Elton John Loves WeHo! (Here’s What You Missed)

People packed the Tower Records lot Saturday for the Elton John and Lady Gaga performance. (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood)
People packed the Tower Records lot Saturday for the Elton John and Lady Gaga performance. (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of the City of West Hollywood)

Elton John showed his love for West Hollywood today by staging a free concert with Lady Gaga before thousands of fans at the old Tower Records parking lot at 8801 Sunset Blvd.

“The city of West Hollywood has welcomed the Elton John AIDS Foundation and our annual Academy Awards Viewing Party with open arms for many years, providing us with the perfect environment to host a really fun and special evening,” John said in a statement issued before the event. “We are profoundly grateful for their generous support, so I wanted to do something special just for them by giving our West Hollywood fans and supporters a surprise concert.

In a video interview with Sharon Osbourne posted @eltonofficial, his Twitter feed, John said: “It was an idea by David Furnish, my husband, who thought it would be great the night before the Oscar party, the day before the Oscar party, to do something to thank the city of West Hollywood who have been so amazing to us over the years. They give us the West Hollywood Park for nothing and so we’re doing it to a: say thank you to them, and b: because it’s a cool thing to do.”

The Academy Awards viewing party, which raises funds for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, takes place at the Pacific Design Center and West Hollywood Park on Sunday. John launched the party at the Maple restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1993. After several years of moving around in 2005 the event settled at the PDC and West Hollywood Park.

Elton John was introduced by Mayor Lindsey Horvath who was joined at the event by Councilmember John Heilman and Councilmember Lauren Meister, who posted enthusiastic photos on her Twitter feed @meister4weho and her Facebook page.

The “Elton John Live on the Sunset Strip” performance came as somewhat of a surprise to many, including those stuck in traffic when part of Sunset Boulevard was closed for more than two hours for event. The first hint of it came from Alison Martino’s Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page, which raised a question Friday evening about what was going on at the Tower Records lot. “Something’s big going down at the Tower Records parking lot tomorrow!,” Vintage LA said.

Elton John’s appearance was officially announced late Friday, and the venue was officially announced this morning. Lady Gaga, who is godmother to Elton John’s son, posted an announcement of her appearance at around 11 a.m. on her Twitter feed @ladygaga. “Get your asses to Sunset Blvd Tower Records! 12pm PT Elton John ft Me! Live on the streets of LA!”

John and his husband David Furnish lived in West Hollywood for many years at the Sierra Towers. His performance today included “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” performed as a duet with Lady Gaga, and other hits such as “Rocket Man” and “Bennie and the Jets” as well as songs from his latest album, “Wonderful Crazy Night.”

To see what else Jon Viscott captured at this event, take a look at the pages that follow:

  1. The Elton John AIDS Foundation, London, provides grants in Asia, Europe & Africa. The New York arm provides grants to the Americas, the Caribbean & runs all U.S. based fundraisers although those funds are not all necessarily allocated to the Americas or the Caribbean. 2015 grants to the L.A. area include $75,000 to the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, $75,000 to the L.A. Center for Health & Justice, $25,000 to The Thrive Tribe Foundation, $75,000 to the TransLatin@ Coalition in L.A., $200,000 to Equality California Institute, $75,000 to The Williams Institute, $50,000 to the Desiree Alliance. Also $150,000 to the Kaiser Family Foundation in Menlo Park, $50,000 to National AIDS Foundation in Monrovia, & $10,000 to the Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs.

  2. I think its fine that Elton and David and Gaga put this on to show their appreciation for WEHO Years of cooperation with their Oscar’s event. However it sure would have been nice to honor their local fans both living with AIDS and those who have passed on by either donating a couple of seats at their party to one of the local ASOs to raffle off so they can raise sorely needed funds. They might also have made a special outreach to the community that his charity supports.making sure they had an opportunity to attend their concert. I realize that council members desperately need photo ops for their twitter feeds and Facebook pages, but a lot of my deceased friends were big Elton fans and the living still are.
    Knowing how civic minded both GAGA and ‘David and Elton’ are ,I have a feeling that just the mention of making the event more ‘Charitably Minded would have made sense to them. You Know, there is always next year to give more meaning to an event.

  3. Fantastic! Wish I had known. I’d have loved to attend. But — not to be a so-called killjoy or ever rain on anyone’s parade — how many of these revelers who are WeHo residents have any knowledge of this past week’s sordid Council/Deputy lawsuit payout and all the other rot here in our little fake “Denmark?” Bread and Circuses for the Masses?

  4. This was a spectacular event, bound to take it’s place in West Hollywood lore, a once-in-a-lifetime event. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. This was one of the experiences that makes West Hollywood such a magical place to be.

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