Elton doesn't write lyrics, his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin usually takes care of that. They met through a want-ad in a British music trade paper, and someone at the publishing company where they both applied connected them, since Elton needed a lyricist and Bernie needed someone to write music. Taupin would deliver lyrics to John in bundles, and Elton would fit tunes to them. He wouldn't even ask Bernie what the songs were about, and Taupin claims that there are some songs Elton thinks are about him, but are actually about Bernie.
Before he was a solo artist, John was in Bluesology, a backing group for blues singers from America that toured England (like Patti Labelle and the Bluebelles). They were hired by Baldry in 1966 as his backing band; John co-produced an album of his in 1971.
His birth name is Reginald Kenneth Dwight. The name Elton comes from Elton Dean, a Bluesology sax player. John comes from Long John Baldry, a British R&B singer and founder of Blues Inc. In 1974, he made Elton Hercules John his legal name. Hercules was the name of the horse in the British comedy series Steptoe and Son, which he enjoyed. (Thanks, Vincent - Wales, UK)
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