Elton John is doing what he can to preserve the club that gave him his big break in the U.S. — L.A.'s famed Troubadour. According to Ultimate Classic Rock, during a recent chat on BBC Radio, the “Rocketman” spoke about helping the club, which like most performance spaces are facing extinction due to COVID-19: “I’ve heard that it might be closing, but I think it’s going to be okay. We have to preserve venues like this. . . The small venues are the life and soul of music, and they have to be kept afloat some way or another.”
Elton was quoted as saying, “he made a few phone calls (and had) a few irons in the fire,” before adding: “If venues like that disappear, then it’s really grim stuff because they are so important for new people to go, and I’ve seen so many new acts there that have come from Britain. It’s a great launch pad. It’s a great room, it has atmosphere, it has everything going for it. If you can’t play well at the Troubadour, you can’t play well anywhere.”
Last year, Elton John took part in Spotify's “The Best Advice I Ever Got” video series, and recalled receiving important advice on how to tour in North America upon breaking on the scene in 1970.
In the clip, Elton credited his longtime agent Howard Rose for hipping him how to build a foundation as a performer: “Don't put yourself in a position where you're playing somewhere big too soon. Playing somewhere like that and you're not ready is a disaster waiting to happen. You have to go out and play second on the bill to great artists, like Leon Russell and Derek & The Dominos, in areas where you're not so popular. And you have to get then experience of playing to another audience that isn't your audience. Also, when you're in places like New York and Los Angeles and you can sell out big venues — we're going to put you in smaller venues and create a ticket craziness, so you sell out straight away and no one can get a ticket. That means, 'next time you come 'round, you're gonna sell out a bigger venue.”
AUDIO: ELTON JOHN ON TOURING ADVICE