Sir Elton John will step out on stage at Vicarage Road this evening for the first of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road shows at the home of the Hornets, but back in 1977 the rock star was in town for a very different reason – to be the star of a special Watford Observer calendar.

The Elton John calendars went on sale in November 1977 and showed the music star in “Watford surroundings”.

Costing a bargain £1.30 including VAT, the calendar was produced by this newspaper and included “12 full colour pictures of Elton, plus comments and captions written by Elton himself.”

All proceeds went to Watford FC and, according to a promotional article in the Watford Observer on November 15, 1977, “the calendars have already prompted inquiries from Denmark and the United States”.

Watford Council has been sharing pictures from the calendar on its Facebook page this week as it looks forward to Elton’s performances, but if you’ve not seen them – or missed a few – scroll down this page to enjoy the 12 pictures and the captions written by Elton.


Watford Observer:

“Me…in a desperate attempt to send the sales of this record shop plummeting. I mean, would you step over me to buy a record? Or would you move on to the next store?

“I used to buy my records in Watford in the old days but then they used to have little separate booths with glass doors and you used to stand in there like goldfish mouthing the words.”


Watford Observer:

“One of the highlights of the afternoon session around central Watford was this sequence. Once upon a time, as all stories start, I used to hare up this road from the High Street Station, jostling my way through the crowds on the way to Vicarage Road. This time I was chauffeur-driven with a local journalist hiding in the back seat to keep out of the picture. Every time he tried to get up, I thumped him on the head…down dog, down.”


Watford Observer:

“As long as I can remember the fig-tree tomb in Watford Parish Church yard has fascinated me. A man who did not believe in the here-after asked to be buried with a seed which would germinate so that his relatives would know that his soul was still alive.

"A fig-tree grew from the tomb at the beginning of the last century and that made a lot of people think he’d made it. The only trouble is that the tree has since died, so I don’t know where that leaves you folks. Anyway there is an interesting contrast of ancient and modern in the church precincts.”


Watford Observer:

“The James Hunt of the Grand Union Canal. One of the country’s major canals flows through Cassiobury Park in Watford, alongside the River Gade. A vast area of parkland surrounds it. Personally I’ve always found boats a bit frustrating. After I’ve gone backwards and forwards in them, I tend to ask, ‘Well what else do they do?’ But my association with this area, Croxley Green, Cassiobury and Watford in general, goes back some 25 years. It’s my Jubilee Year.”


Watford Observer:

“Sport is big in Watford. They have two leisure centres in the immediate area and almost every sport is catered for in the locality, even skiing. Next to football my great love is tennis and squash. Here the local sports outfitter, Dave Barton shows me a new racket or racquet if you prefer.”


Watford Observer:

“This is the real me, as nature, or my mother, intended. It’s just too much, I know. Watford stretches out in the background to the picture which was taken from the top of a car park. The park is right in the distance, as are the seven hills of Croxley Green.”


Watford Observer:

“Me surrounded by a group who want to know the name of my tailor. No I didn’t get the outfit off the peg, sir. Actually it is a lot easier strolling around the streets in England than it is in America. I would never fancy becoming a recluse and keeping away from public places. I think you have to go out and about to keep your feet on the ground.”


Watford Observer:

“My major love at Watford…Watford FC, my fellow directors and the playing staff. The club’s manager, Graham Taylor prepares very soundly for every match, in fact every eventuality. Judging by the way he is looking, seated on the end there, we’ll be fielding a team of worms next season. But seriously folks, football is my first love. I used to stand on the terraces in wind and rain in the old days and I have never lost my enthusiasm for the game. Becoming chairman of Watford realised my biggest ambition in life.”


Watford Observer:

“You may well ask what I’m doing sitting on a bench in central Watford. Well, apart from watching the passers-by, listening to the splash of fountains in the pond, hearing the patter of tiny pigeons’ feet and noting the pleasant contrast of Tudor brick and modern architecture, I’m waiting for the central library to open. That’s when you can get in to read all the daily newspapers free of charge.”


Watford Observer:

“Three corns in a fountain. No, I’m not taking the waters of Watford or practising for another live outside broadcast. This was just the only way we could get the fountains, me and the Town Hall in the same shot. I’ve only done one outside broadcast in Watford and that was at Vicarage Road on the pitch. We won’t be doing that again in a hurry…the groundsman didn’t speak to me for weeks.”


Watford Observer:

“Subways and underpasses can be boring, concrete affairs. I am all in favour of brightening them up. A local art student, Paul Bannister, came up with this design of me. Now I am not suggesting every subway should have paintings of me…but this idea of getting local art students to add a bit of colour to a dull area, should spread. One up to Watford.”


Watford Observer:

“In order to play golf you have to see. I don’t play golf. But I do enjoy pitch and putt, but my eyesight just isn’t good enough for the long-range stuff. Actually the Watford area is well served for pitch and putt. Golf clubs too with Moor Park and West Herts but they will spoil those beautiful lawns by putting sand pits in the middle of them…”