Now comes a different kind of tribute, one that places the South African-born Tesla founder and CEO in a decidedly Generation X light.
"Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad" is a new single released on Soundcloud by The Rentals, a new-wave-tinged band that spun off of Weezer in the mid-'90s. Written by bandleader Matt Sharp, the song is a reflection on growing up around the same time as Musk, following similar early paths during adolescence, but ultimately measuring up short against the much-heralded entrepreneur.
Sharp, who was born in 1969, was bassist and co-founder of Weezer, the power-pop band that made it big in 1994 with the song (and "Happy Days"-themed video) "Buddy Holly." Here, he writes about being born two years before Musk, both as products of broken but middle-class homes. Then in 1982, Sharp imagines, "Santa gave us each a brand-new Commodore." The lyrics describe a narrator who used his computer to make fake IDs to buy beer in junior high, while Musk went on "to incredible heights."
"But for a second, there's no question, I had the lead in '95 / But the small ambitions of a musician, I could not keep my eye on the prize / I watched him fly by, to incredible heights," Sharp writes in the song.
Sharp told Wired that the song isn't a tribute to Musk but was one of many written in the wake of his father's death. "I was trying to get off this blue marble as quick as I could, I think," he told the publication.
The nearly 7-minute song opens with a strumming an acoustic guitar and ends with the Gentle Assassins chorus extolling Musk's abilities at deliverance. It includes a plea to Musk: "Oh, Elon! Let me be the first one of your new civilization to be saved."
Sharp says the single is part of a full-length album, the band's fourth, that he expects will be released in the first half of 2018. You can listen to the song below. It's definitely worth a listen.