Elton axes European Red Piano dates


LONDON -- Elton John has pulled the plug on a host of upcoming European Red Piano dates.

Shows have been cancelled in Venice, Italy on June 5 and 6; Berlin, Germany on June 22; Moscow, Russia on July 3; Paris, France on Sept. 9 and Seville, Spain on Sept. 14.

In a statement issued by a publicist on behalf of HST Management, the gigs were canned because, "The promoter has been unable to guarantee to put on the shows, resulting in us having to take this very difficult decision."

Replacement dates for the affected cities may be arranged "in the very near future," the statement adds.

All other of Elton's shows remain unaffected, the statement reads, noting "for the first time ever, Elton will be performing a solo tour in unique locations in Australia, commencing in December 2007."

The veteran artist is set to kick off his European tour tomorrow at The Hallam FM Arena, in Sheffield, England.

John acknowledged the importance of his live career when he accepted the Legend Of Live award at the Billboard Touring Conference last November. "[This award] means a helluva lot, because of all the things I do musically, playing live is definitely the most rewarding thing," John said. "It gets you in contact with people [and] it gets you scared. It's the most rewarding thing a musician can do. And the more you do it, the more you seem to love it. Well, I do, anyway."