In a must-read retrospective called “Elton John: My Life in 20 Songs” in the Oct. 24 issue of Rolling Stone that hit mailboxes Oct. 11 and is just about to hit newsstands, the singer chose as one of his picks the live version of “I Saw Her Standing There” he performed with John Lennon at Madison Square Garden in November,1974, and called him a gentle man.
“He was gentle not only to me, but my band members, and I just fell in love with him,” the singer says.
He also recalled Lennon was very scared before that now historic night when he was introduced as a surprise guest.
“He was petrified – he hadn't performed in years – but he came. I've never forgotten,” he said. “I've never heard an ovation for anybody that was so heartwarming, and it moved him. It was, like an eight-minute standing ovation.” John also said he believes the reunion the night before with Yoko Ono was destined to happen. “Maybe I was put into John's life to reinstate him with Yoko,” he said.
The Rolling Stone feature, put together with veteran rock writer Cameron Crowe (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Almost Famous,” “Jerry Maguire”), was Elton John's choice of songs, but not necessarily his hits, over the course of his career that still mean a lot to him. Some of his other choices were “”I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues,” “Circle of Life” (from “The Lion King”), “Crocodile Rock,” “Rocket Man,” and the live “Burn Down the Mission”/“My Baby Left Me”/“Get Back” trilogy from “11-17-70.”
Elton John says his memories of Lennon were of a lot of fun. “We were so naughty together, we made music together, it was a huge thing for me to be able to play with him. We laughed our heads off.”
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