““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
A Playlist for your Flight
You've installed superb audio gear on your jet. Why not use it to set the mood on board with songs about air travel? Popular musicians spend lots of time aloft, often in business jets, and their flights have inspired many songs. Here are 10 that might sound just right as you punch holes in the clouds.
1. "Come Fly with Me," Frank Sinatra. Flying was never so inviting as when the Chairman of the Board sang in 1957: "Once I get you up there, where the air is rarefied / We'll just glide, starry-eyed...Weather-wise it's such a lovely day / You just say the words, and we'll beat the birds / Down to Acapulco Bay." Give us five minutes to pack.
2. "Leaving on a Jet Plane," Peter, Paul & Mary. This song--which became the folk trio's only chart-topper in 1969--is both melancholic and energizing. Writer John Denver was a private pilot.
3. "Eight Miles High," The Byrds. Many people assumed this 1966 hit was about drugs--at least until co-writer and Byrds leader Roger McGuinn explained that it described flying over England during a concert tour. (His aircraft had actually been more like five or six miles high, but McGuinn and his co-writers decided that eight sounded better.)
4. "Flying Home," Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra. This wordless 1942 wonder is among the songs that kept Americans' spirits up during World War II. Its lively vibraphone work and inventive sax solo can help set the tempo aboard your flight.
5. "Daniel," Elton John. This 1973 hit captures the feeling of watching a loved one's jet taxi down the runway and disappear in the sky: "Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane / I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain / Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye / God it looks like Daniel / Must be the clouds in my eyes."
6. "Jet Airliner," Steve Miller Band. OK, we're not talking business jets here, but this 1977 hit is infectious enough to start any flight on a high note. (Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" does the job, too.)
7. "Flying," The Beatles. This 1967 classic is an instrumental, but you don't need lyrics to figure out where the music is taking you. A perfect soundtrack for cruising altitude.
8. "Airplane," The Beach Boys. This 1977 gem exudes the childlike wonder that helped make group leader Brian Wilson's songs so successful.
9. "You're So Vain," Carly Simon. This 1973 smash hit describes a self-absorbed lover, and guessing his identity became almost as popular as trying to ID Watergate's Deep Throat. One oft-quoted clue is the line, "You flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun." Better not play this if your passengers include Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, Kris Kristofferson or James Taylor, all of whom have been mentioned as the possible subject.
10. "(We're Not) the Jet Set," John Prine and Iris DeMent. Looking to end your playlist with a touch of irony? Try this Tammy Wynette/George Jones chestnut. The 1999 Prine/DeMent version would put a smile on your face even if you weren't listening to it on a business jet.