A Composer At His Best

Elton John at PianoI’ve always enjoyed the A&E program, “Inside the Actors Studio.”  The main draw for me is this, namely, that the show and its skilled host, James Lipton, focus on questions of substance dealing with craft.  None of the paparazzi-kinds of questions one would expect from TMZ or other news outlets dedicated to the inane and superficial.

Though focused on acting, actors, and actresses, and filmed in the presence of students from the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at New York’s Pace University, from time to time, Lipton hosts musicians.

A while back, I happened upon an interview with Sir Elton John, Lipton’s guest for this particular show.  I’ve been an Elton John fan since about 1975 when my parents bought me my first record album, “Elton John’s Greatest Hits.”  I was fascinated and eager to hear what he had to say.

I learned a few things about the habits of Elton John and his approach to musical composition.  Those of you familiar with Elton know that he writes music and has spent a good deal of the last forty-six years working with friend and lyricist, Bernie Taupin.  Bernie writes lyrics in sixty minutes.  Elton writes songs in thirty minutes, as a rule.  If the song does not come in forty-five minutes, he shelves it for a later time.

When I viewed the clip below, I was simply blown sky-high.  In it, Elton John shows how he can put any text to music.  It is stunning.  Enjoy.

A true craftsman.

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