“Gay Dave!”, “Gay Dave!”, fucker keeps ignoring me…I was here first you preening tit, when the follicles were failing, who came to Reggie’s rescue? You weren’t even a glint on his shiny fucking pate.
“Gay Daaaavvvee!”, Bastard.
Everyone’s in a hurry today, Reggie has decided to record some new songs. Thinks he’s got the best album of his career lined up (for the 32nd time, sheesh…), he’s assembled the band and called up T-Bone Burnett to put in some studio time. Old Bern is frantically trying to write some more words that might actually rhyme this time whilst taking a shit in one of our 27 loos (I think we call this one Diana).
Me? I’m just sat here on my diamond encrusted stand waiting to crown Reggie’s cranium and make him look at least two years younger (sorry Reg, I can’t work bloody miracles), he’s so preoccupied I think he’s forgotten about me and instead he’s donned his old 80s Watford baseball cap. No one seems to notice so I’m trying to catch Furnish’s attention. He’ll thank me for it eventually.
“Gay Daaavvvveeeeeeeee!”, still nothing, fucking cunt.
Wait, here comes Reggie, “Hello boss”, I purr. “Time to make some magic”, he replies as he removes that tattered old cap, delicately raises me from my stand and places me on his bonce. A tiny adjustment in the mirror (surrounded by pictures of Reg through the ages for a compare and contrast exercise), and we’re done. Today is going to be fucking fun.
Reg is in an excitable mood, Old Bern has penned the lyrics to a song called “In The Name Of You” and my boy has written a stirring tune that’s reminiscent of his 70s heyday – all swirling organ, urgent ivories and a pumping chorus. As he bursts through the fourth take I can feel the sweat easing me gently towards his brow, but he recovers me quickly and we’re into take 5 – go on Reggie! I listen to him growl out the words mesmerised by his genius until it strikes me, it’s a fucking love letter to that cock-smoker Gay Dave…I hate him, hate him, HATE HIM!
I go to bed in a sulk.
Reggie has been on a high since finishing “In The Name Of You” late last night and he and Gay Dave have been up until the early hours celebrating. Why he chooses to spend his time with that arsehole is beyond me. I love him so much, give him everything he needs and what do I get in return? Tossed to one side whilst he enters the embrace of his husband, left to be kicked around our Beverley Hills mansion by Zac and E.J. Jr. It’s a woeful life when all I want is the companionship of the man I adore.
I think Reg is staying beneath the duvet today so I just sit here and watch him sleep, yearning to be touched by his magical hands once again.
Old Bern has presented us with a song recounting the epic party after the first day of recording. He calls it “Wonderful Crazy Night” and Reggie says he’s going to use it as the title track for the album. He sits down at his Yamaha and bashes out frenetic boogie woogie piano for half the day trying to prise the words into an impassioned melody. I tell him it sounds like Jools Holland…he tells me to fuck off.
We finish the track in early evening but Reg isn’t finished, he has a ballad he wants to lay down in the wee small hours, it’s called “A Good Heart” and it is breath taking. It’s like some of his best 80s work, and when the assembled choir kicks in halfway through I can feel the remaining few hairs on Reggie’s head prickle with excitement and tickle my undercarriage. It feels like heaven.
I can’t help thinking this is another song about Gay Dave but thankfully he hasn’t been around all day so my anger is tempered slightly.
Reg is asleep all day. Gay Dave returns late in the evening and I try to give him a withering look. My lack of eyes makes it a fruitless endeavour.
Reg bashes out a series of rock’n’roll tunes today. Some work, some don’t but it’s good to see him so full of vim and vigour. “Looking Up” is a pedestrian party rocker that you expect to hear in some two-bit dive bar in Chicago, whilst “England and America” is an attempt at a rabble rousing anthem but is actually just really, really tedious.
More successful is “Claw Hammer” which has an uncharacteristically moody opening before giving way to a glorious pop chorus. What it’s about is anyone’s guess (Old Bern can be quite mysterious sometimes), but I figure that as hammers are used for nailing and pounding it’s probably about sex.
“Tambourine” is another one of old Bern’s metaphor songs and, again, I have no idea what the fuck he’s going on about but it’s a nice enough ditty and marks the first time Reg has worked two days on the trot since 2006, he’s on a fucking roll and no one dares to tell him to stop.
Reggie falls asleep at the piano.
Reggie wakes up late and finds me resting across his chest. Gay Dave put him to bed last night after he collapsed from exhaustion. He’s nearly 70 you know and all this excitement has taken its toll. After a brief conversation with GD and the kids he announces we’re off on holiday! I fucking love holidays, I wonder where we’re going this time? Better not be fucking Watford again, or worse George Michael’s house – that fucker is demented.
Turns out we’re heading to Florida for a couple of days. There’s no room in the case for my diary so I’ll resume once we’ve returned. Later suckers.
WE’RE BACK! Reggie is absolutely itching to finish the album, he’s been Skyping with Old Bern all week and they have enough ideas to ensure a standard, deluxe, super deluxe, and Japanese Exclusive edition of Wonderful Crazy Night – why all the songs can’t just be on one album is anyone’s guess but you don’t become multi-millionaire Elton John without fleecing your fans on a regular basis!
Today we work through “The Open Chord” which at first listen seems to be about the craft of song writing, but Bernie is cheekier than that and when he has Reg sing “You’re an open chord I’m gonna play all day” on the chorus I call over to him, “Old Bern you saucy old fucker, are all your bloody songs about screwing?”. He doesn’t answer but I can tell by his wry smile that he’s away in an XXX-rated dreamland.
It’s been a good day, even Gay Dave hasn’t annoyed me.
We wake up early, Reggie has a ballad he wants to record today and there’s no time to waste! “Blue Wonderful” is as perfect an example of his latter day output as you could wish for, T-Bone Burnett extracting every bit of emotion from Reggie as he tinkles away and delivers a sweet yearning vocal. If I had a hand, I’d be holding a lighter aloft and swaying gently to its delicate rhythm. It takes all my concentration to remain on Reggie’s nut for the duration.
“I’ve Got 2 Wings” despite its Prince-esque title isn’t a glorious funk workout about unfathomable sex positions but is, instead, a mini biography of Reverend Utah Smith, a guitar playing preacher who wore paper angel wings as he delivered his sermons. Old Bern has surpassed himself lyrically on this one and you can tell from Reggie’s gleeful playing just how invested he is in the song. It may be his best tune in over a decade. Good fucking work boys!
After a successful couple of days, Reggie, Gay Dave, T-Bone, Old Bern and the kids have decided to go shopping. Reg has left me behind as he’s gone in disguise, so I’m sat here contemplating the past two weeks and watching re-runs of Everybody Loves Raymond. I invite a few of the boys over for drinks in the afternoon: Travolta’s wig can’t make it sadly but somehow that cunt that covers Trump’s noggin finds out about our little gathering and muscles his way in. He’s such an obnoxious twat that I shut down the party early and actually start to look forward to Gay Dave coming back.
Gay Dave returns with his hand firmly planted on Reggie’s perfect posterior smiling like a fucking goon and I realise my mistake. I still really, really hate the cunt.
We’ve got two tracks left and everyone is super buzzed to get them complete. “Free and Easy” is a bright and breezy attempt to return to the 70s and although it’s not entirely successful it serves as a decent piece of filler.
We call it a day after the eighth take and Reggie takes me up to the boudoir. He strokes my coat as he lays me across my stand and whispers, “tomorrow we finish on a high” as I drift off to sleep; swimming deep in his loving caress.
Wow, wow, wow! Reggie has gone for a slight Paul Westerberg vibe (20 years later than everyone else) and written a song about…about…about ME! “Guilty Pleasure” rocks along with insistent hunger and as he plays I can feel his eyes roll up to the tip of his skull and his heart swell with pride. We’ve been through so much and although he can never say the words out loud, I know he loves me. When he sings: “I’m not the love of your life my love / I’m just some guilty pleasure”, we’re both aware that this is our relationship in a nutshell, I’m forever playing second fiddle to Furnish but there’s always a place in his heart for yours truly.
I’m going to sleep well tonight and I even let Gay Dave put me to bed. Nothing can spoil this moment.
It’s the final day of recording and T-Bone has a few tweaks he wants to make but no one minds, we’re all in high spirits ready for the last push. Reggie’s piano playing continues to thrill and his vocals are stronger than ever: deep, aged and raw. Wonderful Crazy Night has been a superb experience and is easily the best Elton John album in years, everyone in the room can feel it.
This will be my last diary entry for a while, we’re heading out on the promotional trail for the next six months and yet again there’s no room in the suitcase for my journal. If you’re in your local record store or perusing Spotify check out the tunes, I think you’ll be surprised at just how fucking great they are.
Rating: Four Candles in the Wind out of Five