On Elton John’s Rocket Hour this week on Apple Music’s Beats 1, Elton focuses on Philadelphia as he kicks off his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. He talks about his love for the city and plays some of his favorite music from bands old and new. He also pays tribute to Aretha Franklin. The show airs this Saturday, 9/8 at 9am LA / 12pm NY / 5pm LDN.
Listen live for free at apple.co/B1_EltonLive or On Demand with an Apple Music subscription.
We are pleased to share a few tid-bits from Elton’s chat with Elton John’s Rocket Hour on Apple Music’s Beats 1 below as Elton reveals just how much the city of Philadelphia means to him and more!
“I’m in Philadelphia today and Philadelphia has always been a fantastic place for me to play. First time I played there was 1970 when I played the Electric Factory, and I remember at the grand piano — it wasn’t a grand piano — it was a grand, but it was a small baby grand, and it had two legs at the front, and no legs at the bottom, so we had prop it up with orange boxes. That night, before I played, into my dressing room walked the band and they’d come down to see me play and of course, they were my heroes.
It was just one of the most astonishing nights of my career and one that I will never forget. The show that night was terrific and I’ve always had a love affair with Philadelphia because there are certain cities that you love to play and there’s something about Philadelphia and the music that’s come out of Philadelphia over the years that I’ve always aspired to. When I made and wrote the song, “Philadelphia Freedom,” I wrote it for Billie Jean King and the Philadelphia Freedoms tennis team. But also, I wanted to make the song sound like what was going on with Philadelphia music at that time with Gamble & Huff and the Philadelphia International label, Tom Bell, and Gene Page, the arranger. We wrote “Philadelphia Freedom” as a tribute to the music that sounded so Philadelphia, like Philadelphia. The O’Jays and the Three Degrees and MFSB, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. It was just such great stuff.
We’re going to pay tribute to the O’Jays because they were one of the best soul groups of all time. This track actually was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2016, but it came out in 1973. We’ve played it before, but were playing again. Philadelphia, thank you for all the wonderful music you’ve given the world over so many years.”
Be sure to tune in this Saturday, 9/8 at 9am LA / 12pm NY / 5pm LDN to Elton John’s Rocket Hour on Apple Music’s Beats 1 to hear more and listen to some classic tracks! We absolutely can’t wait to Elton’s two upcoming sold-out shows in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center on 9/11 and 9/12, as part of his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour!