Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sir Elton

I was wrong yesterday.

Oracle OpenWorld isn’t one of the largest tech conferences in the world, it is the largest with more than 40,000 people here this week.

We learned that little fact while waiting for Elton John to take the stage for Oracle’s ginormous hoop-dee-doo appreciation event at Cow Palace on the far north side of San Francisco last night.
I was never a huge fan.

Don’t get me wrong. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Tiny Dancer, and Rocket Man are classics of course.

But it’s a bit incongruous to me that the same man who wrote Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters could also author such vapid ear trash as I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues and Candle in the Wind.
I am pleased to report that the portly little poof pulled it off, putting on a truly amazing performance last night.

It was the songs for sure. Hearing those first jangling notes of Tiny Dancer gave me chills. And the live version of Rocket Man that lasted almost 15 minutes was one of the single best performances I’ve ever seen in my life.

Of course, being 20 feet from the stage helped, too.
He didn’t interact with the crowd much – just a few thank you’s and glad to be here’s. But I guess when you’re a Major Star and you’ve been doing this for as long as he has, you could get up on stage and whip out your winkie and folks would cheer.
We were trying to decide if performing for 40,000 Oracle customers, partners and employees makes him a sellout.

To me, he was more of a sellout for transforming that awful Marilyn Monroe song into a morbid memorial for Princess Di.

People near us in the crowd seemed to know that he was paid in the millions for his 90-minute performance.

That doesn’t make him a sellout, that makes him smart.
I am listening to: Elton John – Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
I am reading: Steinberg
And I am: Sore