Elton John Still Performing In Russia Because He’s “Got To” For The Gays

elton john richard mushet

I’m supposed to be going to Moscow in December. I’ve got to go. And I’ve got to think about what I’m going to say very carefully. There’s two avenues of thought: do you stop everyone going, ban all the artists coming in from Russia? But then you’re really leaving the men and women who are gay and suffering under the anti-gay laws in an isolated situation. As a gay man, I can’t leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’ve got to go.”

Rocketman and windswept candle-lighter Elton John speaking to The Guardian about his obligation to perform in Moscow later this year, despite Russia’s discriminatory anti-gay propaganda law. Earlier this year, John was warned not to wear his usual get-ups as they would constitute “homosexual propaganda” — but in all fairness, Elton John simply existing constitutes homosexual propaganda.

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  • 2eo

    Got to… for the money.

    Like everyone else spitting in the face of our community, like Weir. People who are content to let our brothers and sisters die so they get to show off for a few hours.

  • Cam

    He performed for Rush Limbaugh, for the same reason he is doing this. For the check.

    Lets not forget, he attacked American Gays for getting above ourselves and fighting for marriage saying that civil unions were no different and good enough.

    He ONLY changed his mind when his own civil marriage was used an an excuse to not grant him an adoption. SUDDENLY since the issue effected him it was important…not when it effected anybody else.

    Elton is only concerned about Elton.

  • Lefty

    Nice to see him mention LGBT Russians, who seem to be forgotten in much of the debate about Russia atm.
    Whether or not he’s really going for the money, I’m not a mind-reader, but there are many Russian LGBT activists who are not advocating a boycott and he is at least in accordance with their views/wishes, which is I think the most important thing if we are actually doing this for “our community” in Russia. You know, not Dan Savage or Jamie Kirchick, but LGBT Russians. What do they want us to do? Not pouring away Latvian vodka, I would have thought.
    Much of what Elton John says seems to be quite logical, I think.

  • Dxley

    So what does he want? A medal? I’ve never really liked Elton. We all know that this is about the money and not “for the gays” as he says. I wonder how David gets it up and manages to actually bang this old twat. He’s disgusting, always seeks attention and plain selfish. Did I say ugly?

  • andy_d

    @Cam: agreed.

  • andy_d

    @2eo: agreed.

  • sfbeast

    Apparently Elton John, in his dotage, has decided he is the new gay dalai lama. Or is that the deli llama? It would just be wrong of him not to go to Russia (and get paid all those rubles) and bring his message of hope and enlightenment to all those downtrodden gays.

  • 2eo

    @sfbeast: I think you mean his message that key figures in our community can be bought off easily and are allowing our brothers to be thrown under a bus.

    But they got to show off for a bit, so what’s a Russian life or thousand eh.

  • iMort

    Some people choose to simply be visible, others to be more militant. Elton doesn’t need the cash so I choose to believe it’s more than that.

  • Jackhoffsky

    I despise Michael Lucus. But he might be completely right about Russians and Johnny Weir(y). It reminds me of the Homer Simpson quote, “I like my beer cold, my TV loud and my homosexuals flaming.”

    Elton John is known for being flamboyant and loud. People like this. In a concert in Florida many years ago he performed with Billy Joel and older women in the audience were complaining that he wasn’t wearing sequin everything and fantastic costumes.

    People like Elton John can go in and out of places like Russia because they are grandiose entertainers… over-the-top… louder than any “normal” person. Gaga/Madonna are motivators, they project movement and change through speech and song… they don’t just “shut up and sing/dance”. THIS is an issue. Elton John is different.

    If he truly wanted to make a statement, he would leave all the flash at home and do just a regular, normal concert no different than any of his straight contemporaries. THAT would blow their minds. A known homosexual… acting… NORMAL?

    But he won’t. He will be loud, flashy, and him. And it will do some good, honestly. Think of him performing with Eminem while activists picketed outside the 2001 Grammy awards. People do not view Elton John as political or a threat – only as a dancing monkey. But that misconception can be a great asset. (Elton John, even by being a closet-case coke head… still managed to change the face of gays in pop/rock here in the States, for example).

  • the other Greg

    Sure, Elton – the only thing those poor pitiful oppressed gay Russians have to look forward to, is one of your concerts.

    The horror, the horror!

  • crowebobby

    @Jackhoffsky: Truly brilliant idea! Elton in a tux, standing at a mike and singing like any Las Vegas lounge singer would disappoint the hell out of the Russkies and be great publicity for “the cause.”

  • hyhybt

    I’d thought he’d quit the outlandish costumes long ago.

  • sfbeast

    @2eo: you know I was being sarcastic, don’t you?

  • 2eo

    @sfbeast: I do, sadly we have a few posters who think that is actually the line we should be taking.

  • GlitterKidder

    Let’s face it kids, Mr. John only cares about one thing, money. But nice try…

  • Cam

    I also love all the corporate interns trolling in here that keep trying to claim that Russian gays don’t want a boycott or that nobody is asking them, etc… and advocating that we go in and support Putin with our money because somehow boycotting is evil.

    Guess they forgot that their lies are easy to spot.

  • Lefty

    @Cam: I’m not sure why the opinion of one Russian journalist who lives and works in NY should carry any particular weight, let alone given as some kind of definitive statement on the issue. Again, it’s LGBT people in Russia who are our concern here. How bizarre that wanting to listen to LGBT Russians and activists and finding out what they want and need us to do first, and what we should avoid doing lest it be counter-productive to their cause, is seen as “anti-gay trolling”.

  • 2eo

    @Cam: Did you see the other thread where Lefty posted a trolling article that looked directly out the playbook of right wing McCarthyist lies. Outright calling the people who want a boycott liars and the bourgeoisie. Also it made note that only America matters, and the overt xenophobia is best left in the 1950’s.

  • Lefty

    @2eo: I love the way you try and suck up to other people on here to get them to gang up on the people you disagree with (but never actually debate with). So brave. :)
    I think I’ll call it a day, boys. “Ermagherd! He wants to listen to LGBT Russians and do what’s best for them! The homophobia of it all! The blatant trolling! This is worse than teh Hitler!”


  • 2eo

    @Lefty: I love how you always side with parties that harm our community.

  • Lefty

    @2eo: LGBT Russians and activists? Are they really so harmful to “our community”? If you want to fight against a Russian anti-gay law that affects LGBT people inside Russia then those are the people you should be listening to first and foremost. “First do no harm.”

  • Polaro

    Elton, just say no and stay home.

  • Cam


    You keep claiming that you side with Russian LGBT activists. Funny though you never link to anything that proves your point. Whereas I can link to one of the best known Russian Journalists who just fled the country because she is gay, who says that the boycott is the best thing to do.

  • Red_Dragon_888

    Get the Russian people to support Gay Rights.

  • Cam


    You mean the network that is being threatened with arrest under the new laws? Yyeeeeaahhhhhhhhh.

    This is the EXACT same argument used by people fighting AGAINST the boycott in South Africa. They would claim that the folks there didn’t want pressure applied to the govt.

    The trouble is, what you are doing is telling us that we cannot make our decision on what we do and don’t want to support. That we MUST support something because somebody else tells us to.

    And again, you seem to dismiss the words of one of the most popular Russian Journalists, who is gay and has fled. Apparently you only want to listen to people who support your Pro-Putin stance on this one.

  • robho3

    Elton has to pay for his $10k a month flower bill. He’s doing it for the coins$$$$$$. That’s all the bitch cares about.

  • Elloreigh

    I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around this assumption that if Elton John sings in Russia, thousands of people will die.

    I don’t much care for Elton John’s seeming self-importance. He’s not a role model for me, and certainly not the ‘leader of the gay world’, self-appointed or otherwise.

    I’m just not sure that I care whether or not he performs in Russia, because I’m not persuaded that he’s as influential as he or others think.

    Basically, I find the Russian situation to be a no-win situation. Nothing we do or don’t do seems likely to make any real difference on the political level. I think it should be more about what people can do to help the actual L, G, B, & T Russians. Political posturing and symbolism have serious limits in their ability to create change or do good.

  • fagburn

    @Cam: Dear Cam,

    1. Anti-apartheid activists in South Africa asked those outside to boycott – the opposite to what’s happening here.

    2. Then as now, I think those that live some place have a better idea what course of action would be the most productive.
    Sorry to disturb your neo-imperialist mindset.

    3. MG is an American citizen – and seeing as just last week she was saying boycotts were pointless and was arguing for a mass exodus of LGBT people from Russia (!) I think it’s fair to assume she is somewhat unhinged.

    best wishes



  • Mezzanine2

    Madonna runs her Hard Candy Fitness Fitness Centres in both Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. Using the same logic, why does she not receive the same criticism as Elton John?

  • EManhattan

    Let’s wait and see what he does on his Russian tour, before getting all huffy about it. What he’s said so far has been supportive and good – if what he does turns out to be supportive and good, great!

    Being toxic and bitchy about Elton and the event before it happens is just acting like Elton did at his long-ago worst. And we’re all capable of being better than that. Let’s cut him some slack for now.

  • Lefty

    @fagburn: “Sorry to disturb your neo-imperialist mindset.”

    It’s incredible, isn’t it? God only knows the mental gymnastics that go on to get to a point where you advocate listening to everyone in the world, apart from the people who the law itself will affect. The very people who know better than anyone the true context, the real-life consequences and the best course of action.
    It’s almost as if they don’t actually care about LGBT Russians.

  • Cam

    @Lefty: said…

    “: I’m not sure why the opinion of one Russian journalist who lives and works in NY should carry any particular weight, let alone given as some kind of definitive statement on the issue. Again, it’s LGBT people in Russia who are our concern here.


    Really? Interesting that you would give their opinion any less weight than anybody else’s. You first lied and acted like they were a New Yorker, and what would they know about Russia and Putin. Then when I pointed out that she had only recently fled the country because she was gay, AND she had written a biography on Putin you suddenly change to “Oh, well she doesn’t know what she is talking about, why should we listen?”

    Again, you are DESPERATELY blathering on about your agenda here but you don’t have valid positions. You keep claiming that we HAVE to do what nebulous groups in Russia want. Why? If a boycott won’t work as you say then what are you afraid of? You are WAAAAYYYYY too involved in this not to have an interest in us going to Russia.


    1. Armenia has already tabled anti-gay legislation because of the backlash that Russia is getting.

    2. Russians OUTSIDE Russia, who are not subject to arrest and torture are very clear that a boycott will help.

    3. You provide no reasoning for why we are obligated to go spend our dollars in a country that harms us, merely vague commentary about how it would be bad for Russian groups.

    It’s funny how similar your posts are to all the other troll posts from the Mormons during prop 8, from the Chick Fil Et trolls during that issue, and the Romney supporters during the election.

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but if you can’t even defend your posts without trying to lob insults and accusing anybody who disagrees with you of not being able to grasp your opinion when in reality you present nothing, please don’t try to pretend that you do not have an agenda here.

  • Cam


    Gee, what a shock, the person who defends the anti-gay folks constnatly shows up on this one.

    1. She carries two passports. Funny how you two always want to leave out one or two facts isn’t it?

    2. A Mass exodus of gays from Russia. That suggestion makes her unhinged? You mean kind of the same way that Jews have made a mass exodus out of Russia over the last 20 years because of the way they were being treated? Yes, that actually happened. But I simply LOVE the way you think it is crazy that somebody should maybe oh…I don’t know….leave a country where the police have made it clear that they will not investigate gay attacks.

    But then again, looking at the positions you are constantly defending on here I shouldn’t be surprised that you are supporting things over in Russia.

  • Lefty

    So much effort, so many words just to argue against listening to the wishes of ordinary LGBT Russians and activists inside Russia. The very people this affects. So odd.

  • fagburn


    1. She also works for and is paid handsomely by Radio Liberty – a US propaganda station funded by your state department. Do you think she’s an independent voice on this?

    2. Comparing this to the anti-Jewish pogroms is morally obscene.

    3. You are so indocrinated and enslaved to American power you are literally incapable of understanding what’s actually happening in the world.

  • DonW

    I hear Westboro Baptist is offering $1m salary for a new church organist, you bovine old wh*re.

  • hyhybt

    @DonW: I used to go to a church that had two organs. Westboro would have had a fit: both were the same kind.

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