Jerry Cantrell Touches Upon His Friendship With Elton John

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Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell gave an interview to Guitar World in which he talked about his friendship with the iconic musician Elton John.

It is known in the rock community that Jerry Cantrell and Elton John share a mutual admiration. Cantrell once claimed that Elton John was the reason he wanted to become a musician and cited him as a major influence. On the other hand, when Alice In Chains was working on ‘Black Gives Way To Blue,’ John told Rolling Stone that he couldn’t resist the offer to record with the band as he admires Cantrell.

On September 29, 2009, Alice In Chains released their fourth studio album, ‘Black Gives Way To Blue,’ on the 17th anniversary of their second album, ‘Dirt.’ This album was the band’s first record without Layne Staley, who passed away in 2002. The title track of ‘Black Gives Way To Blue,’ a tribute to Layne Staley, features Elton John on piano and Jerry Cantrell on lead vocals.

Apart from working with Alice In Chains, Jerry Cantrell also pursues a successful solo career. On October 29, 2021, he released his third solo album ‘Brighten’ following the release of the first three singles. The album marked Cantrell’s first solo album in 19 years and featured guest appearances of several other musicians. Besides, the musician covered Elton John’s ‘Goodbye’ as the last track of ‘Brighten.’

In an interview with Guitar World, Jerry Cantrell talked about his latest solo effort ‘Brighten.’ While discussing the album’s last track ‘Goodbye,’ he also commented on his friendship with Elton John. He said developing a relationship with John is one of the most amazing things. Moreover, Cantrell said it was incredible to record with John on the ‘Black Gives Way To Blue’ album.

Jerry revealed that he had sent the demo of his version of ‘Goodbye’ to Elton John’s partner David for approval. Then David called him in the early morning and told him that John was sobbing at how beautiful his cover was. According to the musician, John himself also called him soon afterward and told him the cover was amazing, and he had his permission.

While talking about the song ‘Goodbye,’ Jerry Cantrell told Guitar World the following:

“Yeah, that’s the last song on [Elton John’s] ‘Madman Across The Water.’ I didn’t intend for it to end this record; it was just one of those serendipitous things. One of the most amazing things for me has been developing a friendship with Elton. We got to record with him on the ‘Black Gives Way To Blue’ record, which was incredible, and we’ve been to each other’s shows – it’s wonderful.

I sent him a demo of my version of the song and I sent it to David, his partner; I just wanted Elton’s permission and to make sure he was OK with me doing it. Four o’clock in the morning I get a call from David: ‘Elton is sitting at the breakfast table right now sobbing at how beautifully you did his song.’ Right after that, Elton called and said, ‘It’s beautiful. It’s fucking amazing. Of course, you have my permission.‘”

Below, you can listen to Jerry Cantrell’s version of ‘Goodbye,’ which appeared on his ‘Brighten’ album.