Taupin took the mic first: “Well, this doesn’t suck. … Needless to say, most of this goes to the people that were involved in ‘Rocketman.’ A little bit of this is in every one of their hearts.”
After thanking the filmmakers and his family, John’s longtime lyricist said, “Being here with this guy, I don’t even have words for it. This is justification for 53 years of just hammering it out and doing what we do.”
Apart from thanking the filmmakers and the other nominees, John said, “Thank you to Bernie, who’s been the constant thing in my life — when I was screwed up, when I was normal, he’s always been there for me.”
Songwriting Hall of Famers Taupin and John are the hit-making machine behind seemingly countless Top 10 songs, including “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Rocket Man,” “Candle in the Wind” and “Your Song.” John had won an Oscar previously in 1995 for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” from the animated blockbuster “The Lion King,” but its lyrics were written by Tim Rice. It’s only fitting that Taupin and John should win for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman,” the movie largely about their 50-year collaboration.
Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” from “Rocketman.”
Previously, John and Taupin had discussed the film’s portrayal of their deep friendship with The Times’ Glenn Whipp.
“I was afraid it was going to be corny. It could have been a train wreck,” said Taupin. Referring to a scene in which the on-screen John (Taron Egerton) behaves imperiously, then immediately apologizes and is forgiven by the on-screen Taupin (Jamie Bell), he said, “It’s not contrived. We understood each other, wholly and completely. I think that emanates through the film.”
John added, “The scene that reduced me to tears when I saw the movie at Cannes is when Bernie visits me at rehab. It just hit me that, yeah, if I hadn’t had him, my life would have been … horrible. We’ve both been through triumph and anguish and we’re closer now than ever. That kind of love is very hard to come by.”