Elton John - Photographed in 1970


Believe. Believe in your dreams. Believe in your capacity to draw into your life whatever you most love, long for, or desire. For me, my first experience with the importance of belief surrounded my major league crush on Elton John. In high school, I had his face plastered all over the walls of my room, as well as my locker at school. I sat waiting in the rain for hours in order to have a place at the front row center at his concerts. I wrote his name on my notebook and read about him in Tiger Beat magazine, in Rolling Stone, in Creem. I thought about him all the time — and I talked about him all the time — and I dreamed I would meet him. In my dreams, he came out of a door and headed up some stairs toward me. The surroundings were blurred, but it felt like a soccer stadium, a large cement monolith with grass along the edge of the driveway. My friends told me I was 1. Crazy 2. Certain to be disappointed 3. More likely to be struck by lightning than I was to meet an internationally famous rock-star


After high school, I got a job waiting tables, saved my tips, and as soon as I’d saved enough, I was off to Great Britain. It turned out Elton was on tour while I would be there — and he was playing London on my birthday. Coincidence? I don’t think so.


On the snow-swept streets of London that January, I trudged down to Chappell Music and set up camp to get my tickets.  Just to be sure, I ordered tickets via the mail as well. My dedication resulted in the following news article: The promoter eventually gave me a voucher saying I could have any seats I wanted.

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The London Evening News, January 31, 1979


Eight weeks later, I went to a soccer (football) game between Elton’s team and another club.  As the game began, I saw him in the stands and time stood still. I remember the smell of sweat and clover. The cobbled streets.  The way he looked into my face just as he got into his limo.


Thirty-five years ago Monday, I met Elton John outside of that football stadium in Watford, England – in much the same way I’d dreamed I would all through high school. I sent postcards to all those naysayers letting them know.  (Still some of the most fun writing I’ve ever done.) And today, on my birthday, I had front row seats for Elton’s solo concert in London with Ray Cooper. It was a completely magical night. After the show, I waited outside the stage door with my friend, Roz. For about twenty minutes, with perhaps a dozen others, we waited. Then, the door popped open and a stagehand said, “Elton says you can come in now,” ushering us into the bowels of the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane.   Thirty-five years. Damn. Still the best birthday ever.  (And two days later, we met again.  And on his last night in London, he dedicated “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” to “Shavawn. She’s from America and she’s been here for several shows.”)   The point is, I made something that others deemed impossible, happen.  I. Did. That.

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A page from my travel journal, April 3, 1979

What You Believe is Possible, is Possible.  

Never Forget.


Everyone has a book inside of them. Everyone has a story. Wouldn’t you love to share yours with the world? Get your free writer’s toolkit, packed with tricks and tips to get you started. Just do it. Don’t wait. Don’t die with an untold story inside you.

© 2014/2017  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

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