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Elton John Lyricist Bernie Taupin’s Memoir, Scattershot Due This Fall

Book is described as an 'exciting, multi-decade whirlwind told in a non-linear yet grounded narrative'
Elton John and Bernie Taupin in November 2022 (photo: Phillip Faraone / Getty Images for British Consulate-General Los Angeles)

His lyrics have brought to life dozens of iconic Elton John songs since the 1970s, but Bernie Taupin has always remained far behind the scenes. This fall, the songwriter will finally pull back the curtain on his astounding creative partnership with John via the memoir Scattershot, which will be released Sept. 12 by Hachette Books.

“An exciting, multi-decade whirlwind told in a non-linear yet grounded narrative, Scattershot whizzes around the world as we ride shotgun with Bernie on his extraordinary life,” reads a statement from the publisher.

“I loved writing. I loved chronicling life and every moment I was cogent, sober, or blitzed,” says Taupin, 72, who as a teenager met a pre-fame John in London in 1967 and has been working with him more or less uninterrupted ever since. “I was forever feeding off my surroundings, making copious notes as ammunition for future compositions. The thing is, good, bad, or indifferent, I never stopped writing. It was as addictive as any drug.”

Taupin and John’s first hit was 1970’s “Your Song.” He went on to write lyrics for such John classics as “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “I’m Still Standing,” and “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues.” The pair’s working relationship was previously explored in the 1991 documentary Two Rooms and was featured prominently in the 2019 John biopic Rocketman.

Scattershot will include “a striking, first-hand account” of encounters with everyone from John Lennon and Bob Marley to Frank Sinatra and Salvador Dali, and will dig into the “misfits, miscreants, eccentrics, and geniuses, known and unknown” who inspired the characters in John’s songs.

Taupin and John shared the best original song Oscar for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” which was written especially for Rocketman. Taupin also made a rare public appearance last November at John’s final North American headlining concert at Dodger Stadium, during which John told the audience, “We’ve been writing together now since 1967. We still love each other more than we’ve ever done before.”