Tottenham Hotspur News and Links for Tuesday 22nd November

Good morning everyone! Your HIC is a little more rested today after a long flight to DC. And as promised, here’s a little insight into Fitzie’s California trip.

There were two reasons I visited California. First I visited my parents. The second was to see Elton John live at Dodger Stadium (a Christmas present I gave my dad last year).

What a long year it has been too! But it was worth the wait, including the 90 minutes it took to park at Dodger Stadium.

I’ve said many times that there are times in life when music is introduced at a pivotal moment, where it grabs you in a transformative way. The music of Elton John came to my mind in high school.

I don’t remember how it happened. I only remember the long drives my mother and I used to make to my grandmother’s in the senior rehabilitation clinic. Those were difficult times. As much as I hated and possibly feared the physical manifestation of declining life, I wanted to be there to support both generations of my family.

Sometimes I played music on my iPod. Once again I don’t know how Someone saved my life tonight came. It was a dark, rainy night in California. I remember the rain splattering on the windshields and the sound of the wipers mechanically wiping away the moisture.

Carrying the painful memories of Elton John’s dark youth, this deep, richly melancholy piano riff pierced the darkness of me at the time. During a time when I was confronted with my own teenage grief and anxiety, and partly blamed myself for the rapid decline of my once invincible grandmother.

For about four minutes it felt like this song was all I had.

Fitzie’s Track of the Day Part One: Someone Saved My Life Tonight, by Elton John

And this song led to the discovery – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Honky Cat, Mona Lisas and Madhatters, Skyline Pigeon, Saturday Night’s Alright, I’m Still Standing.

And also Levon. My favorite songs are Elton John’s sad songs. Sad songs say so much, he once said.

When Elton John restarted his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, I decided to get tickets. Yes, also for me. But also for my parents, who grew up with his music. And who love his music. They like the more poppy and loving songs: Bennie and the Jets, Philadelphia Freedom, can you feel the love tonight?

And I remember my parents exploding as a little, young kid crocodile rock in the car when driving.

Well, like I said, it took my parents and I a long time to get to Dodger Stadium. We arrived about 30 minutes late and missed about seven songs.

Fitzie’s Track of the Day Part 2: Take Me to the Pilot, by Elton John

Luckily I didn’t miss any of my favorite songs. We found our seats pretty high up in right field as Elton and his band started jamming Take me to the pilot. And as I cooled off from a stressful drive through the cavernous parking lot, I heard those melancholy keys echoing around the stadium.

At times, Elton John’s voice didn’t always make it to the outer rings of the crowds of fans. But you could feel his music. Literally. Each time, he pushed the bottom to shift that classic riff Someone saved my life tonight, the stadium trembled. It was a magical feeling.

And then he went to Levon

I’ve noticed before that there are some artists who have mastered an instrument like I’ve never seen before: Eric Clapton, Christian McBride, Clem Burke and Brian May.

I’ve never seen anyone master the piano like Elton John. Every word he sang, every note he hit felt so heavy. I was so mesmerized by two songs that meant everything to me when I was a teenager. Two songs I still listen to a lot.

I have listened to Levon hundreds of times. But for me on Saturday it felt like a new song.

The image of him slumped over the piano at the end of the song will stay with me for a long time. Was it because of the emotion? Exhaustion?

Then he got up, closed the top flap of the piano and raised his arms to see his own height.

Fifty-six thousand fans roared back.

The concert went by far too quickly. Even in the brief interlude where Billie Jean King and Dodgers owner Elton John presented a check for one million dollars to support his AIDS foundation.

Hard to believe that this was his farewell. His voice is better today than it was 50 years ago. It’s taken on this thick, soulful tone that seemed less baritone and more Aretha Franklin.

And as a piano player, there is no one in the whole world who comes close to him.

But as he put on his dazzling Dodgers robe and hat and as he introduced himself Bye bye, yellow cobbled road As the show got closer, it felt like a goodbye. A farewell to Dodger Stadium? In any case it seems. On tour? Probably.

Out of selfishness, I hope this isn’t a farewell to the performance. I’m hoping he instead drastically scales it down to maybe six shows a year, a la Clapton, and calls it a “tour.” How many times can we, as fans, magic an artist away from their family? How selfish could we be? A dilemma, sure.

But if this is Elton John’s farewell, then he goes as a man on top of the world.

Fitzie’s Track of the Day Part Three: Levon, by Elton John

And now to your links:

Mason Greenwood will appear in court next year for attempted rape

Architecture Digest takes a look Lionel Messi’s real estate portfolio

Cristiano Ronaldo defends the timing of the interview in which he slammed Man United

Bath City players ‘on the mend’ after severe head injuries

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