So anyway, we're going to a concert of his one night, because I used to go with him a lot. I just remember him in this car, in this shell, in this bubble. He can't go anywhere without five bodyguards. One night he's in the back seat and he goes, "I want to write a song for you." I'm looking at him like he's kidding me for sure. Yeah, right. What is he smoking?
"No, no," he said. "I'm serious. I want to write a song for you"
"Yes," he said. "I'm very serious. What are we going to call it?"
He goes like this: Clap-clap-clap. He makes decisions quickly. He's just like, "Go! Take no prisoners!"
"What are we going to call it?" he asks. "What are we going to call it? What are we going to call it?"
"Elton," I said. "Let me recover from the fact you're going to do something, please."
"I know!" he goes. "Let's call it Philadelphia Freedom, after the team."
"Great!" I said. "It will be a great gift to the people of Philadelphia. You don't know, but the Bicentennial is coming up in a year and a half. I hate to tell you that because you're English."
"I know," he says. "But I was discovered in America at The Troubadour. America's been great to me. I don't have a problem with that."
I was teasing him. We were laughing.
So he goes up to the Caribou Ranch in Colorado, he writes his album, and he comes down to the Denver Auditorium. It was filthy. It was so bad. So we're up in the locker room, and he says, "I've got the rough mix for you, but I'm afraid you're not going to like it."
Of course I'm going to love the song. I don't care what it is. It's the thought that counts.
"Can we have the whole team listen to it?" I ask. "Is that all right, or do you feel uncomfortable?"
He said it was OK. So it's an old trainer's table: He puts down the recorder. He hits it. He's looking at me like, "Please. She has to like it."
And it starts out with that da-da-da, da-da-da, and I'm going, "I like it already."
"You knew where it goes 'PHIL . . . UHH . . . DELPHIA?' " he said. "That's you getting ticked off at the umpire."
So I tell him, "I love it. I think it's going to be a No. 1."
He goes, "You think?"
He got the sound of Philadelphia in it, because he knows I like that sound. There's a certain sound. We were talking about the Philadelphia arrangers and musicians. We were talking about that in the back seat. We really got into it. I said, "God, I really love the sound of Philadelphia music. That would be great."
It became No. 1, crossed over into R&B and became No. 1. And he was so happy. He was like, "It crossed over into R&B! No. 1! Yes!"
He likes to win. That was huge for him. He loved it.