Longtime Elton John collaborator Bernie Taupin will detail the duo’s illustrious partnership in his upcoming book, Scattershot: Life, Music, Elton & Me.
Taupin — who has written the lyrics for most of John’s songs, dating back to his 1969 debut album Empty Sky — will release Scattershot on September 12. From the sounds of it, he won’t be following the traditional music memoir structure either.
“It was never my intention to write a traditional A to Z autobiography,” Taupin said in a statement. “I began a few years back composing essays and observations on my life that ultimately gained momentum and started to look like a book. From then on, it became a long, arduous task that was both exhilarating and liberating. It was also a lot of fun and immensely beneficial in blowing the dust off a lot of what I’d forgotten about.
“Hopefully, there’s something in it for everybody,” he continued. “It’s contemplative, self-assessing and attempts to stay off the beaten path in not regurgitating what’s already been written. Nonlinear, it’s an exploratory trip bouncing back and forth along the decades.”
Scattershot will feature plenty of scintillating snapshots from Taupin’s wild career. “We spend time in Australia at an infamous rock ‘n’ roll hotel and spend late-night hours with John Lennon, Bob Marley and Frank Sinatra,” a press release promises. “And beyond the world of popular music, we witness memorable encounters with writers like Graham Greene, painters like Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, and scores of notable misfits, miscreants, eccentrics and geniuses, known and unknown.”
Taupin met John in 1967 after they both answered the same Liberty Records ad placed in the New Musical Express seeking new songwriters. John failed the audition, but after explaining he could write music instead of lyrics, A&R man Ray Williams gave him a batch of poems written by Taupin. Impressed with his work, John reached out to the budding songwriter, beginning one of the most successful partnerships in music history.
“It’s extraordinary that we’ve never had an argument or a difference of opinion over a song,” John told Cameron Crowe. “It’s quite touching. When you consider all the wonderful relationships that have broken up because of personal or professional differences, and relationships that have prematurely come to an end – [Burt] Bacharach and [Hal] David spring to mind – we have learned to give and take.”