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Elton’s Writing Partner Replies to Fans’ Inquiries
Posted by editor_usa

Wednesday 6
April 2011 @ 17:25

Bernie Taupin has decided to address some  reoccurring questions he has received via his Web site.

He has been asked if he will bring back his Farm Dogs group, and says the answer is no.

As for tips on becoming a songwriter, improving one’s ”game” and breaking into the entertainment industry, the lyricist says:

”Dear boys and girls, if I knew the answer to that one Id be floating around on my 150-foot yacht off the Amalfi coast drinking Crystal Rose and checking out my villa through a pair of Leicas.

”The music industry has become so impersonal and corporate in the last decade that breaking in through those doors is all but impossible. The monolithic headquarters of modern day record companies dont want their sanitised offices and corridors clogged up and contaminated with shaggy, raggedy guitar slingers hawking their demos. Real A&R men are a thing of the past and the most creative and conventional way of getting noticed nowadays is through the Internet. Believe me the modern A&R man is more than likely trolling YouTube for the next Nirvana rather than circumventing the globe with perseverance and integrity. Hit the road and play as much as you can. Record in your living room, press your own CDs and sell em out of the trunk of your car. If youre the real thing, and I mean the real thing, someone will find you – believe me.

”Songwriters? No real tips here Im afraid. There are those that might disagree but you may teach yourself or be taught to write songs, but a genuine gift for it is inherent or inherited, a natural trait that youve just got or you aint. Again if theres something there, a real sense of melody, original ideas, passionate storytelling and personal commitment then pound the streets in the places that matter, a great song will eventually find a receptive ear. Just remember Kris Kristofferson was a janitor in Nashville until he rented a helicopter and landed in Johnny Cashs backyard with a sackfull of tunes and a lot of balls.”

Many have wondered whether Taupin will do a sequel to A Cradle of Haloes.

He says it is not in the cards.

”My memory of my childhood is much better than that of my 20s and beyond plus between you me and the lamppost Ive no desire to regurgitate that part of my past as its been done to death by people far more interested in it than me. There are many out there in Internet land that seem obsessed with details of our early years, people who knew us and those that didnt. Each one seems to have their own version of how things happened, endless blogs of detail that chronicle very little other than inaccuracy and a chance to elevate their status to knowledgeable insider or cog- in-wheel.”

Someone suggested Bernie was one of the most underrated songwriters of the modern rock era, to which the writer responded:

”Thanks, but Im pretty happy with our ranking on most of the blogs and lists out there these days. I am not complaining. In fact, Im quite grateful. Last time I checked the books, in terms of longevity and success, Elton and I are on the same page as Lennon & McCartney, Bacharach & David and Holland, Dozier & Holland. If thats underrated, Vanilla Ice was the Eminem of the 80s.”

As for explaining the meaning behind certain songs, Bernie says:

”Someone once came to the conclusion that Madman Across the Water was about Richard Nixon. Fabulous! How do you top that? Which is exactly why I prefer not to. Other peoples theories are much more interesting and exactly the reason why it should be left to individuals to use their imagination and make something cryptic their own. I love that. Who cares what I was thinking? Having folks create their own scenarios for a songs meaning is immensely gratifying, its half the reason I like this gig.

”Ill be honestwith my shoddy memory a lot of those old songs are a fog when it comes to recalling their genesis. I could tell you one story today and a different one tomorrow and either one could be true. No, if youve got a theory about  Levon or Take Me to The Pilot,  thats what it is and thats how it should be. Once its out there its open season and Im good with that. Still its not like everything Ive written is a riddle or some kind of weird parable. I have written youll agree much that is pretty straightforward so youll understand that Im somewhat perplexed when Im asked what Sacrifice is about and whats the story behind Funeral For a Friend? Just checked the lyric on the former and its pretty obviously about infidelity and the latter? Well, the last time I checked it was an instrumental!

”Oh and yea, yea I know I did those voice over deals on the lyric page, so before you go saying Im contradicting myself, just remember I might have made them up.”

As for Lestat, Taupin believes it has to be a seprate blog because it is ”way too complex.”

He says:

” Although one thing I will throw out to the guy who loved the San Francisco production, hated it in New York and then proceeded to rag on Rob Roth. Tit-bit of info, San Francisco was Robs vision and New Yorks was in fact Jonny Butterells. Yea Ill get back to you on this one.”

Asked about plans for a remastered Blue Moves, Bernie doesn’t know if there are such plans, and as for a CD version of Friends, it is not available and not something he is responsible for. 

The songwriter adds:

”Ive had several people sending notes and requests for me to forward things on to some guy called Elton. Lets be reasonable – Im not his P.O. box and besides, he doesnt do email. In fact the last time I checked he doesnt have a computer or own a cell phone.”

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