It’s a cartoon of a memorable day in my formative years drawn by the very talented Vince Pitt of the very fine 549design company.
Cast your mind back to May 1974 – “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” had been released at the end of 1973 and at the time I knew every word. Elton announced a benefit concert for his favorite football/soccer club, Watford Football Club, his local club when he was growing up. So I bought a ticket! I was very much the solitary concert go-er at this stage of my life – so buying one ticket didn’t seem such an issue. I took the train to Watford Junction (the end of the line then) and without even knowing where the ground was, I followed the crowds.
I think the bands played under or close to the main stand with people hanging out all over the pitch. There was no one in the stands – remember in those days there were no seats so it was better to sit on the grass than on the concrete.
True to form I don’t remember too much about individual songs, but here’s a link to EJ playing Bennie & the Jets at Watford. I do remember one of the support bands that day was “Nazareth” who had just had a hit with “This Flight Tonight” – about the closest to a heavy metal band that I’d ever come to. Also Rod Stewart played as special guest – in my universe at that time Rod was #1 and Elton was #1A.
Eventually Elton bought the club and became Chairman. It was the tradition in those days for the players to take a communal bath after the game and I clearly remember the reports of EJ sharing the bath with his players after the game. Smiles and good time all around!
Maybe 12-18 months later when Elton confirmed that he was gay / bisexual the communal baths stopped pretty quickly! I wonder why?
Vince was there too and drew the scene from memory many years later. He remembered to include a tall handsome geezer from Wembley (that must be me!). Apparently I’m standing next to that geezer!! Bummer.