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Monday, 8 June, 1998, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
Show goes on for Sir Elton John
Sir Elton John
Sir Elton was concerned about his co-star's health but believes he will be back
Pop legend Sir Elton John was forced to perform alone after ill health caused co-star singer Billy Joel to pull out of their joint tour.

The 48-year-old American had to return to New York to consult his doctor following further complications with a throat problem. Earlier in the week he had to cancel a concert in Manchester after what was described as a 'severe asthma attack'.

On Friday Billy Joel announced that he was unable to go ahead with the Wembley Stadium concert saying that he did not think he would be able to "hack" going on tour again.

"In the old days I could scream and punch my way through it, but now it wouldn't be fair to my fans," he said.

But the show went on with Sir Elton performing alone during the three-hour set.

Tour alone

Organisers had offered refunds to 50,0000 ticket holders, but they said only a few hundred asked for their money back.

Sir Elton has said he now planned to continue the Face To Face tour on his own.

He told radio station Capital FM: "It was a little odd not seeing Billy there because we're so used to doing this thing and not seeing the piano and him across from me was very strange.

Billy Joel said to continue would be unfair on his fans
"I feel really sorry for him. I spoke to him yesterday and he's in a really bad way and he feels terrible.

"This is the sort of thing that you cannot take a risk with because it could mess up your voice for all time, so he's just got to get it rested until he's ready to come back and I will go to Dusseldorf, Munich and Berlin and do these shows on my own."

But Sir Elton dismissed the suggestion and said he thought Joel would be back.

Sir Elton said: "I don't believe that for a second because Billy is a great performer and a great artist.

"I've retired so many times before. I've stomped off many a stage and said I'm not coming back, so take it with a pinch of salt."

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