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Elton John has laid off his backing band, including long-time guitarist Davey Johnstone and drummer Nigel Olsson, according to the British tabloid The Daily Mail. According to their reporting, Elton lost 60 million British pounds (about $75 million in American currency) due to the cancellation of his farewell tour.  The Mail also reports that “It is understood that Sir Elton, 73, is unlikely to receive any insurance payout for the losses.”

Davey Johnstone played on Elton’s 1971 album Madman Across The Water, and joined his band soon after that, and has played on nearly all of his albums and tours ever since. Nigel Olsson joined Elton John’s touring band in 1970 along with bassist Dee Murray; that power trio performed at John’s legendary shows at the Troubadour (which were dramatized in the biopic Rocketman); you can hear that trio on the classic live album 11-17-70. John fired Olsson and Murray in 1975; Olsson rejoined for a few years in the ’80s, and rejoined the band again in 2001 (and has been with John ever since).

 

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