In “Rocketman,” Taron Egerton as Elton John steps right out of rehab, brushes himself off and then goes on stage to thousands of glistening fans at a concert at Dodger Stadium, smacking a baseball into the bleachers as he stands atop his piano.
“Rocketman” is a jukebox musical fantasy that takes many liberties, bends the timeline and overall has a lot of fun. But Elton did play at Dodger Stadium during two shows on Oct. 25 and 26 in 1975. And he really did knock it out of the park in those performances.
The shows were a huge deal, as they were the first to be performed in nearly a decade at Dodger Stadium since The Beatles played there in 1966. According to John’s website, they were the largest performances by a single artist of their time, with more than 100,000 people in attendance across the two nights, “including Elton’s parents, relatives, office workers, and neighbors…all flown in from the UK for the week on a chartered jet.”
“You have to remember – in October 1975, no one was bigger than Elton John,” photographer Terry O’Neill said of the occasion. “He was like Elvis at the height of his career. It is impossible to try to explain to people today what it was like – numerous number one albums, touring non-stop, recording non-stop, media, press, television…he was everywhere. Elton still is one of the most talented people I’ve ever met and he gave his all at those concerts.”
John kicked off the shows with a solo rendition of “Your Song” and “I Need You to Turn To” before bringing out the full band, and then later coming out in his iconic sequined Dodgers jersey, which was glammed up by designer Bob Mackie.
New remastered footage of John performing “The Bitch Is Back” was also released along with the soundtrack of the film, and you can watch that roaring clip above.
But a British documentary crew was also in attendance at the Dodger Stadium shows, and several snippets of his versions of “Your Song,” “Bennie and the Jets” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” can also be found online currently. Check them out below.
“Rocketman” opens in theaters Friday.
Elton John Dodger Stadium Oct. 26, 1975 Setlist:
“I Need You to Turn To”
“Take Me to the Pilot”
“Funeral For a Friend”
“Love Lies Bleeding”
“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”
“Bennie and the Jets”
“Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy”
“Someone Saved My Life Tonight”
“The Bitch is Back”
“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”
“Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”
“I Saw Her Standing There”
“We All Fall in Love Sometimes”
“Tell Me When the Whistle Blows”
“Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting”