Elton John | Moscow | News | Russia

Elton John to Play Moscow to Support Gays: 'I Can't Leave Those People on Their Own'

Elton John gives a wide-ranging interview to The Guardian, and says he's going to play Moscow in December:

JohnHe wants to make another album with the same producer, T-Bone Burnett, which leads him to talk about his other unfulfilled ambitions. He's always wanted to play in front of the Pyramids of Giza, "but they banned me from going there a couple of years ago because I'm gay". It wasn't the first time his sexuality proved an issue: a church in Tobago organised a protest against his appearance there, while he received threats from an Islamic group when he played in Morocco.

"I'm supposed to be going to Moscow in December," he says. "I've got to go. And I've got to think about what I'm going to say very carefully. There's two avenues of thought: do you stop everyone going, ban all the artists coming in from Russia? But then you're really leaving the men and women who are gay and suffering under the anti-gay laws in an isolated situation. As a gay man, I can't leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don't know what's going to happen, but I've got to go."

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  1. We can assume that he'll be doing a free concert to show that his motivation is supporting the gay people of Russia and not further padding his enormous pocketbook.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Sep 17, 2013 9:59:25 AM

  2. While I find him creepy and lame, I can't really fault anyone for taking a stand on the issue. Both sides of this (Not the actual other side, those guys suck) the boycott side and the don't boycott side are both "right" because nobody knows which will work better. Both have pitfalls and boons. This is why I wish we had a gay group that just grouped gays together for more actionable communication.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Sep 17, 2013 10:01:13 AM

  3. KUDOS to him and it's part of the reason I don't buy Cher's hokey story she was asked and refused to appear at the Olympics. Why not go and raise HELL?!

    Posted by: MIke | Sep 17, 2013 10:02:29 AM

  4. Shame on Elton John.

    He is not supporting anyone but himself.

    There cannot be one indication he is gay, or any mention or display of anything gay inside or outside the concert hall.

    I am sure Sir Elton will make a significant profit, while doing nothing to advance the cause.
    He should boycott.

    Posted by: Tim S | Sep 17, 2013 10:03:48 AM

  5. Funny the people not in Russia who think celebrities should stay home but from what I've read of the voices coming out of Russia say they want them there and being vocal about it. A boycott from Elton John is going to make one whit of difference to the government?

    Posted by: MIke | Sep 17, 2013 10:07:38 AM

  6. Anything for a buck eh Elton? Loser.

    Posted by: Will | Sep 17, 2013 10:17:37 AM

  7. He also sang at Rush Limbaugh's latest wedding, for a great big fee. See a pattern here?

    Posted by: Elsewhere1010 | Sep 17, 2013 10:19:47 AM

  8. Elton would pimp his own mother for a quid.

    Posted by: dards | Sep 17, 2013 10:20:57 AM

  9. His time is over. He belongs to the generation which thinks it's better to be grateful for what we have because it was so much worse in previous decades.

    Well I have news for you Elton; we are equal, not grateful.

    Our equality is demanded and seized by us. We don't cower and whine ...."I can't leave those poor people over there on their own...."

    There must be a united front among artists to denounce and boycott Russia.
    Elton is a fool who has no education or knowledge or memory of the South African Anti-Aparthide Boycott. That boycott lasted years because cowards like Elton went and played in Sun-City for vast amounts of money while shop workers in Europe were fired for refusing to handle South African goods as part of their support for blacks in South Africa.,
    Their actions , at a vast cost to them, were in support of the Anti-Aparthide Movement.

    Wake up, Elton, read about the South African Boycott and learn why you must not go to Russia.
    it certainly is not helping Russian gays that you sing 'Rocket Man' on Novetsky Prospect.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 17, 2013 10:28:16 AM

  10. money, money, money, money,.....money

    Posted by: mattincinci | Sep 17, 2013 10:28:51 AM

  11. "Elton, who gets the proceeds of your concert? And when you perform will you say anything gay?" Why don't journalists ask basic questions like this?

    Posted by: David Groff | Sep 17, 2013 10:28:53 AM

  12. Based on this statement, Russia should be banning Elton John from entering the country at all, much less performing. We'll see if this actually happens or not. If he is allowed to perform, he will certainly be risking arrest if he says anything positive about gay people. Frankly, I would LOVE to see what would happen if police attempted to arrest Elton John.

    Posted by: Jere | Sep 17, 2013 10:30:04 AM

  13. Elton John is despicable scum motivater solely by personal greed.

    1. He performed repeatedly in South Africa during the height of the apartheid era.

    2. He whored himself out for cash as the wedding singer of extremist homophobe Rush Limbaugh's 4th wedding.

    3. He did a duet with homophobic rapper Eminem when Eminem was top of the charts to try to appeal to a younger audience.

    There is nothing that despicable creature Elton John will not do for money.

    Time to boycott Elton John.

    Posted by: MaryM | Sep 17, 2013 10:32:02 AM

  14. If Elton goes to Russia it is the same as those who went to Sun City; they are following the appeasement policy of that fascist Thatcher, the most notorious bigot of the last fifty years.

    All out .

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 17, 2013 10:32:39 AM

  15. I wonder if he consulted with Rush before he made his decision. Or maybe he's just eager to promote his upcoming album. They buy music over there too.

    Posted by: Jack M | Sep 17, 2013 10:32:39 AM

  16. Anyone who thinks Elton John will do ANYTHING to support the LGBT community in Russia is sorely deluded.

    Russia is a revenue stream for multi-millionaire Reg Dwight.

    Trivialities like human rights mean nothing to Elton John - look at how proud and happy he was to perform for segregated audiences during apartheid era South Africa.

    Posted by: MaryM | Sep 17, 2013 10:34:22 AM

  17. Oh yes, by all means gay celebrities, sit at home and get angry on your Twitters! That will make Putin quake.

    Sheesh. Not really the ACT-UP crowd around here, is it.

    Posted by: MIke | Sep 17, 2013 10:37:33 AM

  18. But Mike - you don't seriously believe that Elton John is going to make ANY sort of protest while in Russia.

    This is the man who silently and happily took money from apartheid era South Africa, and who whored himself out as the wedding singer for extremist Rush Limbaugh.

    He has history of placing personal profit above irrelevant things like human rights abuses, even though he is massively wealthy already.

    He is someone devoid of morals or human decency.

    Posted by: MaryM | Sep 17, 2013 10:41:36 AM

  19. Tough call, Sir Elton. May it be the right one.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Sep 17, 2013 10:42:31 AM

  20. In summary: "The promoters offered me half again what they were going to pay me. How could I say no?"

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Sep 17, 2013 10:43:31 AM

  21. Nobody is saying leave the LGBT of Russia. The issue is financially contributing to the Russian Government and economy that is enabling the rape, torture, beating, imprisonment/encampment, silencing, and murder of innocent human beings.

    Posted by: Sean | Sep 17, 2013 10:51:18 AM

  22. Good for him. I think he is being courageous and doing something quite brave here. It is easy to have a knee-jerk "BOYCOTT RUSSIA!!!!" reaction (I know I did), but I think it takes a greater strength to actually face problems head-on.

    Posted by: Lucas H | Sep 17, 2013 10:52:54 AM

  23. Why not let him go and wait and see? What idiots. The government wants to shut down all "gay publicity" and your solution is to moan about Rush Limbaugh and have Elton sit home. Big help. Big big help.

    Posted by: MIke | Sep 17, 2013 10:55:07 AM

  24. BTW, didnt Obama's meeting with activists in Russia basically boil down to reportedly Obama just talking about himself?

    Posted by: MIke | Sep 17, 2013 10:57:57 AM

  25. Lucas - have you read the other comments.

    Elton John played repeatedly in apartheid era South Africa without condemning the hideous racism of the regime there.

    Elton John took loads of cash from extremist homophobe Rush Limbaugh to perform at his wedding.

    Elton John has absolutely no intention of doing anything to benefit the LGBT community in Russia.

    He has a buck to make (despite being wealthy beyond his wildest dreaams).

    Human rights (or even common human decency) mean nothing to Elton John.

    Posted by: MaryM | Sep 17, 2013 10:58:30 AM

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