- Title: UNITED KINGDOM: New father Elton John dedicates music to his new baby boy.
- Date: 30th January 2011
- Summary: COOPER ON STAGE PLAYING PERCUSSION AND THROWING AWAY STICKS AND WALKING OVER TO CYMBALS TO PLAY
- Embargoed: 14th February 2011 12:00
- Location: United Kingdom
- Country: United Kingdom
- Reuters ID: LVA27DJTHNIGAUHK1IN7EN1T4RWG
- Story Text: Elton John dedicates the baby-themed song "The Greatest Discovery" to his newborn son.
Proud father Elton John spoke tenderly of his newborn son to an audience at the Royal Opera House in London on Friday (January 28).
"I've been singing it since 1970 and I never actually thought when I would sing it in 2011 that I would be singing about the birth of my own son. Anyway this song is called The Greatest Discovery," he said to a cheering audience.
The song which is about a child waking up to find out he has a new baby brother include the lyrics: "Peering out of tiny eyes/the grubby hands that gripped the rail," and "Tread neat so small those tiny feet/Amid the morning his small heart beats".
Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John was born on Christmas Day last year at a Los Angeles hospital to a surrogate mother who wishes to remain anonymous. John and Furnish said they did not know which of them was the biological father as they had both contributed their sperm.
David Furnish, a former advertising executive who has been John's partner for 17 years, told U.S. entertainment magazine US Weekly that the couple were waiting to see how they will cope and adapt their lives to having one child "before we even consider having a second one."
John's longtime percussionist who he reunited with on Friday and who will play three dates on the "Rocket Man"'s upcoming tour Ray Cooper, said John would be a great father.
"It (Children) can only enhance your life. And I think the great joy that's coming into Elton's life now is a huge enhancement to us all. When I got the news, I thanked him for bringing joy into my life because that's what it is when you bring joy into the world. The world breathes another piece of energy and joy, I keep using the world but it is joy. It's wonderful," he told Reuters Television exclusively before the performance.
Cooper has worked with rock legends The Who, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and The Beatles, amongst others and is best friend to "Monty Python" and "Brazil" director Terry Gilliam. It was through his work with rock greats that he met John and the two toured together in the late 1970s in a stripped down performance with just themselves and their two instruments, something that hadn't been done in the big band era of the 1960s and 1970s.
"We've known each other for very a long time because as a percussion player rather than a drummer in that sense, my job is to paint colour, to paint a musical picture, that's why I have so many instruments up there. His music lends itself very well for that. It's got an orchestral feel about it," said Cooper.
The pair reunited again in the 1990s for another tour and now 16 years later in 2011. The fact the tour is being repeated again, this time exploring other of John's albums including the Black album, showed John's genius, said Cooper: "It takes everything else away so you're exposed to the pure music and the pure voice, pure piano. So it's like a Stravinsky duo for piano and violin. You can hear the thinking process a lot clearer. Perhaps it's not as vibrant, I don't know, as a band, which is wonderful. It's certainly an adventure and all I say was thank you and embrace him for that."
The performance on Friday was to raise 600,000GBP (approx one million USD) for the Royal Academy of Music who were looking to buy an organ. Both John and Cooper are alumnis of the prestigious music school frequently contribute both their time and financial to help music students.
John is next expected to attend the European premiere of the animated film "Gnomeo and Juliet", of which he wrote songs for, in the British capital on Sunday (January 30) with his partner David Furnish.
Afterwards, John will continue his tour throughout Europe and the United States until July.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Audio restrictions: This clip's Audio includes copyrighted material. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing the audio contained in this clip.