May 22, 1950 Bernie Taupin is born in Lincolnshire, England.
First of all, happy birthday to my father-in law, Mike Levinton. We just got back from a beautiful birthday lunch downtown.
And happy birthday to Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s lyricist.
Your Song is the first Elton John song I ever learned. I was still living in Brooklyn (born and raised) and I was probably a senior in high school. There was a Beefsteak Charlie’s on Ocean Avenue and Avenue Z close to Sheepshead Bay and I played solo piano there for about a month. It was one of those places where I was tucked away in some corner with my Fender Rhodes and a mic. The gig was 4 hours long and nobody paid any attention to me at all.
It was a loud restaurant. They kept the tv’s on with various sports games and there were noisy big tables and silverware clanking about, so on these kind of gigs I would just go through my repertoire and think of it as practice. One night after I played Your Song some guy came over and gave me a $50 bill and told me it was his wife’s and his favorite song and that his wife had died last year and then he proceeded to tell me his life story until the manager came over and asked why I had stopped playing.
So I told the guy we’d chat later but when I finished my set he was gone. It’s strange how little interactions with people stick with you.
Elton is very lucky to have a great lyricist, as I am to have Claudia who writes my lyrics and makes me look smart. It takes a village.
and this song’s for you…