Gay Celebrities and Icons - The Many, Amazing Glasses of Sir Elton John
A Brief Bio:
Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25th, 1947, Sir Elton Hercules John’s career has spanned four decades of devoted fans. He has sold over 200 million records,making him one of the most successful artists of all time. He has more than 50 Top-40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums. He has won five Grammy awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Tony.
In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #49 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time, and his success has had a profound impact on pop music, contributing to the continued popularity of the piano in rock and roll.
His is an amazing talent, able to quickly craft melodies for the lyrics of songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. His rich baritone voice (once tenor), his classical and gospel-influenced piano, the sensitive orchestral arrangements, and his incredible showmanship, especially evident during the 1970s, have all contributed to his now iconic stature.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s, he was knighted in 1998, and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements.
When Elton John burst onto the stage of my consciousness, sometime in the late 70s, I became an instant fan. To be sure, I was already familiar with his music. You would have to have been living in a cloister not to have heard anything from his brilliant partnership with Bernie Taupin.
"Rocket Man" (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time), and "Honky Cat" were fast becoming pillars of the pop music scene, and by 1973, he had a number one hit album in the United States with Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player, an offering of wonderful scope containing such gems as the exuberant "Crocodile Rock" and the poignant "Daniel".
To actually see the man in concert was another thing, entirely.
There are many artists to whom you can apply the adjectives "amazing", "incredible", "always unique" - there are few to whom you can apply those words at one and the same time without being accused of overindulgence in hyperbole. When you apply them to Elton John, all in the same breath, other fans will wait patiently, their faces saying plainly, "Yes...and?...surely you don't mean to stop there?"
No less amazing than the man himself, his on- and off-stage attire was invariably sure to garner comment. Always the consummate showman, Elton John was a standout in an era of off-the-wall standouts - I offer the often outlandish costumes of Swedish pop super-group ABBA in evidence.
Indeed, Elton John indulged in some pretty wild garb, but his stock-in-trade quickly became his trademark funky glasses. No appearance was complete, no outfit or costume finished without his trademark eye-wear. He almost single-handedly raised up designer glasses and their counterpart sun-shades to the status of featured apparel.
Where the well-dressed dandy of bygone eras would no sooner leave the house without their spats than their trousers, so too, now, no self-respecting Elton follower would dream of setting foot outside without their own stand-out goggles.
In the late 1980s, FMR Magazine, a glossy publication dedicated to the arts and once described by Federico Fellini as the "black Pearl" of the publishing world, put forward an article that detailed some of his extensive collection of sunglasses, some jeweled, many hand-made especially for him.
A portion of the collection was being auctioned off to raise money for charity, highlighting not only his taste for the showily unique, but also his penchant for quiet philanthropy.
The pictures showed an incredible collection of eye-wear; some utterly enchanting - delicately hand-crafted and bejeweled works of art; some almost bizarre, but all completely unique, and all uniquely "Elton".
Like the man himself, each was a singular creation, quite wonderful in its own right - a unique being of both great beauty and pure whimsy, reflecting a little of its former owner's love of life and joy in performing.
Sir Elton has sung with the greats including Billy Joel, and Shania Twain. He has appeared in concert and on network television, in stereo tele-cast, in com-cast, in simul-cast and in pod-cast.
He and his amazing glasses have shared the stage with Kiki Dee and the inimitable Miss Piggy. Most recently, however, he has appeared on Elvis Costello's television show, Spectacle, with Diana Krall. I would like them to have the last words....