My mind is wandering this morning (yes, it CAN be a dangerous thing...), so I thought I would write a blog about my 5 favorite albums. I decided to call it my “Desert Island Discs List”, because that’s what I’ve always heard it called. The inferred question being, “If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 5 CD’s, what would they be?” Soon my thoughts of CDs were taken over by the idea of being stranded on a deserted island. Would I really be worrying about CD’s? If I was, how would I play them? More importantly, however, how did I come to be on this island? Plane crash? Shipwreck? Was I taken prisoner by an evil genius, like in James Bond movies and left to die here after being interrogated for hours? In fact, if I was the captive of an evil genius, would he allow me to choose 5 CDs to keep me entertained on the island that is supposed to be my prison? If he did, should I take a really long time to decide in the hope that he’d lose interest and I could more easily escape?
If I table the ‘why am I here’ aspect of this already slightly unsettling and potentially horrifying scenario, I am left with the practicality of survival on a deserted island. Is this place truly deserted or are there cannibals or dangerous animals that I will have to fend off? If there are animals, can I eat them if I catch one? (also, can you eat a cannibal? is that morally okay since they would surely eat you...) What about snakes, (of whom I am NOT a fan!)? Would it be like Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway? He managed to do pretty well after he got acclimated to the situation. He did however end up with a bizarre assortment of stuff to survive with; ice skates, a volleyball, etc. Apparently he was NOT asked what 5 CDs he’d like to have with him. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that I have a made a thorough reconnoiter of the entire island and found it to be strangely absent of any other life forms...yeah, right.
I think if I was to be stranded on a deserted island and being a fan and longtime viewer of the show Survivor, I would first like to have fire. A LOT of fire. As Jeff Probst is always saying “Fire means life.” I would ask for an entire carton of Bic disposable lighters. Yes, I realize that disposable lighters would be bad for the environment, but I’m stranded on a deserted island at the moment and if and when I am rescued, I will return here in a boat and restore the island to the way it was...I promise. Next, I’m going to need shelter. This one was tough because it needs to be comfortable, dry, warm or cool depending on the outside conditions, etc. Therefore, I choose a tour bus. They are familiar, comfortable to sleep on and if cannibals or snakes attack, I can just lock the door. The following items are necessary without any explanation; a CD player (apparently), a shotgun, ammunition, Spam, fresh water, bathing suit, a big knife, a machete, a small knife, another shotgun (in case something happens to the first one), a GPS, a satellite phone, a flare gun, flares, my guitar, pictures of my family (this is assuming that they are not with me), salt, pepper, Tabasco sauce, a skillet, a coffee pot, coffee, plenty of socks, a solar powered generator, crackers, a BBQ grill, a hammock,...
As I look over my list so far, I realize that this is going to cost quite a bit. The tour bus alone is about $500,000.00 and after it’s been on an island, it’s probably going to be greatly depreciated. No resale value there! (by the way, when they deliver the tour bus, couldn’t I just catch a ride back with the delivery person?) This brings me to the question; “ In this scenario, is money ‘no object’?”. Is the question; “If you were a jillionaire and allowed to prepare yourself to live on a deserted island, what 5 CD’s would you take?” I have to say that sounds pretty unrealistic to me. If I’m a jillionaire I could afford more than 5 CDs. Also, if I’m a jillionaire wouldn’t I have a staff of people around me that would theoretically protect me from inadvertently finding my way to a deserted island all alone? A more likely headline would be; “Famous Jillionaire Guitarist Almost Lost On Deserted Island, Saved By Very Efficient Staff Members”. If I am a jillionaire, I would definitely have a personal flying machine, like a jet pack or something (in addition to my Segway of course), so I could probably just use that to escape. (That is if I’m the captive of an evil genius of course) I guess to be fair the question should be; “If you are NOT a jillionaire and you find yourself stranded on a deserted island through no evil machinations of any sort and while money is an important consideration your mind is focused clearly on the 5 CDs that you would like to have with you to listen to, understanding that these are the last 5 CDs you will ever listen to...wait...am I to understand that this scenario contains no ‘happy ending’?!? I’m going to DIE on this island?!? Suddenly my appetite for Spam is disappearing. As are my thoughts of what music I want to hear before I die from starvation and exposure. Or maybe I die of thirst because I can’t get fresh water. When I was a jillionaire, I had plenty of fresh water but now I’m just a poor, unfortunate soul with 5 stupid CDs to my name, dying of thirst on this uncharted deserted island. Or maybe there were cannibals after all and they were hiding in those caves that I saw on the other side of the island but I was tired and thirsty and ready to get back to my camp...to listen to my CDs...God this Spam is starting to turn my stomach...one should never eat Spam in the hot salty air! The salty ocean air is scratching my CDs too! Soon they’ll be unlistenable! What was that noise?! I think I hear something in the jungle...
Okay, so the question as I now understand it is; “You are going to die. You are not rich and no one can save you. You are going to die alone on an uncharted deserted island, far, far removed from any known shipping lanes and the chances for rescue are nonexistent. While you are going to die...soon...for some unknown reason, the gods of fate have seen fit to allow you to have in your possession 5 CDs and a device to play them on. If you can stop your mind from dwelling on the fact that you are DYING(!!!), and can concentrate on music purely for the purposes of enjoyment (in these, your last few hours before delirium sets in signaling that final sweet slumber) what CDs would you take with you to this ISLAND OF DEATH?”
That’s the question?....well...hmmm...alright...I guess...
Live - Donny Hathaway
Stone Crazy - Buddy Guy
Electric Ladyland - Jimi Hendrix
The Violin Concertos II - Mozart
A Love Supreme - John Coltrane
WAIT! I’ve got it! What if, when the cannibals come for me, I play my CDs to them and they, never having seen a CD player before, are fascinated by the magical box of sound and decide that I am one of their gods! They take me back to their caves and give me food and fresh water and through my time with them, I gain their trust and convince them that cannibalism is just not morally cool. Then we all work together and build an outrigger canoe and we row ourselves into the shipping lanes and are rescued by an oil tanker (probably owned by BP!!) we return to the US, get the cover of People magazine, (one of the cannibals gets caught up in a love triangle with Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson and ends up on the cover of the National Enquirer...Hollywood can be more dangerous than a deserted island!) get interviewed by Matt Lauer, meet the President, who gives me the Congressional Medal of Survival or something, we get to make a cameo in The Hangover 3, get invited to be interviewed on the CBS morning show and turn them down...after we stop laughing! (who watches the CBS morning show anyway?!?), we do Leno, Conan, Jimmy Kimmel, Letterman (where we jam with the band of course) we do Jimmy Fallon just to jam with The Roots (oh, Fallon’s alright, but he seems like he’s just trying a little too hard..),National Geographic wants to have me host a reality show and the cannibals and I are invited to be Grand Marshals of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! (all of which can only help the sales of KUDZU - out Jan. 11, 2011)