RUSH: Chris, Newport Beach, California great to have you on the program, sir, hello.
CALLER: Rush, you’re a living legend. How are you, chief?
RUSH: Thank you, sir. I’m doing well.
CALLER: I’ve been listening to you since ’85, first time calling in and I can’t believe I don’t have a political question, but let’s talk a little rock ‘n’ roll. Elton John at your wedding and you kind of act like it’s no big deal, are you kidding?
RUSH: What do you mean, I act like it’s no big deal?
CALLER: Well, I don’t hear you talk about it. Let me ask you, who came up with the set list? Did you come up with the set list or did Elton?
RUSH: No, we worked with him on it, Kathryn and I. He gave us an hour.
CALLER: Oh, my word.
RUSH: Whatever number of songs we could squeeze into 55 minutes or an hour. Well, there were certain things he couldn’t do; he needed an orchestra. I wanted Circle of Life, but he couldn’t. He needed an orchestra. He was just on solo piano.
CALLER: How about Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, one of my favorites?
RUSH: Oh, yeah. In fact, I’ll tell you. Elton was fabulous. He was great. And he was shocked when he found out what some of our favorite songs were.
CALLER: Oh, wow.
RUSH: Not in an angry way. He was pleasantly surprised. It was a learning experience for Elton, believe me.
CALLER: I was gonna say, did he have Nigel Olsson with him, one of my favorite drummers of all time?
RUSH: No. He didn’t. It was just him on the piano.
CALLER: Oh, boy.
RUSH: It was just Elton, and again, that affected the play list. But again, the play list, we got 90% of what we wanted. Maybe a hundred percent of it. As I say, I would have loved to have Circle of Life, but that was Lion King or Disney, and he needed an orchestra for that to work, but no, we picked it.
I’ll tell you this, since you seem to be desiring information. He talked to the audience. He talked to us between every tune and he explained why he was singing this next song. He told our guests that, “Rush particularly likes this request,” or “Kathryn, this was one of her favorites,” and so forth. It was very personable. And we did a pretty good job of keeping his appearance secret so that most of the guests had no idea who it was. We filed into the big ballroom at the hotel, The Breakers, and all I did was, when everybody was seated and I got the go signal, I just got on the microphone and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, Elton John.” And the place erupted into a standing ovation.
He didn’t know what he was gonna get. I mean, let’s face it. There are so many cliches about conservatives and liberals and so forth. He loved it. He just had a bang-up great time, and we did with him. If you’re an Elton John fan, Chris, trust the fact that he was exactly what you would hope to be, if you had a chance to meet him. Just a great guy.