Elton John is another musician that I have always very much liked and admired; he has a lot of natural musical talent, I think, and I enjoy a lot of his music.
So, it is wonderful that he is now trying to help young up and coming talented musicians. He seems to be disillusioned with the music industry today, in many ways, with programmes such as 'Pop Idol' and the 'X-Factor', which does not provide very much opportunity for real musical talent to be able to shine through in.
The Sunday Times of 10th October 2010 included an article about the help he is giving to some of these musicians (p.3). The article, by Dalya Alberge is entitled 'I'm still spending - on complete unknowns'. The article reports that Elton John has spent over £1million financing dozens of students at the Royal Academy of Music, London personally financing 42 students to train there. Elton John enrolled himself at the Royal Academy as a classical music scholar over 50 years ago, when he was just 11 years old. He won a scholarship to the academy in its scheme for talented musicians and studied Bach and Chopin there for 6 years, although he dropped out before his final exams. Elton John received a doctorate from the college in 2002. He says that the training that he received at the Academy was 'vitally important' to his career. I think he is very thankful for it, and wants to try to pay something back in some way.
Elton John told the Sunday Times:
"I am so proud to be able to support the academy in any way I can and will always be grateful to them for opening the doors for me and so many other young musicians to develop our talents and live our lives in music."
Next, he is planning a second concert; this time at the Royal Opera House, in order to raise a further £600,000 for the Academy.
Elton John has also helped various other people in the past. Michael Jackson thanked him for helping him to stop taking prescription morphine, for example, and he helped Princess Diana to deal with her bulimia.
I read the newspapers these days, and my heart sinks. The government is 'putting the boot in' here, there and everywhere, and young people are suffering really hard, I think, with the huge proposed increases in tuition fees, along with debt, the recession and a lack of jobs, and unaffordable housing. But anyway, amidst reading all this gloom I suddenly read this wonderful, uplifting article. I think that we should start putting more of our faith in musicians and less in politicians.
Our son Victor Rikowski is doing very well on the music front; his musical talent is really starting to shine through in Bangor in a significant way. Quite a lot of new, good things have already been happening to him on this front, following on from the local Bangor radio programme that he was on a couple of weeks ago, with his band, 'Cold Hands & Quarter Moon'. The person that interviewed them, James McAllister, really rates them, I think, and is doing his best to try to promote them more.
How wonderful it would be if 'Cold Hands & Quarter Moon' could somehow or other be brought to the attention of Elton John!