Elton John tells young musicians to pay their dues

BY admin

September 21 2004 11:00 PM ET

Elton John says up-and-coming musicians need to pay their dues. "Bands today have to learn their craft by putting the hard work in that we did when we were young performers," said John, 57, who was in Shanghai over the weekend for the first shows in China of his four-decade career. "We didn't just make a video, then go out on the road. We were on the road before we had gotten a record contract," said the singer-pianist. He started out in the early 1960s toiling on the British pub circuit with the soul act Bluesology. After a career that has spanned styles from the bouncy rock and roll of "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" to the soundtrack for Disney's The Lion King, John said he listens to new artists for a dose of "energy, rawness, and instinctiveness." "I get my inspiration from young bands, young songwriters," he said. Asked with whom he would most like to work, John named out Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, his collaborator on 2001's Songs From the West Coast. (AP)

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