Ground Control to Major Tom

Hey teemings masses!

I was wondering if any rock n’ rollers out there might know the story behind the two Major Tom songs: David Bowie’s “Major Tom” and Peter Schimmel’s (Schilling?, Schimmelman? can’t remember right now) “Major Tom (Coming Home).”

Both about Major Tom the astronaut, but different songs if I recall correctly.

Straight dope?

Bowie’s was called Space Oddity.

Shilling’s Major Tom was a direct reference to SO.

Wow, that was quick.


I think the most common interpretation of “Space Oddity” is that it’s an allegory for drug use. “Major Tom” is not an astronaut, but a junkie. The astronaut who drifts off intof into space. losing contact with ground control, symbolizes a junkie getting high and drifting farther and farther away from reality.

And don’t forget “Major Tom’s a junkie” from Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes.