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The off-beat title of this song gives no clues as to its subject matter, in fact it was inspired by lyricist Bernie Taupin's first visit to New York. Country boy Bernie was born on a farm in Lincolnshire, and was still not entirely comfortable about city living three years after it was recorded, as evinced by the down tempo track "Tell Me When The Whistle Blows
"Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters" runs to exactly five minutes, and is the fourth track on the second side of the 1972 Honky Château album.
The song is one of Elton's personal favourites as one might imagine because it alternates between despair and optimism; in spite of his talent, fame, critical acclaim and wealth, Elton John has experienced more this his fair share of psychological problems including extreme bulimia and of course those staples of rock musicians everywhere - alcohol and drug abuse.
"Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters" was also influenced by "Spanish Harlem
", to which it alludes. (thanks, Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above)
Richard explains how Joe Walsh kickstarted his career, and why he chose Hazard, Nebraska for a hit.
As a 5-year-old, Brandi was writing lyrics to instrumental versions lullabies. She still puts her heart into her songs, including the one Elton John sings on.
Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"
The Nails lead singer Marc Campbell talks about those 44 women he sings about over a stock Casio keyboard track. He's married to one of them now - you might be surprised which.
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.