Prior to greeting the crowd Tuesday at the fifth annual Elton John AIDS Foundation: An Enduring Vision gala at the Waldorf-Astoria, the singer had music on his mind.
Elton John, who joined Neil Young onstage to play “Harvest Moon” and “Your Song” later in the evening, explained why he was carrying around a photocopy of Young’s well-known tune.
“I didn’t know the chords so (Young) wrote them down for me (to memorize),” he said.
During her opening speech, host Whoopi Goldberg made sure the audience paid attention to more than just the night’s musical performance.
“I am going to just cut to the chase,” Goldberg told guests as they ate dinner. “We need your money … I want you to make sure that you show that money because you don’t want a menopausal black woman coming to your table snatching your purse.”
Guests heeded her words. An auction package for an eight-person trip to London, which included a dinner and a movie with John and his partner David Furnish, spawned a bidding war. Item sold three times, twice for $140,000 and once for $150,000.