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This song is a tribute to John Lennon, who was shot to death in 1980 by a deranged fan. Elton John's wordsmith Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics, but Elton certainly felt a connection to the song, as he was good friends with Lennon and is the Godfather of Lennon's second son, Sean. Elton performed on several of Lennon's songs and even appeared onstage with him at his final concert in 1974.
In the John/Taupin songwriting partnership, Bernie writes the lyrics first and Elton then puts them to music. When writing for the Jump Up album, Elton had some melodies handy and asked Taupin to write words to those, which he did. Taupin has described those songs as "awful" and said, "it's a very messy album." "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)," however, was written their traditional way with the lyrics first, and Taupin has said that it's the only good song on the album.
When he performed this at a sold-out Madison Square Garden show in August 1982, Elton was joined onstage by Lennon's wife Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon.
They Might Be Giants
Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.
Don breaks down "Hotel California" and other songs he wrote as a member of the Eagles. Now we know where the "warm smell of colitas" came from.
Bass Player Scott Edwards
Scott was Stevie Wonder's bass player before becoming a top session player. Hits he played on include "I Will Survive," "Being With You" and "Sara Smile."