It’s been a long, long time but he’ll be back

Superstar entertainer Sir Elton John is following the Yellow Brick Road to Wellington.

The 67-year-old British singer will head Down Under in November next year for the tailend of his worldwide “Follow the Yellow Brick Road Tour”, named after the recently re-released Goodbye Yellow Brick Road CD for the hit’s 40th anniversary.

Promoter Phil Sprey said tickets would go on sale next month for John’s sole New Zealand concert at Westpac Stadium on November 21 next year, nine years after he last wowed a crowd of 32,000 fans there in 2006.

Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua residents would get the first chance to buy pre-sale online tickets from October 7, two weeks ahead of sales opening to the general public, he said.

Each of the four councils would issue special identification codes to ratepayers to assist with early bookings, although Sprey said it would also extend to residents in those areas and would include Kapiti.

He hoped most of the 40,000 tickets would get snapped up by eager locals, who deserved the chance to attend a major concert in their home region.

Two Wellington fans rapt at the news were brothers Paul and Mike Alsford, who planned to be first in line to secure their seats.

It would be Mike Alsford’s seventh Sir Elton concert, after attending three in New Zealand and three in Australia, and the fourth for his 51-year-old brother.

Both could still easily recall John’s first Wellington concert at Athletic Park in 1980.

“As a teenager, you tend to get quite influenced by it all,” said Mike Alsford, who admitted clipping every newspaper article about John in the past and had every album in his music collection.

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– The Dominion Post