Elton John to Play Moscow: “I’m Doing It for Gay Russians”
Oh Elton, Elton. I am so confused, but I just can’t quit you. Remember when his remark about being very happy with civil unions became a rallying cry for Prop 8 and anti-equality forces? Once there was a hue and cry about his
naivety ignorance of basic facts, he came around and ended up playing an amazing concert as a fundraiser for AFER and becoming a spokesperson for marriage equality. Then he played Rush Limbaugh’s wedding for huge fee. (I’d like to hope that he donated that fee to pro-equality groups as a puckish fuck you to the forces at the EIB, but I guess I’ll never know).
Elton John played Sun City in South Africa during apartheid, and yes that was 30 years ago. He played Tel Aviv just three years ago saying:
Musicians spread love and peace, and bring people together. That’s what we do. We don’t cherry-pick our conscience.
Then Sir Elton thumbed his nose at China’s cultural politics by publicly dedicating his 2012 concert in Beijing to to “the spirit and talent” of dissident artist Ai Weiwei, prompting the Chinese culture minister, Cai Wu, to demand that only stars with university degrees be allowed to play in China. Sir Elton told the Guardian:
“Ten thousand people went ‘Eugh!’, but how could you not?. He’s become a friend, and what he’s suffered as an artist is unbelievable. During and after the show, my tour manager was interrogated for three hours, and what he said to them was true: I bought a beautiful Ai Weiwei piece, I was grateful and we’ve become friends. I didn’t feel in any danger.
Sir Elton adds a new item to his wish list: He’d like to go back to China and talk to the government about AIDS. According to the performer:
the country’s leading AIDS activist has claimed that the government’s estimate of 650,000 HIV cases is barely a 10th of the real figure.
Elton John wanted to play in front of the Pyramids of Giza, but claims be was banned because he is gay. And his very public gayness has ruffled feathers in other locales, the Guardian reports:
a church in Tobago organised a protest against his appearance there, while he received threats from an Islamic group when he played in Morocco.
So what about his proposed December concert date in Moscow?