I’m a Rocket Man!
To Christopher, my Rocket Man, for your 4th birthday.
Elton John’s Greatest Hits was the first LP record that I owned. It was 1974, and your grandmother had no idea what to get me that would match the singles that I had been buying with my allowance. She took a chance and went with Elton’s Greatest Hits and Meet the Beatles. Not bad for someone as indifferent to rock music as she was. I played both of the albums endlessly, completely amazed at what the world had offered up to me.
With the benefit of hindsight, I can see how profound an effect being 9 had on me musically. Who knew that your grandma had it in her? Later I would find out that she was more worldly than I had imagined. Someday you can ask her about all of the wild jazz shows that she and your grandfather went to on the South Side of Chicago before they were weighed down with responsibilities (me, for example).
Fast forward 36 years and I still love every song on Elton’s Greatest Hits. The best of the best for me are Rocket Man, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.
Happy Birthday, Kuya. I love you.