EXPIRED: 09/02/09 – Guy Babylon, 52, grew up listening to Led Zeppelin but ended up playing keyboards in Elton John’s band, and winning a Grammy for his work on Aida which is about as a far from Zep as you can get. He had a heart attack in his pool.
Babylon was born in New Windsor, Maryland to a family that manufactured burial vaults. Fitting?
Not wanting to go into the family business just yet, he earned his BFA in music composition from the University of South Florida. In 1980, six months after graduation he moved to California, where he made a name for himself as a session musician.
That’s where Babylon met Elton John. His first performance with Elton was for a benefit at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles in July 1988, and his first world tour as part of the Elton John Band began two months later in Miami, Florida. They played over 1,000 rock concerts together, and worked closely on composing more serious works like The Road To El Dorado, Aida, Billy Elliot, Lestat and Gnomeo and Juliet.
Babylon died of an apparent heart attack while swimming in his backyard pool. Ironically, he had once competed against, and beat, Mark Spitz, of Olympic swimming fame, in a swimming race.