I wrote about Nigel Olsson, Elton John's drummer since 1969, for Huff Post back in 2016.

Debs and I have been friends with this great man and music industry legend since 2014 and, at many wonderful lunches and dinners, and backstage before concerts, we have experienced nothing but kindness and warmth from him. In addition to our personal relationship with Nigel, I strongly believe he is one of the best drummers of all time and sorely deserves a long overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here are some photos of memories shared together with our favourite Tom Cridland Clothing customer.

Joining Nigel onstage at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas during Elton John & His Band's rendition of "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting":



Dinner with Nigel and his lovely wife, Schanda, after Elton John's launch of the Wonderful Crazy Night album at Olympia, Paris:



Nigel wearing a custom Tom Cridland Clothing suit onstage at Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas:



Lunch, dinners and other memorable occasions with Nigel over the years:




I also had the privilege of interviewing Nigel on my Greatest Music of All Time podcast. We discussed so many fascinating things, such as his remarkable natural talent - he learnt to play completely by ear, with no reading, no lessons and not much gigging experience before breaking with Elton:



We discussed his meeting John Lennon and Paul McCartney at Dick James in London during the late 1960s, around the time he met a young musician called Reginald Dwight:



We covered the fateful night at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, Los Angeles that made Elton John a star and the crucial role Nigel and Dee Murray played in this. Elton's band was just a three piece at this stage, Elton on piano and vocals, Nigel on drums and backing vocals and Dee on bass guitar and backing vocals:



We talked about the amazing way Nigel plays the drums, from the low end of the piano and also "descriptively" to the lyrical content of the song:



And we also agreed that the Elton John Band - that is Nigel himself, Davey Johnstone and the late great Dee Murray - should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is something I plan on making happen.



You can watch the whole episode of the Greatest Music of All Time podcast below. We spoke about Elton John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road extravaganza, Nigel's backing vocals on so many important records, and how he doesn’t read music and just plays everything from the heart.



Nigel Olsson was wearing a custom Tom Cridland purple suit during his performance with Elton John at Glastonbury in 2023. Elton and the band's historic headline set was watched by a record 7.3 million people. 54 years on from their first concerts together in 1969, Nigel was still behind the drums for what could potentially have been Elton's final UK performance.


You can browse the Nigel Olsson x Tom Cridland clothing collaboration here