Although the references to the Ray Bradbury story seem feasible, I had always assumed the Elton John song “Rocket Man” was influenced by the Thomas Pynchon novel “Gravity’s Rainbow”. In this novel the main character (uh, one of the main characters), a Tyrone Slothrop, was nicknamed “Rocket Man”. There are a variety of lines in the song which had lead me to this belief. The phrases “…and all the science I don’t understand, it’s just my job 5 days a week…” and “…I’m not the man they think I am back home…” amongst others seemed to correspond nicely to various aspects of the book. Of course, it’s anyone’s guess what had actually influenced John and Taupin but with the popularity (at one time) of Pynchon’s short stories in Great Britain it would seem a viable conclusion to draw.
Speaking of Outer-Space themes in modern pop-music, has anyone but myself ever pondered the connnection and similarities betweeen Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and (the German 80’s pop singer) Peter Schiller’s song “Major Tom”?
Of course it does - it was an homage :->
See the original mailbag question and answer.
Apparently, there are others who share your fascination. Hope the answer helps.