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 arenas 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. Weve got a cocktail organist I want you to meet back here, he said. I wasnt 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. Hes such a marvelous musician.
The full house at Boston Garden was a contrast to Elton Johns 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 cant 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. Its called Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Im sure one track, in particular, wont 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 Nights Alright for Fighting is doing quite well. The lyric concerns the small bands that play Saturday night dances in British village halls. Thats 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. Im surprised it hasnt been banned.