.

Elton John Calls Today's Songwriters 'Pretty Awful'

The Rock Hall great also takes aim at 'American Idol,' labeling TV competitions 'arse-paralysingly brain crippling'

October 19, 2010 1:00 PM ET

Elton John, someone who knows a thing or two about songwriting after collaborating for more than four decades with Bernie Taupin and, recently, Leon Russell, has taken a shot at contemporary songwriters.

Elton told the Radio Times in a new interview, "Songwriters today are pretty awful, which is why everything sounds the same. Contemporary pop isn't very inspiring." While Elton admitted that he is a fan of Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga (whom he performed with at the Grammys), he insisted that it's "important they write their own songs, so they're not at the mercy of anyone."

Before Lady Gaga: Madonna, Elton John and Other Monster Influences

Elton, who was reportedly courted by American Idol to fill the holes at their judges' table, also lashed out against reality singing competitions. "I'm not a fan of talent shows. I probably wouldn't have lasted if I'd gone on one," John said. "Also, I don't want to be on television. It's become boring, arse-paralyzingly brain crippling. I like Simon Cowell, but what he does is TV entertainment."

Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe made several attempts to bring the legendary piano man on board, even admitting that "I must say, I really do love Elton John," but the singer said he declined "because I won't slag anyone off."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com