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Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather embark on (another!) musical odyssey through the 1960s and 70s, this time with the music of Elton John as our guide, as we overthink Rocketman.
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I was never much of a music person, so I’ll mostly always be grateful to Elton John for providing an occasion for Kermit the Frog to explain the idea of a “gopher.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYkxSxKt7_Q
I’m not convinced that success back then was really about the breadth of appeal so much as the limited opportunity to explore. I mean, discovery used to be limited to a handful of outlets and limited by scheduling, whereas now, all of history and the entire world is pretty easy to find. The broad stuff is out there, but it’s cheap to produce and distribute for niches, which is probably good, overall.
Which reminds me of something that came up before the “Rocketman” release: This is the first movie produced by a major studio showing intimacy between two men, and it seems like that’s mostly due to the massive concentration in the movie industry, where only four studios currently have more than ten percent market share, with everybody humoring Viacom as a fifth. That seems like it makes movies the last kind of entertainment that has that gatekeeper approach, because it’s still expensive.
At that point, though, I guess I’m rambling…
I know nothing beyond the basics about Elton John but my mother attended one leg of his farewell tour. According to her, John apologized to the crowd for his years of drug abuse and being a bad role model. I thought that was strange but maybe that’s in keeping with his current reflections on his own public persona.