“We wrote our first 20 songs together before we ever met,” says Elton John of his collaboration with Bernie Taupin. And reading through some of them later in his career, Elton says he was beside himself with laughter. Songs like “A Dandelion Dies in the Wind.” Or “Velvet Fountain.” Or these lyrics from “Scarecrow.”
Like moths around a light bulb
Your brain is still bleeding
From visions and pictures
of nature’s young raincoat.
“We used to sneer at people who wrote bloody psychedelic lyrics,” Elton said. “And there we were, writing the biggest load of old garbage you ever read.”
Eventually, Bernie moved to London to live with Elton and his mother and her boyfriend. They shared a bunkbed in Reg’s bedroom. Asked many years later if he had fancied Bernie, Elton replied, ‘I did. But it was never a sexual thing. I just adored him, like a brother. He was the soul mate I’d been looking for all my life.’ And just for the record, Bernie was on top, Reg was on the bottom.