I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Elton John Podcast

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May 14, 2018  

Episode 17 - The New Routes of Davey Johnstone - 1971-73

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The second of a two-part biography of Davey Johnstone's early musical history. 

Davey's range, and his scope for development, were apparent to all at his first Elton John session, for Holiday Inn. Elton wasn't going to let a talent like Davey slip through his fingers. 

This episode takes in Davey's astonishing work for Madman, Honky Chateau and Don't Shoot Me, his early live work with the band, the sessions that he continued to do, and tracks from his solo album, released in 1973. Some tracks are presented in centre extraction, in order to highlight Davey's parts. 

I would like to thank the YouTube channel 'The Sessions' for very kindly giving me permission to use their interview with Davey. Their channel can be found here.

 

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May 13, 2018  

Episode 16 - The Folk Roots of Davey Johnstone - 1951-71

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The first of a two-part biography of Davey Johnstone's early musical history. 

Just three years after getting his first guitar, a 14-year-old Davey could be found in folk clubs around Scotland, a class apart from the groups of seasoned musicians who welcomed him. At 17 he moved to London. He quickly found his home on the road and in the studio, where he was becoming an in-demand session player. 

I would like to thank the YouTube channel 'The Sessions' for very kindly giving me permission to use their interview with Davey. Their channel can be found here.

This episide features an interview with Russell Laing, the son of the leader of Davey's second band, The Fife Reivers. I would like to thank Russell for sharing his wonderful memories of those days. Here is a link to Russell's story about David Bowie that I mention in the episode. Russell still makes otherworldly music, some of which can be found here. I also mention the fascinating booking diary for Russell's dad's folk club, one of many fascinating documents and photographs collected by his dad. The image for this episode comes from that collection, featuring Jim, Davey and Russell doing their party piece. 

Thanks as ever to Keith Hayward, who has written two of the best biographies of Elton. Plenty of information relating to Magna Carta and Noel Murphy comes via the second of those books

It has been rather a large interim this time - things should be back to normal now, whatever normal is.

 

 

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December 11, 2017  

Episode 8 - Dee Murray Love-In

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Dee Murray was a truly innovative force in the Elton John band. In this episode I look at what made him special, from the jigsaw puzzle of ideas that Dee and Elton threw around in the 3-piece band; taking in the almost-soul of Philadelphia Freedom; and beyond, into the 1980s. A biographical, loving, and detailed look at the work of the man that made the music we love even lovlier. And all of this without mentioning his incredible backing vocals once (ooops). 

Homemade bass transcriptions from YouTube are used throughout to highlight the parts – thank you so much to:

Enormous thanks also to Brian for the interview.

 

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October 26, 2017  

Episode 2 - Buckmaster Before Elton

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This episode takes you back to the 2nd of November 1969, to a Miles Davis gig, at Ronnie Scott's jazz club, where Elton met a 23 year old Paul Buckmaster for the first time.

How did Buckmaster get to be the guest of Miles Davis that night? What was the musical background of this graduate of the Royal Academy of Music?

This episode is a musical journey through Buckmaster's early arrangements and his earliest 'cello performances on vinyl. 

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