Reynolds Coliseum has been the home to two NC State men’s basketball championship teams. The building has hosted presidents and ambassadors. Comedians like Bob Hope have entertained there. But the “House the Case Built” has a long legacy of being at the heart of rock ‘n’ roll, too, hosting such acts as the Rolling Stones.
And on this day in 1980, Reynolds added to that legacy by welcoming Elton John to perform.
John was touring that year in support of his album, 21 at 33, named so because it was John’s 21st release at the age of 33. The 1980 world tour was one that saw John consistently perform memorable hits like “Tiny Dancer,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Rocket Man,” and “Saturday Night’s Alright (for Fighting).”
He also played “Bennie and the Jets” many times on the tour, but it is yet to be confirmed if the song is, in fact, a tribute to NC State Alumni Association Executive Director Benny Suggs ’69, who was a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy and earned his Naval Aviation Wings in 1971.