Is Elton John set to host the 2011 ARIA Awards? After last year’s debacle which made a train wreck look benign in comparison, the rumours are swirling that the Rocket Man himself may be the person to reverse the damage to ARIA’s reputation in light of the fiasco TV viewers and music fans saw at home. With concerns that the fiasco might have shafted the award’s ceremony’s chances of ever appearing on commercial TV again (and therefore reducing sponsorship monies), the bait of having Elton as a host might just be enough to lure the free to air channels back in.
Music biz insiders have been whispering that the big gap in Elton John’s upcoming Australian tour and the lack of a Sydney date are all conveniently close to the usual November event date. What’s more, Elton John has a long history with the awards – he hosted the very first instalment of them way back in 1987. Indeed his speech as host back when they were not televised and held at Sydney’s Sheraton Wentworth Hotel, could now be interpreted as highly prescient, with the Crocodile Rocker warning the crowd of boozed and coked up record industry execs to keep the awards away from TV cameras “if you want these awards to stay fun”.
His sage words of warning also included the advice; “The only reason I agreed to do this is because it’s not on television. If, in future years, you keep it like that, I think it means something more because it’s much more personal.” Hopefully he has changed his mind and might be able to assist music fans in putting last year’s debacle to the back of their minds.