. and was the subject of a rather unusual awareness campaign.

Female movie fans, largely independently of the film's producers, compelled women to go see the film in its opening weekend and defy common Hollywood wisdom that non-rom-com movies aimed at ladies were box-office laggards. To many cultural critics, it was a dubious effort: a Judd Apatow-produced flick that was still, after all, about a wedding—and with one notorious scene riddled with bodily humiliations—this was a feminist cause célèbre?

The thing is, it kinda worked. Bridesmaids opened very well for a "chick flick," with $26 million in ticket sales, and went on to gross just shy of $170 million domestically, soundly beating such summer tentpoles as Green Lantern and X-Men: First Class. The fact that the star-free, Kristin Wiig-led movie was actually good suggests it would've found its audience under any circumstances. We'll never know, but given Hollywood's ever-increasing promotional emphasis on opening weekends, it's totally defensible that the impassioned grass-roots launch was critical to the movie's ultimate success. It also sent a consumer-driven message ("This half of the population shouldn't be ignored or pandered to") that should've been screamingly obvious in 2011 but somehow wasn't.

One year later, I'd like to invite you to get behind another consumerist message that, in 2012, should be equally uncontroversial: Being openly gay shouldn't prevent you from having a No. 1 album in the United States.

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The Golden Globes Pit Madonna Vs. Gaga (And Elton) Vs. Mary J. Vs. Sinéad Vs. Chris (Cornell)

Sure, the Golden Globes are a big excuse for celebrities to get soused and congratulate each other, but this year's offering of Best Original Song nominees has a neat wrinkle: Lady Gaga and Madonna are facing off against one another, with Gaga up for her weirdly Bee Gees-evoking Elton John collab "Hello Hello" (from Gnomeo & Juliet) and Madonna nominated for "Masterpiece," a sweeping ballad from the Madge-directed flick W.E. If you are confused by the existence of this song, because how can a Madonna song fall in the forest of New York City and not make much of a sound, worry not; it only premiered to those of us not on the Globes' nominating committee last week. Also up for the award are Mary J. Blige (for a track from The Help), Sinéad O'Connor, and Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell. What year is this again? All five nominees available for your streaming perusal below.

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Elton John Is Playing A Free Show Tonight, And You Can Get Tickets Today

Tonight the Tribeca Film Festival kicks off with a free outdoor screening of Cameron Crowe's Elton John/Leon Russell documentary The Union at the North Cove at the World Financial Center, and the movie will be followed by a live performance by the Rocket Man himself. The screening starts at 8:15, and to get in, you'll need a wristband, which will tell you where to sit; wristbands (limit two per person) will be distributed at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Centre Street, beginning at 4 p.m. today. If this all sounds appealing to you, you'll probably want to a) get in line before then and b) pick up an umbrella, since the event's rain or shine, and there are isolated thunderstorms predicted for this evening. More info is here.

Top 10 Super Bowl 2012 Halftime-Show Possibilities

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Let's all do our best to keep this from happening
So another enjoyable terrible Super Bowl Halftime Show is in the books, and as we wash "I Gotta Feeling" out of our eyes and ears for the thousandth time, the question becomes: Who will grace the stage in 2012? How old will their most famous album be? Will your mom like it? Will Twitter? Will you? Let us now gather the most likely suspects and complain about them in advance.

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