TAIPEI, Taiwan – Sir Elton John (search) warmed up his vocal chords for a concert Thursday in Taiwan by telling photographers they're a bunch of "rude, vile pigs."
The media ambushed the rock star after he arrived by private plane Thursday shortly after midnight at Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek International Airport. John was angry that police allegedly did not properly restrain the pack and protect him "from the ensuing chaos," a statement issued by the singer said.
ETTV cable news showed footage of John, dressed in a royal blue track suit and matching sunglasses, berating the photographers and TV crews as he cleared immigration. The fuming star was also shown clenching his teeth and muttering expletives as he stood with his arms crossed tightly across his chest.
"Rude vile pigs," shouted John, who performed later in the capital, Taipei. "Do you know what that means? Rude vile pigs. That's what all of you are."
One of the photographers shouted back, "Why don't you get out of Taiwan?"
John answered, "We'd love to get out of Taiwan if it's full of people like you. Pig! Pig!"
The star, who recently performed in Shanghai (search) and Hong Kong, said, "We had a great tour of the Far East and then we come to Taiwan and (expletive)."
John's statement said, "Despite this frightening arrival, his spirits remain high and he is looking forward to performing the concert."
At his concert, the British star told his fans that the airport photographers were the rudest people he's ever met during his travels around the world. He said he meant every word he said to them.
He wasn't the first foreign star to experience an immediate case of culture shock after encountering aggressive Taiwanese photographers at Taipei's airport.
When British singer Robbie Williams (search) arrived for a concert in 2001, he ran through the terminal as photographers pursued him.
Some reporters objected to Williams' use of an expletive when referring to Taiwan.
"I didn't insult your country. I will insult you," Williams said before rattling off a series of expletives.