On Sunday, March 12, 2023, the Chicago Prime Timers hosted Crocodile Rockstar at their open social meeting. David Zak interviewed him and presented the responses at the event. Here is the interview recap:
Do you remember where you heard your first Elton John song?
Rocket Man and Levon were the first Elton songs that I heard, and I immediately loved everything about them. I have a somewhat abstract mind and the imagery from the lyrics, music, melody, and background vocals just blew me away.
When did you try creating or wearing his costumes for the first time?
I’ve always played a few Elton John songs, but it wasn’t until I injured my right arm and wasn’t able to play piano for nearly a year-and-a-half that the Elton John tribute came about.
I was asked if I was able to perform a couple Elton John songs for a corporate Halloween event right after my injury. I told them that I could only play two or three songs and they said that was fine. When I told my husband, he asked me what costume I was going to wear. I remember replying, “Costume?” That was the catalyst for me starting my first Elton John costume.
How do you recreate the looks, and how does it feel when you are wearing one?
I start with a list of iconic costumes that I think people recognize. I sketch out a plan and then the Internet is my first stop. Every costume is like a new puzzle to solve; I’ve had to teach myself how to sew various fabrics, work with feathers, create wire harnesses, and work with leather to name a few skills I’ve taught myself. I make a lot of mistakes, but I try to learn from my mistakes and improve the costumes over time.
The costumes are an aspect of my performances that people really connect with. I always try my best to make them as accurately as I can; if I feel good about it, then I love performing in it. It’s amazing how much love there is for Elton John and people always love talking to me about the costumes after a show.
I know you are in Buena Park - do people recognize you when you walk down the street?
The costumes and glasses are so over-the-top that it’s not always easy to get an idea of what I look like behind the glasses. When I am not onstage, I am a quiet guy in khakis and black t-shirts, but once people hear my unique name (Beazley Phillips) or know that I am Crocodile Rockstar, that’s when they tell me when they saw me and want to talk about Elton John’s music, the show and costumes.
Have you ever been in touch with Sir Elton?
I have seen Elton John in concert many times over the years, but I’ve never met him. I love what he has come to stand for in our community and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather become for a night than Sir Elton John. Maybe one day I’ll get to meet him.