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AC/DC, Led Zeppelin On Tap For Half-Pipe Soundtrack

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AC/DC, Led Zeppelin On Tap For Half-Pipe Soundtrack

AC/DC, Led Zeppelin On Tap For Half-Pipe Soundtrack

AC/DC, Led Zeppelin On Tap For Half-Pipe Soundtrack

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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At the half-pipe event in Vancouver on Wednesday, snowboarding superstar Shaun White's playlist could include AC/DC's "Back in Black," says Mike Nakagawa, also known as DJ Naka G, who's putting the soundtrack together. New Zealand's James Hamilton, also an AC/DC fan, likes "Beds are Burning" by Midnight Oil or Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me."


In Vancouver, for the high-energy freestyle and snowboard events, there's also a high-energy soundtrack. A bunch of the skiers and boarders pick the music they want to play during their runs, and it's up to Mike Nakagawa, also known as DJ Naka G, to put that soundtrack together.

So tonight at the men's half-pipe, what will we hear when snowboarding superstar Shaun White kicks off?

(Soundbite of song, "Back in Black")

Mr. MIKE NAKAGAWA (DJ/Music Director for Cypress Mountain Venue, Vancouver Olympics): He likes AC/DC "Back in Black." Loves to hear that. He also likes Led Zeppelin. He's also picked "Whole Lotta Love," "Kashmir" and "Paradise City" by Guns 'N Roses.

BLOCK: Okay, and what else should we be listening for tonight with the other snowboarders?

Mr. NAKAGAWA: Mathieu Crepel from France, if he makes it, he's going to want some Michael Jackson, "Beat It," or Neil Young, "Rockin' in the Free World." James Hamilton from New Zeeland is going to want "Beds are Burning" by Midnight Oil or "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard, and apparently he's an AC/DC fan as well and his theme song is "Shook Me All Night Long."

BLOCK: Now, the women's half-pipe event will be tomorrow night. Give us some sense of what's in store for the women tomorrow in music.

Mr. NAKAGAWA: Well, I'm actually a personal friend of Gretchen Bleiler. She told me she wants "Disco Inferno" and "Ayo Technology" as well by 50 Cent.

BLOCK: What about some of the other women?

Mr. NAKAGAWA: We just got word from Hannah Teter. She wants "I Got A Feeling" by the Black-Eyed Peas and "The Big Pink" by The Dominoes. And actually, Kelly Clark, she's a very religious girl, and she always provides us with her own Christian rock CDs.

BLOCK: What about the women competing from other countries?

Mr. NAKAGAWA: Let me see. Let me take a look here. Rebecca Sinclair from New Zealand, she wants "L.E.S. Artiste" by Santigold and "I Feel It All" by Feist, "How Bizarre" by OMC and "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor.

(Soundbite of laughter)


BLOCK: Would you ever approach an athlete and say, you know what? I've got a great song for you. You're going to love this.

Mr. NAKAGAWA: Not really because I guess I kind of get the opportunity to pick their song anyway. If they don't have a song, and luckily, my producers and my directors trust me enough to be able to say, well, we trust your judgment, you can play whatever you want for them.

BLOCK: Would you be trying to send a subliminal message sometimes through the music?

Mr. NAKAGAWA: Yeah, sometimes. You know, I like to bring up a little bit of the tension that's involved with events like this, the excitement. You know, if somebody falls or has a crash, we try to play something that will kind of bring their spirits back up.

BLOCK: Like what?

Mr. NAKAGAWA: You know, something high energy like that everybody knows, like Metallica "Enter Sandman," or my favorite song just to get the whole crowd into it is either "Bro Hymn" by Pennywise or "TNT" by AC/DC because they're songs that, you know, a lot of the crowd knows, and literally the whole crowd will be singing along. I played actually "TNT" the other night at the moguls contest, and everybody was just screaming oi, oi, oi, just like the song does, and it was pretty amazing seeing 5,000 people do that.

BLOCK: Is this your first Olympics?

Mr. NAKAGAWA: It's my first Olympics. It's always been a dream of mine. Actually since my hockey and ski and snowboard dreams are over, why not show up as a DJ?

BLOCK: Well, Mike, DJ Naka G, thanks very much. Have fun.

Mr. NAKAGAWA: Thank you very much. Have a good one.

(Soundbite of song, "TNT")

AC/DC (Music Group): (Singing) Oi oi oi oi oi oi oi oi...

BLOCK: Mike Nakagawa is music director oi - for the Cypress Mountain venue at the Vancouver Olympics.

(Soundbite of song, "TNT")

AC/DC: (Singing) Oi oi oi. See me ride out of the sunset on your color TV screen. Out for all that I can get if you know what I mean.

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