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On sale

23rd May 2024

Price: £10.99


The Arts / Music

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781800960770
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*A Times Best Music Book of 2023*

‘Glorious! I am besotted by the life I never knew he had.’ -Elton John

‘Self deprecating and refreshingly honest’ – Sunday Times

‘Divine. I couldn’t put it down.’ -Pete Townshend

‘Hilarious and so emotionally true’ -Cameron Crowe

‘Taupin’s words need no musical accompaniment. They sing with a poets voice.’ -Gary Oldman

‘Eloquent and inspiring’ -Robert Hilburn, author of Johnny Cash: The Life

This is the memoir music fans have been waiting for. Half of one of the greatest creative partnerships in popular music, Bernie Taupin is the man who wrote the lyrics for Elton John, who conceived the ideas that spawned countless hits, and sold millions and millions of records. Together, they were a duo, a unit, an immovable object. Their extraordinary, half-century-and-counting creative relationship has been chronicled in biopics (like 2019’s Rocketman) and even Elton John’s own autobiography, Me. But Bernie, a famously private person, has kept his own account of their adventures close to his chest, until now.

In this exciting, multi-decade whirlwind, we ride shotgun with Bernie on his extraordinary life. We discover early ’70s New York with Elton on the cusp of global fame. We spend late night hours with John Lennon, with Bob Marley, and hanging with Frank Sinatra in LA. We witness memorable encounters with Graham Greene, Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol and scores of notable misfits, miscreants, eccentrics, and geniuses, some of whom inspire the indelible lyrics to songs such as Tiny Dancer, Candle in the Wind, Bennie and The Jets, and so many more.

Written with honesty and candour, Scattershot bears witness to events unfolding from Taupin’s singular perspective, always with an infectious energy that only a songwriter’s vivid prose could offer – his imagination sparked by country music and cowboy culture. From his East Midlands childhood and early London days with Elton to the star-studded fishbowl of ’70s and ’80s Beverly Hills, it is an epic, picaresque journey across a landscape of unforgettable characters and locations, as well as a striking, first-hand account of a creative era like no other.


Pete Townshend
Orgasmic. Every page of Scattershot is a delight, a joy, a name-dropper fan's delight. Divine. I couldn't put it down
Cameron Crowe
In Bernie Taupin's miraculous memoir Scattershot you'll meet legends, cowboys, geniuses, unforgettable faces in the night, shady purveyors of outrageous fortune, warriors of the heart, and most of all, Taupin himself. Hilarious and so emotionally true, Scattershot is like a letter from a cherished friend. You'll want to keep it close, so you can read it again and again
Gary Oldman
Touching. Charming. Humble. Witty. And exquisitely written. Taupin's words need no musical accompaniment. They sing with a poets voice.
Robert Hilburn, author of Johnny Cash: The Life
Eloquent and inspiring, Scattershot is a freewheeling memoir that is as warm and evocative as Bernie Taupin's most memorable lyrics. A born storyteller, Taupin gives us the life of an artist whose outlook was shaped by a rare but fascinating blend of lifelong innocence and endless intellectual curiosity
Brandi Carlile
I simply wouldn't write songs without Bernie Taupin. I've read every word he's ever written and there could never be enough of them to satiate my need for Bernie's way of seeing the world. Scattershot, though, is a lifting of the veil, as beautifully written as it is honest and rugged. Reading this book brought me face to face with who he truly is: an empathic genius who speaks to the everyman.
Elton John
This is the most glorious of books. I am besotted by the life I never knew he had.
Written in a highly entertaining, articulate style with a wickedly acidic sense of humor, this book sets a new standard for rock biographies.
Scattershot takes a non-linear approach and is all the better for it. It's funny too (one cokey chapter is titled Days Of Wine And Noses), and encounters with Salvador Dali and Princess Margaret colour the zippy narrative. There's a sense Taupin can't quite believe it all happened...
RTE Guide
An entertaining ride that doesn't spare the horses
The Independent
Sharply Written
The Guardian
The Times
Engaging and poetic
Record Collector Magazine
Compellingly written - Scattershot is a thoroughly enjoyable read
Roger Lewis, Daily Mail
Bernie is well-read, highly literate and, on the evidence of his memoir, a man of wise, sensitive intelligence.