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Fender to Launch Billy Corgan Stratocasters

July 3, 2008 1:36 PM ET

Fender will launch a line of Stratocasters this month dedicated to the Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan. The two-tone guitars are a modern take on the iconic Strat design but built with a high-gain sound to capture Corgan's signature (via My Bloody Valentine) "mid-'90s buzz saw tone. "The versatility of this instrument is what impresses me and is why I'm really excited about this model," Corgan said. According to Corgan, his favorite guitar was stolen in 1991 and has since been bouncing from model to model looking to fill its vacancy. Corgan joins Buddy Guy, Elvis Costello, Eric Clapton and Dinosaur Jr.'s J. Mascis as artists to get their own signature Fender guitars.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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