The day Elton John’s band had a run in with the Mob
THREE hundred shows across the globe in 18-months, Elton John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road is a tour like no other.
The man behind the scenes of Elton's last hurrah is American tour manager DC Parmet, who has worked with the musical icon for 22 years.
It's clearly not just a farewell for Elton, but for the band and the many people, who have toured with him for decades.
DC said they're now halfway through the list of global dates and Elton continues to knock out memorable performances night after night.
"Elton looks forward to performing ever day," DC said.
"His performance is his priority, he doesn't let anything stand in the way, he says this is the people's only chance to see him before he stops touring.
"He delivers to his same high standard at every show.
"We're in the business of selling fun, we are not negotiating nuclear treaties, but what we do is special, it's been Elton's gift to the world.
For the first time in 50-years Elton was forced to abandon a concert mid-show as a lightning storm descended on an open air performance in Victoria's Yarra Valley.
"Yeah that would be a first, I've seen him perform with food poisoning before," DC said.
"Elton has got an incredibly strong constitution, his sole focus is hitting the road with this tour, reaching out to the fans and making sure they go home with a smile.
"We had another show in Wisconsin a few years ago where a snow storm with a high cloud ceiling stopped his jet from landing, we had to reschedule, but in true form Elton was back there performing a few weeks later.
DC says Coffs Harbour is especially lucky to have two stadium concerts lined up.
"As we are seeing here in New Zealand at the moment, the stadium shows are the best concerts. Elton feeds off the energy of the crowd, the louder they are the higher the energy.
For DC the chance to be involved with Elton was the chance of a lifetime.
"One of the first albums I bought as a kid was Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in 1973, you can say Elton's music has been a sound track to my life.
"We've shared many memories and funny moments over those two decades.
A BRUSH WITH THE MOB
"One funny story, we were in New York City, getting ready for a show in Madison Square Garden, when our car turned up at the hotel, it was a giant 15-passenger van, which was an unusual size for the band," DC recounted.
"We jumped in and the driver took us in the opposition direction.
"When I asked him about where he was going we realised it wasn't our ride at all.
"As it turned out he wasn't our driver he drove to the hotel to pick up Joe Pesci and his crew.
"Now we've all seen Casino and Joe's other Mob movies, Goodfellas. You don't want to be in his car and make the guy angry.
"We got out back at the hotel, just in the nick of time, scrambling like the three stooges in the middle of Manhattan, making the mad dash to get to the sound check.
"It was a memorable day and a good laugh.
"We've just over halfway through the tour, so yeah there'll be plenty more stories to come."
Next week we chat with Elton's musical director and guitarist Davey Johnstone.