Kenny Passarelli Remembers Working on Elton John’s “Rock of The Westies,” “Blue Moves” & Replacing Dee Murray

It’s not easy to replace a band member that’s loved by the fans but it does happen everyday in every job especially music. In the mid-70’s bassist Kenny Passarelli, who was already famous for co-writing and playing on Joe Walsh’s, “Rocky Mountain Way” and working with the likes of Stephen Stills and Dan Fogelberg, was asked to join the Elton John band. It was a major reshuffling with long time drummer Nigel Olsson being replaced by earlier Elton drummer Roger Pope. Other new additions included James Newton Howard on Keys and guitarist Caleb Quaye who had worked with Elton in the early days. Some fans took it in stride, loving the newer, more aggressive music style while other wanted the older softer Elton.

Looking back Passarelli has warm feeling about his bandmates and especially Elton. Check out part one of our interview. – by John Beaudin

John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 33 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.

Check out more on


More on John Beaudin