Stephanie Gilmore

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Professional surfer Stephanie Gilmore is a four-time world champion and, for her Guest DJ set, she selected songs that bring back memories of her travels and  favorite surfing trips, including fellow Australians Tame Impala, all-girl punk band the Slits and more.

For More:

1. Tame Impala - Sundown Syndrome
2. The Slits - I Heard it through the grapevine
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Date with the night
4. Tom Waits - Gun street girl
5. Radiohead - There There

Liza Richardson:  Hi, I’m Liza Richardson from KCRW and I’m here with professional surfer Stephanie Gilmore who is a four time world champion. And today, we’re going to be talking about songs that have inspired her over the years as part of KCRW’s Guest DJ Project. Stephanie, welcome. How’re you doing?

Stephanie Gilmore: Thank you. I’m really good.

LR: Welcome, I’m glad you’re here.

SG: Thanks for having me.

LR: Tell us what you’ve brought for us today.

SG: I’ve brought, probably, my top five favorite songs. I picked out a couple that, you know, they make me think of good memories of surfing trips or stuff that I listen to maybe before heats to psych up or...just stuff that I love.

LR: Good, I want to hear about each one and the story behind each one.

SG: Alright.

LR: So, what are we going to start with?

SG: One of my all-time favorite albums, Tame Impala.

tameimpalaSong: Tame Impala – “Sundown Syndrome”

SG: The Sundown Syndrome song I love so much because, as surfers, I feel like we really, we get like sucked into this sundown syndrome thing all the time because you’re at the beach and…it reminds of being in Hawaii, where we hang out at the beach; you go surfing all day and then it gets to the end sessions where the sun’s starting to set and everybody’s just in the sand and drinking beers and having fun, and its just the perfect way to end a day. You really think about how spoiled you are to be a surfer and to live that lifestyle.

LR: You’re lucky.

SG: Yes, very spoiled.

LR: That’s Sundown Syndrome from Australian band, Tame Impala. So, ok, what’s next?

SG: The next song is going to be Grapevine by the Slits. Well, they’re a British all girl band, but they’re just, like, I don’t know…they have to be one of the first, all-girl kinda punk bands. And the fact that they opened for the Clash is just the coolest thing ever. Yeah, I don’t know, this song…I love the Grapevine song, the original one. It’s really groovy, but the Slits version of it is just the best. I put it on and go crazy.

theslitsSong: The Slits - “Grapevine”

SG: A friend of mine, she lives in New York and she’s from Australia, but she has lived in New York for about 10 years. And she has a fantastic knowledge of music and just the world. I’ve actually learned a lot hanging out with her.
I think we were in Puerto Rico. We were at a surfing event -- it was where I won my 4th world title. And, I remember driving around in the rental car, and there were like this crazy weather storms and so we spent a lot of time kinda chasing waves and trying find places to escape the weather. And she put this song on in the car and I was just in love with it. It was the best thing ever. And since then, I’ve really, you know, I’ve tried to get a hold of as much music of theirs as possible, but…that’s definitely my favorite song.

LR: So that’s “Heard it Through the Grapevine” and it’s the version by The Slits. It’s the choice of our Guest DJ, pro-surfer and Australian Stephanie Gilmore. So, thanks for that. Love that, love that band. Tell me what you’ve brought next.

SG: Up next is probably another of my favorite females in the world, I’d have to say -- Karen O. Just as a woman, as a performer, as a creative genius, she’s so cool. So yeah, this is the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and it’s “Date with the Night”.
I watched her play live. It was New Year’s Eve. The sound wasn’t that great, but, Karen just made the show. She was so flamboyant on the stage, she just brought so much color and just danced around. And “Date with the Night” is already one of my favorite songs. And I actually prefer their earlier albums, because they’re a little more raw and you know she’s kinda screaming more. She sounds like she’s having so much more fun. And, I mean, I love the new stuff too but it’s much more polished.
“Date with the Night” when that song comes on, I just want to head-bang with my hair out the window of the car, and…screaming. And just dance around and get right in the mosh pit. Best song ever.

yeahyeahyeahsSong: Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- “Date with the Night”

LR: That’s “Date with the Night” it’s by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, of course.  And tell me what’s up next.

SG: Tom Waits, and this song is “Gunstreet Girl”.
The album, Raindogs, was given to me by a friend at Christmas time, a couple Christmases ago. He’s actually my sister’s boyfriend and he’s kinda more rough, like rock and roll. And he just sorta said, “Oh you should listen to this album; it’s great.”
And I love the whole thing. It’s really creepy. The tracks are dark and creepy. And I mean, that’s just what Tom Waits is. But it’s so fascinating and, and he really is a genius. But I just love the Gunstreet Girl track because its…I want to be a Gunstreet Girl. That’s cool.

LR: What is a Gunstreet Girl?

SG: What is a Gunstreet Girl? I don’t know. I think about it a lot.

LR: But, it’s you.

SG: Well, I’d love…I just think it’s sexy, it’s cool. I think that’s also something that Tom is probably going, yeah, like, maybe, she’s a girl of his, you know, a girl out of his imagination, as a really sexy, cool rock-and-roll chick.

tomwaitsSong: Tom Waits -- “Gunstreet Girl”

LR: That’s “Gunstreet Girl”, it’s by Tom Waits. I salute you for trying to narrow your favorite songs to five. I could never do it. I don’t know how you Guest DJ’s do it. But congratulations and you also picked this last song…it’s like my favorite Radiohead song. So tell me what you picked.

SG: Really?

LR: Yeah, sorry, go ahead.

SG: Radiohead…

LR: What’s next?

SG: This song, “There There”, the actual, the bridge in this song, I pretty much will skip to the bridge and just play the bridge over and over again. And, I don’t know… it’s so magical…

LR: When it kicks back in…

SG: I just get lost…I get so lost in it.

radioheadSong: Radiohead -- “There There”

SG: I just remember when I was young, my older sister Bonnie, she’s about four years older than me. And she was in high school, trying to be rebellious and listening to Jeff Buckley and Radiohead and that sorta stuff. And I was kinda, not really understanding why she was listening to that because I was like, No Doubt and Blink-182, and all this sorta stuff. And Radiohead and Jeff Buckley were so much more complicated.
Like, Radiohead was the band that you’d go into the art-rooms and all the geeks would be sitting in there like all depressed and listening to Radiohead. And I was thinking, you know, they’re trying to…just, say screw the world and all that sorta stuff. But yeah, I actually caught onto it and thought, wow, they actually have really good taste in music.
But, yeah, I just found it on the album one day and and fell in love with it.

LR: So that is, “There There”. It’s by Radiohead. And it’s the final choice today of our Guest DJ, Stephanie Gilmore who is a passionate music listener. And sounds like you’ve got a lot more favorite songs out there, so, thanks for trying to narrow it down and sharing all these amazing inspirations and songs with us. Really appreciate it.

SG: Thanks guys. Hope you enjoyed it.

LR: Thank you. For a complete track listing and to find these songs on line. Go to and subscribe to the podcast through itunes.