Elton John to remember his friend John Lennon for the BBC, shares backstory of newly released B-side

Elton John will take part in a two-hour BBC Radio special about his late friend John Lennon next month, to commemorate what would have been the late Beatle‘s 80th birthday.

According to Billboard, John Lennon at 80, hosted by John’s son, Sean Ono Lennon, will feature Elton talking about his teenage love of The Beatles and then meeting, becoming friends with and collaborating with John in the ’70s. He’ll also discuss how he ended up being Sean’s godfather.

Elton played piano and sang backup on John’s #1 hit “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night,” while John played guitar and sang on Elton’s #1 cover of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”

John’s final major on-stage appearance was at Elton’s November 1974 concert at Madison Square Garden.  Fifteen months after John was killed on December 8, 1980, Elton and Bernie Taupin paid tribute to him with the moving ballad “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny).”

John Lennon at 80 will air on October 3 and 4 on BBC Radio 2 at 4 p.m. ET.

In other Elton news, he recently released a rare B-side called “Snow Queen,” as a teaser for his upcoming archival set, Jewel Box.  On Instagram, Elton explained that the track, which features Kiki Dee, was the B-side of their number-one hit, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

I was in Barbados with Bernie, Kiki Dee…and a few others…We were playing this song every day, with silly (and quite rude!) lyrics…so Bernie penned some more suitable lyrics, and that became Snow Queen,” Elton writes.

“I didn’t realize that the words Bernie had written were actually about Cher until much later!”

Reportedly, Elton apologized to Cher years later because some of the lyrics in the song were pretty nasty.

By Andrea Dresdale
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