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Live Earth Wrap-Up: Attendance, Axl Rose, Madonna

July 9, 2007 9:52 AM ET

For anyone who somehow missed Rock Daily's extensive coverage of Al Gore's twenty-four-hour music marathon this past weekend, here's a quick summary: A reported two billion people watched more than 100 artists perform on all seven continents. Attendance at the Washington, D.C. event (which was announced one day before the show) and in Rio were reportedly less than anticipated, and promoters in Johannesburg explained their lower-than-expected turnout by blaming climate change. Guns n' Roses frontman Axl Rose explained his band's absence from the event, saying, "We were not asked until the last couple weeks while we were on tour in Australia and have upcoming sold-out dates already rescheduled in Japan." And Madonna allegedly had some rigid requirements for her London interviews, stipulating journalists must look her in the eye.

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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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