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In this Cold War ballad, a westerner falls in love with an East German citizen who he cannot meet because he is not allowed to cross the Berlin Wall. This was a very revolutionary song during the Cold War, and Eastern Europeans who lived in the communist block would listen to western radio stations such as Free Europe and picked up on the sentiments.
Though the song appears to be about a woman, Nikita in Eastern Europe can also be a man's name. At the time Elton John was married to German engineer Renate Blauel. Their marriage lasted 4 years, although Elton John later admitted he realized he was homosexual before his marriage.
The Ken Russell directed video has Elton John regularly crossing the border post into Communist Europe. One of the guards is Nikita, and gradually the two fall in love. The girl in the video is Anya Major, who was also the hammer thrower in a famous "1984" television commercial for Apple Computer. The video also features a red Bentley Continental Convertible, which was owned by Elton John from 1985 to 2000.
A songwriter named Guy Hobbs sued Elton in April, 2012 claiming that he wrote a song called "Natasha" in 1982 about a Western man falling for a Russian woman that worked on a cruise ship during the Cold War. He alleged that Elton stole his lyrics three years later for this song. The Grammy-winning singer argued that a successful musician like him would never lift lyrics from some no-name songwriter and also that the song's theme was too general to win copyright protection. The Illinois judge found in favor of Elton and dismissed the lawsuit.
Gary Louris of The Jayhawks
The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.
Newman makes it look easy these days, but in this 1974 interview, he reveals the paranoia and pressures that made him yearn for his old 9-5 job.