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Matchbox Twenty Causes Rift Between Rodeo and Rights Group

April 17, 2008 10:40 AM ET

The organizers of Wyoming festival Cheyenne Frontier Days are suing an animal rights group named SHARK after the group pressured Matchbox Twenty to pull out of the performance at the festival. The organizers claim that SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness) used "false and misleading information" and "threats of negative publicity" in persuading Rob Thomas and crew to pull out of the festival. The band reportedly dropped out of Frontier Days after the band saw videos of alleged animal abuses from last year's rodeo/concert. Frontier Days organizers say Matchbox Twenty's defection cost them $100,000, and are also suing SHARK for persuading Carrie Underwood to abandon a 2006 Frontier Days performance under similar circumstances. "We ask that (fans) please understand that it would be impossible for us to put ourselves in the position of making money from what we believe to be the mistreatment of animals," Rob Thomas said in a statement.

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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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