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When Elton John became a rock star: The untold story of the Troubadour concert

UNI head Russ Regan and publicist Norm Winter, through the force of their big personalities and relentless hype, helped fill the Troubadour, which had a capacity of about 300, with L.A.’s best-known musicians. On opening night, Neil Diamond introduced John, and other attendees included Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton, Linda Ronstadt, Brian Wilson and Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Van Dyke Parks, Don Henley, Randy Newman, David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. But for Elton’s future, the most important witness was Times pop critic Robert Hilburn, who wrote an inflamed review. “Rejoice!” Hilburn announced. “Rock music has a new star.”