During a recent radio interview, Elton John talked about the piano players that influenced him and his career and shared an unheard detail about his piano routine.
Elton John is certainly one of the most well-known rockstars of all time. Thus, his input on the artists that changed his life and any information about his practicing routines are highly valuable.
In a recent interview, Elton John revealed that Little Richard and Jerry Lewis, both of whom he had the chance to watch live, were two of the pianists that changed his approach to playing the piano.
He specifically referred to the way that they played. The first would play standing up while the second would climb all over it, both of which were very appealing to Elton John. He also mentioned that Fats Domino inspired him a lot, as he would push the piano across the stage using his stomach and play with his own style.
Here is what Elton John said during the interview:
“The piano players that changed my life were Little Richard, Jerry Lewis, and Fats Domino.
The first two especially, as I saw them live in concert – and Little Richard stood up and played the piano, and Jerry Lewis climbed all over and played the piano, and did also some things which is what appealed to me.
And when you look at my later career, I was influenced by both of them so much. And they played it so aggressively, whereas Fats Domino kind of used to push the piano across the stage with his stomach and played in a new style.
The other two played in a rock kind of style that I never heard before.”
Having established the people who influenced him the most, both due to their artistic skills and their distinct way of expressing themselves while playing the piano, he went on to discuss his journey with the musical instrument. When he was asked whether he practices, he answered with a ‘never.’
He stated that when he is touring or making records, the last thing he wants to do is play the piano. However, he went on with referring to Rufus Wainwright who practices an hour a day, and Oscar Peterson who would practice eight hours a day.
He acknowledged that their practice contributes to their success but that he himself does not follow such a routine. Elton John even revealed that he has a piano in his house and in Atlanta, neither of which he has ever touched.
In the interview, Elton John also talked about the classical training that he received as a kid and how he had a great ear for picking up melodies. Bearing in mind his musical training as a kid and his long and successful career, one may understand why he does not have the will to play the piano while touring or recording.
Here is what the interviewer asked him about his piano routine:
“You are as much of a virtuoso musician as you are a singer-songwriter and vocalist. Do you practice?”
To which Elton John replied:
“Never. When I make records or go on tour, the last thing I want to do is play the piano. I’ve got a piano in my house and one in Atlanta – never touched it.
Rufus Wainwright, who’s fantastic, always practices an hour a day; and Oscar Peterson who used to practice eight hours a day, and you can see why.”
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