The El­ton John im­per­son­ator so good he was hired El­ton John

Scot’s joy at role in star’s f inal gigs

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Paul Sinclair - By Bill Caven

WITH his flam­boy­ant cos­tumes and elec­tri­fy­ing stage per­for­mances, Sir El­ton John has en­ter­tained mil­lions down the decades.

Now as he brings the cur­tain down on his amaz­ing ca­reer with a world­wide tour, a lit­tle-known Scots mu­si­cian has re­vealed his star­ring role in the pop leg­end’s farewell show.

Rus An­der­son, 38, was cho­sen by the Rocket Man him­self to play his ‘body dou­ble’ in a video se­quence which is shown dur­ing con­cert per­for­mances.

Hav­ing been an El­ton trib­ute per­former in the US for more than a decade, it has proved the ul­ti­mate ac­co­lade for the life­long fan.

Last night, speak­ing for the first time about his dou­ble life as Sir El­ton, An­der­son, who is orig­i­nally from Old Drum­chapel, Glas­gow, re­called how he was even flown to Los An­ge­les to meet his hero in per­son.

He told The Scot­tish Mail on Sun­day: ‘It was a dream come true, for sure, and such an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence – es­pe­cially get­ting the chance to ac­tu­ally talk to him.

‘I have been told many times in the past I re­sem­bled and even played like a younger El­ton but I’d never re­ally thought any­thing about it. You sim­ply ac­cept the com­pli­ments at the time and move on.

‘He has been a ma­jor part of my life for so long now and I’m in awe of him.’

The in­vi­ta­tion to take part in the video came in an email from the star’s of­fice, say­ing they were look­ing for him to play a young El­ton for ‘pho­tos and videos to be shown as part of a top se­cret project’.

An­der­son said: ‘When it ar­rived at first I thought it was a wind-up – thank­fully not, how­ever.’ He met his idol at the Hol­ly­wood stu­dio of renowned pho­tog­ra­pher and mu­sic video pro­ducer David LaChapelle. Af­ter be­ing asked to pre­pare for the pho­to­shoot by don­ning the glitzy LA Dodgers cos­tume worn by the star for his first per­for­mance in Amer­ica in the 1970s, An­der­son says he re­alised some­thing spe­cial was about to hap­pen. The for­mer Bears­den Acad­emy pupil added: ‘We were get­ting ready for pho­tos in a hos­pi­tal room set, then in walked El­ton. ‘He came right up to me and said, “Hey, Rus from the Dodgers video. You’re do­ing a great job, young man”. I just mut­tered, “Thank you so much for the op­por­tu­nity, Sir El­ton”.

‘Then there was mu­sic blast­ing and fog ma­chines. It was like a big party. Never in my life did I think I would get the chance to meet him, far less be pho­tographed to­gether.’

The promo video for the Farewell Yel­low Brick Road Tour is a high-en­ergy jour­ney from 1970 un­til now, seen through Sir El­ton’s eyes.

An­der­son’s trib­ute show now reg­u­larly at­tracts thou­sands of El­ton fans in the States. He added: ‘Not only am I a trib­ute act, I’m ex­tra priv­i­leged to have met and worked with him too.’

FLAM­BOY­ANT: Sir El­ton John in one of his out­ra­geous stage cos­tumes in the 1970s BODY DOU­BLE: Rus An­der­son, in­set left, and as Sir El­ton

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