The Elton John Band is the band headed by Elton John. John has been the pianist and lead singer, as well as writer of music since the band's inception in 1970. The band had multiple line-up changes. Bernie Taupin has been the band's lyricist during their classic era and also to this day. In addition, Davey Johnstone, Nigel Olsson, and Ray Cooper are the only returning members of the band's original line-up since 1970 (Olsson), and 1972 (Johnstone and Cooper). Ray Cooper is on and off with the Elton John band because he is working with other musicians as a session and road-tour percussionist. Furthermore, Elton John has also used a number of session musicians in the time of his career.