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Elton John guitarist says band and crew will be “super masked up and tested every two days” on tour


It’s been almost two years since Elton John‘s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour was sidelined because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the trek relaunches tonight in New Orleans, the first show of a lengthy two-part 2022 North American leg.

With the U.S. and many other areas around the world still dealing with COVID-related issues because of the easily spread Omicron variant, Elton’s longtime guitarist and music director Davey Johnstone tells ABC Audio he doesn’t know if the tour will go off without postponements, but he says every precaution is being made to help ensure the musicians and crew remain healthy.

“It seems it changes so much, and we’ve got to kind of be ready for anything,” Johnstone says regarding the COVID situation. “So, I know there’s no backstage, there’s no guests. There are no backstage passes. There are no wives or girlfriends or anything…[E]verybody’s [going to be] super masked up and getting tested every two days to make sure everybody on the tour stays safe.”

He adds, “I think there’s like a hundred people [who] travel around, between the crew and the production staff and…the band and all that. So it’s a lot of people to keep safe. So…it’ll be a different animal, but, you know, I think we’ll be OK as long as we can just keep to the program.”

Asked if, after a nearly two-year layoff, there might be some changes to Elton’s set list, Johnstone says he and the other band members are more focused on delivering an exciting show.

“[W]e just get out there and play some kick-a** rock ‘n’ roll, and that’s what we’ll do,” he declares. “And there might be a couple of subtle changes…but nothing too drastic.”

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