‘Have You Ever Heard of Elton John?’

While I was shopping at my local grocery–not the big chain, but the little neighborhood store that has great deals on meat–an old Elton John song was playing in the background. I started singing along absentmindedly while waiting for the late-teens, early-20s cashier to ring up my purchases. When I realized I’d been singing to the music, I tried to cover my embarrassment by asking the young lady if she knew the song. She shook her head.

“Of course not,” I said. “This song came out when I was a teenager.” (Actually, I was 10 when “Bennie and the Jets“* was released.) “Heck, I think it came out before I was a teenager,” I joked. She just stared at me and smiled, waiting for me to hand her my card.

Elton John“Have you ever heard of Elton John?” I asked, thinking maybe she’d at least heard the name, if she wasn’t familiar with the music. She shook her head again as she handed me my receipt.

“Well, he was this really famous musician once upon a time. Long before hip hop had ever even been heard of,” I said, laughing. She smiled and thanked me for stopping in. I grabbed my shopping bags and left the store to the sounds of Elton John wailing about electric boots and mohair suits…feeling a little creaky.

* The YouTube link is a version of “Bennie and the Jets” that includes lyrics! Confession time: I had no idea he was singing about a fatted calf and duking it out with our parents in the streets to find out who’s right and who’s wrong…learn something new every day!


About Phoebe King Copywriting Pro

Phoebe is a Chicago-area B2B writer, specializing in white papers, case studies and email marketing. She has worked in publishing and communications for more than 15 years in the following industries: Health Care, Information Technology, Nonprofits, Real Estate, Trade Associations. When not on her laptop, Phoebe can be found gardening, walking her dog or hanging out with friends at her favorite Thai restaurant.
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5 Responses to ‘Have You Ever Heard of Elton John?’

  1. Geoff says:

    I think the fatted calf is metaphoric for “it’s going to be a party”. And every song written then was about fighting our parents in the street! 🙂


  2. Barbara says:

    Phoebe, so happy to find your blog through Elizabeth!
    I have a very funny Elton John story… my youngest son was 3 when Bennie and the Jets came out and as we were driving along, with him in the backseat singing along, I said to my husband, “Listen to what he’s singing.” He was happily singing, “p p p panties on my head”! We couldn’t stop laughing… to this day!
    I’m subscribing now.
    All the best!


    • Phoebe King says:

      LOL! What a great memory! Since I never actually owned that album, I guess I never truly knew the lyrics until this blog post. I mean, I figured out on my own that he was singing about electric boots, rather than boobs…but the rest I’d always just kind of stumbled through the lyrics until he went back around to the refrain. Thanks for the comments, here and on Elizabeth’s blog. I’m gonna have to check yours out, too! May I add you to my blogroll? Thanks again!


  3. ElizOF says:

    I feel the same way too when I sing aloud to my ’70s favorites and teens stare at me like I lost my head… sure makes me feel creaky too. 🙂
    Thank you for the interview… you did a phenomenal job of it!


  4. Mark Nielsen says:

    You may have missed this item a couple weeks back, but I think it’s right up your alley as a Santana fan, a Boomer, and… shall we say… “diversity candidate” . Basically, Georgia passed a similar anti-immigrant law to the one in AZ, and Carlos told Georgians they should be ashamed of themselves — over the mike, to a capacity crowd at the ol’ ballgame. Old streetfighters like Elton (gay), Dylan (Christian Jew) and Santana (Latino Buddhist) never shut up, they just find new ways to be subversive.

    “Got a black magic hero… ”

    *Santana is Booed for Using Baseball’s Civil Rights Game
    to Speak Out for Civil Rights* | The Nation
    [ http://www.thenation.com/blog/160693/santana-booed-using-baseballs-civil-rights-game-speak-out-civil-rights ]
    Major League Baseball’s annual Civil Rights Game was poised to be a migraine-inducing exercise in Orwellian irony. Forget about the fact that Civil Rights was to be honored in Atlanta, where fans root for a team called the Braves and engage in the tomahawk chop.


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