What songs would the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, want with him if he were stranded on a desert island?
The Microsoft chairman answered that question recently on the BBC 4 Radio show Desert Island Discs. The program has been a British institution since it first aired during World War Two. Each week a so-called “castaway” chooses the eight songs he or she would want to have.
David Bowie and Queen – “Under Pressure” – He said it reminds of him of when he would occasionally go dancing on weekends when he was in his 20s and 30s.
Willie Nelson – “Blue Skies” – He actually got Willie to serenade his wife on the beach in Hawaii the night before their wedding.
Ed Sheeran – “Sing” – Surprise! Actually, he let his 13 year old daughter pick this one.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “Are You Experienced?” – Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Gates, is a huge Hendrix fan, who built the Experience Music Project in Seattle. Gates says because he was younger, Allen would sometimes use the song title to taunt him for his relative lack of experience.
U2 – “One” – Allen was also responsible for introducing Gates to Bono. Gates admits he didn’t expect Bono to get “this global health stuff,” and was surprised when Bono turned out to be very knowledgeable about it. “It started a partnership, and he’s been absolutely amazing.”
The Beatles – “The Two of Us” – Gates said that both he and the late Steve Jobs loved The Beatles and that the song recalled a time where they’d been both “competing and working together. Only we understood how intense and what great memories came out of that.”
Rogers and Hammerstein – “How Can Love Survive?” – Gates said that although he and wife Melinda are fans of The Sound of Music, they didn’t know this song — which isn’t in the movie, only in the stage musical — until Warren Buffett and his wife sang it for them.
Lin-Manuel Miranda – “My Shot” (from the musical Hamilton) – Gates loves musicals and says Hamilton is one of the best he’s seen and this song is one of the best from it. “It’s about a young person saying, ‘Hey I’m going to take a risk, I’m going to get out there and try something new and different.'”