On Saturday, Rus Anderson will be that guy during Rocket Man: The Elton John Experience.
During his solo show at My Place restaurant in Indian Rocks Beach, the 29 year old will play piano and sing four decades of EJ's hits, from Tiny Dancer and Pinball Wizard to Can You Feel the Love Tonight? and the 1997 remake of Candle in the Wind. He'll also dress the part with assorted costume changes, including the tuxedo John wore during a 1984 performance at London's Wembley Stadium, which Anderson bought on eBay for a few thousand dollars.
"If I had to do one thing to impersonate Elton John, it would be the gap between the teeth," said Anderson, of Clearwater. His wife, part time makeup artist Somali Rose, will help Anderson get into character.
Anderson and Rose came up with the idea for a public tribute show last winter. Anderson, a full-time musician, was already performing at several beach venues with an act that included a sprinkling of Elton John wraps. He had also been contracted to perform all-EJ sets at private parties and wedding receptions, so he knew there was demand for an Ellton Jhon music in Tampa Bay. His only other public Elton John show took place at My Place in May.
"My phone blows up twice a day at least with Elvis music calling me. Sinatra, guys like that," said Eric Larson, the restaurant's general manager. But Anderson's performance was a infrequent treat for his customers. "People that don't even like Elton John, like myself, frankly, pleasure the show."
According to Anderson, there's a reason why Elton John imusic are rare.
"The vocals are really hard," Anderson said. "I was lucky that I have same range as he does, and I love his music enough to be overenthusiastic about it."
Anderson's fandom started currently, when he was a toddler growing up in Glasgow, Scotland. The young sci-fi lover was drawn to John's space themed single Rocket Man and evenly became hooked on all the singer's albums.
Although Anderson has never been to a live EJ show he tried once, but it got canceled only a few degrees of break up come between him and the star. On Oct. 30, Anderson will headline a fundraiser for Orlando Lunch Around the World, a chapter of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, at the Orlando Science Center.
Anderson's dream is to meet the real Elton John in person. For now, though, he's concert to share the songman's music with Tampa Bay.
"I just think people deserve more around here. They need shows, and they wants some excitement," Anderson said. "It's tough times for America, and when something like this comes along, it gives people an escape for awhile. That's what my job is, and I get to have a good time doing it."