(Memphis) He’s music royalty even knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
Sir Elton John came to Memphis, the home of the Blues and the birthplace of Rock ‘N Roll, to rattle the ivory keys of his grand piano and whip into a frenzy an army of adoring fans.
But before he rocked the sold out FedExForum, he only allowed News Channel 3 cameras back stage where he wanted to hangout with another music legend, Memphian and Motown Records Funk Brother Jack Ashford and his wife Char and introduce his band to them.
“David Johnson, my guitarist this is Jack Ashford, the Jack Ashford. He played on every Motown hit,” Elton said.
Ashford, the celebrated musician and tambourine man, and the Motown Funk Brothers will receive a star Thursday on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.
He’s also in the studio working on his Elton’s upcoming album.
“When I heard what he (Jack Ashford) put on the tracks, we were just laughing because nobody plays the tambourine like that. It was like that’s unreal and he just brought every track together and it was so great,” Elton said.
It was easy to see why fans consider Elton great. He’s sold more than 250 million albums over his 40 year career in music, which consists of hits such as Candle in the Wind, I’m Still Standing, Rocketman, Bennie and the Jets and countless others, but his conversation wasn’t about him, but about Memphis music.
“Memphis, Tennessee is well where all of the great Soul and Rock ‘n Roll records came from. Early Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and of course Stax and Volt records,” Elton said.
The music icon also remembered his first visit to the Bluff City.
“The first thing I did in Memphis in 1971 was go to the Stax Studios and I knelt in front of the Stax eight track machine, which was a valve machine, and I kissed it. That’s the first thing I did when I got to Memphis,” Elton said.
It was kisses and hugs for a Memphis family.
Elton wanted to meet possibly the next great Memphis musician. He’s 10-year-old piano prodigy Harrison Finks.
“I’ve been telling them about your perfect pitch and the way you(Harrison Finks) play Tiny Dancer and you’re it. You’re unbelivable. You’re it,” Elton said.
Sir Elton John, a Pop, Rock, Country and Soul icon still leaving crowds standing in a city known for its own music royalty.
“It’s one of the great music towns of all town. It’s good to have you back. Thank you,” Elton said.