Elton John brought his “Farwell Yellow Brick Road” tour to Detroit this weekend where he paid tribute to Aretha Franklin, with a song and a story.
Aretha covered Elton’s “Border Song” in 1972 for her album “Young, Gifted and Black,” and before performing the tune Elton told the audience how he and co-writer Bernie Taupin felt when they found out someone was going to record it.
“We asked who. They said Aretha Franklin," John recalled. "Can you imagine two young writers, white boys from England...We were gobsmacked." He adds, "In fact, we nearly pissed our pants in sheer delight at the fact the woman we loved so much then and grew to love even more afterward would actually record one of our songs."
Elton adds that he and Aretha went on to become good friends, noting, “I loved her so much," offering, "I used to call her on her birthday sometimes and wish her a happy birthday, to say thank you -- not just for being Aretha, but for every piece of music she made that inspired me."