« Desert Island Discs

Classic Desert Island Discs - Elton John

2023-09-24 | 🔗
Michael Parkinson's castaway is singer Elton John in a programme first broadcast in 1986.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Pvc sounds music. Radio broadcasts- lowering the ban here, we're taking us summer break so until a buccaneer was showcasing a few programmes from our archives as usual them It's been shortened for rights reasons. This week's gay Is surmounting John Michael pocket? and cast him away in nineteen. Eighty six castaway today is one of the legendary figures of rock and roll in a notoriously fickle industry. He said All the changes to remain a star for nearly twenty years or so he's gonna chairman of often football club to sell eighty million recourse is of course elton, Let's go right back to the very beginning when you first start taking piano lessons. When I first started taking lessons when I was about six or so
I can remember exactly, but I originally started playing canna by ear because I grew up being, by my grandmother mother, because my father was in the air force and I was born my grandmother's housing in pinner middlesex, and we will, if piano in the house, because my aunt used to play and so when I was about five or six, my parents, so that we might be a good idea that term I should have some form of education in music which, but I didn't particular like, but I was very low enough they sent me to the local women go mrs jones in pennant, whose husband was a very good class commissioners. And she was lovely, and so that was a good start. And I got an ok. I could read. Ok, but I was but that much interested actually and become ill. a musician because every I remember I've wanted to do something and music, but popular music when it. That was my first influence and I mean how are the piano isis? It is a kitten watch on the television and sam move. On the other hand, I was so impressed. I could read level her stuff and must come when I can still play side saddle to this day. Let's then, is it the first musical choice for a desert island? I went
barbados uniting seventy six I'd been, baby, successful from ninety. Seventy two: seventy six, an american and all the world. My was really quite shattered, physically and mentally. And I'd never really had a long holiday in the west indies at all, and we went to bob aid us burning, talking, lyric writer and myself. We had two houses on the beach I have certain requisite you remember, and it was a pink floyd out wish. You were here, and I was a member one day we were sitting on the beach and this lady came down until I said, listen my son's dying of cancer. Can he come down and say hello to you, and we should of course bring him down for tea while they brought him down, but they carried him down pity. This is just a skin and bone is nothing of the kind that every day and of that, at the time, the track from this album that we supply the shine on you, diamond and one at sunset. We all held hands, put the track on I'm, not particularly sure thing, but we said: ok, let's just hope it gets better that was it and then three years later I was playing philadelphia. There was a knock on my what no washington dc anathema,
till dawn on this case had height steve, and I said yes can I hope it, and it was this, boy whose muscular like a services alone supposing completely healthy And yet, if you ve seen this boy- and I use literally it's three months ago- so I always remember this track and it's a wonderful track and it brings by happy floyd and shine on you, crazy diamond www bright academically as a job. Yes, I will pretty much sir, but we reached thirty. I she knew that. I wanted to do something and music
and so I didn't really bother that much and I was always a child. It could just about doing, works to scrape through an o level or to scrape through may be an a level. In fact, and stay long enough to take my levels, but I got five level: resist With music lessons when I was a pin account here, I, the genius exhibitionist scholarship to the royal academy I meant that you went to school monday to friday and you went to the academy saturday and you do your homework sunday. So I was very, very much anti Look at him in the fact that I had no leisure time may come. if a burning like that, so I went there. I still enjoy the choir, but I sometimes it's mostly at the end of it. I used to play to it nice to go up to baker street and sit on the circle line for three hours then come home, and so you love school, then before you do they fulfill all. Your academic potential award was your first job as a sound with a pin account. It was about two months if my levels of which I had no chance of really passing my cousin, was a footballer roy twenty play for nothing of forest and he knew this man, though petrella who were in denmark street in london mills, music, publishing
even though I was in a little band, then I just wanted to into music. But I didn't know how to get my foot in the door I had a job as a t, boy, general run around. I forget what wages for, but I mean I was really excited to get the chance. And I went to see my head master. Mister Waite skate smithy, while I was always quite afraid of very strict, and I was too if not on his tone, is valued definitions of what you want to do and as yet well. You have my blessing and I was I couldn't believe it cause. I thought he was going to say no he's gonna make me stay and do the examinations I thought a great decision on his part and very, very lucky decision on my part, because there are two The mills, music and started packing up parcels taking the tea in everything. And that was a very happy time. That was everybody, and I really love that. Is the second choice of of music out in the desert island. I've always black music, good soul, singers are decent mean Simone is one of my favorites in this whole time, and this is an old one of us, but the classic classic river I put a spell-
I put a spell on you, the nah neither simone I put a spot on you. about this time. Do you have any ambitions to bear some writer? No, I wasn't little band local band, hopeless, allergy, and- after about a year, mills music returned had the chance to turn professional. We did backing a lot of our using as remote rhythm of losing his black singers, maybe I was just inadequate, organist I was never had ambitions to write, songs when these energies subsequently made to records fillets record
I wrote the songs, but they were all for moscow. Mr frantic, the first one was called combat baby, both with published by news media, and one can tell it by the title of the day when he's happy works of art and I ve never been a limit right. I've always been a melody mines. Have those records consist of combat baby sixteen times and aversion and chinese? So they were very good reason left. My ban be ended up back. He moaned john borders when he had his big hitler heartaches begin and we started to play cabaret animal the cabarets is probably the one thing I refuse ever to play, because it's such nightmare for someone to play music while people not really interested, and so, the band- and I thought what can I do? Well, maybe I can be a sum ranch, a deafening enemies to sing never used to be Glenn organist have get another job, but I knew ass a musician. You can always get stop somewhere plan to be published on things that the deadlines important it's just that the ethics involve soils. advertisement in the numerous express in this room, liberty, records and they said we looking for-
talent, sunrises everything that that so I sent a letter and through great quirks, a fatal introduced by Bernie, told him when you started with bennett open in the in the early seventies, and you wrote those wonderful lights within our standards, of course, that rocket man and yellow brick road, though they're all written in pinot or they know now originally see when I met Bernie the first two or three years when he was signed to publishes, we were told to write songs for the people. In fact, in the sixties, when was the last of the great pier when you had sort of songwriters, turning out songs for other people and then the age of the singer, songwriter came and they kept more for themselves So initially we had to write two or three songs a week for other people like cilla, black or tom jones, and nobody there was so bad. Nobody ever recorded them, except that when lulu did the eurovision song contest We got one in the last six delivered a heat and it came we didn't really have any great success until about nineteen. Seventy, let's not take your third record
As I said earlier, that about classical music and when I was the academy, I didn't particularly enjoy it that much, except as a pianist who like to play chopin, is just beautiful. at. I love english sort of music and I'm a great elgon anvil williams, enigma variations. I take everywhere in the world. If I get someone always gotta, cosette and embarrassing and I decide to sit there if, especially in western, this guy's, a record along with innocent sit down at sunset, planned headphones on. I just look at sea
crying and they learn terribly emotional, and so this is the enigma. Variations in Nimrod.
Nimrod from they handing mother variations, Did you always want to be a star No. This is again going back to when I left the band visibility and started writing songs when we started writing songs for the people who say nobody wanted record them because they were good and in the organization of mangled sti brown arrived and took care of burning eyes. It was under his wing and had the Got to going to dig James and said: well, listen! not very good at what you ones do, but they are writing sums they like, and I think they have a much better future addicted, this. Could it's? Ok, you look after them and he did ass. He ran and I had to make them the records tied to sing, and then he made me sort of might records which I did. Ever think I would do first record I really made. Was I've been loving you, but that doesn't count cause cause? I wrote the lyrics first record that really got me notice was a record good. Lady samantha, when I say noticed it got a lot of airplay on the bbc and because in those days to sell records you had to go out and play live.
And the last thing I wanted to do after leaving the burma's go back on the road. Why? Because I've been on the roads, three years with a band, and I just I found it completely unglamorous and still to this day, I don't like traveling at all. It's just really boring, but I got Together with two musicians. Could nigel elsie and denmark nigel play drums and deeply base, and I I did to play in england and and then get a reputation and the help me a great deal because performing is one of the things that help An artist sort of carry on his longevity. As an artist, I mean you get the experience to play live and if you look at any of the big acts that are around now, most of them are good, live artists and once but I would enjoy it because I've never been affront man before I just been the panoply of so much I'm in charge. You not much legs to better you. I wasn't, then, none of that, but I became an extra work because a teenage years? I found that I was. I was a modest overweight, quite a bit strict up. and I was not really learned how to drop handlebar bike or a pair of hush puppies. Can you believe it
unless they are usually have you really medicines. The real problem we museum, never allowed to have it around about by my success happened in my twenty and I leave my teenage years from my twenty. I would cut do sadly, what I want to do for the first time in my life and consequently if I wanted aware that major piece of clothing did but again it wasn't time those who enjoy myself very fortunate, because we are happened, on a large scale. I went to america and played approval. in nineteen. Seventy, when the elton John out and was released and it was a revolution, the outcome, as far as that springs never been used at that and out before they ve been used in funky arrangements, though done by an angle, but master. and it revolutionized string writing on records. As far as pop music concerned, I was very well. Just out most first out, my have ado with gus dozen subsequently did seventeen there's no doubt my recent element and I went to american painted smoker called the troubadour club, and it was
it records who I was going for hyped in. I was full of three hundred people from the business, but they'd heard the album neil diamond introduced me on stage, which was a tremendous thing for him to do, because he liked the record they thought because they often turn out, and I was very dark undoing. I was gonna, come out and look like randy human. If headache not with shorts on and flying boots and mickey mouse ears and played Rock'N'Roll they. What is this and I had a review from Robert hilburn in the los angeles times and the music critic for of you and it broke minimum on his infant We are the people who unimpeded comes in Cyprus. Fluke, what's being your favorite uniform overly I've got them all here that she's adele and never anything away and I've got a mild stage. Cars are going. get them, I think, my god, I'm in the market during the month. It shows you use, luckily quite slimness works. I tend to put on when miss it. We want, ro, costumes, knights and I'm not gonna, wear inside to go through them all and someone who is so heavy amazed to wear them for three hours: those bunco the giant chicken outfit issues,
I remember that, like a torso thing, which is all chicken feathers, I remember out of it, was all black, but it had black elastic on it. I'm colored pluralism bowl shine under white light night ahead. To address with spikes coming up, so that I came on all you could see what these board on this head dress, because Excalibur and isis, removing any cods colored balls going lot of sweat and people think what is this load of old bulls, yeah and the hats. A nice open with a song called in a friend, love lies beating was quite long and by the time I finished my these hats on and also her glasses. There was one electric paragraphs of the first, I think I can remember. Anyone using state, but they were so heavy that my name is quite well tat. The end some hanging like men at my ears, but down here
quite honestly. I just consider them normal things at the time, but looking back on it, I must have been out of my mind: you're a colorful, massive goose arbitrator. Let's have another choice of record the fabric, god I originally chose eight of the saddest pieces of music. I thought now I've really got to to sum up. Tempo runs and I do love good Rock'N'Roll music. the wrong stars. They write great term record some good, let's rock- and I sent me on the beach going crazy after getting up from Nimrod really stones and late rock.
A little bit now about about soccer, because I know it's when the great passions of your life. Yes, I always supporting offered football clubs, the child, even though my cousin Roy imagined at a misty played for follow me like remember, going sitting on the touch linux, craven, cottage and seen Johnny hind, tossed chamber and people at that, which was a great experience, and then he went to forest, so. The first goal in the fifty nine cut file but I was always a wolf and support our amendment, nine, the churches, my dad, I was doing he's interview news express news, the nearly seventy with gulf or duty web- and she said about the deport. I let him off it. Why don't you approach them into a concert? And this is the time when I was wearing eight inch. I helped you More platforms than any one of the dead, none that I saw a pop group on tv was six inches. I went for it and I had pink hair. So I approached the ball. Directives are not, and this is the point of twenty may when I've had them. meeting with him of that, they must have probably left their heads off when I walked out the door. The thing that got me interest him of a cup as if the people more than, books I had seen in latvia, but they
to me so much more definite and people in my business with them in there is, for example, the washing lady, the molly it was a lovely lady. Just like me. Don't not your new record widened make something like Daniel again and cheaper than it was soon. There's no holds barred. They were very, very protective of me very, very loving member, and at one boxing day for luton, game and autonomy drinking very heavily, wasn't particular very happy and knew I was in a state and graham Titus said I want to see you for lunch, must, though I know what he was going to say, he's going to give me a lecture, so I went to his house for lunch. Then he's very nice he's a hero, but a butler brand new type of headlines. one in it. I need someone to lecture me and they ve always done that. I never can get one. Oh right, maybe get ones over some people, because, although I am but it with for they won't they'll. Tell you in some sort of way, then being food was fully back before that as well, because the mania you've been twenty years in this in this loony business now and you've survived many of you are today I mean you're, looking good you're, you're, happy you're enjoying yourself the most
in times, of course, when you went to the brink, most people do in that situation, while I think give in six years. I may god knows that seventeen opened, and I made separate singles as well and I did tours and thus it I worked motorbikes. I couldn't believe initially was happening to me. I'm glad I didn't want to become a single I'm glad I didn't have ever envisage being a star because it really happened so quickly and so stupid and- and I was suddenly from nowhere. I was there and I was complete- I was in the same room door, terrorists and people that, and I really really enjoyed it, and I think that was the case that success after six years I burned my son musically, and indeed I had had much time to myself in my private life aside just for two years, I've got to stop. I've got to stop because I was just- I was going on stay, I love performing, but if you stage and you perform a new suddenly starting in more what times the plane tomorrow. One. gon aware and your halfway through some of the new panicking. What's next word, then It's time for you to stop, because you can't cheat on a live performance. You can cheat when you make a record because you can go over and over and over and do it again, but with a live performer,
you can't cheat- and I think that's why people like life before is that applying live. I was paypal with playing live inside I've got to stop for two years, but- and the ego is such that you think well someone's going to take over my crown. In fact my crown had already slipped. You can only have the cramp two years tops probably and then you they're always produced across and is as a musician. I think there's always other fields to conquer, but you just have refresh yourself. You have to stop and build up your passion again and luckily enough, I think, you create your own, but when I did that I moved into this house in winds and which is a very big big gates, the end of it and I thought well. What am I going to do here sit here for two years and I was already a director of the football club and because I'd made that decision, the former chairman, the late chairman, said, might become chairman, and I thought, my god one if thought of becoming chairman and I accepted, so that gave me another thing to do and if I hadn't had now, I dont know what would have happened to me. And they talk about water football club. This next record is just a reminder of football. Jane listened at its yes, the anthem, the success
but what would have happened so quick. We got from the fourth through the first into the cup final in that seven years, the recently did. It is because we worked as a team of people, I'm graham tie the manager eddie. Plainly bertie made people at work there and the team This great discipline from the manager I never interfered, aborted wretch, never interfered with managerial. Too soon Graham is one of person. He believes he got that club guy more than I provide a beam, the money in the kapital I provided I think a lot of its enthusiasm and a helping hand but term hated hell of a lot of work, graham thought it might. Five years to get to the second. We got there much quicker, and this there it within the club, as always, have been very dear to me when we got to the cup final, the fa cup, for a long time that I'd heard about me with anybody singing obscenities over and evidently it's kind of weird. And that day, ever someone and I wasn't that this was disappointed. Annex tunnel I'd love to win. I would want to lose no time budgets
stand there and the robots and save twenty five thousand well supported at one end and going on the pit. It's just one I think that I can honestly say that parliament getting married. That's probably the happiest of. The
and by with me, which is of course to that, I suppose the anthem isn't it of soccer, so lovely, so lovely. When you've had this capacity always to enjoy your success, I mean a lot of people in your business. Don't seem to enjoy delay, they don't seem to know. I speak for myself and I say that I really have enjoyed it and I've always and everywhere I go. I try and pick up a memento somewhere to where I've been I'm a terrible hoarder as I've never thrown any stage clothes away. We've had the flaws reinforced here now and it's not but I mean it's a phantom, sends me something I find it very hard. I was you keep it, but also to have a new mission there about by these are known to remain outside emu, surrounded by huge chinese lions. Yet when I went to china the football club nights, I saw these lines. We went to a sort of antique dealers, this woman, who was the mother, interpreted with very, very englishwoman automatic later. Anyway she too, this is solid. Anti wholesalers and them these lions, they add to meet them
six tonnes each and- and I don't think I bought him. A tram in melbourne straight only. I grew high time in melbourne. I'm u buy if the trim anything less is a wonderful piece of books. I love old, so I'm gonna say all the things I love good craftsmanship because I buy, and then I think I gonna get it back and then how negative back? How do I get from the docks to hear that was the main thing I mean it was put on a boat from Australia to southampton, and then when it was from Southampton, we had two alternatives to get it up by road, which meant the one I have to go across the field over there and take my head john, but close the roads for about two days which I'm afraid the locals wouldn't take. All flooding by teaching helicopters, which was afoot. Don't turn it, but I mean we live so near the airport. Is you pretty here some these planes gonna run all the time. I could see the daily MIRA headline jumbo in midair collision with training. In other words, we have done that we decided not to do that. I'm a governmental. We had to be there, but it means I attend to go its own this. How have that's one of the consequences, tend to be little farcical. But now I have always been
stuff, goes into child people say well. You know you and material thing children have had a brother sister and they I've had midi somebody regular to play with, or my man say, but I mean I grew up with inanimate objects, and so I three things fellows after think, books and stuff like that, and so I suppose that's carried on, but I do collect things especially things that are old and twenties and thirties and forties or even fifties has been bentley cosmic designs and actual workmanship. And yes, I do let him because I think they should be preserved. It's not have another choice record. This one is extraordinary piece. But does musician could feel lonely monk who has of all the jazz has the most wonderful sense of humor in his music. This is from an album, a double that was captured compilation by the people playing his tracks. That was released the views and is tackled mysterious. Before MIKE. the play without an array of great musicians- ankles,
a piano seller, which I think for me, is one of the most beautiful pianos has ever heard, because it's it's got ferocity touch it's just incredible: it's by a guy who kenny kirkland playing the piano and now plays with stink this always choose meant what makes you think, while pats vanderbilt plot I hmm the yeah The
The color play him misterioso, the next echoed up. I know it's a john lennon record. I also have to know that you're, a friend and a great admirer of the other late, John Lennon, a festival. why the admiration want to optically about gmos, that you light, but obviously his music, but real admiration stemmed the fact that when I met him in the mid seventys the ice with dark glass,
and I still use them as a real sort of shield, because I was very shy and you think, my god, he goes to ghost, instrumental those things. How could he be sure, but I was the other side. A man still is, to a certain extent, russia and John the wonderful ability to go into a room full of people. But he didn't know or had nothing to do with. You didn't come from any background and will be nice. Everybody undertaken general trust and begin news about it, and I thought, my god, I wish I could be like that, and I really knew him well for a year and then he met yoko and and got mad and they had sean, and I I left him alone. You don't have to be good friends with someone and see them all the time. He was just so nice to people. I mean he could be crazy and bury mean, but he was never to me. I never really saw that side of him complement in new york. He take my mom and dad out for dinner. We take my band. The airport there's something about him, which is incredibly kind of any ever saw his kindness. I never really saying be Nostrand. Why this a record that you chose, why didn't want to sit down here, one of his sons, because they all such personal songs of his and the lyrics very very personal south-
right: I'm gonna tuzla track someone's, so this is done by may stand by and John Lennon EL did you want to said, can't see myself plain rock and roll when I'm thirty five, while europe over thirty five, now you're still the iranian row yet sower. Why a good question I still light performing? That's why and I really having taken the time off in my life ass, a musician trying to the important things I want to do.
They really in its, not the right time. To do that, I think you really know that the time things fall into place eventually, and but was making than you out and this year I some fire. I met some musicians and I'd never play with befalling musicians, and I my god. I really gotta go out and play with these people. After only nine months ago, saying I can't physically go on the road again cause, I was is the same as The six I was felt burnt out You get a new injection of other people's ideas and I started the british to love dear, and I really had a great time I'm not going on to europe and america because it's different injection of life and of different people, but there are things which I want to do. I wanted to make an instrumental album. I want to do the musical, which we are working on to do a musical yes, but I didn't want to write one another fond of music was a written today, but I would love to write. One what kind of a west side story of Jimmy is the finest musical ever written, because it's just and it was faultless, but that will take time it'll take a couple of years and also will have ain't going to happen, subject matter and be you have to have someone to help me with it, because, unlike verdant state first run and films,
but they're on thirty nine and there's plenty of time left to do. Then that is something I would like to do just to show every. They asked of everything else have been written more less ever since its is quite mediocre. Final record final record: well try to choose records because of the people or because I had some special effect memory. I had in mind and this I've chosen a record by worm and people going to say. Oh my god. Well, that was my reaction. I just happen to love this record white milk for a go go because it helps like an old motown record and allows one- low mountain reckless by the Supreme C4 tops Marvin Gaye. I've been the studio time Tom again trying to recreate a motel, sound and get that son. You can do it and when I first, had this record? I didn't know your seeing. I thought it was an old motor someone at the nearest they come. And the bass playing the musicianship on this road is quite astonishing. The bass player, the honesty on this record, who I got to play a manual record, because I'd heard this record so to hell with everybody us toward which mike will around a long time this right now
the. That was one and wake me up before you go go I'll do now. We come to the choice of of things on this desert island. What first of all will be the book that you the added you ve already got the bible and the works of shakespeare. Well, I probably wouldn't tighten those either, but I don't a hornets nest, books, I'm gonna choose a novel. Leyden nearly took the otter Rubinstein autobiographical so under, but I'd chosen. by an rice called interview with a vampire.
Let your imagination run right. This is the story of a vampire who doesn't interview present deigned interview with a man from rolling stone and just tells about his life. If act as a, It would be the ideal thing to write a musical to enforce their rights have been sold, but it would be a great vehicle for solar. Three hundred years amuse. You could start the task music come up, that it's a wonderful book not? I don't really like novels violent. I've always been a notable Now, what about they were? The one recorded go to assume that seven recover some been wiped off by what it which will enable of ashes? Billy? Yes, because of them, because it's just the most wonderful piece, yeah and finally, the one luxury object you're allowed on the island, because I'd still be the last chairman of what for triple club I never take telephone and final this code, why wouldn't know the matches, and I dunno other, be playing aware? I'm sorry, you are not the time difference, but I'm sure I could work that out eventually, so it have to keep in touch with the club
obviously so solar powered tell us down a path telephoned, so I can keep up on the gossip, definitely say: well, you don't know what I'm still alive, but men who is doing what too, who and what's happening because everybody likes a good gossip. So, yes a telephone Thank you very much indeed, by the way who plays out. The.
Transcript generated on 2023-09-25.