Here is a great trivia question: In the David Bowie song “Space Oddity,” exactly who is Major Tom? He wasn’t a real person, but he was inspired by a scene in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Remember the part where astronaut Frank Poole tries to fix the AE-35 unit that Hal the computer says is malfunctioning? After Bowie saw the movie, he started thinking about what it might be like to be a doomed spaceman. So he wrote a song about it.
Incidentally, the original “Space Oddity” appeared on the soundtrack of a 1969 film called Love You ‘Til Tuesday. The version we hear today is a re-recording done about six months later. In fact, it’s not hard to find about half a dozen different versions if you know where to look.
Check out Monday’s on mispressed records. And don’t forget to check out my podcast The Ongoing History of New Music where you listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google, Stitcher, or wherever you get your on-demand audio.