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

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August 24, 2019  

Episode 33 - Anett Murray Interview

Anett and Dee

This episode starts off with a Rocketman competition, courtesy of Paramount Home Media (here is the prize pack that's up for grabs) before the main event, an interview with Anett Murray, wife of Dee Murray, and a big part of the Elton John family during the first half of the seventies.

Anett tells us some fascinating stories of life at home and on the road with Dee. I would like to thank her for sharing her memories with the podcast. Add in some wonderful music, and we have here a very special episode!

The photograph that Anett mentions, of her wedding day, can be found here. If you're on Facebook, consider joining the 'Induct Nigel, Davey and Dee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame' group. There are countless wonderful pictures like this one, and you can also help the cause for these musicians to be properly recognised for the enormous contribution that they made to Elton's music. 

The songs that are excerpted in the episode are as follows: 

  1. You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover - Bo Diddley, 1962
  2. I'm In A Different World - The Four Tops, 1968
  3. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher - Jackie Wilson, 1967
  4. Space Oddity (Vocal, Drums and Bass only) - David Bowie, 1969
  5. And The Gods Came Down - The Spencer Davis Group, 1970
  6. Sitting Doing Nothing - Elton John, 1968
  7. Take Me To The Pilot (BBC Live Session) - Elton John, 25th June 1970
  8. Burn Down the Mission (Live Fillmore East) - Elton John, 21st November 1970
  9. Jawbone - The Band, 1969
  10. Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (Live Hammersmith Odeon) - Elton John, 23rd December 1973
  11. Philadelphia Freedom (Live Central Park) - Elton John, 13th September 1980
  12. Burning Buildings - Elton John, 1984
  13. Rocket Man (Keys, Guitars and Bass only) - Elton John, 1972.

 The email address to enter the competition is eltonpodcast@gmail.com

March 6, 2019  

Episode 29 - Top of the Charts with a ROCKET, ft. The Lambrettas

List

This episode counts down the 15 biggest non-Elton singles on Rocket, and in the process, tells the story of the label, attempts to define the Rocket sound (spoiler - there isn’t one), and draws out the connections with Elton’s music, where these exist. The chart itself can be viewed here.

Thanks to Doug Sanders from The Lambrettas, who was interviewed for this episode, and gave some wonderful insight into what it was like to be the most successful Rocket artist (apart from Elton perhaps) at the turn of the eighties. The full interview can be found here. Doug has supplied some wonderful pictures from 1980, including the band posing outside the then Rocket HQ, and receiving their Silver Discs for Poison Ivy. Spot the familiar faces!

The signed Kiki Dee Box Set that I mention in the episode can be purchased (in the UK) here. 

The Elton-penned song featured at the end of the episode can be found on my YouTube channel here.

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.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

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.