Panda’s Childhood in the 1970s

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I turned 5 years old in 1970. My earliest musical recollection is of listening to The Beatles, and I remain a big fan. However, my parents were into straight-ahead rock & roll, having just gone through the Summer of Love a few years earlier. In rifling through their record collection, I was exposed to a lot of Led Zeppelin, Santana, and Jethro Tull, to name a few bands that were big then. As I grew into my teenage years, I supplemented that with my own favorites: Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, David Bowie, ELO. The list goes on and on!

This music defines the 1970s for me. I now own over 200 albums from that decade, and whittling it down to a manageable playlist was hard. To honor the 1970s, I made this a 2-disc set, or double album in the vernacular of the day (there were a lot of those back then, not so much anymore). Here is the playlist:

Panda's Chilhood in the 1970s CD Playlist

And here is a link to my 8tracks page where you can listen to it right now:

 

Panda’s at Rest

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Have you ever pictured your own funeral? It’s only natural, I think. I’ve been there, and one thing I know: the music’s going to be great. Why? Because I’ve already picked it out. That’s right – just like Mozart writing his own Requiem, I’ve put together a mix of music I want played at my funeral. And I listen to it all of the time.

So what makes for a good soundtrack for your own funeral? It’s got to be music that represents you. For me, that’s a pretty eclectic mix, but it starts with the classics, from both the Classical and Romantic periods.

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Mozart’s Requiem. Ever since the movie Amadeus, I’ve loved the story of this piece. Even if it’s not historically accurate, it makes for a great story, and fits my story, since I’m also writing my own death mass, so to speak!

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Dvorák’s 9th Symphony. My favorite classical composer. Ever. Maybe it’s my Slavic roots, or the melding of Old World and American melodies in Dvorák’s music. I’ve chosen the 4th movement, because the opening always reminds me of the theme from the movie Jaws. Very dramatic.

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Wagner’s Götterdämmerung. Again a movie reference, this time from my favorite movie of all-time, Excalibur. There’s something about the haunting refrain from Wagner’s Siegfried’s Funeral Music and Final Scene that gets to me, every time I watch King Arthur dying in battle and being carried off on a boat into the sunset of Avalon. Perfect way to end it all!

Lest I come off as too pretentious, I’ve also mixed in a bunch of 20th century music. Less dramatic, but more reflective. Songs like The Beatles’ In My Life, The Rolling Stones’ No Expectations, Frank Sinatra’s It Was A Very Good Year. The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and Aerosmith round out my high school years, while I also threw in some of my more recent favorites by Cake, Chris Isaak, Liz Phair and Nirvana. Plus a few other surprises.

All of these songs speak to me, and speak from my heart. I hope that when you hear them, you’ll think of me. Even before I’m dead. Mahalo!

Panda's At Rest CD2