Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2007)|
|"Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)"|
|Single by Elton John|
|from the album Jump Up!|
|B-side||"Take Me Down to the Ocean"|
|Released||March 12, 1982|
|Length||Single - 4:06
LP - 5:05
The Rocket Record Company
|Elton John singles chronology|
"Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)" is a hit ballad from British pop-rock performer Elton John's 1982 album Jump Up!. It reached number 13 in the US singles chart. He dedicated the song to John Lennon, who had been shot and killed in front of his New York City apartment on December 8, 1980. Lennon and John were good friends, having performed a duet on Lennon's 1974 hit "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night", which the pair performed live at one of John's concerts in the same year (Lennon's last stage performance), along with two other songs. As part of his Jump Up Tour, he performed the song live at Madison Square Garden, with Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and their son Sean (Elton's godson) in the audience. He again performed it on his first appearance as a musical guest on the April 17, 1982 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Johnny Cash.
John rarely performs the song live, as he has said it brings back many painful memories of Lennon's death, though he does add it to set lists from time to time, often when playing Madison Square Garden. In April 2013 John added the song to the setlist of The Million Dollar Piano, his residency show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
The "Empty Garden" referred to in the song is Madison Square Garden, where Lennon performed a duet with John in 1974. The music video for the song features John sitting at a piano with a mock-up of the Dakota building's drive-up entrance door where Lennon's murder took place.
John wrote and recorded an earlier instrumental tribute to Lennon, "The Man Who Never Died," and in the book accompanying the "To Be Continued ..." box set said he was concerned that songs about Lennon would be no more than "clumsy" or "cheesy," until he saw Taupin's lyrics for "Empty Garden." "The Man Who Never Died" was issued as the B side of "Nikita" in 1985 and eventually included as a bonus track on the remastered reissue of Ice On Fire.
- Elton John - Yamaha electric piano, harpsichord, vocals
- Richie Zito - guitars
- Dee Murray - bass
- James Newton-Howard - synthesizers
- Jeff Porcaro - drums