A friend of mine, Graeme Gates, will today, Monday 13th June, commence his walk across the Simpson Desert, on what is known as The Madigan Line.  His 520km (323mi) journey, through one of Australia’s most uninhabitable regions, will be arduous and equally enthralling, but most importantly his walk is nothing short of inspirational.

As part of his walk, Graeme is also raising money for Beyond Blue. Beyond Blue supports individuals who are suffering with anxiety and depression, and are truly inspirational in their own right. If you are able to, please take a moment to donate, in support of Graeme’s walk.

A few months before Graeme set off on this journey, he asked if I would put a playlist of songs together for him. Of course, he had to remind me several times as my mind wanders, but I was progressively putting together a list in my head as I went for my own daily walks. Graeme’s aim is to take a little bit of home, and the people he knows, with him on a journey that would test anyone’s resilience and ability to be content with the thoughts in one’s own mind. My aim, therefore, was to create a playlist that he could use for a day on repeat. I decided that it would be roughly 2 hours in duration, that way ensuring that the entire playlist would be heard about 3-4 times, depending on how many kilometres Graeme walked in a specific day.  

I knew of some of Graeme’s personal tastes when it came to music, but he also wanted a playlist that was representative of the person who created it. Honestly, if I gave him that playlist, he would have the men in white coats coming after me. Yes, dear reader, you know only too well how diverse my musical tastes are. Therefore, I aimed to include music that I enjoy and feel is motivational, energetic, and risqué.

The playlist I created for Graeme includes the following songs:

Queen – It’s A Beautiful Day

This is such an inspirational song. I can imagine as Graeme sets off for his day, that this song will bring brightness and joy for the journey ahead.

Icehouse – Great Southern Land

This song is an unofficial Australian anthem. I’ve often driven throughout outback Australia with this song blaring from the car stereo. Every time it raises goose bumps as it is incredibly moving and meaningful, from an Australian perspective. While I’ve never been as far inland as Graeme will travel, I trust this song will bring further meaning to his journey. 

Men At Work – Down Under

This is another Australian classic that many would say is also an unofficial anthem for the nation. It just had to be included.

Genesis – I Can’t Dance

I can imagine Graeme walking, dancing, and singing along to this song. It is fun, with a great beat, and it flows perfectly into the first stand-up comedy segment of the playlist.

Ray Romano – Bachelor Party

The entire album Live At Carnegie Hall is well worth a listen, but I picked out specific tracks that I felt would offer Graeme the most laughs. The aim was to provide a little relief between musical transitions.

Whitesnake – Here I Go Again ‘87

This was selected to start the heavier rock elements of the playlist that would encourage Graeme to pick up the pace. It is a great motivational song; that is certainly how I perceive it.  

Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone

For most of us, Graeme is most certainly going to the ‘Danger Zone’. Therefore, it seemed appropriate to include this song.

George Thorogood And The Destroyers - Bad To The Bone

I know Graeme is a fan of Thorogood, so I have no doubt he will be singing along. This song is full of attitude that elevates the soul from the limitation of the body.

The Who – Baba O’Riley

Okay, I just included this song for no other reason than I love it.

Blue Öyster Cult – (Don’t Fear) The Reaper

I wonder if Graeme ever saw the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel ‘The Stand’. I love the way this song was used in that film and frankly, it is a haunting song. Let’s just hope it doesn’t keep him awake at night.

Ray Romano – Forty

As Graeme is in that age group, he will either find this stand-up comedy track hilarious, or traumatising.

Chuck Berry – My Ding A Ling

Ah, the first of the innuendo songs. When a man is in the desert, for a month without his wife, you have to mess with his mind. That’s what friends are for, right?

Green Jelly – Three Little Pigs

This song is an incredible retelling of the classic children’s story, but with a heavy metal approach. I absolutely love this song. It puts a smile on my face every time I hear it.

Icehouse – Nothing To Serious

This is a song that is just fun and will lighten the mood, especially if the day isn’t going as planned.

Meat Loaf – Paradise By The Dashboard Light

Paradise By The Dashboard Light is a classic song that is absolutely filled with innuendo as one sings along. It had to be included.

Tenacious D – Tribute

This is the best song in the world! That is all.

Bloodhound Gang – The Bad Touch

You can’t listen to this song without smiling. Go on, try it, I dare you! I have no doubts that Graeme will be in hysterics with this addition.

Warrant – Cherry Pie

If anyone tells you sexually charged innuendo-based songs are inappropriate, tell them to get a life and have some fun. Cherry Pie is a classic and is a no frills fun song, although it does have a cherry on top. Enjoy!

Ray Romano – Adult Movie

This track is a perfect addition after the last couple of songs.

Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger

Now the innuendos are over, it is time to get down to business and give Graeme a little boost to pick up the pace again. Nothing really needs to be said about Eye Of The Tiger. Yes, it is clichéd to the extreme, but it is very motivational.  

Lenny Kravitz – Are You Gonna Go My Way

Let’s hope Graeme doesn’t go Kravitz’s way and have a similar wardrobe malfunction. Although, there is already a hilarious story of Graeme having the wrong underwear.

Metallica – Wherever I May Roam

I love this song for its powerful determination and ability to empower the listener.

Disturbed – Indestructible

This song follows Wherever I May Roam perfectly. Metal-infused songs are perfect for giving us the strength to overcome our human limitations. I certainly know they give me the determination and strength to carry on. Hopefully, they have the same effect for Graeme.  

Ozzy Osbourne – I Don’t Wanna Stop

This is a fantastic Ozzy, not Aussie, song that will hopefully keep Graeme’s fire burning.

Ray Romano – The Duties

This track was selected to remind Graeme of his duties when he gets home.

Aerosmith – Walk This Way

Heading into the last few tracks of the playlist and Walk This Way is a perfect addition. The beat alone applies to any walk I can think of.

Guns N’ Roses – Paradise City

This has to be the most perfect song for Graeme’s walk. I can imagine, with a little humour in my thoughts, that he will come across an oasis of Paradise City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.

Supertramp – Take The Long Way Home

Graeme most certainly is taking the long way home and therefore this final track is perfect to not only close out the playlist, but it also flows perfectly into Queen’s It’s A Beautiful Day, when the playlist is on repeat.

I have had so much fun putting this playlist together and I can’t thank Graeme enough for asking me to contribute to his walk in this way. Let's hope Graeme is having a great time with the playlist and I haven’t messed with his mind too much; but that’s what friends are for.

So what would you have added to the playlist? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments. 

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