“Bernie Taupin’s lyric refers to a time in 1969, before John was a popular musician, when John was engaged to be married to his girlfriend, Linda Woodrow.
John and Woodrow were sharing a flat with Taupin in Furlong Road in the East End of London, hence the opening line “When I think of those East End lights.”
While having serious doubts about the looming marriage, John contemplated suicide. He took refuge in his friends, especially Long John Baldry, who convinced John to abandon his plans to marry in order to salvage and maintain his musical career.
As a sign of his respect and gratitude for Baldry, Taupin wrote him into the song as the “someone” in the title, and also as “Sugar Bear”.
Some radio stations banned or altered the song, due to the use of the words “damn it” in the second verse.”
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