Scattershot: Life, Music, Elton, and Me

Hachette. Sept. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780306828676. $30. MEMOIR
Award-winning Taupin, the lyricist behind Elton John’s stardom, impressionistically recounts people, places, and events in his action-packed life. Growing up in rural Northern England, his early interest was in American country music. A chance meeting with John led to a lifelong collaboration; John wrote the melodies after Taupin penned the words. Taupin vividly details his wide-eyed recollections of swinging ’60s London, the 1970s music scene in Los Angeles and New York City, wild adventures in Paris and Mexico, and his skirmishes with giant frogs, tarantulas, and cockroaches in Montserrat. He describes meetings with his literary idol Graham Greene, rock poet Leonard Cohen, and the irrepressible Cher and having dinner with quirky artist Salvador DalÍ. The book notes the author’s idiosyncratic and mostly hapless girlfriends and wives and his alcohol- and cocaine-fueled times with Alice Cooper, Ringo Starr, and Keith Moon. Taupin also includes stories about his own bands and his obsessions with book collecting, good food, and cowboy culture.
VERDICT Written in a highly entertaining, articulate style with a wickedly acidic sense of humor, this book sets a new standard for rock biographies; most readers will enjoy.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing