Elon Musk theme song inspires choices for Gates, Zuckerberg

Commentary: Inspired by a new ballad about the Tesla CEO, here are some tunes other tech gurus should adopt.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
4 min read

Ever wanted your own theme song that might play when you do something especially impressive -- or maybe just enter a room? Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, now has one.

Matt Sharp, once Weezer's bassist and now frontman for the band The Rentals, has written a 1980s-themed tune about an imagined world where he and Musk grew up together. It's not exactly a triumphant march. 

The song is called "Elon Musk is Making Me Sad," and in it, Sharp mourns the fact that even though he's older than Musk, he hasn't been as successful. (Aww, don't sell yourself short, Sharp! That "Buddy Holly" song is super-catchy! And "Friends of P" is way underrated!)

But Musk isn't the only big boss who deserves his or her own theme song. Here are some suggestions for tunes that tech big shots should take to heart, or at least use as their smartphone ringtones.

Bill Gates, Microsoft: 'White & Nerdy'

Whatever you thought of Bill Gates in his Microsoft days (thanks a lot for Control-Alt-Delete, Bill), it's hard not to appreciate what he's doing at the Gates Foundation. His battle against malaria is especially impressive.  But come on, there's nobody who could slip into the starring role of Weird Al Yankovic's "White & Nerdy" (a parody of Chamillionaire's "Ridin'") better than Gates, no matter how much good he does. Gates even appears in the video -- kind of -- as one of the lead character's MySpace friends.

Telling lyric: "Only question I ever thought was hard/Was do I like Kirk, or do I like Picard?"

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook: 'Thank You For Being a Friend'

The "Golden Girls" theme is spot-on for someone whose business involves getting you to "friend" your high-school bandmate's ex-wife's cousin. And since the show focused on the favorite senior citizens of the 1980s, it's a fitting choice for the social network where your grandma might go to play Slotomania or Farmville. 

Telling lyric: "And when we both get older/With walking canes and hair of gray/Have no fear, even though it's hard to hear/I will stand real close and say/Thank you for being a friend."

Jeff Bezos, Amazon: 'Every Day I Write the Book'

Not only is Amazon conquering a new business and rewriting its own corporate mission seemingly every day (Grocery delivery! Talking smart speakers! Original video!), but this Elvis Costello classic gives us a nice wistful flashback to when Bezos' behemoth just sold reading material. 

Telling lyric: "Even in a perfect world where everyone was equal/I'd still own the film rights and be working on the sequel."

Tim Cook, Apple: 'U Got the Look'

Oh, the temptation to choose "One Bad Apple" by The Osmonds, especially if you still have painful memories of products like the Newton. ("The Simpsons" summed it up best when "Beat up Martin" was translated as "Eat up Martha.") But Apple's design, even down to the boxes its product come in, is so sleek -- do you know anyone who saves a PC box? -- that we're going with this Prince treasure.

Telling lyric: "You got the look (you got the look)/You must'a took (you must'a took)/A whole hour just to make up your face, baby."

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google: 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For'

Oh come on, how could this U2 song not fit the search giant perfectly? Sure, we usually find what we're looking for with the actual search engine part of Google, but the same can't be said for Chrome, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Groups -- and don't even get us started on Google Image Search.

Telling lyric: "I have spoke with the tongue of angels/I have held the hand of a devil/It was one empty night/I was cold as a stone/But I still haven't found/What I'm looking for."

Marissa Mayer, formerly of Yahoo, 'Manic Monday'

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's former CEO, made big money while running the battered web pioneer. But if you were a telecommuting employee during her tenure, you might remember her for nothing less than declaring Yahoo employees could no longer work from home. Some were furious, others felt she was right to insist on butts-in-chairs. The Bangles' "Manic Monday" reminds us all just how soul-sucking getting to the office can actually be -- and that's before work even begins.

Telling lyric: "Have to catch an early train, got to be to work by nine/And if I had an aeroplane, I still couldn't make it on time/'Cause it takes me so long, just to figure out what I'm gonna wear/Blame it on the train, but the boss is already there."

Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Now: 'Mr. Roboto'

They're not CEOs, but we have to dedicate one particular song to all the intelligent home assistants out there. When Styx's "Mr. Roboto" came out in 1983, smart speakers and personal assistants with names like Siri and Alexa were the stuff of science fiction. Now they live in our homes, piping up at unnerving times, mishearing their masters ("I put Cop Farts on your shopping list") and generally acting like something out of a "Twilight Zone" episode. Is this how Skynet got started? 

Telling lyric: "The problem's plain to see/Too much technology/Machines to save our lives/Machines dehumanize."

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