Elton John fan club embraces the renowned superstar

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Keira Ely

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President of the Elton John Fan Club Club, Ava Young, has seen Elton John in concert twice. “Both times he performed a great show, wore some article of bedazzled clothing,” Young said. “He also is only 5’7, and I will always support a short king.”

Rolling Stone

President of the Elton John Fan Club Club, Ava Young, has seen Elton John in concert twice. “Both times he performed a great show, wore some article of bedazzled clothing,” Young said. “He also is only 5’7, and I will always support a short king.”

President of Grady’s Elton John Fan Club Club, Ava Young, started her club in October 2019 in honor of the popular musical artist Elton John. 

“I was inspired by my lack of participation in school activities, and I thought it was such a stupidly funny idea,” Young said. “I wasn’t really looking for lots of people to join, instead I was more so looking for the shock factor of having such an unexpected club. I mean, I do really like Elton John, but I have many interests that supersede elderly pop-rock stars.”

A typical meeting begins with a short PowerPoint, usually sharing a few Elton John fun facts, followed by eating a variety of snacks brought in from Trader Joe’s.

“At our last meeting, we played a Kahoot where each member had to answer whether a song title was actually by Elton John or just something I had made up,” Young said.

Membership for the club is not formal. An average meeting might host about five students, but in the club picture, there are over ten.

“At the dirt lot vigil we hosted in December, we had almost every student who parked in the dirt lot stand by my car at some point,” Young said. “So really, who knows, anyone can say they’re in the club.”

Not all members of the club have to be big Elton John fans either, or even fans at all. Some people, like junior Nicolas Kamel, just join the club for the experience and for something fun to do.

“I’m not an Elton John fan, I’m an Elton John fan club fan,” Kamel said.

Along with making music, Elton John fascinates his audience through the example he sets and his way of self-expression. His message, teaching people to go after their dreams, is one of the club’s values. 

“I think he never let his age or sexuality or whatever gets in the way of what he wanted with his life,” Young said. “He didn’t have kids with his partner until well into geriatric territory, so I do appreciate that.”

Part of Young’s admiration for Elton John can be attributed to his efforts to raise money and awareness for AIDS. His foundation supports HIV/AIDS prevention and education programs, as well as providing direct care and services to those already affected.

“I mean I like Elton John as much as I can like any multi-millionaire I’ve never met,” Young said. “But, I do appreciate how much money he has raised for his established nonprofit The Elton John AIDS Foundation. He seems to be putting his money to good use at the very least.”

The club’s teacher advisor, Mr. Herrera, has been involved with the club since it first began. Even more than that, he has been an Elton John fan since he could walk.

“Somewhere in the universe there is a cassette tape of me, when I was five years old, singing crocodile rock,” Herrera said.

An important aspect of the fan club is inclusiveness and allowing for everyone, even non-members, to participate in their club activities.

“The club isn’t focused on what goes on in the club, intersectionality is a cornerstone of what we do,” Kamel said. “The vigil is a perfect example of that.”

After school for one Tuesday a month, students will come to have conversations and relax while listening to some Elton John music.

“It’s one of those organizations where it’s students coming together just to chill and listen to music and talk about the day,” Herrera said. “It’s usually pretty lowkey.”

The club never had the intention of being serious. Instead, Young thought it would be a good way for people with a common interest to come together after school.

“In short, I thought it would be a funny idea, I thought my friends and I would enjoy it and I think that more people should focus on their niche interests instead of the typical resume builders like mock trial or whatever,” Young said.

The musical icon Elton John has inspired many people through his music creating his large fan base and resulting in fan clubs such as Young’s.

“He is who he is,” Herrera said. “He makes no apologies, he’s insanely talented, sassy and he’s one of those names that will remain in pop music long past his time.”