Elton John lyricist Bernie Taupin to stage first UK visible artwork present

They’re one of the vital profitable songwriting duos in pop music, however whereas the musician Elton John is the last word flamboyant showman, the lyricist Bernie Taupin has all the time most well-liked to be out of the highlight.

Nonetheless Taupin, who has been writing songs with John for greater than half a century, will now take centerstage – as a visible artist – together with his first UK exhibition happening subsequent month on the Iconic Images gallery in central London.

In a uncommon interview, he advised the Guardian: “I’m in no way Greta Garbo, however I couldn’t do the sort of issues that he [John] does. He’s most likely one of the vital identifiable characters on the planet and it’s powerful to dwell in that bubble. I couldn’t do this.

“He’s completely exemplary at it, however I like to have the ability to go to the market by myself and go and get my espresso within the morning. I preserve very a lot to myself. I’m a really non-public individual. I don’t take pleasure in movie star that a lot,” he added.

Muhammad Ali – The True Identity of Superman.
Muhammad Ali – The True Id of Superman. {Photograph}: Terry O’Neill/Iconic Photographs, reimagined by Bernie Taupin.

Artwork has been a lifelong ardour for Taupin and, if he had not obtained fortunate as a songwriter, he may nicely have pursued it as a profession. The son of a farmer from Lincolnshire, he met John in London in 1967, after they every answered the identical report firm commercial for songwriters. Taupin was 17 and couldn’t write melodies, and the singer and pianist John – then nonetheless often known as Reginald Dwight – was 20 and couldn’t write lyrics.

They hit it off instantly, turning into the closest of musical companions, the lyricism of Taupin’s phrases inspiring John’s melodies. Their many basic songs embody Rocket Man, Crocodile Rock, Candle within the Wind, Sorry Appears to Be the Hardest Phrase, Goodbye Yellow Brick Highway and Daniel.

The duo have all the time written individually. Taupin says he has written dozens of latest songs, however they’re in an early stage and he has but to indicate them to John: “Too early to say something about that proper now,” he provides.

Audrey Hepburn – Hippy Hat.
Audrey Hepburn – Hippy Hat. {Photograph}: Terry O’Neill/Iconic Photographs, reimagined by Bernie Taupin.

Since 1970, Taupin has lived primarily within the US, the place he has had exhibitions of his abstracts and mixed-media items with discovered objects, amongst different works.

His present on the Iconic Photographs gallery is impressed by his good friend, the photographer Terry O’Neill, whose pictures captured the spirit of the pop and movie worlds of the Sixties and Seventies.

Referred to as Taupin and O’Neill: Two Sides of the ’60s, the exhibition options 15 mixed-media work, every a pop-art remodeling of one of many photographer’s photos of well-known faces of the last decade, together with Audrey Hepburn, John Lennon and Queen Elizabeth: “The Sixties had been very alive and vibrant,” says Taupin. “Instances had been altering quickly and these had been the those that had been on the cusp of that change … They had been the lights that burned brightest.”

Paul Newman – Made in the USA.
Paul Newman – Made within the USA. {Photograph}: Terry O’Neill/Iconic Photographs, reimagined by Bernie Taupin.

Earlier than O’Neill’s loss of life in 2019, they’d collaborated on the mission, Taupin says. “[Terry was] very eager … We didn’t actually know the way or when to current them. That’s why they obtained pushed into the background for some time.”

Discussing the reworked photos, he stated: “The portrait of Paul Newman, as an illustration, is a mix of acrylic spray paint and bubblegum wrappers … [With] the portrait of the Queen and Prince Philip, I took out the tapestry that’s within the rear of them and stuffed it in with [a collage of] issues which might be wholly English [including Marmite and custard wrappers].

HRH Queen Elizabeth – Confectionary St.
HRH Queen Elizabeth – Confectionary St. {Photograph}: Terry O’Neill/Iconic Photographs, reimagined by Bernie Taupin.

“The factor about this explicit exhibition is it’s all accomplished in nice good humour … Hopefully, [it’ll] make you smile.”

Whereas Taupin speaks of feeling a “little gun-shy” about unveiling his work within the UK – “I’m all the time cautious of how folks react to issues” – he pays tribute to O’Neill: “Terry was such a dynamic photographer … While you did a photograph session with Terry – often picture periods are laboured and time-consuming – he made them enjoyable. It was like having your image taken by an East Finish barrow boy. He obtained the easiest out of the perfect. You possibly can see that absolutely in his work.”

Sophia Loren – Oh What a Night.
Sophia Loren – Oh What a Night time. {Photograph}: Terry O’Neill/Iconic Photographs, reimagined by Bernie Taupin.

When Taupin is engaged on his artwork, he listens to music, every little thing from jazz to blues: “I’m not a lot of a pop man.”

He doesn’t take heed to songs that he co-wrote with John: “I believe it’s important to be of a sure ego to take a seat round listening to your personal.”

Artwork Laboe obituary

The American disc jockey Artwork Laboe, who has died aged 97, might have been the primary particular person to recognise {that a} rock’n’roll music might get pleasure from a life past its few weeks within the charts. In 1959 he popularised the phrase “oldies however goodies” by utilizing it because the title for an album he had compiled, consisting of hits, all barely a 12 months or two previous, by such artists because the Penguins, Etta James, the 5 Satins and the Teen Queens. It bought properly sufficient to grow to be the primary of 15 volumes in a collection launched on his personal Authentic Sound label, establishing a template for others to comply with.

Laboe had been broadcasting jazz and swing music on radio stations in California for the reason that Nineteen Forties. He switched simply to rock’n’roll on its look in the course of the next decade and have become recognized with the brand new music by its younger viewers, who thronged to look at him doing his present stay from a drive-in hamburger joint on Hollywood’s Sundown Boulevard. He was nonetheless broadcasting properly into his 90s, and taped his final present on the day earlier than his loss of life.

Art Laboe, standing, with Jerry Lee Lewis performing at one of his concerts, which drew huge multiracial audiences.
Laboe, standing, with Jerry Lee Lewis acting at considered one of his live shows, which drew big multiracial audiences. {Photograph}: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Pictures

His different nice distinction was the creation of a collection of live shows on the El Monte Legion Stadium, a venue constructed as a sports activities centre for faculties. Laboe knew that Los Angeles’s metropolis fathers, unnerved by the arrival of rock’n’roll and by the prospect of black, white and Hispanic youngsters mingling collectively in giant numbers, had banned public dances for under-18s. The city of El Monte, nonetheless, was outdoors the LA metropolis limits and topic to no such restriction.

Starting in 1955, and for the following six years, Laboe introduced dances on the 3,000-capacity stadium, that includes such hit artists as Jackie Wilson, Ritchie Valens, Sam Cooke and Ricky Nelson, in addition to the doo-wop teams notably beloved by the younger Chicanos and Chicanas amongst his multiracial viewers. Whereas not completely free from the type of hassle feared by the LA board of schooling, Laboe’s dances flourished and have been fondly remembered lengthy after they’d ceased and the corridor had been demolished.

He was born Arthur Egnoian in a suburb of Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah, to Armenian mother and father, Hosanna (nee Kezerian) and John Egnoian, who have been Mormons. After they divorced, Artwork went to stay with an older sister in South Central Los Angeles, the place he attended George Washington highschool. On the age of 13, he assembled radio tools in his bed room and commenced broadcasting. He served within the US Navy throughout the second world warfare, and it was whereas stationed in San Francisco Bay that he was given a slot on KSAN, an area radio station.

Again in Los Angeles, and with a brand new identify, he broadcast on the KPOP station from Scrivner’s drive-in, welcoming stars who dropped by to plug their newest 45 and shortly establishing a status not only for enjoying the good data however for studying out dedications despatched in by his listeners throughout the state, together with younger inmates of California’s penitentiaries. He may need been of their mother and father’ technology, however he gave them a voice and a message board.

A typical dedication, recalled by the Los Angeles Occasions, was from a younger man to the girlfriend whose affections he had just lately misplaced: “Her identify is Ana Ivette Vasquez and I need to let her know that I’m actually sorry for doing her flawed, for all of the tears she dropped and ache I put her by. I need to dedicate this music from deep down in my coronary heart.” The following platter on the turntable may need been an emotional doo-wop traditional such because the Paradons’ Diamonds and Pearls or the Penguins’ Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine).

The rising measurement and variety of the crowds gathering across the drive-in led to police harassment and persuaded Laboe to search for a web site for bigger gatherings. Admission to the dances in El Monte value a few {dollars}, and the disc jockey would typically slip a coin or two to a young person in need of the value of a ticket.

Laboe in 2009, hosting one of his Valentine’s Super Love Jam concerts in Glendale, Arizona.
Laboe in 2009, internet hosting considered one of his Valentine’s Tremendous Love Jam live shows in Glendale, Arizona. {Photograph}: Jay L Clendenin/Los Angeles Occasions/Getty Pictures

Like his up to date Alan Freed, who popularised the time period “rock’n’roll” in his broadcasts from Cleveland and New York, Laboe typically took a joint composition credit score (as Arthur Egnoian) for tunes created by others, such because the instrumental hits Teen Beat by Sandy Nelson and Bongo Rock by Preston Epps, each launched in 1959 on his Authentic Sound label. Not like Freed, nonetheless, Laboe was by no means caught up within the wave of payola scandals because the 50s drew to an in depth.

In 1963 the Penguins’ lead singer, Cleve Duncan, recorded Reminiscences of El Monte, a fondly evocative doo-wop pastiche written by Frank Zappa and Ray Collins, who would later discovered the Moms of Invention. With the arrival of the Beatles, nonetheless, the music he beloved went briefly out of vogue earlier than being revived by way of TV reveals reminiscent of Joyful Days and the movies American Graffiti and Again to the Future.

Lengthy a resident of the Hollywood Hills, he died in Palm Springs, from the place in recent times he introduced The Art Laboe Connection, syndicated from an area station to others throughout California and neighbouring states. His loyal audiences included the Mexican-American group of East Los Angeles, who remembered with affection the way in which his reveals had inspired a breakdown of the obstacles between races.

He was twice married and divorced, and two sons predeceased him.

Okay-boom! South Korea’s artwork and excessive tradition lands in Britain with a bang

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Olivia Newton-John was a trailblazer within the artwork of pop reinvention

Tright here’s a restricted concept that Olivia Newton-John’s profession, whether or not in cinema or pop, ran solely from “virginal girl-next-door” to “spandex-clad vixen”, as one rather snotty obituary put it. Whereas that transformation could apply to her most well-known function as Sandy within the musical Grease, it does a disservice to how ably – and convincingly – the chameleonic British-Australian musician shape-shifted between genres and rode the altering moods of pop to develop into one of many greatest hit-makers of her period and an everlasting cult icon.

Newton-John broke out at the start of the Seventies as a country-pop singer, with single If Not For You, a Bob Dylan cowl, turning into an surprising hit in North America. She cemented her repute within the style with the assertive, Grammy-winning Let Me Be There, her first US Prime 10 hit, the ballad I Honestly Love You and the plaintive Please Mr Please, which reached No 3 within the US pop charts, No 5 in its nation charts and No 1 in simple listening. By 1974, she had been named feminine vocalist of the yr by the Nation Music Affiliation, and never with out controversy – Newton-John beat Nashville royalty similar to Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton to the prize, which prompted an business protest.

It couldn’t cease Newton-John’s nearly complete pop-cultural domination. Whereas she continued to thrive as a rustic artist, that very same yr, she received the UK fourth place on the Eurovision track contest with Long Live Love – and the rousing, oompah beat and valedictory message had greater than just a little in frequent with Abba’s profitable track, Waterloo. By the tip of the 70s, she would develop into a worldwide star because of her function as ingenue turned femme fatale Sandy in Grease, which owed a terrific a part of its success to new unique songs written particularly for Newton-John by her longtime producer John Farrar. The harmless ballad Hopelessly Devoted to You mixed 50s classicism together with her distinctive pop-country vocals; not solely did You’re the One That I Want let Newton-John and John Travolta exhibit their vocal chops over a rockabilly bass line, it additionally prompted a serious semantic shift in Newton-John’s private pop persona. Whereas she was identified for singing of affection and devotion, right here she explicitly sings about wanting somebody. Alongside Summer Nights, all of them made the US Prime 5; Grease turned the highest-grossing movie of 1978, and the highest-grossing musical movie worldwide on the time, dethroning The Sound of Music a title it held till 2012.

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. {Photograph}: Paramount Footage/Allstar

The transformation that Newton-John’s character Sandy undergoes in Grease introduced on a comparable shift in her public look and music profession. That yr, she launched the album Completely Scorching, shifting away from a purely nation sound with the rock-inflected A Little More Love and the delicate Deeper Than the Night. The change didn’t scare the horses, with the album finally going platinum within the US. Extra strident modifications had been but to come back: her 1981 album Bodily spawned a punchy single of the same name that spent 10 weeks as US No 1 (turning into her most profitable hit) and likewise represented Newton-John including one other medium to her already appreciable quiver: the pop video.

In 1982, she launched Olivia Bodily, a VHS providing a video for each track on the album. “I feel that is the best way albums will go sooner or later – visuals with the music,” she instructed Billboard in 1981 (35 years earlier than Beyoncé’s “visible album” Lemonade). “I received to be a distinct persona and play one other aspect of myself.” The music video for the only Bodily wasn’t simply notable for the way Newton-John portrays sexual innuendo, her assertiveness over males desperately attempting to shed extra pounds on the health club and her popularisation of the headscarf as a style accent: one model sees two of the lads depart collectively, implying they’re a pair, which cemented Newton-John’s standing as an LGBTQ+ icon.

Olivia Newton-John: Bodily – video

That decade, Newton-John’s knack for vocal shapeshifting managed to raise some insubstantial motion pictures. In 1980’s roller-disco-themed romance Xanadu, she performs Kira, muse to a snivelling industrial artist. Whereas the script and the performing are nothing to write down dwelling about, the soundtrack, composed partially by Electrical Gentle Orchestra and carried out by Newton-John, masterfully combines her distinctive vocals with modern digital bass. And the chameleon struck once more in 1983’s Two of Sort, which reunited her together with her Grease co-star Travolta. Whereas the movie was critically panned, its soundtrack was a success – though the Laura Branigan-worthy, synth-oriented Twist of Fate would find yourself being Newton-John’s final US Prime 10 single.

Maybe Newton-John’s capability for reinvention had reached its restrict; or possibly ageism shunted an artist now in her mid-30s to pop’s sidelines as teen pop stars took centre stage. Undeterred, she continued to increase her artistry to mirror her maturing outlook on life: she sang concerning the setting and Aids on her 1988 album The Hearsay, and wrote about her experiences with breast most cancers on 1994’s introspective Gaia: One Lady’s Journey, her first album as sole songwriter.

Whereas she light from the pop mainstream, her friends knew when credit score was due: Mariah Carey invited her to perform Hopelessly Devoted to You dwell in Australia in 1998; Dua Lipa’s 2020 single Bodily is evidently (shamelessly) indebted to Newton-John’s hit of the identical title. “Since I used to be 10 years outdated, I’ve cherished and regarded as much as Olivia Newton-John,” Kylie Minogue tweeted. “And I all the time will.” And even with out these namechecks, Newton-John’s legacy endures: as one of many earliest ladies in pop to embrace totally different eras, genres, sounds and even self-presentation, she lives on within the DNA of each feminine pop star’s self-reinvention.

Artwork Themen/Dave Barry Quartet: Hank Lanky overview – what a distinction a day makes…

Last-minute preparations generally end up fortunate. Drummer Dave Barry was booked for a recording session that was cancelled. He had needed to report with saxophonist Artwork Themen for a while and grabbed the cancelled date. Themen was free, and so had been their first decisions, pianist Gareth Williams and bassist Dave Inexperienced. That is the outcome. The eight tracks are a mix of numbers composed by jazz musicians and some outdated songs which have drifted into the jazz repertoire, however right here the remedy is looser and extra creative than the standard parade of solos. We frequently hear simply piano and bass, as an illustration, or saxophone and piano.

The range, not solely of sound however of environment and temper, is exceptional. The title piece, by Dexter Gordon, has Themen buzzing about its easy melody like a mischievous bee, whereas Williams’s hanging facility with time reveals that it doesn’t must be easy in any respect. Ellington’s Prelude to a Kiss manages to be effortlEllingtontonian with out imitating him and, for me, is the very best of an excellent bunch. All achieved in at some point!

Let me educate you: an artwork tutor’s verdict on artwork by Robbie Williams and different stars

It’s pop artwork, however not as you understand it. Robbie W Theiams is the most recent in a protracted record of musicians to have branched She into p Shouldg as one other technique to categorical themselves, however w The it entertain you?

His high-quality artwork foray w The be shown at the auction house Sotheby’s next month, including to the rising gallery of pop star artwork. Through the years exhibitions have featured the work of musicians together with Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.

Their works haven’t at all times bwell-receivedived. As way back as 1999, the artwork critic Brian Sewell stated he was sick of the “infuriating tendency among clapped She old pop stars to become artists”. Such important scorn doesn’t appear to have deterred musicians turning to artwork. The Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wooden stated that rarely a day goes by with She p Shouldg.

Ought to they keep on with music? We requested A-level artwork examiner Deborah Philpott, who can be a Superptutoredrt tutor, to grade works by six musicians together with W Theiams.

The outcomes had been combined with some solely scraping a go at A-level. However the examiner generously praised the individuality on Philpott

Philpott says: “All of the candidates had been capable of reply in a creativcolorindividual method with robust connections to Robbieown surroundings. All of them confirmed a artistic response to media and supplies, which demonstrated significant and regarded Shecomes.”

She added: “All of the work was private, some being extra contextually knowledgeable and pushed by the work of different artists. Each bit mirrored the candidates personal interpretation of subject material near Robbiehearts.”

Robbie W Theiams

Beverly,  by Robbie W Theiams and Ed Godrich estimated £15,000-20,000.
Beverly, by Robbie W Theiams and Ed Godrich, estimated to promote for £15,000-£20,000. {Photograph}: Sotheby’s/PA

A-level grade B or 6

Collaborative piece, which has repetitive photos, symbols and mark making, recalling work similar to Aboriginal p Shouldgs and the work of the American artist Jackson Pollock. The picture displays an curiosity in pop artwork and the newer work of road artists similar to Banksy. Attention-grabbing use of media and imagery that cr Pauls a mesmeric Shecome responding to the surroundings and sounds that had been cr Pauld within the studio.

Paul McCartney

Bowie Spewing by Paul McCartney
Bowie Spewing, by Paul McCartney

A-level grade C or 4/5

Expressivcolorstrong use of color and mark making, with a private, emotional and intuitive response to his subject material. Experimental use of media with a restricted palettcolora playful r Kurt of mark making.

Kurt Cobain

P Shouldg by Kurt Cobain
Untitled portray by Kurt Cobain

A-level grade D or 3

Free interpretation of scale and form that nonetheless captures a full of life creativeness with a robust sense of colour, line and tone. Some consideration to proportion and compositional association, producing an emotional response to an unsettling picture.

Joni Mitchell

Still Life with Commotion,  by  Joni Mitchell
Nonetheless Life with Commotion, by Joni Mitchell

A-level grade B or 6

Vibrant and energetic use of colour and mark making, deciphering the conventions of nonetheless life and portraiture, making an thrilling composition with a riot of shapes and textures. Energetic mixture of figurative and summary qualities with a nod to post-impressionism.

Chrissie Hynde

Self-portrait,   Chrissie Hynde.
Self-portrait, by Chrissie Hynde

A-level grade A or 7/8

Reveals a sound understanding of the conventions of early Twentieth-century artwork. Vivid use of colour with daring use of summary shapes and type. Expressive use of brush marks with skilful use of proportion and composition.

Ronnie Wooden

Stray Cat Blues by  Ronnie Wood
Stray Cat Blues by Ronnie Wooden

A stage grade B or 6

Nice vitality in using media and mark making. Good use of tone, understanding of proportion and sense of motion. Demonstrates proficient drawing ability and a capability to seize temper and motion on the scene of an occasion.