Friday, September 26, 2008

My Thunderbirds Flight Playlist

I got to fly in an F-16 on Thursday, which was, to quote the great poet Mighty Mike McGee, a pocket full of awesome.
Preparing for and recovering from the flight, however, required a bit of mental and emotional prep work. What better way to capture and gauge those emotions than with music playlists?
The following are pre-, mid-, and post-flight playlists for my big fly in the sky:

Pre-Flight Playlist

Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins:
An obvious choice. Anytime I think of jets screaming through the air, I think of this song, and my favorite fictional fighter pilot of all-time, Maverick — pre-Oprah couch surfing and Scientology-goon Maverick, of course. This song is still pretty awesome more than 20 years later.

“Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz: Some more chest-thumping, high octane, adrenaline rush inducing fight music. I'm bumping this loud as I gear up for my flight.

“Disco Inferno (Burn Baby Burn)” by The Trampps:
This is more of a psyche-job, as I'm trying to avoid two things: first, I don't want to crash and burn, baby, burn and second, I don't want to leave the earth with this stupid song ringing in my head.

“Fly Like An Eagle” by The Steve Miller Band:
Now we're back on track. This song is a little more mellow than the first two, but still is a good primer for what it feels like floating in the sky.

“How High (Erick Sermon Remix)” by Redman and Method Man:
Since I got to meet both these guys backstage at “Rock The Bells” last month, gotta throw them in the mix. Plus this song is so heavenly, it can't help but soothe the strain of going up. How high? So high that I can kiss the sky. Indeed.

“Low Rider” by War:
Since I'll be one of the few Chicanos to go up in an F-16, I gotta represent for my gente. I'm bumping this as we cruise toward the runway and prepare for take-off.

Mid-Flight Playlist

"Oh S---” by The Pharcyde:
Anyone who watches the video at knows the four-letter word I expelled upon take-off. Not suitable for a family-friendly newspaper, but apropos nonetheless.

“Physical” by Olivia Newton John:
Geez, this jet-flying thing is strenuous. As we hit a few maneuvers and prepare for 9G's, I'm a sweat hog. Am I really this out of shape?

“Help” by The Beatles:
Okay, we're flying over Lake Nacimiento and it's an all-out assault on my senses. Nausea, dizziness, muscle strain, panic and Acrophobia combine for a painful physiological cocktail.

“We've Gotta Get Out of This Place” by The Animals: As we finally hit 9G's, I'm thinking to myself “Why did I sign up for this again? Oh yeah, because I thought it would be cool.” Boy am I stupid.

Post-Flight Playlist

"Take My Breath Away” by Berlin:
Kinda sort of another no-brainer, but for entirely different reasons. I felt like I could barely breathe up there. Yay, oxygen!

“At Last” by” Etta James:
As we approach the runway for descent, this song rings in my ears, with new lyrics. ”At laaassst/my love for the ground, has come along...”

“Take Me Home” by Phil Collins:
Great ride, awesome pilot, once in a lifetime experience, yadda-yadda. But for the almighty love, just take me home and put me to bed. I'm done.

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