Take Me to the Pilot — Orlando, Tampa, and Elton John

I flew to Orlando in early November to catch up with my sister Terry. She had called me in October with an invitation to join her to attend an Elton John concert in Tampa, part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. Of course, I said yes and made my arrangements. I could not resist the chance to see him live one more time.James Brown was often referred to as the “Godfather of Soul” and “Hardest Working Man in Show Business.” I saw them both, more than once, and I think there is a tie between James Brown and Elton John for the title “Hardest Working Man in Show Business.” Elton John played for 2 hours and 45 minutes with no stops, except to change clothes—a great show. He does not dance, edge to James Brown. I feel good.

You might be thinking, “why fly to Orlando when the concert was in Tampa?” My sister had already snagged a place for us to stay in Orlando that included concert tickets and a bus ride to and from the concert. Not driving has its appeal, and the Orlando to Tampa ride was only 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The concert featured his usual collection of musical geezers, the guys who have played with him for decades. They are still excellent, and fun to hear and watch as the show rolls on. It was good to see people my age and older being cheered on.

My sister and I had seen Elton John perform before, the last time in 2012. We were at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, and she boughtus the best of seats—fifth row in the center section. It was a wonderful concert, and at the end of the show those seated in the first five rows joined the band on stage.Elton John and his boys played a bit, welcomed us to check out the Million Dollar Piano, and hammed it up for pictures. Here is a shot I took of my sister and Elton John’s husband, David Furnish. David was incredibly nice and a pleasure to talk to. It was a great night for us.

My sister has attended other Elton John concerts, and in February 2019, decided to take our 91-year-old mother to his 27th annual AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party. Yes, she is 91 and in really good health. They had a fine time. At one point in the evening my mother decided that it was time to introduce herself to Elton John. She proceeded to brush all of his security folks aside (imagine a stiff arm and a spin move), walked right up, and told himthat she hoped that he enjoyed his retirement as much as she had. He was very nice, thanked her, and she went on her way with a big smile on her face. I love this picture.

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