KT Cloudbusting -- Kate Bush In Her Own Words

Rocket Man

From the age of 11, Elton John was my biggest hero. I loved his music, had all his albums and I hoped one day I'd play the piano like him (I still do).

When I was asked to be involved in this project and was given the choice of a track it was like being asked ``would you like to fulfill a dream? Would you like to be Rocket Man? ...yes, I would. (1991, Two Rooms Linear Notes)


Now, you're on this wonderful tribute album to elton john and bernie taupin, and did you have a list of which songs were available to choose from. How's the choice work? I was really knocked out to be asked to get involved in this project, because I was such a big fan of elton's when I was little - I really loved his stuff, he was my biggest hero, really, and when I was just starting to write songs he was the only songwriter that I knew of that played the piano and sung, and wrote songs, so he was very much my idol. And one of my favourite songs of his was ``rocket man'' Now, if I'd have known then that I would have been asked to be involved in this project, I think I would have just died! And in some ways, I owe it to myself, as that little girl to give her the privilege of doing this as well as myself now. And they basically said, would we like to be involved and I could choose which track I wanted, and because ``rocket man'' was my favourite I hoped it hadn't gone, actually - I hoped no-one else was going to do it.

And what about the arrangement of it, which is very different to the original?

Well, yes I suppose so. I actually haven't heard the original for a very long time, a long long time! [Laughs] And it was just I wanted to do it differently; I do think if you cover records, you should try and make them different - it's like remaking movies, you've got to try and give it something that makes it worth re-releasing. And the reggae treatment just seemed to happen, really. I just tried to put the chords together on the piano, and it just seemed to want to take off in the choruses, so we gave it the reggae treatment.

And now, all of a sudden, it's a hit single.

Well, yes, and it's even more extraordinary, because we actually recorded the track over two years ago, probably just after my last telly appearance! And we were quite astounded when they wanted to release it as a single just recently. What's very nice is that the guitarist that played on the track, Alan Murphy, who was our guitarist at the time, died not long after the track was made. So this was one of the last things that he did with us, and it's particularly nice for me to feel that it's not only keeping him alive, but I know that he would be really thrilled to know it was doing so well, and it's nice for all of us that loved Al to know that he can be a part of this now. (1991, BBC Radio 1)


Gaffaweb / Cloudbusting / Music / Rocket Man