Elton John admits John Lennon was 'physically sick' before their performance together

The two took the stage together in 1974 at Madison Square Garden

September 30, 2020

It was the type of concert hundreds of thousands claimed to be at, but roughly 20,000 were actually there.

Two titans of rock shared the stage at Madison Square Garden when Elton John welcomed John Lennon during a 1974 concert. Despite being in one of the most famous bands in the world in The Beatles, Lennon reportedly was so nervous to take the stage with Elton that he was physically sick.

The story came from the BBC Radio’s special commemorating what would have been Lennon’s 80th birthday. Elton John was just one of the many featured guests on the program hosted by Lennon’s son Sean Ono Lennon.

John recalled the 1974 concert at Madison Square Garden and said Lennon’s appearance was the result of a bet the two had with one another.

The two worked together on Lennon’s 1974 album Walls and Bridges as John provided backing vocals and piano on the song “Whatever Gets You Through The Night.”

Elton decided to have a little fun with Lennon as he made a bet that it would land on the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and if it did, Lennon would have to perform with John in concert. Shortly after it was released, it took the top spot and Lennon had to pay up on his bet.

“He was terrified,” John said about Lennon’s nerves before the show. “I can tell you that he was physically sick before the show, absolutely physically sick.”

Once he got on stage, everything returned to normal. “When he came on stage he was fine because the reception that he got at Thanksgiving Madison Square Garden in 1974… I’ve never heard a noise, a roar like it and… we all get goosebumps thinking about it,” John said.

Elton John has also announced newly rescheduled dates on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. His North American Tour will begin January 19, 2022 in New Orleans and wrap up April 28, 2022 in Miami. Check out the rescheduled dates on his website.

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