An old piano in Pembrokeshire was possibly the furthest from Elton John’s mind as he sat down in front of a gleaming Yamaha instrument for his magnificent set at Glastonbury last night.

It was hailed as ‘the greatest retirement party in pop history’, with the superstar claiming his festival appearance would be the final UK gig of his long career.

Roll the years over a half-century back to Saturday June 13, 1970, Elton John was at Narberth’s Queens Hall for his very first headline appearance in Wales.

He gave a public shout-out to that early gig in Pembrokeshire when he played his final concert in Wales at the Stadium nearly a year ago.

And that 1970 date was when a problematic piano caused a hold-up for the start of the per4formance..

“Elton’s first words when he came on were: ‘Give me a few minutes, the (bleep) piano is out of tune,’” recalled Robert Joseph of Giltar Grove Farm, Penally, who had paid twelve shillings and sixpence (62.5p) to be in the audence for the occasion.

“He then proceeded to tune, cannibalise and mike up the piano, which had last been used for choirs and the WI and had never been played like this before.”

Western Telegraph: The poster for Elton John's first Welsh headliner.The poster for Elton John's first Welsh headliner. (Image: Queens Hall, Narberth)

In his memories of the gig, previously shared with the Queens Hall, Robert added: He added: “We were in the presence of a genius, a wonderful showman, and we watched in amazement as Elton played with his head and his feet, and sometimes with his hands, and brought the house down.”

Elton took to the stage billed as ‘Chart and Top of the Pops star Elton John with his backing group former members of the Spencer Davis Group’, and treated the audience to one of the first performances of Your Song, which went on to make him a global name.

“Incidentally this wasn’t Elton’s first visit to Pembrokeshire,” said Robert. “He came down a little while before, backing Long John Baldry at the Riverside Club, Haverfordwest.”