Bennie And The Jets

Album: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
Charted: 37 1
  • She's got electric boots a mohair suit
    You know I read it in a magazine, oh
    B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets

    Hey kids, shake it loose together
    The spotlight's hitting something that's been known to change the weather
    We'll kill the fatted calf tonight
    So stick around
    You're gonna hear electric music solid walls of sound

    Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
    Uh but they're so spaced out, B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets
    Oh but they're weird and they're wonderful
    Oh Bennie she's really keen
    She's got electric boots a mohair suit
    You know I read it in a magazine oh
    B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets

    Let me get it now, Momma I made it
    True story, I have upgraded
    Everybody back then used to hate it
    Now they all appreciate it
    I might sound out of my mind, matter of fact out of line
    But I been runnin' and gunnin', been fightin' for somethin' and in due time
    I'm finna take it to the line, I'm in the beginning of the prime
    Tony Montana the world's mine
    Yeah, it's finally 'bout time
    Went from Section 8 to better times
    Serving food to writin' rhymes
    For Elton John, the greatest of all-time

    Hey kids, plug into the faithless
    Maybe they're blinded
    But Bennie makes them ageless
    We shall survive, let us take ourselves along
    Where we fight our parents out in the streets
    To find who's right and who's wrong

    Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet?
    Oh, but they're so spaced out
    B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets
    Oh but they're weird and they're wonderful
    Oh Bennie, she's really keen

    She's got electric boots
    A mohair suit
    You know I read it in a magazine oh yeah
    B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets
    Bennie, Bennie, Bennie, and the Jets, yeah, oh Writer/s: BERNIE TAUPIN, ELTON JOHN
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 61

  • Brian from Farmington, NmRandy in MI, the section of the lyrics starting with "Let me get it now" is a rap performed by Logic on the updated version of the song released in 2018 (also featuring P!nk). Definitely not part of the original 1973 lyrics.
  • Rudy from Mcallen, TxI have a similar memory of this song playing at the end of the movie "Aloha, Bobby and Rose". It was the first time I had this song (don't know which came out first) and it was because of this song that I will always remember the movie. Not really sure what or who Bernie was thinking about when he wrote it...but I'm glad he did.
  • Dale from Midland, TxI have a vivid memory from my childhood of hearing this song during the closing credits of a movie at the local drive in movie theater. The movie image was heavy rain and a guy in a phone booth. It was a very intense movie and I was still very young but old enough to know what I was seeing and hearing and felt a sense of relief that everything was over for the character in the film. Very sad ending from what my memories tell me. Now every time I hear this song I see that image and have that feeling of relief and sadness. I wish I knew what movie that was that I was witness to in the car park of the drive in that now haunts my memory of this song. Does anyone else remember this song running during the credits of a feature film from the mid 1970's? TIA
  • Randy from Houghton Lake, MiLooking at the lyrics and I'm wondering if anyone can tell what this line means:"Tony Montana the world's mine" As far as I know it's a line from the movie Scarface starring Al Pacino in 1983, 10 years after this song was released. I thought maybe it was from the original Scarface starring Paul Muni but the character's name was not Tony Montana.
  • Randy from Houghton Lake, MiThis song came on the radio the other day and as soon as I heard that first chord I knew it was Bennie and the Jets. I'm guessing I'm not the only one that notices this.
  • Dominic from PrincetonIsn't it... "She got electric boobs
    and Mohawk shoes..."
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaAdrian, I also thought it was a take off on West Side Story.
  • Markantney from BiloxeAug 15, This was a big song in "Da Hood" when I was young kid in the 70s and I became a big fan of this and other songs of his but I'm one of the Rare Fans of his that loves his music but can't stand Crocodile Rock.

    It's about the only song of his I don't like.

    Also a HUGE fan of his song,"Empty Garden".
  • Opiumed from Lexington, KyAnother little-known fact: This song may very well have a link to Frank Zappa. In 1968 Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention released an album called "(Cruising with) Ruben & The Jets," about a fictional band from 1955, Ruben & The Jets. In the fictional story about the band on the album cover, one of 3 dogs owned by Ruben was named Benny.... so, the fictional 1950s band created by Frank Zappa did have a Benny.... and the Jets. I'm surprised Bernie Taupin or Gus Dudgeon didn't mention this anywhere as one of the inspirations. I know that Elton had a huge record collection and would be surprised if neither Bernie Taupin or Elton John had never heard of it before they wrote about their Benny (a.k.a. Bennie) & The Jets.
  • Ginzagirl from Pittsburgh, Pa"Bennie and the Jets" was one of 165 songs that media giant Clear Channel Communications urged their affiliates not to play in the aftermath of 911, due to what they considered "questionable lyrics."
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesThanks to a friend with a Monty Python sense of humor, it's difficult for me to listen to this without thinking of Pope Benedict XVI. Some of those outfits of his certainly qualify ...
  • Camille from Toronto, OhOh and by the way, a mohair suit sounds quite plausible in this day and age where Gaga herself has worn a meat dress. lol
  • Camille from Toronto, OhI was a teenager and loved had loved Elton John's music for years when the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album was released. There were so many songs on it that I like much better than Bennie and the Jets, like Gray Seal, Funeral for a Friend, Love Lies Bleeding, Harmony. I still love all those songs, but to my surprise, I have come to love Bennie and the Jets just as well. It really stands up to the test of time. It's visuals are easy to conjure up when listening to the lyrics. But the opening piano notes are what really get to me. Instantly, you are at that concert where Bennie and the Jets are playing. All you have to do is hear the first piano note on the radio and you know what's coming. You get excited. You want to sing along.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxI knew someone who played this song to death. Drove me c-c-c-crazy!
  • Sally from London, United KingdomI had fun with this song on a car journey recently, just kept singing it , but replaced the name Bennie with other random names..it was funny
  • Adrian from Toledo, OhI am not sure if it's true, but I was told this was loosely about the characters in the broadway play "West Side Story", a popular show at the time.
  • John from Arkansas City, KsIsn't there an inside joke here. Aren't "Candy" and "Ronnie" included in the titles of songs by The Four Seasons.
  • J from Newport News, VaFor the record, - graham, White Rock, BC is not the whistler recorded on one of the live versions of Bennie and the Jets. I know because it was me.
  • Mike from Toronto, Cape VerdeThis song is a reflection of what was going on in the early seventies with pop music, particularly glam rock. It is about a fictional band called “Bennie and the Jets” and the fans who blindly follow them.
    By dressing up in outrageous clothes, makeup and hairstyles; by hiring a publicist to plant stories in magazines; by getting up on stage and creating a electrified wall of sound the author is suggesting a band can obtain cult like status. This particular band has achieved such status that they’ve been known to change the weather. People don’t just come to their concerts to hear the songs - they come to worship the band.
    The lyrist, Bernie Tauplin, is poking fun at glam rockers and suggesting that there is more sizzle than substance to their acts. I think he is also poking a bit of fun at himself and Elton perhaps suggesting that they are taking things more seriously than they should or that the fans are.

    Mike S.
  • Jim from Monterey, CaI heard this song on the Hippo today and it took me right back to 1973. It captures the glam rock vibe and the excitement that I felt as a 13 year old kid listening to rock on an AM radio. Back then I was too innocent to know about anything gay or bi or w/e, I just knew that the British glam rockers were outlandish, played great rock and girls loved them. Songs like this made me want to be a rock star, lol!
  • Wayne from Crockett, TxI wonder if the lyrics "faithless" and "blinded" in the second verse are reference to the group Blind Faith? Anyways, love this song, it always makes me think of my childhood, spinning Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on my old record player.
  • Erik from Newcastle, Ca5Cats in Manitoba, don't forget that it was, in fact, Benny and the Jets. The owner of the Jets was Ben Hatskin. The guys at CKY used to play up that connection every time they played the song.
  • Brock from Jackson, Mialso, Elton never liked this song, producers had to beg him to start playing it live. The third time when the man said "Bennie and the Jets is #1 in Motown, are you SURE you don't want to keep this song?" Elton nonchalantly agreed!
  • Brock from Jackson, MiElton did an "in the mood" version in 1984 at Wembley. The video is posted on youtube and is about 10 minutes long. Elton in the video itself, to me, looks like he's on some type of drug LOL
  • Jon from Vancouver,Bennie and the Jets has been a favorite of mine since it's (US) release in 1973 (the year that I happened to graduate from high school and joun the Navy.

    The way that Sir Elton John played the piano solo during the break, and his "hammering" of the piano keys and the repeat "Frankie Valli" sound of, "Bennie... Bennie... Bennie... Bennie... Bennie and the Jets... (whistle from the audience) and repeating until the final fading momnents of the number were so hot! It made us kids want to go out and race our cars on 53rd street at the edge of town (in Corvallis Oregon.)

    Those were the days, kids! THOSe were the days!

    THAT, my friends, is rock and roll!
  • Bob from Southfield, MiThere was a group called "Bennie and the Jets" that played in the Detroit area for years. They were actually formed before the song was released. When the song came out, Elton tried to sue them for copyright enfringment. However, they were able to document that they had come up with the name prior to the song. It is believed that Elton, who had played Detroit in the early 70's, might have heard the name of the band and registered in in his subconscious memory.
  • Reginald Lewis from Vallej, ArubaOf course there is a such thing as a mo-hair suit. It is made from alpaca the wool that comes from a llama.
  • Julia from Dallas, TxIs there such thing a a mo-hair suit? Stupid question but I'm curious.
  • Dave from Baltimore, MdIt was legendary disc jockey Donnie Simpson then at WJLB Detroit for flipping Candle in the wind over and playing Bennie an the Jets on the "Soul" station. John presented him personally with a gold record in Detroit. Simpson would later go on to program WKYS FM in Washington, DC and host Video Soul on Black Entertainment Television. Donnie is still doing morning drive at WPGC FM in the nations capitol.
  • Dave from Baltimore, MdIt was legendary disc jockey Donnie Simpson then at WJLB Detroit for flipping Candle in the wind over and playing Bennie an the Jets on the "Soul" station. John presented him personally with a gold record in Detroit. Simpson would later go on to program WKYS FM in Detroit and host Video Soul on Black Entertainment Television. Donnie is still doing morning drive at WPGC FM in the nations capitol.
  • 5cats from Winnipeg, MbBack in the old days, when Winnipeg still had and NHL hockey team, their mascot was named "Bennie" and (of course) they played this song frequently at the old (now torn down) Winnipeg Arena.
    ...Memories!!
  • Graham from White Rock, BcFor the record the track that was added included a whistle from the the 1971 live concert in Vancouver B.C.
    Sorry Elton, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
  • Colin from London, United KingdomFor the cassette release of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, this track swapped places with The Ballad Of Danny Bailey (1909-34).
  • Ken from Louisville, KyGus Dudgeon deliberately dubbed in the audience clapping on the off-beat. For some unknown reason, English rock audiences always clap on the off-beat, rather than on the beat.
  • Brian from New York, Nyreminds me of Vinny Testaverde and when he used to play for the Jets they would call it "Vinny and the Jets".
  • Rob from Portland, OrThe 80s pop band, The Jets, took their name from this song.
  • Heather from Los Angeles, CaI had always thought the audience sounds were real and wanted to know where the concert was located. Finally I learn here they were faked....amazing! Well that's an answer itself.
  • Beth from Pittsburgh, Pahow can anyone call this song boring?
  • Doug from Oakland, CaAs someone mentioned,the song charted well on Black radio and its one of the few pop-rock songs that black listeners are just as familiar with as white fans.
    Alone Again Naturally,for some reason,is also a song most Black audiences related to quite well.
  • Beth from Pittsburgh, Paoh my, Bennie and the jets
    just has to be the kewlest song ever

    ....ok, i did this karaoke thing once..third bar that night...so could not even hold a beer bottle..and i did this live..with elton..and the band....ok, so big surprise, no band..me, myself, and I...they still give me pathetic looks at that place ...ok, so i am no singer.
  • Dave from Warren, MiI Remember hearing on Detroit rock radio in the 70's that Paul McCartney was planning on suing Elton John, claiming that the song was stolen from him, no one else however seems to remember that happening.
  • Kent from Toronto, CanadaThis is one of a number of stuttering hits, along with Dayid Bowie's "Changes", Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" (actually written as a throwaway for Randy Bachman's stuttering brother); The Knack's "My Sharona" and Guns 'N' Roses' "Welcome To The Jungle".
  • Mary from Phoenix, AzThank you Brian in ND...your answer is the reason I came to this song on Songfacts. I was going to ask if anyone knew of a studio recorded version of this song. Now I know. Very cool.
  • David from Youngstown, OhThat's "mom." Sorry.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyElton's piano was "phased" in the bridge: it was recorded on two tracks that deliberately weren't exactly in sync. This gave it a slight reverb sound as part of the faux "live" performance.
  • David from Youngstown, OhThis is a classic misheard lyrics song. Unless I have the lyrics in front of me, I can't make out the first part of the song. The "electric boots" line has been misheard so many ways. My favorite is "She's got electric boobs. Her mon has two."
  • Paul from Cincinnati, OhI love how Elton John holds the "s" sound when he says Bennie and the Jets
  • Scott from Perth, Western Australia, AustraliaIn actual fact, the applause was taken from a Jimmi Hendrix performance at the Isle of Wight music festival. Gus added on the claps from a previous Elton concert and the whistles were fake. Elton did not want to put it out as a single, but a man by the name of Pat Pipalo convinced him he could make it as an R&B artist as well as a pop artist. Fair enough the song went #1 on the US charts and #1 R&B. Its a fantastic track which really showed off Eltons vocal range and the talent of Gus Dudgeon as one of the greatest music producers.
  • Ashley Jade from Cleveland, GaI never thought of Elton John as glam rock before...
  • Amy from Grimshaw, CanadaI absolutely love this song, it's odd but I like it! I was reading an iterview of Elton John the other day and he was asked if he was gay back then and he said "MAYBE, deep down I was, but I fought it!!" now you people say he was gay because of what he wore, all people in the 70's wore odd clothing that didn't make them gay!
    But I won't fight about what I think, but if anyone has anything they would like to say to me personally about music and so on, well he's one of my e-mail addresses ilovefratrock@yahoo.ca
  • David from San Francisco, CaElton and Bernie wrote this song...not as a parody...but as a homage.


    -David Bowie was never gay

    _The "Goodbye Yellowbrick Road" album was NEVER recorded in Jamaica, despite the effort to do so.

    -The background noise was sampled from both an Elton concert...and a Jimi Hendrix album

    -It had nothing to do with Phil Specter

    _In point of fact, Elton was the FIRST white performer on Soul Train

    -Elton was copying NO-ONE on the vocal track. He was pretending to be the female performer that the song was written about.
  • Patrick from Conyers, GaWhen Airtran put Elton on their airplanes to help promote that their planes carry XM radio, their billboard ads included the phrase "Bennie And Our Jets"
  • Jude from Thomasville, GaThe best version of this song is the one Elton sings on the Muppet Show. He's playing the piano surrounded by assorted foam rubber creatures. On the falsetto chorus, Elton sings "Bennie" and the Muppets shout "BENNIE!" with no regard for the key or tune. Elton can barely get through the rest because he's about to crack up. What a great song, or as Kermit would say, "YEEEAAAHHH!"
  • Ken from Louisville, Ky"Bennie" also has a shout-out to Phil Spector: "You gotta hear electric music, solid walls of sound". "Wall Of Sound" was Spector's production style in the 1960's.
  • Don from Dallas, TxI have never understood what anyone could like about this song. It's just a horrible boring effort by a truly great artist.
  • Andrew from Arlington, MaFor an answer to the first songfact, David Bowie was in fact a bysexual and also wore the clothes because it was what he liked to wear. I don't know about ther other guy. I think this song really in all truth has no distinct meaning. Some songs don't, so they post al this crap that doesn't help you out with the meaning at all
  • Rick from Montgomery, AlGoodbye Yellow Brick Road was a group of tracks that had already been released...with the exception of "bennie & the jets" and just a couple other songs... the jamaica recording sessions did not go well after they started and elton went to france to finish the post work on the album....
  • Randy from Sunnyvale, CaThis is one of 3 songs that I predicted would become a big hit when I first heard it i.e. before the song was played on the radio. "Welcome Back Kotter" and Queen's "You're My Best Friend" were the other two.
  • Brian from Grand Forks, NdThe Applause... Audience sounds were FAKE... They were going for a live sound and Faked it... The song was recorded in a studio... Aerosmith did the same thing on Get your Wings with Train Kept a Rollin'...
  • Deno from Hamilton, New Zealandsong was used in the movie, Aloha Bobby and Rose
  • Charles from Charlotte, NcThis sounded really neat on headphones when I first heard it after the release of the album "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".
see more comments

Music Video Director David HoganSong Writing

David talks about videos he made for Prince, Alabama, Big & Rich, Sheryl Crow, DMB, Melissa Etheridge and Sisters of Mercy.

Zac HansonSongwriter Interviews

Zac tells the story of Hanson's massive hit "MMMbop," and talks about how brotherly bonds effect their music.

Emmylou HarrisSongwriter Interviews

She thinks of herself as a "song interpreter," but back in the '80s another country star convinced Emmylou to take a crack at songwriting.

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.

Second Wind SongsSong Writing

Some songs get a second life when they find a new audience through a movie, commercial, TV show, or even the Internet.

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.