John originally released the song in 1972, where it featured on his fifth studio album ‘Honky Château’ and hit number two in the UK chart.
The song has had new life breathed into it, however, by the Guns N’ Roses guitarist in honour of stuntman Eddie Braun’s Evel Knievel-inspired “rocket launch”, which is taking place next month (September 17). The launch will see Braun attempt to cross the Snake River, located in north-west America, using a 10,000 hp rocket.
Slash, alongside his band Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators, have reinterpreted the song as the theme music for Braun’s daredevil Kickstarter project after John gave his blessing. Recorded at the Sunset Sound studio in Hollywood, Braun has explained how he got Slash involved.
“I approached the rock icon Slash, who I knew to be an Evel Knievel fan, and asked if he would be interested in being involved with my rocket project,” Braun said. “He gave us the most awesome gift we could ever dream… a theme song! Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators got permission from Sir Elton John to re-record his 1972 hit song ‘Rocket Man’ specifically for our project. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators suggested we include the song with every reward so every single backer of our Kickstarter campaign gets it. So that’s what we’re doing! I’m so honoured to have been given the most epic theme song, by the most epic guitarist of all time!”
Listen to the original recording of ‘Rocket Man’ below.
Braun will live-stream his jump attempt on September 17, which people can watch for a donation of $10 to the Kickstarter he has set up. That donation will also secure a download of the new version of ‘Rocket Man’.