Bernie Taupin has bronchitis. Has that been a challenge? Initially, I thought it might be hard. When we premiered the movie at the Cannes Film Festival, it got an incredible reaction. Imagine if it had bombed, and we had to go through the next year promoting a film that nobody liked. That would have been miserable. Is there anyone you felt the movie treated unfairly?
How did you first hear that this new record was happening? I like darker subject matter, but I think that this time Elton felt there was enough pain and suffering in the world without me contributing to it, so he wanted to do something that exuded positive energy. It was then just a matter of me getting over the fact that he wanted to do it so soon after the last two albums, and it was a matter of me putting on a different hat, though I liked the idea. I like the idea of coming at it from a different angle. Tell me how you started. Once I got the idea of it, it was pretty easy. I knew that, basically, it was gonna be a loud, brash pop record. We wanted to write songs that were really hook-driven. Do you find it harder to write happy songs? Oh yeah, absolutely.
More than half a century later, together they have sold more than million records, released the biggest-selling single in chart history and staked a fair claim as one of the greatest ever songwriting partnerships. One half of that duo is Elton John , a world-famous musician. Despite all that, Bernie Taupin — who turns 70 today — remains a relative unknown compared to John.
Elton John is not a nostalgist. He met Taupin Jamie Bell onscreen by chance after both answered an ad in a British music magazine. He splits his time among multiple homes with Furnish and their sons, ages 8 and 6. In separate phone interviews — Taupin, 69, from his home in California, and John from a tour stop in Copenhagen — the pair discussed putting their lives on film. These are edited excerpts from the conversations. Is the movie hard for you to sit through? It certainly had a huge impact on me, especially the family stuff and the Bernie stuff. It makes me happy and it makes me sad. I think the film eventually is about redemption, and how anyone can get redemption, if they try.