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October 16, 2013
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Elton John delivers the goods---plus Stevie Wonder

Ernie Santosuosso, Globe Correspondent | September 28, 1973

Go back in time with this review of Elton John and special guest Stevie Wonder at the TD Garden in 1973 before John's show at the Garden on Nov. 12. Buy tickets here

Elton John, that superstar rock act with showbiz trappings, cannot be accused of skimping. The other night at the Garden, he must have worked an hour-and-a-half and still to come was that arena’s most emotionally charged moment since the Bruins won the Stanley Cup three years ago.

Elton sprang Stevie Wonder on the surprised 15,5000 and they responded with a moving standing ovation. With Wonder at the electric keyboard and Elton on piano, you would think the flag was passing. The place was a-tingle as the two stars tore into “Honky-Tonk Woman” followed by a side trip into “Superstition” and one screaming final chorus of “Honky-Tonk Woman” before Stevie was escorted from the stage.

Wonder, convalescing from injuries suffered in an automobile accident, was the subject of an ingenuous hoax played on John.

“I was in the plane in New York this afternoon” said Elton in the dressing-room after the concert, “and one of the guys came up to me. ‘We’ve got a cocktail organist I want you to meet back here,’ he said. I wasn’t really interested in meeting him but I was finally persuaded.

It seems Sharon Lawrence of our public relations staff knows Stevie well so she concocted this plan whereby they hid him on the plane. It was really a trip finding him seated at the organ. I invited him to make the flight with us to Boston. He’s such a marvelous musician.”

The full house at Boston Garden was a contrast to Elton John’s first encounter with this city three years ago. At the time, he was relatively unknown except in Los Angeles where he stirred exclamations after a gig at the Troubadour.

“I played at the Tea Party for my first booking of an inaugural U.S. tour,” he recalled. “I can’t really remember that far back except that the P.A system at the club was not too good nor was there much of a house. The other acts were Dreams and Rev. Garry Davis.”

On his next swing around the Hub, John sold out the Music Hall. Now, no longer the tyro performer, Elton is awaiting the release of his first two-disc LP for MCA.

“It was recorded in France and written in Jamaica,” disclosed John. “It’s called ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and I’m sure one track, in particular, won’t get played on the radio because of its naughty title. Lots of reggae songs are really rude, so we wrote this selection with that in mind.”

“One cut from the album, ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’ is doing quite well. The lyric concerns the small bands that play Saturday night dances in British village halls. That’s when the neighborhood toughs come out and they usually tell the band to play a Beatles song or whatever. If not, these guys threaten to smash you in the face. It is definitely not a song to encourage violence. I’m surprised it hasn’t been banned.”

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Enter to win tickets to Elton John

From "Candle in the Wind" to "Benny and the Jets," Elton John has been serving up big piano-based hits for decades. Enter to win your chance to score a pair of tickets to see Sir Elton live at the TD Bank Garden on November 12 by submitting your information below. Winners will also receive an iPod loaded with his music. For complete contest rules, click here.

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