Forgotten Astronaut

From Weezerpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Forgotten Astronaut"
Forgotten Astronaut cover
Single by The Rentals
Album Q36
Released November 19, 2019
Format MP3
Recorded Alphaville Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Battle Born Studios, Las Vegas, NV
Length 4:43
Writer(s) Matt Sharp
Producer The Rentals
Status Officially released
The Rentals singles chronology
"Spaceships"
(2019)
"Forgotten Astronaut"
(2019)
"9th Configuration"
(2019)
Q36 track listing
"Above This Broken World"
(5)
"Forgotten Astronaut"
(6)
"Conspiracy"
(7)

"Forgotten Astronaut" is a song by The Rentals. It is the second single and the sixth track from the band's fourth album, Q36. It was released on November 20, 2019. A digital EP for the song was also released on March 31, 2020.

Overview

"Forgotten Astronaut" was inspired by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins.

The limited-run clothing item for "Forgotten Astronaut" was a t-shirt designed by Ivan Minsloff. In April of 2020, a run of yellow variants were sold.

Press release

“I started writing ‘Forgotten Astronaut’, while I was reading ‘Flying To The Moon’ (1976, MacMillan). When friends would ask if I had read anything good recently, I would tell them I was reading about Michael’s extraordinary life and whomever I was talking with would simply ask, Who is Michael Collins?. And then again, when I was previewing early arrangements of the song for friends, I would tell them that lyrics were being sung from Michael’s perspective and they would, without exception, hit me with that exact same question, Who the hell is Michael Collins!?.

That, all too, familiar response left Sharp to ask what, might be an even more interesting set of questions. How could you be a central figure in, what is largely considered, one of the greatest achievements in the history of all humanity and yet, nearly no one knows your name?

How does that happen? What does that say about Michael? And in turn, what does that say about us?

They got names like superheroes, bigger than The Beatles or I could ever be
They got all the great one-liners, written in the schoolbooks for all eternity

Forgottenast beatles.jpg

AP Photo Via Library Of Congress

“What gave me great joy was imagining where Michael’s more trivial thoughts might have drifted to, in the solitary confinement of Columbia, just Michael and a small colony of NASA’s laboratory mice, alone with his sillier, lighter ruminations juxtaposed against the moment where he started to grasp the weight, significance and gravity of this monumental chapter of mankind’s story.”

They’re bouncing up and down in the tranquil sea
Three hundred million girls watch on TV
Oh, I know, what I know and I know its just jealousy
But, I feel what I feel and I feel it endlessly

Sharp continues, “I’m not sure if this is from ‘Flying To The Moon’ or ‘Carrying The Fire’ (1974, MacMillan) or if it was from watching one his guest appearances at M.I.T. on YouTube, but I believe, I remember Michael saying something to the effect of, If I didn’t do my job correctly Armstrong and Aldrin would have been stranded, my two friends, powerless, with 530 million viewers watching them slowly run out of oxygen to eventually die on live TV. Then I would have to return home, alone, with the knowledge that, because I failed at my job, for the rest of time, the people of earth would look up to the moon and never see it the same way again. The image of 2 dead astronauts, seared into the public’s imagination, 2 All American corpses snug in their space capsule coffin, forever caught in the deadly grip of the Moon’s orbit, 200 miles above the lunar surface; looping eternally.

Just make just one mistake and I could actually ruin the Moon… for all Mankind.”

“I could ruin the moon,” what an extraordinary thought.

Over two hundred thousand miles home
If the Eagle fails, I go back alone
Oh, I know, what I know and I know it’s all up to me
But, I feel what I feel and yeah, I feel the history

But, Mr. Collins didn’t make a mistake, or at least, not one that could ruin the Moon for all future generations.

Oh, I know what I know, as my parachutes released
Like peppermint candy we float in a blue-sky dream
Like “Starlite Mints” we move through the cotton sky
And the arms of the ocean are stretched out; open wide

Forgottenast parachute.jpg

Photo Courtesy of NASA

Every single pilot that trained for the Apollo program shared one common, singular dream. Each of them, individually, including Michael, were laser focused on the goal of being one of the first 2 men to ever walk on the celestial floor of a foreign heavenly body. But, a funny thing happened on the way back from the moon. When the 3 intergalactic rock stars returned to Earth, the two men that actually fulfilled that singular dream found them returning to a whole new reality. Mr. Aldrin and Mr. Armstrong could hardly go to the store for quart of milk without being suffocated by a relentless, fawning adoration. In the years and decades to follow, it is well documented how all that attention negatively and adversely affected their lives.

Whether it has been Mr. Collins choice to gracefully shy away from the spotlight or if he just had the good luck of being gifted one of the most forgettable, common-sounding, combination of surname and given name, Michael seemed to have dodged the claustrophobic inconvenience that comes with global superstardom. His story tells us, like the old aphorism says, “Be careful what you wish for; because you just might get it.”

And now I’ve all but been forgotten, Forgotten Astronaut has been lost to history, yeah.

Forgottenast michael.jpg

Courtesy of NASA

Forgotten Astronaut Extended Play

Main article: Forgotten Astronaut Extended Play

Forgotten Astronaut Extended Play (a Q36 Special Feature) is a 2020 digital EP by the Rentals, featuring four versions of the single "Forgotten Astronaut". It was released (alongside the song's music video) on Spotify and Bandcamp on March 31, 2020.

Personnel

Music video

The music video for "Forgotten Astronaut" was created by Subtractive, Inc. and directed and edited by Ryan Stuit and produced by Brantley Gutierrez and Kyle Schember. It was released on March 31, 2020.

Lyrics

We’re high above the tranquil sea
I take a big deep breath and set the Eagle free

Oh, I know, what I know and I know it’s all up to me
But, I feel what I feel and I feel the history

Over two hundred thousand miles home
If the Eagle fails, I go back alone

Oh, I know, what I know and I know it’s all up to me
But, I feel what I feel and yeah, I feel the history

They got names like superheroes, bigger than The Beatles or I could ever be
They got all the great one-liners, written in the schoolbooks for all eternity

They’re bouncing up and down in the tranquil sea
Three hundred million girls watch on TV

Oh, I know, what I know and I know its just jealousy
But, I feel what I feel and I feel it endlessly

They got names like superheroes, bigger than The Beatles or I could ever be
They got all the great one-liners, written in the schoolbooks for all eternity

We are waiting for connection, trans-Earth injection, three thousand degrees, yes
Splashdown, North Pacific Ocean; soon we will be home where Hornet waits for three, yeah

Oh, I know what I know, as my parachutes released
Like peppermint candy we float in a blue-sky dream

Like “Starlite Mints” we move through the cotton sky
And the arms of the ocean are stretched out; open wide

Yeah, they got all the great one-liners, written in the schoolbooks for everyone to read
Yeah, they got names like superheroes, bigger than The Beatles on black and white TV

And now I’ve all but been forgotten, Forgotten Astronaut has been lost to history, yeah

See also