LISA DENTON: So Barry, are you among the lucky 10,500 with tickets to Elton John's sold-out show at McKenzie Arena Friday night?
BARRY COURTER: No, but I have a friend who has a friend who knows somebody in Atlanta who knows a guy who makes Elton's costumes. This show sold out almost as fast as the Garth Brooks shows in Nashville. Fans bought up 140,000 tickets for those nine shows in December to raise money for flood relief up there. Amazing. Still, Elton selling that many tickets here in less than two hours is remarkable. By the way, I heard the other day that Elton's stage middle name is Hercules. Doesn't really butch him up, does it?
LISA: No, but it does put one of his lyrics in my head: "The fever's gonna catch you when the butch gets back." OK, that's not exactly how it goes, but we can't say the other word in a family newspaper. I imagine that's one of the songs fans can expect to hear, as the show promises all hits all night.
BARRY: We should do a contest about butchered EJ lyrics. Phoebe Buffay from "Friends" is the hands-down winner for her "Tiny Dancer/Tony Danza" mangler, so everyone would technically be playing for second place, but it could be fun. The show will be fun also. Leon Russell is opening, which is cool all by itself.
LISA: Except for their piano-playing, they seem like an unlikely pair to me. But John has called Russell his "idol, mentor and everything [he] wanted to be as a songwriter." And they've earned universal praise for their T Bone Burnett-produced album, "The Union," and their subsequent concerts together. And adding Russell to the lineup makes those $37 to $137 tickets look like a bargain. Not that it matters. John alone has more than 50 Top 40 hits. It's gonna be a fun night.