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It helped that when two years later he answered a ‘talent wanted’ advertisement in the New Musical Express, a 20-year-old unknown singer/pianist named Reginald Dwight also applied to the post.

Taupin had already demonstrated an early interest and talent for writing and poetry as a child, and when he met Dwight he gave him a stack of his lyrics. Reg began to write music to the lyrics.

A beautiful lifelong songwriting partnership began between Taupin and Dwight – the latter now much better known as Elton John.

Songwriting duo

Taupin is now selling a collection of personal memorabilia through Los Angeles saleroom Julien’s Auctions on November 9 at Hard Rock Café in New York, celebrating the 50th anniversary of that partnership.

The songwriting duo produced some of music’s greatest hits including Rocket Man, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Your Song, Candle In the Wind and Daniel, earning more than 30 gold and platinum albums together, and 40 top 10 hit records.

In 1978, Taupin co-wrote the album From the Inside with Alice Cooper and later found songwriting success with other artists. Starship’s 1985 hit song We Built this City and Heart’s number one 1986 hit These Dreams brought additional success.

Sale highlights

Highlights from the collection on offer at Julien's feature Taupin’s original, annotated lyrics to some of his classic creations (at various estimates) including the Candle in The Wind 1997 tribute to Princess Diana, on typed sheets with alternate lines handwritten.

Other stand-out lots are Taupin’s gold and platinum record awards for albums Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (estimate: $2000-4000); Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy ($2000-4000); Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player ($1000-2000); Honky Château ($1000-2000); and Tumbleweed Connection ($1000-2000).

More unusual options include an autographed and personalised poster of Leonard Nimoy as Dr Spock inscribed To Bernie, Live Long and Prosper! Leonard Nimoy ‘Spock’ - What else does one say to a fellow rocket man? (estimate: $800-1200).

And if you are seeking inspiration as a would-be songwriter, what about a leather desk chair from Taupin’s office at Round Up Valley Ranch in Santa Ynez, California, in which he has written songs for over 25 years (estimate: $2000-4000)?

A portion of the sale proceeds will benefit The Wounded Warrior Project and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.