published Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Rocket Man returns

Elton John
Elton John
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

* What: Elton John and his band.

* When: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 23.

* Where: McKenzie Arena, 720 E. Fourth St.

* Admission: $37, $77 and $137 (at press time, only single seats available in top two price tiers).

* Phone: 423-266-6627.

* Venue website:

* Related links at

Think you're Elton's biggest fan? Try these factoids on for size

10 To some, he's "Sir," to some, he's Elton, but to Rod Stewart, John's nickname will always be "Sharon."

9 He began playing piano at age 4, the same age that Mozart's father began instructing Mozart. At age 11, he was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.

8 Dusty Springfield sang backup on "The Bitch Is Back." Stevie Wonder played harmonica on "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues."

7 Many people know that Elton John is a stage name for Reginald Kenneth Dwight. Some may know that Hercules is his stage middle name, but few know it wasn't chosen in reference to the hero of legend but after a horse on the British sitcom "Steptoe and Son."

6 John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on Feb. 22, 1998, less than six months after the release of his remake of "Candle in the Wind" in honor of the death of Princess Diana.

5 His first band was called Bluesology.

4 John is well-known for having covered The Who's "Pinball Wizard" for the rock opera "Tommy," but the song was also the only cover of a song by the British rock legends to break the Top 10.

3 John unsuccessfully auditioned to be lead singer of prog-rock bands King Crimson and Gentle Giant.

2 The 1997 remake of "Candle in the Wind" is not only John's most successful single but also the best-selling single of all time, with more than 33 million units sold worldwide, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

1 According to Rolling Stone, John is No. 49 on the magazine's list of the Greatest Rock Artists of All Time. VH1 put him even higher, at No. 17.

NO. 1'S

* "Crocodile Rock" (1972)

* "Bennie and the Jets" (1974)

* "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (1974)

* "Philadelphia Freedom" (1975)

* "Island Girl" (1975)

* "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (1976)

* "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (1991)

* "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" / "Candle in the Wind 1997" (1997)


Normally, crowds at McKenzie Arena tend to ignore the guy on the bench, but all eyes will be riveted there Saturday, March 23, when Elton John takes the stage for his second performance there in two and a half years.

The piano paragon's show with Leon Russell on Nov. 19, 2010, was a veritable hit showcase, including performances of "Levon," "Tiny Dancer" and "Burn Down the Mission." This time, John will perform as part of his ongoing 40th Anniversary of the Rocket Man Tour, which started last year in honor of his seminal 1972 release, "Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be a Long, Long Time)."

A song list from of John's March 10 performance at Chevrolet Hall in Recife, Brazil, suggests this performance will be a similar survey of his greatest hits.

Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @Phillips CTFP.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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