During a chat with Rolling Stone, legendary Elton John drummer Nigel Olsson promised the "Rockman's" upcoming "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour will be unlike anything fans have seen before. Olsson, who began playing with Elton back in 1969 and drummed on countless hits revealed, "It’s gonna be an extravaganza, an absolute extravaganza, but I can’t give it away to you. But imagine all these years and all these different phases that we’ve gone through. It’s gonna be amazing. There’s also a lot of different stuff that I don’t know what’s happening until I get there. I won’t see the stage until a few days before we started. I can’t imagine how it’s going to be, but I’m sure it’ll be outrageous."

He went on to say, "Right now we’re sorting through songs because, obviously, there’s so many. It’s going to be a tough decision. I played on almost 200 songs. There’s much to choose from. So I think what we might do is maybe go with two different sets. We don’t have to play the same set everywhere. If we’re playing two or three nights at one place, we could swap the songs out a little bit. But that’s all in the planning stage right now. I’m not involved until we get to rehearsal and we have a chat."

Nigel Olsson has always maintained that he's a song-based drummer and spoke about how he finds his place in Elton's songs, explaining, "I play to the lyrics and the low-end of the piano. And I describe myself as a descriptive drummer. I will play to the lyrics. So it’s basically what you leave out. If there’s a break in a song, in some songs you expect this huge drum solo to come out. I’ll leave that out so it’s all the anticipation. That’s my style of playing and it’s worked out well for me."

Nigel Olsson went on to shed light on Elton's legendary songwriting process with 50-year songwriting partner, lyricist Bernie Taupin: "Well, he does sit down and he does have lyrics that Bernie has sent him. In the early days, Bernie was in the studio even though he had nothing to do with the melodies or anything like that. But Elton would sit down and go through the lyric sheets, and he’d go through words to see if the song should be mid-tempo or uptempo. Then he would just start playing round with different chords and it would suddenly come together."

Olsson, who had a unique vantage point to Elton both on and off the stage throughout his 1970's heyday, remembered, "Some of the songs were written. . . I think 'Daniel' was written in about 15 minutes. It was that magical. We would sit down for breakfast and he’d go around on the piano, have the song and then we’d go into the studio. The studio was already set up with sounds and everything. We just had to go sit down and play. We’d hear him inventing the song. Then we’d all get on the same wavelength. Most of the big records happened in probably no more than four takes. Some of them happened on the first take. We were there from the beginning."

Guitarist Davey Johnstone, who joined Elton John's band in 1971 and currently serves as his musical director, also witnessed some of rock's most beloved songs being written right in front of him: "Elton’d have a stack of lyrics and he’d just look through them. He wouldn’t do any pre-work (on the songs) in those days, y’know, he wouldn’t ever sneak ‘em at home with them, he’d wait till he get to the studio, and then literally sit down after breakfast and write a song. I mean, I’ve seen him write songs in the time that it’s taken me to make a chicken sandwich, or something."