Honor Bernie Taupin CBE of Lincolnshire after more than 50 years making music with Elton John

Bernie Taupin of Lincolnshire received a CBE in the New Year’s Honors List for his services to music.

Raised near Market Rasen, Bernie lived in Tealby in the Lincolnshire Wolds for many years.

He put Grimsby on the music map by writing the lyrics to one of Elton John’s early albums named after the town.

Read more real-life stories from the locals here

He also acknowledged that the rock anthem “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” was loosely based on what he saw on Freeman Street, Grimsby at the weekend.

Other accounts have said it was based on the rivalry between the guys from Caistor and Market Rasen who regularly clash in their town squares on weekends.

It was one of the hits from the 1973 album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”.

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Elton John, right, and Bernie Taupin pose in the press room with the award for Best Original Score in a Motion Picture for Rocketman’s I’m Gonna Love Me Again at the 77th Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California

The following year Elton John released “Grimsby”, a song inspired by Taupin’s visits to the Grimsby Docks.

One of the words reads: “As I was dreaming in my bed on the other side of the great ditch, I thought I heard the trawlers come back to the tide.”

Elton John visited Market Rasen in 1971.

Bernie Taupin married his first wife, an American, Maxine Frebelman, and had Elton John as a witness on his wedding day at Holy Road RC Church, Market Rasen, April 27, 1971.

Bernie, now 71, had been an altar boy there.

The locals of Market Rasen still remember Elton John arriving in town with his white Rolls Royce.



Bernie Taupin with his first wife Maxine Frebelman and best man Elton John on his wedding day at Holy Road RC Church, Market Rasen, April 27, 1971.
Bernie Taupin with his first wife Maxine Frebelman and best man Elton John on his wedding day at Holy Road RC Church, Market Rasen, April 27, 1971.

Witness Elton wore a white suit adorned with red roses, with a white hat, and he and Taupin had spent the previous night at the town’s Limes Hotel, along with Elton’s manager John Reed and other members of the wedding party.

A number of young people offered to wash the Rolls Royce. Some still have the £ 5 he gave each of the young people.

His signature – real name Reg Dwight – can still be seen in the parish church’s marriage register.

After leaving school at age 16, Taupin worked as an apprentice at the Lincoln Chronicle newspaper for a brief period. He also lived in Beck Hill, Tealby for a time.

In 1967, the Lincolnshire teenager responded to an advertisement in the New Musical Express music newspaper, looking for a lyricist. Elton John had responded to the same ad.

It started what Sir Elton John has often described as “the best relationship” of his life. It spans over 50 years.

He wrote the lyrics and Elton John wrote the tunes and has performed around the world.



Elton John, left, and lyricist Bernie Taupin, right
Elton John, left, and lyricist Bernie Taupin, right

In addition to the release of “Grimsby” in 1974, Bernie Taupin and Elton John’s tribute to the life of Marilyn Monroe “Candle in the Wind” was also released.

After the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in August 1997, Bernie Taupin changed the lyrics and the song was released a few days later as “Goodbye England’s Rose”. It reached No. 1 on the UK charts and sold 33 million copies worldwide.

Elton John’s performance at the Westminster Abbey funeral almost did not take place, according to government documents just released by the National Archives.

They showed how Buckingham Palace did not want Elton John to perform the song at the funeral. But the Right Reverend Dr Wesley Carr persuaded the Royal Family to approve the song.

In a letter, Dr Carr wrote, “He wrote new words to the tune which is widely played and sung across the country in memory of Diana. It’s on the radio all the time.

“Using it here would be imaginative and generous to the millions of people who personally mourn: this is popular culture at its best. ”

Elton John was knighted the following year by the Queen.

The CBE for Bernie recognizes his work, produced over five decades, which is the soundtrack to the lives of many.



Sir Elton John (left) and Elton's writing partner Bernie Taupin
Sir Elton John (left) and Elton’s writing partner Bernie Taupin

Famous songs he wrote include “Your Song” regularly chosen as Elton John’s most famous song. Others include “Rocketman”, “Crocodile Rock”, “Honky Cat”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Bennie and the Jets”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me “.

These were followed by “The Bitch is Back”, “Daniel”, “I’m Still Standing”, “I guess that’s why they call it the blues”, “Sand Songs” and “Nikita” .

On the 50th anniversary of their partnership, Bernie told the Daily Mirror: “We are workhorses.”

“We love what we do. We still have it. We have the same enthusiasm today as when we started in 1967.

Bernie, who now lives in California, added: “The fact that this continues says a lot, I think.”

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