The collaboration between Elton John and Bernie Taupin is legendary, lasting from 1967 to the present day. And yet, little attention is given to their stalwart silent partner—the c.1910 A-Day Birdcage upright piano.
It is believed that the famous songwriting duo wrote over 100 tunes on this white piano, spanning the years of their first five albums. In the documentary “Elton John and Bernie Taupin Two Rooms,” Elton can be seen composing the song “Tiny Dancer” on it.
The British filmmaker, Bryan Forbes, who in 1972 produced “Elton John and Bernie Taupin Say Goodbye to Norma Jean and Other Things,” developed a close friendship between the two songwriters. In appreciation for his dedication to the documentary (it took over a year to make), John and Taupin gave him their white piano, with the following inscription:
Some twenty years later, Elton revisited the piano and added another inscription to the inside lift:
Forbes donated the piano to an auction house and it eventually ended up at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 2004 it was sold at auction, and again more recently in April 2014 at the “Icons of 20th Century Music” Auction for $164,500.