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As the release of the 40th anniversary reissue of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road draws closer (March 25th, to be exact), is looking back . . . at an interview conducted in 2007 with one of the original’s principals.


Ian Beck disclosed that he was chosen to make the album’s cover drawing because of another jacket he’d created a few months prior. This was for Jonathan Kelly‘s Wait Until They Change The Backdrop.

Beck said: ”The design team at Rocket Records liked that cover and wanted something similiar. I had also done covers for Focus Live at The Rainbow and other lesser known performers as well as trade advertisements for Ry Cooder, Richie Havens, Stephen Stills, James Taylor and others.”

Going back to the Rocket Man, the artist commented: ”I based my likeness of Elton on supplied photographs (he had a pink flash in his hair that year). I presented some roughs and was then told to go ahead: I had a week to do the whole thing.

”It was very exciting to listen to the master tapes of the Elton discs in the office. I was interested in the music, but in truth I was and remain more interested in classical and film music than rock.”

In ensuing years, Beck has been an illustrator and author of children’s books. His latest, Captain Holloway’s Casebook Series: The Disappearance of Tom Pile, is due in December.

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