On August 25th, 1970, Elton John made his U.S. debut at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles. The performance kicked off a brief tour and led to a recording contract with MCA.
Some interesting facts and quotes from that night courtesy of Paul Mclauchlan's Cornflakes and Classics;
Elton was wearing a beard, bell-bottom jeans and a red shirt with "Rock And Roll" spelt in white letters. Elton was co-headliner with David Ackles. The set lasted about an hour. Leon Russell was in the audience. Elton played nightly through August 30.
The photo used for the Honky Chateau album cover was taken backstage on this night.
Robert Hilburn wrote in the August 27th Los Angeles Times:
Rejoice. Rock music which has been going through a rather uneventful period recently, has a new star. He's Elton John, a 23-year-old Englishman,whose debut Tuesday night at the Troubadour was, in almost every way, magnificent.
... His music is so staggeringly original that it is obvious he is not merely operating within a given field (such as country or blues or rock) but, like Randy Newman and Laura Nyro among others, creating his own field... He has, to be sure, borrowed from country, rock, blues, folk and other influences, but he has mixed them in his own way. The resulting songs are so varied in texture that his work defies classificatlon . . .
While his voice most often resembles Jose Feliciano, there are at times touches of Leon Russell and Mick Jagger...
John's songs are co-written by lyricist Bernie Taupin, whose lyrics often capture the same timeless, objective spirit of the Band's Robbie Robertson . . .
Beyond his vocals, melodies and arrangements there is a certain sense of the absurd . . . that is reminiscent of the American rock stars of the mid-1950s . . .
By the end of the evening, there was no question about John's talent and potential.
Tuesday night at The Troubadour was just the beginning. He's going to be one of rock's biggest and most important stars.
Kathy Orloff, Chicago Sun Times:
"He was a major star before the end of his first set."
"The future seems incredibly bright for John."
John L. Wasserman, San Fransisco Chronicle
"He had hardly opened his mouth when it was apparent that he is going to be a very, very big star."
John Gibson, Holywood Reporter
"It's not often that someone gets a standing ovation at the Troubadour, but Elton John did - twice."
In 1990 Rolling Stone Magazine rated this show as amoung the twenty concerts that changed rock and roll.