Sir Elton John is one of the many musicians that have contributed to the soundtrack of my life over the years. I’ve enjoyed his music, combined with Bernie Taupin’s lyrics, and I’ve had the pleasure of attending several live performances. And not unrelated, Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read his many novels and I’m still working my way through the plethora of short stories he penned over his long, illustrious career. Like Bradbury, I enjoy when two things, seemingly very different, can be tied together with the simplest thread of comparison or contrast and be forever linked via an obscure fact or metaphorical thought. Enter Elton’s song “Rocket Man”. I’ve read that Elton and his songwriting partner, Bernie, were fans of Ray Bradbury’s writing and the song “Rocket Man” was, in fact, inspired by Bradbury’s 1951 short story “The Rocket Man”. After reading the story in Bradbury’s short story collection The Illustrated Man in 1971, the story spoke to Taupin and what he focused on was not so much the tragic plot of the story, but the everyday drudgery of being an astronaut in space, doing the job five days a week, and missing Earth. Pure genius on both parts. If you have time, I recommend reading the Bradbury short story “The Rocket Man” and then plug in the earbuds (or Seashells?) and give Elton’s “Rocket Man” a listen. Neither one will disappoint. And so…
My Top Ten Elton John Songs! 1. Rocket Man 2. Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny) 3. Daniel 4. Levon 5. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding 6. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 7. Tiny Dancer 8. Your Song 9. Candle in the Wind 10. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
© 2021 Gregory Vessar. A Thousand Miles from Kansas. All Rights Reserved.
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Thank you Marlboro!