Elton John said he “never knew” what inspired his classic 1972 song “Rocket Man” in a resurfaced clip.
The legendary singer was discussing the hit song with his longtime songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin in a 2016 interview originally posted on his YouTube channel and reshared on his Instagram this week.
“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,” John said, before Taupin revealed where he got the idea.
It was inspired by author Ray Bradbury’s 1951 book “The Illustrated Man” and its story “The Rocket Man,” Taupin explained.
“[It] was about how astronauts in the future would become sort of an everyday job, so I kinda took that idea and ran with it,” the lyricist said.
“Do you know, I never knew that,” John replied.
The beloved tune ranks among Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” and eventually inspired the title of “Rocketman,” the 2019 movie musical about John.
The start of the hit song’s chorus was also recycled in John’s collaboration with Dua Lipa, “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix),” in 2021.