Elton or Bernie?

To paraphrase from the not-entirely-accurate biographical film Rocketman will certainly not convey the truth of what actually happened, but it’s a thought that struck me before.

In a drink and drug-fuelled argument that Elton John had with his long-time collaborator and lyricist Bernie Taupin, the singer and pianist bemoaned the fact that life was better for his partner. He could walk down the street without people knowing who he was, he didn’t have to perform every night, and as a result he didn’t have the life-destroying highs and lows that Elton did.


Some people want to be main man though – the front man, the star, the one who gets the adulation and all that goes with it. Others would prefer to be the guy in the background, who owns half of each song, and though what he has helped to create is very public, he gets to live a relatively normal life.

Then there’s the rest of us, who may never reach the heights documented in the film, but love music and want it to be a big part of our lives.

I wrote this blog last year on the various ways to make a career in music. We don’t all have to be like Elton John. Or even Bernie Taupin.