Elton John is well aware that clubs like the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles, where he first performed in the United States, are in danger of closing permanently due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sir Elton touched on the topic in a new BBC interview where he said, “I’ve heard that it might be closing but I think it’s going to be OK. I made a few phone calls. There are a few irons in the fire.”

John continued, “If venues like that disappear then it’s really grim stuff because they are so important for new people to go [to] and I’ve seen so many new acts there that have come from Britain. I saw Cat Stevens there when he did his first show in America. It’s a great launch pad. It’s a great room, it has atmosphere, it has everything going for it. If you can’t play well at the Troubadour, you can’t play well anywhere.”

In late July, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the United States Senate that would provide relief to independent concert venues in the U.S. hit hard due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Per Pollstar, the “Save Our Stages Act” was introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The bill would”…authorize the appropriation of $10 billion for SBA grants of up to the lesser of 45 percent of operation costs or $12 million of 2019 operational costs.”

These grants could be used by venues toward a number of costs including “rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, PPE procurement, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, and capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines.”

In June, the National Independent Venue Association sent a letter to Congress that was signed by over 600 musicians and entertainers asking for federal assistance because, “90% of independent venues report that if the shutdown lasts six months and there’s no federal assistance, they will never reopen again.”

An identical bill was introduced in the United States House of Representatives five days after being introduced in the Senate. So far, no updates on either bill pertaining to sending the legislation to a vote of any kind have been made.

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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights