GLOBAL megastar Elton John proved he was not too big for his platform boots when he came to Glasgow 40 years ago this month to perform at the city’s legendary Apollo.
Moments before stepping on to the stage in November 1982, he took time to sign a special t-shirt branded with the Evening Times Lifeline campaign logo.
Lifeline was a hardhitting campaign run by this newspaper to raise funds for older people in need in the city.
Our report of the generous gesture read: “Going for a song – that’s Elton John’s contribution to Lifeline.
“The cavalier of pop put a feather in the Lifeline hat when he autographed one of our t-shirts ‘with love, Elton John’.
“Now the autographed t-shirt will be auctioned off at our great Sale of the Century in the McLellan Galleries on December 14. Christie's and Edmiston, the well-known auctioneers, will sell Elton’s contribution to Lifeline along with other donations from stars of showbusiness and sport.”
Watched by his manager, John Reid, the Paisley man who became a millionaire in the pop business, Elton said: “What a lovely concept Lifeline is. I am pleased to help.”
The t-shirt was sold at a star-studded charity auction at the McLellan Galleries the following month. The items also included Harry Lauder’s stage walking-stick, donated by Jimmy Logan. A total of £13,000 was raised.
It wasn’t the first time Elton had played in Glasgow, of course and nor would it be the last (and he will return to the city in 2023, with the rescheduled Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour).
Ten years ago, he made a Glasgow teenage singer’s dream come true when she opened the show at his only Scottish gig AND met the star backstage.
Tallia Storm was only 13 when she rocked a capacity 15,000 crowd at Falkirk Football Stadium. The young performer, who sang five songs to open the concert, had met Sir Elton and David Furnish on holiday in the US and she told the crowd the two men “had honestly changed her life with this incredible opportunity.”
She gave Furnish a CD in a hotel restaurant on the holiday and asked him to pass it on to Sir Elton - within 24 hours he had called her to say she had “one of the most exciting vocal signatures he had heard in years.”
Following Tallia’s appearance, Sir Elton went on to thrill the Falkirk crowds with a two-hour-long show, packed with hits.