Greetings fellow astronuts and space cadets! As most of you know I come in peace, but I’m not that interested in meeting your leader ok. I’m not particularly sure that I’d like to take over the planet either! Anyway enough blathering on, I simply could not let this momentous occasion go without a mention, even in a humble music blog. It’s July 20th today and 40 years ago two men landed on the moon; Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and do not forget Michael Collins who piloted Columbia the Command Module which remained in orbit around the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin took the Eagle the Lunar Module to the surface.
In my opinion this is undoubtedly the greatest achievement of my 50 years on the planet. When I was a boy I wanted to be an astronaut, but then I guess millions of others did too. I wonder if as many people want that now? I hope so. My Mum and Dad were quite strict about my bedtime and I was only 10 years old in 1969 so it was amazing that my Dad let me stay up or woke me up in the early hours so that I didn’t miss anything. In those days I collected anything to do with the Apollo missions; newspapers, magazines, models, a massive poster of the moon and countless things that have disappeared from my memory. I did have an Airfix scale model of the Saturn V rocket and another of the Lunar Module. The latter was incredibly difficult to put together!
We sent a further six missions to the moon and in addition to Aldrin and Armstrong a further 10 men walked on it’s surface. I am still saddened that we haven’t really done much in the way of manned planetary exploration since Apollo 17 in 1973. I would love to think we could make it to Mars within my lifetime.
Let me briefly address those who say the moon landings were faked, in my opinion those people are talking complete crap. There is plenty of information around that debunks all those moon landing hoax theories. I won’t bore you with the details here, but to those who believe the conspiracy stuff please say hi to Elvis and Jacko from me when you next see them in the 7-11
In the UK the Apollo 11 mission was also important for a certain Mr Bowie. He got his first hit single out of it when the BBC used his “Space Oddity” as the theme for their coverage. It reached number 5 in the UK charts in 1969 and eventually made number one when it was reissued in 1975. That song is in fact reissued today in a format which also provides you with each separately recorded track to enable you to remix it yourself. I for one will be buying it later! Appropriately(ish) enough Thunderclap Newman’s “Something In The Air” was number one in the UK at the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
So without further ado here is a small hit parade of Moon related songs, well this is a music blog after all!
1 “Space Oddity” – David Bowie (come on I’m a fan what did you expect!)
2 “Saturn V” – Inspiral Carpets (what a glorious sight that rocket was)
3 “Sleeping Satellite” – Tasmin Archer (this song appears to express the sadness that I feel about us never having gone back to our sleeping satellite)
4 “Walking On The Moon” – Police (Ok now we’re onto gratuitous use of moon in the song!)
5 “Fly Me To The Moon” – Frank Sinatra (How could I not include this fabulous song?)
OK that’s my five moon related songs, I’m sure that you have plenty more, so tell me what they are!
In the meantime click here to enjoy some of the BBC’s coverage of the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic mission.