According to producer Fred Maher, the swelling, multi-channel guitar intro to "Girlfriend" was an accident. "[Robert] Quine was holding a note when the tape machine started, and then he did it again on the subsequent takes, not necessarily on the same note, and when we pushed the faders up on all three or four takes, everybody went, 'That's cool.'" On the track, Quine's squalling Strat mixes it up maniacally with Greg Leisz's lap steel, revealing the seeming love song's lascivious core. "The first time I heard Greg's lap steel on 'Girlfriend,' I thought it was the most colossal sound," Maher marveled.
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