Sir Elton John left stunned as he learns true inspiration behind Rocket Man
Sir Elton John was left shocked when he was told the true story behind his 1972 hit Rocket Man, written by his long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin.
The five-decade-old tune has had such a lasting effect that it was listed in Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 songs of all time, while the track’s title also became the name of his 2019 biopic Rocketman, starring Taron Egerton.
Sitting down with Taupin for a new interview, Sir Elton spoke about the origins of the track, with the singer admitting he didn’t know the true inspiration behind it.
Speaking about how he constructed the melody, the hitmaker said: “Rocket Man was our first ever number one record, I think? And it was on the Honky Chateau record.
“It was a pretty easy song to write a melody to, because it’s a song about space so it’s quite a spacious song.”
However, Sir Elton was in for a surprise when Taupin, 72, revealed the song was inspired by a science fiction book.
The songwriter revealed: “It was actually a song inspired by Ray Bradbury from his book of science fiction short stories called The Illustrated Man.
“In that book there was a story called The Rocket Man, which was about how astronauts in the future would become sort of an everyday job so I kind of took that idea and ran with it.”
Shocked by the revelation, Sir Elton, 75, replied: “Do you know, I never knew that.”
Impressed by the admission, the star shared their chat on Instagram, captioning the short video: “You learn something new every day!”
In response to the explanation, a fan commented: “After all these years, Bernie still has secrets!”
“You know what? I could watch Elton and Bernie talking about their songs and song-writing in general for hours and hours. That would be a program I would like to see,” another shared.
The pair have been long-time collaborators after meeting in 1967 when they answered an advert looking for song-writers.
After five decades together, they have worked on more than 30 albums — with Taupin producing lyrics for songs such as Tiny Dancer, Your Song and Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.