MILESAGO - Performance - Tours By Overseas Acts
Compiled by Alan Harvey
 Tour Details

Elton John 1971 Australian Tour

Promoters / Sponsors:
I.B.C./Rock Concert Club of Australia/Go-Set/ 6KY, 5KA, 3AK, 4BC, 2SM

Dates, Cities, Venues:
16 October 1971 - Perth - Subiaco Stadium
22 October 1971 - Adelaide - Memorial Drive Tennis Centre
24 October 1971 - Melbourne, Kooyong Tennis Centre
26. October 1971 - Brisbane - Festival Hall
31 October 1971 - Sydney - Randwick Racecourse

Support Groups:
The Birds (Perth)
Mark IV (Perth)
Headband (Adelaide)
Ilo (Adelaide)
Chain (Melbourne)
Aztecs (Melbourne)
Pilgrimage (Melbourne)
Gentle Art (Brisbane)
Leroy (Brisbane)
Country Radio (Sydney)
Melissa (Sydney)
Asleep At the Wheel (Sydney)


 Tour Notes


"On October 16th Britain's super-rock star, Elton John, arrives in Australia to commence a two week tour. Go-Set's news editor, Ian Meldrum, is a very good friend of Elton's personal manager, John Reid, and on his recent visit to London had the chance to meet Elton in person. Ian found him a very quiet and sensitive person, which is in direct contrast to the zany-rock wild image that he lashed out on stage with. Meldrum will be touring with Elton throughout his Australian concerts."
- Go-Set 25 September 1971


There was a minor controversy with Elton and Australian police when he arrived over some so-called "filthy" badges he was wearing! Stephen MacLean from Go-Set reported that before Elton "had a chance to exit the airport barrier, two policeman approached him and explained that the four badges he was wearing were damaging to society!" Ian Meldrum said of the incident, "No decent minded person could blame him for feeling the way he did on that first day about the narrow-mindedness of Australians."
- Go-Set , 30 October 1971


It was reported by Go-Set that Elton thought, "Regardless of the stupidity of it all, the incident didn't color his attitude towards Australia."
- Go-
Set 23 October 1971

Elton's first Australian tour was presumably his first major contact with Australian music and Australian bands, and it also marked the beginning of his long friendship with Ian Meldrum. Elton is well known known as a voracious collector of records (among other things) and he was notable for always taking a keen interest in current musical trends in the various countries in which he toured.

On this tour he was evidently very taken with Daddy Cool, who at the time of the tour were still riding high on the success of Eagle Rock and their debut LP. Daddy Cool lead singer Ross Wilson has noted that, prior to his Australian visit, Elton's music had been in a serious, singer-songwriter vein. But almost immediately after the tour his music began to take on a much more boisterous character, and he began to include influences and images from '50s rock'n'roll -- which not coincidentally was Daddy Cool's stock in trade.

Eagle Rock is widely acknowlwdged as being the direct inspiration for Elton's next single,released in 1972. A nostalgic '50s rock'n'roll pastiche, it bore the suspiciously similar title Crocodile Rock. And if anyone still doubts the influence of Daddy Cool they need only check out the cover of Elton's subsequent album Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player -- Elton's lyricist Bernie Taupin can clearly be seen wearing a "Daddy Who?" badge -- a nod to Daddy Cool certainly, but perhaps also an inside joke referring to his run-in with the Australian police?


Concert Reviews

"During the Melbourne concert there were no screaming or fainting girls, but at the end of the concert, about a quarter of the 11,000 strong audience mobbed the stage. The police moved ready for they thought might be kamikaze rushes by hysterical fans. What people wanted was to just get a closer look at an incredible showman, Elton John, and Elton obliged with hand stands on the keyboard, dance steps and much leaping and jumping."

"Elton John is the best entertainer to have come to Australia for a long time. He played for an hour and three-quarters and didnít lose the audience once. Elton is so good I would have been happy to have just seen Elton John and missed the supporting acts altogether."
- Colin James, Go-Set 6 November 1971


"So far the Brisbane concert seems to have been the most enthusiastic crowd, and Elton was so pleased with the audience reaction that he disclosed to Ian Meldrum who is touring with Elton, that when he returned to England he might increase the size of his group."
- G
o-Set, 6 November 1971


In Perth Elton started off the concert saying, "Well here we are in the outback!" In Meldrum's report of the Perth concert he declared, "What a knockout Perth was! Everything I'd heard about Elton John became a vision and sound reality at his first Australian concert at Perth's Subiaco Oval. He was truly magnificent, equal credit must go to his drummer Nigel Olsen and his brilliant bassist Dee Murray, the sound combination was absolutely mind-blowing. The reaction from this Perth audience must have justified Elton's own feelings about coming to Australia."
- Ian Meldrum, Go-Set, 30 October 1971


Elton's Final Reflection

When asked what he thought of Australia Elton replied, "Well, I'm still smiling."


References / Links

Go-Set magazine
25, Sept. 1971, 30 Oct. 1971, 6 Nov. 1971

Ross Wilson
Interview on Long Way To The Top (ABC-TV)