It has become one of the most legendary of the Peel Sessions. On December 18, 1973 Elton John, a serious artist reaching his peak of popularity, performs some rinky tinky pub style piano medleys surrounded by producers and managers drinking ales. He knocks out a Christmas medley first. Then a Dylan medley which is followed by one of classic pub tunes. Before the hour is up, Elton is impersonating the queen and launching boozy assaults on his own hits "Daniel" ( UK#4, 1973) and "Your Song" (UK#7,1971) while the small but clearly inebriated crowd sings along.
If the whole thing seems rather out of the Christmas spirit well that may be because Peel didn't actually give a toss about Christmas, as he disclosed on his show in 1987:
"I've been feeling sort of mildly fed up this evening, what with one thing and another. It's that kind of pre-Christmas 'triste'. Shopping was the main reason for it. I spent about five hours shopping this afternoon, achieved nothing, and you go round thinking, "Why am I doing this? Why am I feeling kind of social pressure to go round looking for stuff that people don't want, to give them on this particular day? Why not wait until they do want something and give it to them then?" Of course, quite clearly, this is not the way things go."