"There was a pub called the Aston Arms, and some Saturday nights there would get pretty hairy outside in the parking lot." Bernie Taupin discusses the (not total) inspiration behind Elton John classic Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)

Elton John and Bernie Taupin
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Elton John's longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin has discussed the urban legend surrounding one of the duo's most famous and acclaimed tracks, Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting). Originally released as the lead single from John's iconic 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, the track has remained a setlist staple ever since - but one story around the song's inspiration has endured, despite, as Taupin explains, not technically being totally true.

Speaking to Lauren Laverne for BBC 6 music, Taupin is asked what he can remember about writing the lyrics for the song. "One of the urban legends I keep referring to is that it was based on a pub in a town close to where I grew up called Market Rasen," he replies. "And there was a pub called the Aston Arms, and some Saturday nights there would get pretty hairy outside in the parking lot. 

"So I think there was a slight influence there," he continues. "I wouldn't say it was completely directed at that particular establishment. It's like a lot of the things that I write, you know; I start with one idea and then I elaborate on on. So it might have been the core element of the song. Apparently, I've been told that there's a plaque in the pub that says that [it was the influence for the song]. But again, that might be just somebody's playing with me." 

Upon release, Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) was a big hit, hitting number seven in the UK single charts and number 12 on the US Billboard 200. It'd go on to be certified gold in both countries following almost a million sales. Earlier this year, Taupin was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Watch a clip from Taupin's interview on BBC 6 Music below.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.