Hawke's Bay band claims a napping Elton John forced them to finish Mission concert set early

Publish Date
Monday, 10 February 2020, 3:20PM
Getty Images

Getty Images

An opening act for Sir Elton John say their time on stage was cut short after they woke the music legend up from his pre-gig nap.

Sir Elton, 72, is famous for his pre-gig ritual of arriving at the venue and taking a nap.

But Hawke's Bay band Badger, who were one of Sir Elton's several Mission Estate support acts, say their set was cut 15 minutes short after they woke the superstar.

Badger band member Martin Good said Sir Elton arrived at the venue and had a nap before taking the stage, one of his widely reported traditions before shows in later years.

"He was doing that apparently while the pre acts were on," Good said.

Fifteen minutes before they were set to finish, the stage manager gave the band the signal to finish their last song.

Good said he was told after they came off stage that Elton was allegedly woken up by Badger's set and came out of his dressing room and said, "what's that racket?".

"I think it was probably the drums more than anything that was possibly annoying him while he was trying to sleep," Good said.

"After we got off, the stage manager came up to us and said, 'Elton's not happy.'," Good claimed.

"At first, I thought, couldn't he find somewhere else to sleep?

"But then my band member pointed out that it is Sir Elton, and what Sir Elton wants Sir Elton gets. So, we just thought, okay that's fine, he runs the show," Good said.

While the band were slightly upset at being cut short, they have taken it in good nature, finding the humour in what happened.

"It's a bit of a hoot really," Good said.

"We were a bit disappointed obviously as we had a few more songs to go. But it's a bit of a good rock and roll story isn't it?"

The band will open the concert again at Elton's second show next Saturday.

"Good luck to us on Saturday because we have to do it all again," Good said with a laugh.

"Maybe we'll have to change the set and play something a bit quieter."

Concert organisers and spokespeople for Sir Elton were not immediately available for comment.

This article was originally published by NZ Herald and reproduced here with permission.