I was cold and wet, sitting in my car last (rainy) Thursday night after attending a free workshop on how to write an effective business plan, when I decided to check my Facebook page on my iPhone.
There was a private post from an avid follower named Bruce. “Hey Gerry, I didn’t know if this was old news or what, but I just heard Elton John give your site a shout-out on his Town Hall interview on Sirius Radio.”
“He mentioned us by name?” I fired back.
“Yes,” Bruce replied, “he is talking about buying CDs and DVDs for his houses in Vegas and England and he uses your site a lot. He clearly said the website name.”
This really happened? I didn’t want to question Bruce’s integrity; why would he make up such a thing?
Don’t get worked up, I said to myself. Maybe he misheard Elton.
“I’m sure they will rerun it,” Bruce wrote back. “It is to promote (his) new album ‘Wonderful Crazy Night.’ “
The next day, I emailed someone at Sirius to ask for a copy of the broadcast but never got a reply. My next option was getting a 30-day free trial of SiriusXM just so I could hear this for myself. I was still finding it hard to believe that Elton John, one of the greatest artists of all time, had singled out Pauseandplay.com.
Finally, at 1 p.m. ET Sunday, SiriusXM rebroadcast “Town Hall with Elton John” on its Spectrum channel. Moderated by Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke, the hourlong Q&A session was taped at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre on Jan. 13, just three days after the stunning death of David Bowie, and the show premiered on Feb. 4.
The 68-year-old John reflected on Bowie, on his own legacy, why he still loves making new music, his long-lasting writing partnership with Bernie Taupin, his love of playing live and current artists that impress him.
Finally, at the end of the interview, he said that although his tastes in music are fresh and current, he’s not into streaming. He’s old school: He’s all about buying CDs, vinyl, DVDs and music books.
“I prefer the ritual of getting the album sleeve, playing the record, turning it over, looking at the gatefold sleeve of the album artwork,” John told Fricke. “I only listen to CDs in the car, and everything I listen to now is on vinyl.”
Fricke asked him how he buys his music, since record stores are virtually extinct.
John said he keeps a running tally of upcoming CDs, vinyl, DVDs and music books in separate ledgers and crosses off the items he’s purchased with a pink highlighter.
“You find out about (new releases) from magazines, you find out about it online and read about it in newspapers,” John said. “And there’s a great site called Pauseandplay in America which tells what’s coming out next week, the week after or whatever. I go through that (site) and write it down and then I order them from my office in L.A. and in Britain and it finally gets to me.”
I put my face in my hands and got choked up. There are days where I wonder if anyone’s paying attention, whether my little site is making a difference, but now I can say this at least …. Elton John likes Pauseandplay.com.
Sorry, Bruce, if somehow it sounded like I doubted you.
Now, back to work …
More updates: Billy Ocean, Lilly Hiatt, Silverstein, Thievery Corporation, Conan Gray, Steep Canyon Rangers & Asheville Symphony, Will Sexton, etc