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."


  1. TampaZeke says

    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.

  2. Fenrox says

    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.

  3. Tim S says

    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.

  4. MIke says

    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?

  5. says

    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.

  6. Jere says

    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.

  7. MaryM says

    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.

  8. MaryM says

    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.

  9. MaryM says

    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.

  10. Sean says

    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.

  11. Lucas H says

    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.

  12. MIke says

    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.

  13. MaryM says

    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.

  14. MaryM says

    It’s worth repeating over and over and over again.

    Elton John performed repeatedly over several years to segregated audiences during apartheid era South Africa without a murmur of protest.

    He is a man devoid of principle.

  15. MOZ's says


    someone cut him a check and he wants the money

    might disagree with, but could at least respect him being honest about wanting $

    lying and saying he is doing it for anything besides the $ is BS. weak, and shows what a small little turd he really is

  16. MIke says

    Remember when the law was passed first in St Petersburg and not on a national level who was the first to play her concert in St Petersburg and not cancel? Oh Elton knows. They’re frenemies.

  17. Belthazar says

    “BTW, didnt Obama’s meeting with activists in Russia basically boil down to reportedly Obama just talking about himself?”

    No! Read the article written about the meeting on the Blade’s webpage.

    Second, Madonna while in St. Petersburg defied the Gay Pride Ban, encouraging audience members and citizens “to fight for the right to be free”. “She and her band also waved LGBT flags during the performance, and during one of the songs, Madonna stripped to black lingerie, showing the words “No Fear” scrawled on her bare back.” HuffPo.

    So, let’s she what her frenemy does while there. The jury is still out until after his performance.

  18. Rick says

    Just look at this thread. A perfect example of why gay men are such a bunch of dysfunctional, emotionally damaged, bitterly unhappy bunch of people, with rare exceptions.

    There is absolutely nothing most gay men hate more than seeing another gay man succeed at anything. Completely different from every other group in the population. And the greatest hostility typically comes from the “out and proud” types who invariably try to crucify the successful gay man in question, as in this instance.

    Elton John was the very first major cultural figure to come out and he has contributed massive sums of money to gay causes and charities, including AIDS-related ones. So the claim that he is greedy simply does not withstand scrutiny, any more than the claim that he is “self-hating” does.

    No, the hostility directed at him in this thread–and the degree to which it contrasts dramatically with the kind of lavish praise heaped on straight women like Madonna and Lady Gaga when they performed in Russia–just confirms that, when you get right down to it, the vast majority of gay men are defined by their hatred of men–especially other gay men–which can only be explained by being the carriers of extreme emotional damage…..the kind of emotional damage that prevents 98% from ever forming a loving relationship with another man and which drives their excessive promiscuity…..and all the consequences that flow from that.

    It remains true that for all the damage homophobia has done to us, the greatest damage of all inflicted on gay men is by gay men, themselves.

    Pathetic beyond words…..

  19. says

    Yet another reason to NOT support Elton John.

    First, he goes and sings at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding, and tries to defend Limbaugh. Now he’s going to Russia. I don’t buy his excuse; he’s a sellout.

  20. MickyFlip says

    The ones complaining about Elton John playing at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding. Did you not get the memo when Rush stated he donated a substantial amount of money that ALL went to an LGBT charitable event? Specifically HIV research, if I’m not mistaken? Even Elton stated that’s what his price was to play at Mr. Limbaugh’s event. And he did. In full.

  21. Scudder says

    MICKYFLIP – Please provide a link to support your comment. I cannot find any reference that suggests Rush Limbaugh ever donated to any HIV research or gay organization.

  22. gomez says

    @rick. nice strawman. this has nothing to do with resentment against success and everything to do with greed and cowardice.

    i have no doubt he will say scratch about this law and persecution of guys while there.

    besides aren’t you defending a flamboyant gay homosexual?

  23. Why Reading Comments is a Waste says

    “Just look at this thread. A perfect example of why gay men are such a bunch of dysfunctional, emotionally damaged, bitterly unhappy bunch of people, with rare exceptions.”


  24. walter says

    sorry but remember he sang at rush limbaugh’s wedding for a million dollars so this man will do anything to turn a buck sorry i don’t but his reason for going because the gays in russia will never get anywhere near elton.

  25. GregV says

    Anyone stepping foot in Russia risks being fined, jailed or deported on trumped-up charges.
    But the anti-gsy law as written (which we all take with a grain of salt) would theoretically allow a performer to conduct an “ADULTS ONLY” concert at which he could tell the audience exactly what he thinks about the absurd law snd the danger it presents. If he did this AND gave all his profits to help a group working to bring human rights to Russia then he could make a real difference.
    If he’s just going to make himself some money singing “Oh Jeannie” and “Tiny Dancer” to an audience that may walk away not even knowing he is gay, then he won’t make any difference at all.

  26. Toby says

    What a lot of ungrateful schmucks. Elton has raised hundreds of millions for AIDS research, and yes he played Sun City in the 1980s, but so did Tina Turner and Ray Charles – wanna accuse them of supporting apartheid, too? They were just naive. Well, times change, and people do, too. Like it or not, EJ has become one of the best known faces for marriage equality and gay adoption in the world. Can you not find anything redeeming in that?

  27. Rob says

    I love Elton John and I’m glad he will go and say supportive things and be a positive image for gays in Russia.

    Hope he sings “Big Dipper” an obviously gay male pick up song that he released on an album in the SEVENTIES in Europe. Ends with a tag from “Makin Whoopie.” Download it on iTunes. Freakin’ love it.

    Go Elton!

  28. Billy Graham says

    Elton John is a fake gay. What is a fake gay you ask? A straight men with a bunch of children ( 1 to 1,000 plus Children ) who may or may not kill gay people in their spare time. Elton John does not practice what he preaches nor does his children. We need another planet for people like this. One day we will go on to a new planet and they can fake gay it forever!

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