Chris Hadfield: Musical Astronaut

Chris HadfieldHow did you end up playing David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ on the International Space Station?

I recorded a Christmas Carol up there and my son said: “That’s ok, but people really want to hear ‘Space Oddity’.”

Were you keen?

It’s an odd, late-Sixties druggy tune about an astronaut dying in space. Why would I record that? He said: “Dad, you’re not doing it for you. You’re doing it for everybody else.” I said if he rewrote the words so that the astronaut lives, I’d record it.

Was Bowie happy for you to do it?

I called Bowie’s legal team and told them I was phoning from outer space. I thought it might help. We got permission and Bowie heard it and said he loved it, which was great.

Were you aware how many people were watching it?

It went crazy! I was watching from orbit, but then I had to fly the shuttle home. When I landed, after thundering through the atmosphere and thumping back to earth, the first thing anyone said was: “Hey Chris, I saw your music video!”

Full piece in NME, 2 November 2013.