Saturday, March 19, 2011

Desert Island Discs

(This post is more of a personal indulgence but I guess it could be a reflective learning activity)

If you were stranded on a desert island which 8 songs (that tell the story of your life), 1 book and 1 luxury would you choose to bring?

(This is based on the long-running BBC Radio show
originally devised and presented by Roy Plomley, check out Ricky Gervais).

Here are my choices:

1. Hear 'n Aid - Stars

This heavy metal alternative to 'Band Aid' introduced me to a whole range of bands as a young teen. It is somewhat cheesy but has amazing extended guitar solos and arranged by Ronnie James Dio (RIP)! (Check out the making of it too)

2. Blue Öyster Cult - Astronomy

BÖC were my band through my late teens, even had my leather jacket custom-painted with a combination of Secret Treaties, Tyranny and Mutation and the EP with lettering from On Your Feet or On Your Knees saying 'Between the Horrör of Space and the Terrör of Time' (I was a Physics nerd!)

3. Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song

Almost chose How Many More Times from the BBC sessions but The Rain Song is just the best song to play on the guitar (with alternate tuning DGCGCD). Played non-stop since

4. Pink Floyd - Dogs

Got into Floyd after uni. Could have picked so many tunes. Amazing if somewhat depressing song "...who was trained not to spit in the fan..." A guitar harmony from heaven towards the end

5. Radiohead - Lucky

For the missus - we saw Radiohead live when we were 'courting'. They were amazing and this was the highlight (only now have I seen the sad video)

6. Neil Young - Powderfinger

Like Floyd, got into Neil Young later. Saw him live at the Fleadh when I had a broken ankle (got into Disabled next to the sound stage, felt like a fraud but had a great view!) This tells a tragic story full of Twain-esque imagery

7. Megadeth - Peace Sells

Bizarrely, as I approach middle-age I'm getting seriously into Thash Metal. This song always reminds me of BBC Arena documentary 'Heavy Metal' with it's Donington '88 clip

8. Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers

This is for my lad - when he was born this was being played constantly on the radio as I drove to and from the hospital. Even though it's 'Electro Hop' it still manages a heavy riff

Book - The complete 'Eternal Champion' series by Michael Moorcock (including Ereköse, Corum, Hawkmoon and Elric).
Haven't read them in ages, would love to reread them all.

Luxury - Fender Telecaster Deluxe with solar-powered Vox AC30
Will need to play The Rain Song and learn the solos on Stars with all of this time on my hands. Would love to have a twin humbucker Tele with Strat headstock!

So what would your choices be?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. After re-reading your question and redesigning my answer ;)

    This was so hard to really choose..
    But here it goes (not in any real order)

    Song 1 : These Days by Powderfinger (
    Song 2: The Masterplan by Oasis (
    Song 3: Better Days by Pete Murray (
    Song 4: Don't Fight It by The Panics (

    Ok.. enough of the sombre tunes.. need to liven things up if I'm on this deserted island! :)

    Song 5 : The Pretender by The Foo Fighters (
    Song 6 : There Is a Light That Never Goes Out by The Smiths (
    Song 7 : Blitzkrieg Bop by the Ramones (

    This is a hard one.. So many to choose.. And.. really.. who has a device that holds only 8 songs anymore.. So not fair!! ;)

    Song 8 : A New England by Billy Bragg (

    Now the book.. again.. it's like picking my favourite child.. (and last time I did this, it didn't end nicely she's still not speaking to me).. anyway.. here it goes...

    Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks - A brilliant mind, locked up under the fascist dictator Mussolini. Yes very political book.. but.. (if you don't know which way I vote then you probably don't read my twitter feed) :P

    Luxury... an iPod with ALL of my music collection??? Ok ok. ill stick with the theme..

    My Camera.. (ill need a computer to develop said shots) - so that might count as two.. :) But seeing you got two things.. :P

  3. This is an interesting concept..posting these to your log. I like.

    Number 1: for me it has to be Ramones 'Judy is a Punk'
    At 12, I thought this was the best song ever, while my brother (7yrs older) spent ages trying to convince me that punk is dead.

    Number 2: Faith No More 'We care a lot'
    Clearly Mike Patton joining Faith No More was the best thing. I loved this better version of 'We care a lot'. I used to study listening to this.

    Number 3: Nirvana 'About a Girl'
    I was in a sort of a school band in Year 11and 12. We used to love playing this song.

    Number 4: Jimmy Hendrix 'All Along the Watchtower'
    It's hard to choose just one song by Hendrix for this list...

    Number 5: Herbie Hancock 'Watermelon Man'
    My introduction to Jazz. While I lived in Canberra, living with an Arts Consultant, we lived spent days talking/working with artists eating great food, cooking on a slow combustion owen in winter, watching great films and sampling jazz. Fond memories.

    Number 6: Mr Bungle 'Desert Search for techno Allah'
    Remembering my student life; I spent my last $50 to see Mr Bungle play. To this day, no other concert has come close in comparison.

    Number 7: Tool 'Forty Six and Two'
    I do like a lot of heavy music. Helps me relax. I love how it pushes boundaries of music as a form of art.

    Number 8: Beirut 'Nantes'
    Leon (my other half) and I saw them on Arts Sunday. Loved this great Australian band. Now it reminds me of the 7 weeks Leon and I spent living in Paris. Also a memory to my early childhood...

    Book: Anything by Nietsche :)
    Luxury: printmaking press (as long as I could take some ink, tools, metal plates, paper..)

  4. Great responses Alma and Charles! It makes you think doesn't it!

  5. No. 1 - Friday on my Mind - The Easybeats (four Poms/Scots who met at the Villawood Detention Centre), the ultimate workingman's anthem;

    No. 2 - Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen and The eStreet Band - the best "road" song, lyrical perfection! (a "live" version from 1976)

    No. 3 - For a Dancer - Jackson Browne - rock's best singer/songwriter? I've seen him many, many times! (an Old Grey Whistle Test version from 1976)

    No. 4 - Bridge Over Troubled Waters - Simon & Garfunkel; overwrought or vocal perfection? (this version from the Central Park concert in 1981 - I've been to the spot!)

    No. 5 - I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles - simply the best "beat-era" song: She was just 17... (Wish I'd been at the old Sydney Stadium...)

    No. 6 - Blowin' in the Wind - Bob Dylan; the answer my friend is... (What's the question?) (hard to find a good YouTube version - many impersonators!)

    No. 7 - The '59 Sound - The Gaslight Anthem - Jersey boys keeping the "flame" alive; (this version with Springsteen)

    No. 8 - Rip this Joint - The Rolling Stones; love "Exile...." and love this song - another in the vein of keeping the "flame" (of rock and roll) alive! (check Mick's pants in this clip!)

    I actually have an ever-changing list of 200 "favourite" songs - tough to reduce to 8!

    Happy to engage in rock'n'roll dialogue!

  6. Forgot the book and the luxury!

    Book = The Great War - Les Carlyon - reality and sacrifice beyond belief

    Luxury = a 3G connection; "higher powers" have decreed that I'm no longer entitled to one! (So I suppose that it's difficult to take?)