Davey Johnstone was born May 6th, 1951 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
By the age of seven he played the violin. His first guitar was a gift from his sister when he was eleven. At the age of seventeen, Davey moved to London where he played in several folk bands.
Davey first joined up with Noel Murphy in 1968. This is when Davey received his first album credit on Noel Murphy’s ‘Another Round’. In 1969, Noel and Davey welcomed a Bass player called Ron Chesterman and the trio became known as Draught Porridge no albums were released by the trio.
In 1970 a group called Magna Carta was being produced by Gus Dudgeon. Davey first worked as a session player for Magna Carta on the album ‘Seasons’ released in 1970. Davey then became a bandmember of Magna Carta and two albums were released ‘Songs from Wasties Orchard’..1971 and ‘In Concert’..1972 Extensive sessions work provided Davey with valuable studio experience. At Gus Dudgeon’s request, Davey played on an album of poetry set to acoustic music by Bernie Taupin. It was through Bernie that Davey was then asked to play on Elton John’s ‘Madman Across the Water’ Davey and Elton instantly hit it off and Davey was later asked to be a permanent bandmember in February 1972.
In 1973, Davey recorded his first solo album titled Smiling Face This album was originally released on Rocket Records and was recently remastered for re-release. It has a tenative release date for September.
Davey’s next solo endeavor came in 1977 when he formed the rock band CHINA This band grew out of a friendship between Davey and fellow Elton John bandmate James Newton Howard. Rounding out this line-up was Roger Pope on drums and Cooker Lo Presti on bass. China released one album titled ‘China’. This album was also released on Rocket Records and out of print.
In 1990, Davey collaborated for the first time with lyricist Steve Trudell With music and lyric in place it was time to form the band. The make-up of this band included past and present Elton John bandmembers Nigel Olsson on drums, Bob Birch on bass, Guy Babylon on keyboards and Billy Trudel on vocals. Davey called the band WARPIPES
In 1991, Warpipes released their only album titled Holes in the Heavens on self-owned label Artful Balance Records. When Artful Balance Records folded, this album was re-released on Bridge Recordings. The album title was changed to Warpipes and the song line-up is a bit different. This album is currently available through Bridge Recordings catalog.
In 1996, Davey released a video of instructional guitar called Davey Johnstone Starlicks Master Session.
He plays a wide variety of Elton John classics and is joined by Billy Trudel on vocals and Bob Birch on bass. This video was distributed by Starlicks Inc. and currently available.
In 1997, while on tour with Elton, Davey and John Jorgenson spent much of their off time creating a true masterpiece of acoustic instrumentation. This album titled Crop Circles was released in 1998 on Solid Air Records. This album is currently available.
When time permits Davey continues to work on solo projects. Davey and his lyrics writing partner Steve Trudell have composed over 60 songs. A Johnstone-Trudell website is in the works, watch for it in early 2004.
When Davey’s not on the road, he resides in California with his wife and children.