'Rocket Man' Elton John to return to Hong Kong on anniversary tour

Singer whose handover show was notoriously cancelled will visit city on anniversary tour

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 August, 2012, 10:41am

Rock's original Rocket Man Elton John will blast into Hong Kong in December on a tour marking the 40th anniversary of one of his most famous hits.

The flamboyant star will touch down on December 4 for a one-off show at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, marking four decades since he released Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long Long Time), which told the story of a Mars-bound astronaut's feelings on leaving his family.

It will be the third time John, awarded a knighthood by Britain's Queen Elizabeth in 1998, has played Hong Kong - although he is probably best remembered in the city for a gig that never happened: plans for an open-air show at Hong Kong Stadium to mark the handover in 1997 were scuppered when the authorities decided it would be too noisy. Before the plug was pulled, there were even suggestions that the audience would have to listen to the music through headphones.

It was revealed in March that Fred Li Wah-ming, a Democratic Party lawmaker and a member of the committee that sought to bring the singer to the city, buried an Elton John CD in a time capsule to mark the end of the Urban Council in 1997 and serve as a reminder of the cancelled show.

John finally made it to the city in 2004 and returned for a second gig in 2008.

The musician, born Reg Dwight, boasts 35 gold- and 25 platinum-selling albums as well as 29 consecutive Top 40 hits in the United States.

John has sold more than 250 million records globally. The 1997 version of his 1973 single Candle in the Wind sold more than 37 million copies and holds the record for the biggest selling single of all time. John updated the lyrics of his original hit, a tribute to Marilyn Monroe, to pay tribute to his friend Princess Diana, who died that year.

Tickets for the December gig go on sale from August 23 through HK Ticketing's venue box offices, K11 Select and Tom Lee outlets. Prices range from HK$488 to HK$1,888.