Rare clips from the 1970s and '80s

BY MEL BONDFIELD

From left to right, entertainer Jeanne Little, singer Elton John and Wonder World! reporter Jonathan Coleman, circa 1982 in what looks to be a press conference.

Elton John with Jeanne Little and Jonathan Coleman at a press conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground, 20 November 1980. Courtesy: Simon Townsend. NFSA title: 787204

During his lengthy career, Elton John has toured Australia 18 times, performing around 200 concerts. 

Outside of the UK and USA, he has played more gigs in Australia than any other country.

Now he's back for the Australian leg of his worldwide Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. It follows a high-profile and successful 2019, with the hit biopic Rocketman (starring Taron Egerton) and Elton's new memoir, simply titled Me, now available in bookstores.

To celebrate his return, we're sharing some short clips of press conferences and interviews from previous trips to Australia in 1974, 1984 and 1988.

I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time

In this clip from 1974, Elton takes questions from the Australian media about his flamboyant costumes and what fans can expect from his upcoming tour.

But first he is asked how long he thinks he can stay at the top:

I'm Still Standing

Over the next 10 years, Elton toured Australia four times, including a run of 22 shows on his Too Low For Zero tour in 1984.

This time around he chose to hold his press conference in an unusual location – behind the bar of Sydney's Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel – after a trip to the dentist:

Sacrifice

By the late 1980s, Elton was ready to make big changes in his life, beginning with his shopping addiction.

Known for his decadence and excess, Elton had amassed an unmanageable amount of 'stuff' – from thousands of stage costumes to artwork, furniture, jewellery and even a Melbourne tram! 

In the following clip he talks to Page One reporter Brad Robinson about why he was choosing to auction off much of his collection:

The One

With a career that has spanned more than half a century, over 30 studio albums and record sales exceeding 300 million, Sir Elton John is arguably the most successful artist in rock music history.

He's won an Oscar, a Tony Award, multiple MTV, Brit and Grammy Awards, and is an inductee in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Elton John also holds the world record for the highest-selling single of all time, Candle in the Wind '97.

His Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour sees him playing a range of dates around Australia, starting in Perth on 30 November 2019 and concluding in Sydney on 7 March 2020.