Sir Elton John’s lyricist Bernie Taupin has described him as a “good psychiatrist” in a new interview.
Speaking with Goldmine magazine for their Winter 2023 edition, Taupin recalled memories from the start of his over five-decade songwriting career, during which he became known for his work as Elton John’s lyricist. The songwriter told the publication that John is one of the first people he reaches out to for advice, calling him “the ultimate psychiatrist”.
“If you need to get something off your trust, he’s the first person you need to go to to get some easy answers,” Taupin said. “He is a complete constant. You can always rely on him.”
Later, he spoke in greater depth about John’s role in his budding career, stating that he “certainly leaned on him” in the early days of their partnership. “I was a fish out of water floundering about in the big city,” continued Taupin.
“So he was definitely a crutch to lean on and he did it magnificently and took care of me and made sure that I wasn’t abused by the cynical mindset of others that might have viewed me as being a little wet around the ears and green, when l actually really wasn’t. I was far more Intelligent than they give me credit for.”
The songwriter also stated that he remains close to John, and they regularly communicate over FaceTime, stating: “I still talk to him regularly, and now that he’s addicted to FaceTime, it’s nice to be able to see him rather than just hear him, because in that way you sort of feel like if he calls you in the morning, you feel like you actually saw him in the morning.”
In September, Taupin released his memoir Scattershot: Life, Music, Elton and Me, in which he provided a detailed look into his collaboration with Elton John for the first time.
In November, Elton John revealed that he had finished working on a new album with Taupin at the 2023 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony, during which Taupin was inducted into the Hall. In a speech honouring his collaborator, he stated: “We climbed mountains that we never thought were possible to climb, and we scaled heights that we never thought were possible to scale. And throughout that time, we never ever really had an argument.”
Taupin used his own speech to criticise Hall of Fame co-founder Jann Wenner’s controversial remarks about black and female artists. “I guess you could say my being inducted is a paradox, perhaps, but either way, I’m honoured to be in the class of 2023 alongside a group of such profoundly ‘articulate’ women and outstanding ‘articulate’ Black artists along with all of the other music masters here tonight,” he said.
Nearly three decades ago, John also sang Taupin’s praises when he was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. “I kind of feel like cheating standing here accepting this,” said John. “Without Bernie Taupin, there wouldn’t have been any Elton John at all. And I would like him to come up and give this to him.”