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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

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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