Desert Island Picks - Michael Gonzalez
I am Michael Alexander Gonzalez, but you can call me Mike, or Mikey, or my mom’s favorites, Mango Marmalade or Googly Bear. I used to bear the title Pumpkin Pie, but my brother grew jealous…
I am a Sophomore Vocal Performance Major at NEC, born in South Florida from Cuban parents. When I first heard about the ‘Desert Island Recording’ theme I was going to originally bring all this classical music, which would be fine, but realistically, I’d rather have songs that remind me of those I care about and bring happy memories. So sit back, scroll down, and prepare to go down my memory lane.
1. Bonnie Tyler - I need a Hero
I know, you’re asking yourselves how I came upon such a gem. Well, this is the song that reminds me of my best friends Derek, Sam, David, and my brother Robert. We have been great friends since childhood. One day, while we were enjoying the splendors of summer, BOOM, my friend Derek played this song for us. It had EVERYTHING; an awesome chorus, piano, drums, and the lyrics are just great. So since that fateful day, Bonnie Tyler has brought a smile to my face just thinking about my good friends.
2. Kansas - Carry on My Wayward Son
Now, I mentioned my brother, and you will hear a lot about him since I love him to death. We used to watch Supernatural and also play Rock Band. Both featured this song. In fact, we’d always end our nights playing this song on Rock Band because it’s so GREAT! Need I say more?
3. Engelbert Humperdinck - Lonely is a Man without Love
My mom took me to school every day, from kindergarten through high school. Whenever we got into the car I had two choices; 1. put in head phones and ignore mother dearest, or 2. listen to Engelbert Humperdinck. Let’s just say I grew to love this song and sing along to it at 7:00 a.m. in Miami traffic. Good times.
4. Mel Brooks - Keep It Gay ‘The Producers’
I love comedy and Mel Brooks has always been there to make me laugh. When I first heard of his Broadway show, I was seven. I truly couldn’t appreciate his music. But when my brother (told you he’d be mentioned a lot) reintroduced me to the musical, I fell in love. I could truly appreciate the witty and sarcastic humor that his songs show. This one is by far my favorite. I will be able to laugh while trying to pry open a Coconut!
5. Mel Brooks - I wanna be a Producer ‘The Producers’
This song just has such a nice feel to it. It makes you want to sway from side to side. My brother and I always sing this together. I get a nice laugh every time I think about how out of tune he goes (sorry, bro).
6. Giacamo Puccini - Nessun Dorma ‘Turandot’ Sung by Luciano Pavarotti
Turandot was the first opera I ever laid my eyes on and it was love at first sight. After the opera, I went home and looked up Nessun Dorma on Google. I then clicked on the first link with Luciano. Again, Love at first sight. He is my inspiration and no doubt would help me through my lonely island days.
7. Geatano Donizetti - Una Furtiva Lagrima ‘E’lisir D’amore’ Sung by Luciano Pavarotti
This diamond of an aria was first brought to my attention by an old teacher of mine. He said “Listen to Luciano Pavaortti sing Una furtiva Lagrima in 1972. You won’t be disappointed.” And I wasn’t. My mom cried about two minutes into it, and I cried about 4 minutes in. It is utterly breath taking and Luciano’s beautiful voice only makes the aria that much more intense.
8. Ernesto Lecuona - Siboney Sung by Placido Domingo
This song holds a special place in my heart because it is written by the most well-known of Cuban composers, Ernesto Lecuona. His ‘Siempre en mi Corazon’ (Always in my heart) lost in in the Oscars to ‘White Christmas’. My great grandmother was a pianist and singer who actually performed with Ernesto when he was younger. Just hearing this song being brings back memories of listening to my great grandmother humming his tunes.
9. The Killers - Mr. Brightside
I have loved this song for some time, mostly because of the rhythm. Another reason is because my roommate and I really love this band so we listen to their music all the time. They have a great sound! It also helps that this song was featured on Rock Band 2. Remember that brother of mine? I would beg him to let us end the night playing this one, but Kansas always seemed to win…
10. Franz Schubert - Der Erlkonig
I fell in love after hearing about this piece in Music History class in high school. I hope to one day learn it. I chose Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as the singer because of his flawless performances.
Well, there you have it! That is my (short) list of songs I cannot live without. Yes, it is diverse, but it holds many happy memories from throughout my life. I am glad to have had the opportunity to share it with you all!
All the best,
Michael Alexander Gonzalez
NEC Sophomore, Vocal Performance