Elton John and Ray Cooper

I remember when Elton John was allowed to play in the U.S.S.R.  It was a huge deal.  I also remember when, a few years later, Horowitz returned to Moscow to play a concert.  Big stuff.  People today (I won’t limit it just to the young) forget how brutal and ugly Communism was in the U.S.S.R. and how brutal and ugly it is by nature.

I’ve always loved how Elton and Ray Cooper played together.  Cooper is a maniac on stage and endlessly entertaining to watch.  I found this short clip captivating in part because of the comments at the beginning.  Despite the attempts by the Soviet government to shut out freedom and the West, it found its way into the culture.  Freedom finds its way, just as life finds its way.

There are plenty of dark corners in this world today, but people will always yearn to be free, and liberty will prevail.  Freedom to worship, dance, paint, play music, tell jokes, insult the neighbors…whatever it is people want to do.  That will win.

Elton John

Roy Rogers.  From his Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album.  Bernie Taupin was huge fan of the American West.  This is one of the products of that fondness.

Elton John

Empty Garden.

Lyrics by Bernie Taupin.  It was the first song Elton and Bernie had written together in years.  Too bad that the death of John Lennon was what brought them together.