February 23rd, 2010
01:14 PM ET

CNN exclusive: Elton John jams with Jeff Bridges

It was one of those surreal Hollywood moments: "Rocket Man" meets "Crazy Heart."

Oscar nominees Jeff Bridges, T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham were wrapping up a hush-hush secret showcase in Los Angeles last week, performing music from their movie before an invitation-only crowd - but before they could launch into the finale, a man in gold shoes joined the brigade of cowboy boots on stage.  It was none other than Sir Elton John.

Watch them play here:

The legendary pop star (an Oscar winner for "The Lion King," incidentally) sat down at the piano and nonchalantly injected a "Crocodile Rock"-like boogie into the film's signature country tune, "I Don't Know."

Three minutes later, all 200 guests at the supper club owned by music mogul Herb Alpert were on their feet cheering - including Robert Duvall, Peter Fonda, Woody Harrelson, Maggie Gyllenhaal and her brother, Jake.

After the performance, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer slipped into a booth with Bridges and Burnett, and they happily chatted the night away.


soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. get my ex love back

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    August 16, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. Abigail Clark

    Elton John is actually a living legend, what a great musical artist he is..**

    July 19, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Molly Moore

    Elton John is a very good musician and has been my idol ever since.:*,

    June 30, 2010 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. Snooze

    /me loves Jeff Bridges

    February 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jenna223717

    That must have been something to see. I knew Jeff Bridges was talented and hopefully will get the recognition he deserves. He was amazing in The Fabulous Baker Boys, still one of my favorite movies.

    February 24, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rubble

    I think Bridges' best role was in "The Vanishing" with Kiefer Sutherland...he creeped me OUT in that flick!

    February 24, 2010 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. Reid Caulfield

    I worked with Elton last week. I've always been a fan and I got to spend 4 hours in the same (small) room with him, even got some real conversation time in with him. He's passionate, smart, funny and dedicated to the causes he champions. During the 4 hours, he mentioned that he's currently working on an album with T-Bone & Leon Russell. Can only imagine it'll be awesome.

    February 24, 2010 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. lola

    Love jb and elton is a great artist wish I could be fly on that wall vry envious

    February 24, 2010 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. inTheKNow

    Bridge's producer T Bone is working w/ Elton, Bernie Taupin
    AND Leon Russell on a new project, thus the connection.
    Gr8 to see them all playing music together.....relax.

    February 23, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ruth

    How sad that there is so much sniping on this message board. I just want to say this is a wicked awesome clip and I enjoyed it immensely. STOP THE NEGATIVITY, PEOPLE!

    February 23, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. astrodakini

    Steve_o, dude, he wrote the Lion King...

    February 23, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tom

    saw Elton at Wrigley field last July was one of the best concerts i ever been 2

    February 23, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mike

    Elton ,Elton ,Elton........I look at singer songwriters of today and wonder how long they will be around? Elton's been there for 35 plus years. He's had his up's and downs....he's opened a lot of eyes throughtout the years. I've seen him 33 times in concert and all he has to do is sit there at the piano and belt out all of the hits that have been around forever.

    February 23, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Beverly

    52 seconds, that's it?!

    February 23, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hawaii

    I love Jesus and he is not gay. Yes, Elton is a very good performer. Jesus didn't need any PR to be well known.

    February 23, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Frank

    Their Mom was Fanny Bridges ( nee Lipschitz )

    February 23, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Waynesworld

    Their dad was Lloyd Bridges.

    February 23, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Waynesworld

    Correction, Jeff and his brother have been acting since they were 8 or -9 with their dad on Sea Hunt I believe the series was called.

    February 23, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Frank

    Is it just me or does Elton's head look like it's going to explode ?

    February 23, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Jim

    What do you play Steve_O? The Kazoo?! Elton is clearly one of the best musicians of our time...you go back to listening to your Donna and Marie Osmond...we'll listen to Elton.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  21. andy0455

    to Mitch~~~~~You'll have to answer to "Elton is God" remark DUDE!!!

    February 23, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Chris

    I love Elton John's music, but that just didn't fit with "I Don't Know" :-(

    February 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Liz R.

    No, I'm not kidding about Elton and Leon recording with T Bone Burnett. The album will be out later this year.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Jay

    Lmao. Well said Pete

    February 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  25. tp

    You kidding, Liz? Where has Leon been all these years?

    "Back to the Island" best tune of all time by a piano man!

    February 23, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  26. casey

    I was always into heavy stuff. The moment I saw this crazy guy dressed in a duck suit doing a concert in central park, I was hooked.

    February 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Liz R.

    Someone on this thread suggested that T Bone produce Elton's next album. Funny you should say that – because he is! Elton and Leon Russell (with lyrics by Bernie Taupin) are collaborating on an album produced by T Bone Burnett. In fact, I'm sure that's one reason that Elton just happened to jam with Jeff Bridges, et al – because of the T Bone connection.

    February 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Mitch

    Elton IS God.

    February 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Mark J.

    The Dude Abides...and Elton Rules!

    February 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  30. cranialdisturbance

    He should just adopt a black baby and get it over with.

    February 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Bob B.

    Stephen Bruton and Burnett wrote the muxic for Crazy Heart. Bruton died recently. Crazy Heart credit roll dedicates the film to Bruton. He and Burnett were childhood friends in Fort Worth, TX.. They worked together lots.

    February 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Tim

    Sir Elton ! The fairy night ! HA HA

    February 23, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Denizen Kate

    Thanks, everyone! I will definitely look into the career of T-Bone Burnett. I love the Robert Plant/Alison Krause collaboration.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Steve_O

    I saw him perform 3 hrs in NYC back in 1980, he only had him and one percussion piece play, amazing show. He played one of the best songs he ever wrote (co-wrote) called "Skyline Pigeon"

    February 23, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  35. sergio stewart

    EJ is one of the greattest musician and performer of all times. I had the opportunity to see him in life. Just amazing.
    His talent and passion is remarkable. Love you EJ.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Steve_O

    Maybe, perhpas they would capture the Country textue of Tumbleweed Connection. But either way, he has to hook up with his old writing partner..Bernie Taupin.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Philadelphia

    This man is pure genius and yes, he has released tons of new material and has had sell-out world tours with his new music. I have adored Elton since I was 12 years old.....I'm now 50; that is how much fabulous music this guy has. Have seen him in concert 20 times! And let us NEVER FORGET his collaboration with Bernie Taupin, greatest lyricist/poet of all time.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Joel

    Denizen Kate,

    "Burnett" is T-Bone Burnett. He is an artist and producer who has been involved in many successful projects, including, but not limited to, the Allison Krause and Robert Plant collaboration as well as the soundtracks to "Walk the Line" and "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou," among others.

    He's a really talented guy, and if you like that kind of music, I recommend you checking him out. He did a really great interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gloria

      Ideally I would like to avoid siprleos. One of the things on my to-do list is implement tags like [spoiler] [/spoiler] for notes/synopsis/character fields that will be invisible by default unless you ask to be spoiled. Then we'll be able to do both.

      February 13, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  39. wesley

    Wouldn't it be great if T-Bone Burnett would produce an album for Sir Elton? Bring back some of the grit and texture of earlier Elton. T-Bone or Rick Rubin — either one would do him justice!

    February 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Steve_O

    Yeah me too, but let him just perform his stuff from 1970-75.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  41. susanf

    To all you EJ haters get over it. He has given us years of wonderful music. If you do not believe in what he does move on he has a right to his opinion. He is who he is one of the greatest rock and roll people on earth. Great musician and a great soul very generous from what I here. I only wish I could have been there that is my life long dream to see Elton front row. Love you EJ

    February 23, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Steve_O

    Love the Elton too, but lets get real he has not released anything worth a dam since 1975. And Bridges best rle of all time ...who else the Dude in Big Lewbowski

    February 23, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Dale

    Denizen Kate.............The second sentence of the article( which I am sure you read) says "T-Bone Burnett"

    February 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Nick

    T-Bone Burnett was a solo artist-turned producer for artists like Counting Crows, Los Lobos, Roy Orbison, and many more. I think my favorite of his production projects was Raising Sand from Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. Great stuff!

    February 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  45. ggergg30

    Chris D., Burnett is T. Bone Burnett. One of the best music producers ever imo.

    February 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Seonaid

    Burnet is T-bone Burnett – he wrote soundtrack for this and other great films like Walk the Line. Worth googling! Also check out Jeff Bridges' web-site – he is a very cool guy.

    February 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Christopher D

    'Pete' is right,Elton-ignore the haters and keep doing what U always do so well! Been a fan for years and loved your tireless work with AIDS charities. And by the way I didn't even know Jeff "Big Lebowski" Bridges could play-wow,he can rock with the best of 'em!

    February 23, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Denizen Kate

    Please pardon my ignorance, but the brief article ends with ". . . the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer slipped into a booth with Bridges and Burnett . . ." Who is Burnett?

    February 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Jan

    How awesome, this was really neat. Wonder if Jeff knew Elton was even there, or if it was a complete surprise. How cool to jam with Elton, and for Elton to jam with Jeff and T-Bone. I would have loved to have been there! So GLAD Jeff is finally getting all the accolades he deserves. A great actor, what, he's been doing it since he was 19 for sure. He better win the Oscar, too long in coming, he's given many great performances over the years. One of my favorites, you know; hire, Jeff, he'll give it his all. Congratulations, Jeff you deserve it over all the others, WAY too long in coming. What a sweet, nice guy he is. Lucky wife, I do envy.

    February 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Debra R

    Can't you guys take a joke?

    February 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Pete

    Debra....sir Elton has saved millions of lives under the Ryan White program and the mega millions he has raised for hiv and aids. He deserves all the attention he can get! Love you Rocket Man!!!! Love you too Gay Jesus!!!! (don't like the straight Jesus too much...very limited in mind ... like his followers)

    February 23, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Kate K

    Debra R, you sound a little jealous... and BTW – Sir Elton is an entertainer, THAT'S WHAT HE DOES, gets noticed...

    February 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Lisa K

    Excuse me. Debra~~~Elton does not need any special attention, in my eyes, as he is an all-time great! This man is so very talented....need I say more?

    February 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  54. JacklynD

    I am envious of all those who got to witness such an unexpected tribute to one of my favorite actors, Jeff Bridges.

    February 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Debra R

    Not getting enough attention at home Elton? You sure are trying to get people to notice you lately....

    February 23, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  56. John Bata

    Gee, it must be nice to be one of the hollywood elite. (irony)

    February 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Jason from Hollywood

    Elton can play – I don't care if he thinks Jesus is gay or if he thinks unicorns look better in tuxedos – anyone who can play like that is worth giving a break!

    February 23, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |

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