With first-hand accounts from the people who knew him best this book details Sir Elton's formative years from training as a classical pianist at the Royal Academy of Music through his time as a jobbing songwriter in London's Tin Pan Alley and performing his first live gigs ending with the breakthrough Troubadour concerts in 1970. The author has obtained interviews with everyone from Elton's first piano teacher through to band mates in Bluesology and the Elton John Band Tony Taupin (brother of Bernie) manager Ray Williams lyricists Gary Osborne and Bill Martin songwriter Tony Hatch music publicist Tony King and many more. They all contribute to a celebration of Elton's journey along the Yellow Brick Road from Tin Pan Alley to the Troubadour. However Denmark Street London's Tin Pan Alley is as much the star of the book as Sir Elton. The author paints a vivid picture of a lost world of sharp music publishers struggling songwriters and other inhabitants of the street who all came together to socialise and trade songs at the Giaconda and Julie's Cafe. With never-before-seen photos Tin Pan Alley: The Rise of Elton John is the first book to focus entirely on Elton's formative years up to 1970. For Elton's army of fans and those interested in British musical history this book is a must. Music business journalist Nigel Hunter who worked in Tin Pan Alley himself provides a funny and touching preface. A really nice touch is that the jacket was designed by David Larkham who was responsible for the classic Elton John covers such as Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Captain Fantastic.
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