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CMU Beef Of The Week #260: Elton John v The Woman In The Ponytail

By | Published on Friday 12 June 2015

Elton John

There’s a thing called Godwin’s Law, which states that the longer any discussion on the internet continues, the higher the probability that someone will compare someone or something to the Nazis. But that rule also applies outside the internet, and can apparently be proven in a matter of moments by giving Elton John a microphone.

The musician was performing at Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester on Sunday, when he apparently noticed stewards asking members of the audience to stop waving their hands in the air. This raises various questions, but the quick-tempered John was not about to ask any of them.

“I came here to play music, now all you stewards down there, especially the woman in the pony tail, fucking lighten up will you?” He shouted, according to ITV News. “These people have come to hear music and if they want to put their hands in the air let them. This is not fucking China, so piss off”.

Yeah, China, that’s right. The country where everything is restricted, including arms. But we weren’t looking for a China comparison, were we? Let’s continue…

“You’ve got a fucking uniform on and you think you’re Hitler and you’re not”, he went on (I can confirm that the steward was in fact not Hitler). “You can piss off! I mean really. Don’t have any sympathy with her, this is a concert OK?”

Unfortunately, it quickly became difficult for the audience not to have sympathy towards the woman when she walked away visibly crying. As you might when a famous man calls you the Chinese Hitler in front of 12,000 people.

Noting that this was perhaps not going quite as he had hoped, John then told the audience that he was sorry for upsetting the steward. “I really apologise, it’s not good enough to say [what I said]. But whoever told the stewards to be restricting [people waving their arms], that’s their fucking fault and not hers. So I apologise to her and I would be willing to apologise to her face. So if she comes up now I’ll give her a big hug. Come on, you’re doing your job. But it’s so frustrating, if people want to wave their hands don’t tell them to stop. It’s a musical event”.

I think I would have told him to fuck off at this point, but I realise it’s probably hard to say “no” when a famous man offers to apologise for calling you the Chinese Hitler in front of 12,000 people. So the woman, identified as being called Marie by tweeting audience members, got up on stage, got her hug, and then Elton sang ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ for her (and the audience too, who had, after all, paid for him to sing songs).

“It was highly inappropriate”, he told her as she sat beside him, according to Mail Online. “I got frustrated. I know no one should ever talk to a lady like that and I’m very sorry”.

I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t talk that way to people in general, but I guess John’s commitment to be more polite to the ladies is a start. And hopefully it’s a lesson learned for the singer. Although I think the lesson he really needs to learn is that live music is far more enjoyable for everyone if all involved stand still in complete silence. I don’t want to come across like a Nazi from China, but I don’t think arm waving is an acceptable expression of joy in any situation.

Also, while I’m on my high horse, musicians: When you ask people to clap their hands to the music and get annoyed when they don’t, the reason they’re not is because everyone feels like a dickhead clapping their hands in time with music. Especially above their head. Please stop this madness.

Things are going to be much more fun when I’m in charge, I tell you.