Home Entertainment John Lennon Elton John: Did they ever collaborate? Story behind Sir Elton...

John Lennon Elton John: Did they ever collaborate? Story behind Sir Elton and Lennon songs

John Lennon and Sir Elton John, it seems, had an interesting relationship. In the movie Rocketman, a tribute to John is clear when Taron Egerton, playing Sir Elton, looks at a photo of John to influence his choice of stage name. While this isn’t strictly factual, clearly the pair had a close bond which was important enough to include.

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Did Sir Elton John and John Lennon ever collaborate?

John Lennon and Sir Elton absolutely did collaborate, with some interesting circumstances behind some of their working together.

Both Sir Elton and John were keen songwriters, with Sir Elton usually relying on his writing partner, Bernie Taupin, to provide him with lyrics which he could set to music.

Interestingly, John and his Beatles writing partner, Sir Paul McCartney, did not have this issue, as they both contributed lyrics and music to one another’s compositions.

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Did John Lennon and Sir Elton John collaborate? (Image: Getty)

However, John and Sir Elton’s collaborations were few but mainly consisted of the pair contributing their musical talents to each other’s work.

First, Sir Elton asked for his friend’s help on a Beatles cover, and in 1974 John helped Sir Elton form his version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

The B-side to this track was One Day at a Time, by John Lennon, and thus began a beautiful partnership.

Of course, John was not going to appear on the track in a normal way, and instead, he was credited as Dr Winston O’Boogie, with Winston being John’s middle name.

Sir Elton John and John Lennon on stage together (Image: Getty)

Returning the favour for John’s help, Sir Elton then played piano and added harmonies to John’s song Whatever Gets You Thru the Night, which appeared on John’s album Walls and Bridges.

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Their final collaboration comes off the back of this track, in circumstances which many have found to be hilarious.

According to David Sheff in his book, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Sir Elton bet his friend the song Whatever Gets You Thru the Night would go to Number One in the charts.

With John, at that time, having not earned a Number One single, despite his other Beatles members managing to do this.

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Elton John performing (Image: Getty)

Of course, he took the bet, and in the end the single was one of John Lennon’s only two singles to hit Number One in the USA in his lifetime, meaning he had to make good on his promise.

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As a result of the bet, John joined Sir Elton on stage at Madison Square Garden in New York at a huge concert, which was a rare live performance for John.

The pair played Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Whatever Gets You Thru the Night, as well as the Beatles’ I Saw Her Standing There.

This performance marked one of John’s last live performances before his shock death in 1980, where he shot outside his apartment building in Manhattan, New York.

John Lennon with Yoko Ono (Image: Getty)

Before his death John Lennon opened up about the concert, telling the BBC: “Elton was in town and I was doing it and needed the harmony.

“He did the harmony on that and a couple more and played beautiful piano on it.

“And jokingly, he was telling me he was going to do this Madison Square Garden concert — he said, ‘Will you do it with me if the record’s Number One?’

“And I did not expect it to get to Number One at all. I didn’t think it had a chance in hell.

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“I said, ‘Sure, sure, sure I will.’”

When he realised he would have to “pay up,” he explained: “‘OK, it’s time to pay your dues!’ It was the first Number One I had, actually.

“Imagine wasn’t Number One, Instant Karma wasn’t Number One — which I all think are better records than ‘Whatever Gets You Thru The Night.’”

Despite this, their collaboration went down in history, and Sir Elton helped him secure that first, precious Number One.

Source Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

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