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Pat Boone reveals Elton John confrontation: ‘I assumed you had been going to sue me’

Pat Boone is recalling among the most memorable movie star encounters that he has had over his decades-long profession.

In an interview with Fox Information Digital, the 88-year-old singer and actor, who’s celebrating his seventieth yr in present enterprise, mirrored on the particular moments that he shared with well-known entertainers, U.S. presidents, politicians and royalty prior to now. In a single notable spotlight, Boone regarded again on the time when he met Elton John for the primary time.

In the course of the encounter, the legendary crooner confronted John over the similarities between the falsetto “la-la-la” hooks in each his 1962 track “Speedy Gonzales” and the U.Okay. native’s 1972 hit “Crocodile Rock.”

“I mentioned, ‘Sir Elton, I’ve somewhat bone to select with you,’” Boone remembered.

pat boone smiling elton john with hands out

Pat Boone, left, recalled having a “little bone” to select with Elton John after they met for the primary time. (Getty)

He continued, “And he checked out me with a responsible grin, and I mentioned, ‘You recognize, I did a track referred to as ‘Speedy Gonzales.” [Boone began singing the ‘Speedy Gonzales’ hook ‘La la la la la la la la la’] And also you used it.'”


“And he mentioned, ‘Sure, I used it in ‘Crocodile Rock,’ and I assumed you had been going to sue me.’”

Nonetheless, Boone revealed that his response was really fairly the other.

“I mentioned. ‘Sue you?’ You recognize, we performers, we’re thrilled when any person does one thing that we did. I used to be honored.'”

Boone, who was one of the vital well-known teen idols of the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties and second solely to Elvis Presley because the top-selling rock ‘n’ roll artist throughout that point, mentioned he found that John was a longtime fan of his music. 

 Pat Boone starring in the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth as Alec McEwen.

Pat Boone referred to as Elton John out over similarities within the hooks between their songs “Speedy Gonzales” and “Crocodile Rock.” (Getty)

“He mentioned, ‘I had all of your data. I had ‘Love letters within the Sand’ and ‘April Love’ and all these songs,” Boone recalled. “‘However once I heard ‘Speedy Gonzales,’ I knew I used to be going to have to make use of that ‘La la la la la la la la la.” And he used it in ‘Crocodile Rock.’ So we celebrated that collectively.”

“Speedy Gonzales” was written by Buddy Kaye, Ethel Lee and David Hess, also called David Dante. Dante was the primary artist to document the monitor, which appeared on the Sizzling 100 in April 1961.

Boone’s cowl peaked at #6 on the Sizzling 100, the place it spent 13 weeks. It was a global High 10 hit, reaching #1 in a number of European international locations. 

“Once I first heard ‘Speedy Gonzales,’ I used to be showing within the Araneta Coliseum in Manila, a 24,000-seat 10-day engagement,” Boone informed Fox Information in 2021. “Late one night time in somewhat membership, somewhat trio rocked the joint with this goofy track – which was no 1 there, an American document by David Dante on RCA… I needed to sing it, it was such enjoyable!”


British singer and musician Elton John, wearing a white suit, black shirt with flower motif and multicolored sunglasses, London, November 1973

Elton John mentioned that he thought Pat Boone would sue him, however the former teen idol had fairly the other response. ( Michael Putland/Getty Photographs)

“I introduced the unique document residence, added my very own prologue and obtained periods singer Robin Ward to voice Rosita and Mel Blanc as Speedy,” Boone continued. “We had a ball recording it – and it zoomed up the charts, right here and world wide, sooner than another document I ever made. In any case, the character was Speedy!”

Boone mentioned that over time, the track has remained a beloved favourite amongst followers.
“By means of my subsequent profession, all over the place I carry out, I at all times sing ‘Speedy’ – and the largest cheers are from the Latin audiences,” mentioned Boone. “He’s their nationwide favourite. Even Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu calls me ‘Speedy’ at any time when we meet as a result of he cherished that track when he was at MIT in faculty – and it was my greatest hit in Israel, too.”


Written by John and his collaborator of over 50 years, Bernie Taupin, “Crocodile Rock” grew to become the hitmaker’s first U.S. primary single. The track went gold in 1973 and was licensed platinum by 1995.

In a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, John admitted that “Crocodile Rock” was a “actually blatant homage to ‘Speedy Gonzales’ and all the good Fifties and Sixties data that we used to like, like Danny and the Juniors’ ‘On the Hop.'”

Pat Boone

Pat Boone met Queen Elizabeth for the primary time in 1958 when he headlined a royal selection efficiency on the London Coliseum. On the time, Boone informed the press he wouldn’t put on his white buckskin sneakers, which had been his trademark, alongside along with his go well with. (Getty Photographs)

Throughout his interview with Fox Information Digital, Boone reminisced over twice having the glory of assembly and performing for the late Queen Elizabeth II. The primary encounter occurred in 1958 when he headlined a royal selection efficiency on the London Coliseum.

“I did two royal command performances,” he remembered. “One once I was nonetheless in faculty. Get this, I used to be doing rock ‘n’ roll, however I used to be a teen idol all of a sudden. I used to be nonetheless in faculty at Columbia and married already. And I went to my first command efficiency and sang for the Queen and Princess Margaret and the entire royal household, after which got here again once more about six years later and sang for her once more.”

In 1962, Boone traveled to London for the Royal Movie Efficiency, the place he got here nose to nose once more with the monarch. 

Nonetheless, the singer’s second assembly with Queen Elizabeth didn’t go as easily as he would have hoped.

Pat Boone Queen Elizabeth

Pat Boone recalled “embarrassing myself terribly” throughout his second assembly with Queen Elizabeth in 1962. ( Photograph by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone by way of Getty Photographs)

I embarrassed myself terribly as a result of I did not suppose she would do not forget that first time,” he admitted. “So she’s strolling down the gauntlet of all the opposite artists which can be a part of that individual command efficiency: Peter Finch, Peter Sellers, Claudia Cardinale and me. And I do know all I’ve to do is bow and say, ‘Your Majesty.’ And if she says something to me, I reply. And you do not lengthen your hand. If she extends her hand, you are taking it, however you do not lengthen your hand. You simply say, ‘Your Majesty.'”


“OK, I am blasé. I would already achieved it as soon as earlier than, however I did have somewhat fluttery abdomen the nearer she obtained to me,” he continued. “And all of a sudden the queen is standing in entrance of me. She comes as much as about right here on me. And he or she did not lengthen her hand, however she mentioned, ‘We met earlier than.’ I mentioned, ‘We did?’”

“I meant, ‘You do not forget that?’ However the very first thing that got here out of my mouth when she mentioned, ‘We met earlier than,’ the Queen of England, was ‘We did?’”

“When was that? Actually?” Boone added with a chuckle. “I imply, how embarrassed are you able to be? And I’ve an image of me on the London Occasions newspaper entrance web page simply after that occurred. And the queen is smiling with an enormous smile and Claudia Cardinale is laughing. Guess what she’s laughing at?”

“I fluttered to attempt to appropriate it, but it surely was already out of my mouth,” he recalled with fun.

President Eisenhower in oval office with H.E. Humphreys, Jr., chairman of the board of the U.S. Rubber Company; and National Chairman of National Bible Week; and singer pat Boone, right, honorary co-chairman.

Pat Boone informed Fox Information Digital that he had met and carried out for nearly each U.S. president since Harry Truman. He’s pictured right here with Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Getty)

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch was removed from the one head of state that Boone encountered over his lifetime. “The Mulligan” star informed Fox Information Digital that he shared memorable moments with virtually all of the U.S. presidents courting again to Harry Truman, who served from 1945 to 1953.

“I’ve sung for and identified all of the presidents since Harry Truman,” Boone recalled. “And he performed ‘The Missouri Waltz’ with me on the piano in Independence, Missouri, after he was not president and I went to go to him.”

He famous, “The one one I have never met was Obama. And for some purpose, it simply by no means occurred.”

president richard nixon and first lady pat nixon with pat boone shirley boone and four daughters at nixon inauguration

The legendary performer mentioned one of many highlights of his profession was acting at President Nixon’s 1973 inauguration along with his spouse Shirley and his 4 daughters Cherry, Linda, Debby and Laurey. The Boone household is pictured right here with Nixon and first girl Pat Nixon. (Getty)

The Tennessean mentioned that acting at President Nixon’s inauguration in 1973 was one of many greatest highlights of his profession. Boone remembered that he was invited to sing along with his spouse Shirley and his 4 daughters Cherry, Linda, Debby and Laurey.

“My ladies had been all youngsters at solely three and a half years aside,” he mentioned. “They had been 14, 15, 16 and 17. And as a protecting dad, I created a household act. It turned out my ladies might sing in addition to any woman act you ever heard. And my spouse. So we had been on the presidential inauguration — Frank Sinatra on the music heart in Washington. And it was so huge that we needed to have two concert events, one hosted by Bob Hope, the opposite by Frank Sinatra. And in each of them, I sang with my household.”


Natalie Cole, President Ronald Reagan, NBC News Tom Brokaw, First Lady Nancy Reagan, student singer, Pat Boone, Amy Grant

In 1985, Pat Boone visited the Reagan White Home throughout Christmas with Natalie Cole, Tom Brokaw and Amy Grant. (R.M. Lewis Jr./NBC/NBCU Photograph Financial institution)

After a profession in leisure that now spans seven a long time, Boone continues to be going sturdy. Final yr, he starred within the faith-based movie “The Mulligan.” He hosts a weekly SiriusXM radio present, “The Pat Boone Hour,” and is touring to advertise his twenty eighth e book, “IF-The Everlasting Selection We All Should Make.”

Boone lately launched his new single “Grits,” which marked a collaboration with a variety of nation stars, together with Deborah Allen, The Gatlin Brothers, Dean Miller, Lorrie Morgan and Ray Stevens.

“Now I am extolling the holiness of grits,” he mentioned with a smile. “All of us must be consuming grits. It is good for us. It is a Christian meals. It is pure.”

Members of the National day Prayer organizing committee looking on, including entertainer Pat Boone, (C-white suit), President Reagan signs a proclamation honoring the day in an oval office ceremony May 5th.

Pat Boone was a member of the Nationwide Day of Prayer organizing committee. President Reagan indicators a proclamation honoring the day in an Oval Workplace ceremony. (Getty)

Although he has lengthy been identified for his squeaky-clean picture and religious Christian religion, Boone informed Fox Information Digital that he’s not as “sq.” as some would possibly suppose. He famous that he has loved his share of fine instances together with his encounters with among the world’s most well-known faces.


“These are some nice moments which have come my manner. In the meantime, I am nonetheless regarded as a stick within the mud and Elvis, Mr. Pleasure. And I am that overly spiritual man. However, , I’ve had many entertainers inform me now, a variety of them, that, ‘You recognize I used to make jokes about you, and also you appear to be so sq.,'” he mentioned.

“I really wrote a track referred to as ‘Are There Any Extra Squares Out There?’ I kidded about the truth that Dean Martin used to say in his act, ‘You recognize, Pat Boone, he’s so spiritual. I shook fingers with that boy the opposite day. My complete proper facet sobered up,'” he remembered with fun. “And I’d quote that in my act as a result of I’d simply make enjoyable of my sq. picture. And that was saying in a manner, ‘Properly, I am not as sq. as they are saying.'”

“Nevertheless it’s been enjoyable all alongside.”


Fox Information Digital’s Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.

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