We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Scattershot

Buy Now:

Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781800960800

Price: £29.99

ON SALE: 12th September 2023

Genre: The Arts / Music

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

*THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER*

*A Times Best Music Book of 2023*

‘This is the most glorious of books. I am besotted by the life I never knew he had.’ -Elton John

‘Every page of Scattershot is a delight, a joy, a name-dropper fan’s delight. Divine. I couldn’t put it down.’ -Pete Townshend

‘Hilarious and so emotionally true, Scattershot is like a letter from a cherished friend. You’ll want to keep it close, so you can read it again and again.’ -Cameron Crowe

‘Touching. Charming. Humble. Witty. And exquisitely written. Taupin’s words need no musical accompaniment. They sing with a poets voice.’ -Gary Oldman

‘Eloquent and inspiring’ -Robert Hilburn, author of Johnny Cash: The Life

‘A funny, zippy narrative’ –MOJO

‘An entertaining ride that doesn’t spare the horses’ –RTE Guide

‘Sharply written’ –The Independent

‘Self deprecating and refreshingly honest’ – Sunday Times


‘Brilliant memoir’ Daily Express

This is the memoir music fans have been waiting for. Half of one of the greatest creative partnerships in popular music, Bernie Taupin is the man who wrote the lyrics for Elton John, who conceived the ideas that spawned countless hits, and sold millions and millions of records. Together, they were a duo, a unit, an immovable object. Their extraordinary, half-century-and-counting creative relationship has been chronicled in biopics (like 2019’s Rocketman) and even John’s own autobiography, Me. But Taupin, a famously private person, has kept his own account of their adventures close to his chest, until now.

Written with honesty and candour, Scatterhot allows the reader to witness events unfolding from Taupin’s singular perspective, sometimes front and center, sometimes from the edge, yet always described vibrantly, with an infectious energy that only a vivid songwriter’s prose could offer. From his childhood in the East Midlands of England whose imagination was sparked and forever informed by the distinctly American mythopoetics of country music and cowboys, to the glittering, star-studded fishbowl of ’70s and ’80s Beverly Hills, Scattershot is simultaneously a Tom Jones­-like picaresque journey across a landscape of unforgettable characters, as well as a striking, first-hand account of a creative era like no other and one man’s experience at the core of it.

An exciting, multi-decade whirlwind, Scattershot whizzes around the world as we ride shotgun with Bernie on his extraordinary life. We visit New York with him and Elton on the cusp of global fame. We spend time with him in Australia almost in residency at an infamous rock ‘n’ roll hotel in an endless blizzard of drugs. And we spend late, late night hours with John Lennon, with Bob Marley, and hanging with Frank Sinatra. And beyond the world of popular music, we witness memorable encounters with writers like Graham Greene, painters like Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, and scores of notable misfits, miscreants, eccentrics, and geniuses, known and unknown. Even if they’re not famous in their own right, they are stars on the page, and we discover how they inspired the indelible lyrics to songs such as “Tiny Dancer,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Bennie and The Jets,” and so many more.

Unique and utterly compelling, Scattershot will transport the reader across the decades and around the globe, along the way meeting some of the greatest creative minds of the 20th century, and into the vivid imaginings of one of music’s most legendary lyricists.

Reviews

This is the most glorious of books. I am besotted by the life I never knew he had.
Elton John
Written in a highly entertaining, articulate style with a wickedly acidic sense of humor, this book sets a new standard for rock biographies.
LIBRARY JOURNAL
Orgasmic. Every page of Scattershot is a delight, a joy, a name-dropper fan's delight. Divine. I couldn't put it down
Pete Townshend
In Bernie Taupin's miraculous memoir Scattershot you'll meet legends, cowboys, geniuses, unforgettable faces in the night, shady purveyors of outrageous fortune, warriors of the heart, and most of all, Taupin himself. Hilarious and so emotionally true, Scattershot is like a letter from a cherished friend. You'll want to keep it close, so you can read it again and again
Cameron Crowe
Touching. Charming. Humble. Witty. And exquisitely written. Taupin's words need no musical accompaniment. They sing with a poets voice.
Gary Oldman
Eloquent and inspiring, Scattershot is a freewheeling memoir that is as warm and evocative as Bernie Taupin's most memorable lyrics. A born storyteller, Taupin gives us the life of an artist whose outlook was shaped by a rare but fascinating blend of lifelong innocence and endless intellectual curiosity
Robert Hilburn, author of Johnny Cash: The Life
I simply wouldn't write songs without Bernie Taupin. I've read every word he's ever written and there could never be enough of them to satiate my need for Bernie's way of seeing the world. Scattershot, though, is a lifting of the veil, as beautifully written as it is honest and rugged. Reading this book brought me face to face with who he truly is: an empathic genius who speaks to the everyman.
Brandi Carlile
Scattershot takes a non-linear approach and is all the better for it. It's funny too (one cokey chapter is titled Days Of Wine And Noses), and encounters with Salvador Dali and Princess Margaret colour the zippy narrative. There's a sense Taupin can't quite believe it all happened...
MOJO
An entertaining ride that doesn't spare the horses
RTE Guide
Sharply Written
The Independent
Evocative
The Guardian
Engaging and poetic
The Times
Compellingly written - Scattershot is a thoroughly enjoyable read
Record Collector Magazine
Bernie is well-read, highly literate and, on the evidence of his memoir, a man of wise, sensitive intelligence.
Roger Lewis, Daily Mail
A wildly entertaining roller-coaster of a life story
Daily Mail
Brilliant memoir
Daily Express