On June 27, I had the privilege to speak with an old student of mine on his radio show. I left teaching in 2012, and thanks to social media, I’ve stayed in touch with many of my students. It’s a cool thing, to watch these young men and women go from squirrelly, nervous 9th graders to highly competent young adults. Anthony Spak is his name, and he’s a graduate of Oakland University in Rochester, MI. He was the music director of the radio station, WXOU, and will serve as the MD (that’s Music Doctor) until fall semester.
Ostensibly, I was in studio to talk about melanoma and my book, Melanoma: It Started with a Freckle. (Click the link to see the book on Amazon.) We did speak at great length about skin cancer issues but Anthony had a killer idea. We’re both musicians (he’s a drummer in an excellent Detroit-area band called Pines) and he asked me to put together a playlist typical of what I was listening to in 2006-07 when I was dealing with my melanoma issues.
Ergo, here it is. My cancer-fighter playlist, circa 2006. Songs are listed alphabetically by artist. If you’ve got a song to add to the list, leave it as a comment on the Dads Roundtable FB page.
Allman Bros Jessica
When the guitar drops after the piano break, if your heart doesn’t soar, check your pulse.
Benny Goodman Sing, Sing, Sing
The most identifiable opening drum lick ever, plus those muted, squealing horns.
Bob Marley Three Little Birds
Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be alright. Brain tumors caused by melanoma killed Bob.
Bonecrusher Never Scared
Sometimes, cancer makes you so damn pissed that you need to scream.
Digable Planets Cool Like Dat
And sometimes, you know you just have to lay back and be cool, cool like dat.
Eric Clapton Layla
The opening guitar salvo over the bow, the piano break, Duane’s slide at the end. Layla is the entire cancer fight in seven minutes.
Foo Fighters Learn to Fly
Looking to the sky to save me, looking for a sign of life… I’m not a believer in divine intervention, but when you have cancer, you spend a lot of time watching the clouds and the stars, and somehow, it’s peaceful for a few minutes.
Frederica van Stade Brezairola
Her voice is so pure, it’s chilling. The melody, equally moving.
Matisyahu King without a Crown
He’s singing about God, and his intensity is awe-inspiring.
Nina Simone Sinnerman
As Nina sings, where you gonna run to? Breast cancer took Nina. Ain’t no hiding from cancer.
Police Message in a Bottle
Hundred billion bottles, washed up on the shore, seems I’m not alone in being alone. That’s what you learn when you have cancer. Nearly everyone is a helper, if you let them.
R. Kelly Remix to Ignition
Running her hands through my ‘fro…It’s just fun, R. Kelly makes you move and laugh.
Talking Heads Once in a Lifetime
Letting the days go by… I reference this song in my book when I received some good news. Page 143. What, you haven’t read my book?
Lights go down, it’s dark, the jungle is your head it rules your heart. When your doctor calls you with biopsy results and says he needs to see you the next day to discuss your treatment options.
Wyclef Jean Three Nights in Rio
Playin’ my guitar, I’m sitting on the beach, I’m sippin’ margaritas as the water splash my feet. It’s too hot in New York, I had to get away… There were days when I went in the basement, plugged in my guitar, and had to whale away as loud as the amp would go. Plus, Carlos wails on this song with Wyclef.
You have a song that inspired you? Put in the comments on our Facebook page, wouldja please?
Wear your sunscreen. Melanoma kills one person every hour in the US alone. About 90% of those deaths are preventable.