This week, syndicated radio show InTheStudio: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands celebrates the 40th anniversary of Elton’s 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
Elton and Bernie Taupin described to InTheStudio host Redbeard how a planned trip to Jamaica to record the disc quickly became disastrous.
Elton said, “We went to Jamaica to do the album. It was the day after the Foreman/ Fraizer fight and the whole island was crawling. I’d never been so frightened of a place in my life as Kingston. It was a very dangerous place then … Because I was afraid to go out of the hotel, most of those songs were written in a two or three day period.”
Bernie added, “You can’t really record comfortably when you’re surrounded by guards with machine guns!”
The two also discussed how certain songs came together. Bennie & The Jets, for instance, has been misconstrued lyrically, said Bernie. It was supposed to be about a futuristic rock band, and in fact, the drawing by David Larkham inside GBYBR indicated what Taupin was after.
As for Candle in the Wind, this wasn’t a ”total homage to Marilyn Monroe,” as many have believed, noted Bernie.
Listen to the full interview at