Source: Pixabay

Rocket Man

There is a repository in my noggin of all the music I have ever listened to in my entire life. It is huge! It is gigantic! It is like a musical Library of Congress! And it is all conveniently recorded in my little feeble noggin!

Who the heck needs computers when we have a computer-like filing system located in the squishy gray-matter in our noggins? Seriously? All we have to do is punch in a title to a song we once heard and then it suddenly starts playing.

Is the reason we built computers to show us that we already have a computer? Is it our way of showing ourselves the incredible repository that already exists in our cranial database? And then, and only then, do those computers show us what exists outside of our cranial data bank?

I must admit that I thoroughly love Elton John. My cranial library is filled with every one of his songs that I have ever heard. Back in the day I owned every bit of vinyl that he ever produced. Guests would look at my extensive vinyl collection then look at me and say, “Wow, you’re a real Elton John freak, aren’t you?”

I would admit to it but my record collection could not even come close to the stories involved with the music. The physical record collection could not bring forth the memories of when I was young and I would drop acid and drive out into the desert, park my car, then lay down on the hood of my car and look up into the starry night sky, into the universe, while my car stereo blasted Benny and the Jets. The music might play but the memories were not in the vinyl but rather in my noggin.

Someone could have listened to my vinyl collection and they would have no idea that Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart happened to coincide with one of multiple times when my own heart happened to be broken.

My vinyl collection would never have revealed that I was sitting in the Philadelphia airport about to board a plane and make one of the most outrageous decisions of my life as Elton’s song, ‘Philadelphia Freedom’ began playing.

My vinyl collection would never have revealed how hopelessly and pathetically in love I was when the song Tiny Dancer flooded the world’s airwaves.

And now, a hundred years later I no longer have a vinyl collection. I got rid of it a couple of decades ago. I no longer own a single vinyl record! I don’t even own a record player!

Thank goodness I still have my noggin — or at least most of it. The nice thing about noggins is that they come equipped with a search function. They are a lot like a computer in that way.

So tonight, for some reason, I was in the mood for some Elton John. So I typed into my noggin search bar; Rocket Man. That is by far one of my very favorite Elton John songs. I cannot even begin to guess how many thousands of times I listened to that song back in the day. I listened to it in every mental state imaginable. I listened to it in every physical state imaginable. I knew all the words and all the music. I have traveled many times into outer space in my mind with that song playing in the background of my mind. I have pushed the envelope of our solar system with that song. With that song I have breached the limits of our reality in order to touch the face of God, so to speak. (How many songs can you say that about?)

Well, you will never guess what happened once I typed, Rocket Man, into the browser of my noggin! Elton John’s original version of Rocket Man did not come up as the top search result! Can you believe that? Seriously?

No, what came up first in the algorithm-induced results was instead the Kate Bush version of Rocket Man!

How can a cover version of a hit song come up first above the original version? How is that even possible? Have I somehow listened to Kate Bush’s version more than Elton’s original version? Seriously? Does my fucking brain work on some sort of algorithm? Does history somehow determine search results?

I was confused by this. So I set aside my noggin algorithm-induced search results and turned to the internet. I typed, Rocket Man, into my Google search bar.

Holy, fucking, shit! You know what came up as the top search result? No, it was not Elton John’s original version of Rocket Man. It was Kate Bush’s version of Rocket Man! It totally creeps me out that Google knows what version of Rocket Man that I have listened to the most — since my encroachment into the world wide web.

So I listened to Kate Bush’s version of Rocket Man, a version that I have listened to a few thousand times (it’s really good!). I was thrown into all those times when I listened to that version of the song. (By the way, don’t bother watching Kate Bush’s video of her performance of that song. It kind of sucks. Just listen to it. There are instrumental layers that add whole new dimensions to the song.)

Then I listened to Elton’s original version of that song. I was thrown into all the memories of when I listened to that original version.

Between those two versions of Rocket Man I was thrown into a phantasmagorical kaleidoscopic stew of memories, imaginations, dreams, emotions, desires, hopes, and feelings.

Don’t you just love it when that happens?

Earthling — Lifelong novelist & essayist —

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