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More Top Stories: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

September 21, 2010 9:00 AM ET

Lynyrd Skynyrd's Gym Teacher Dead at 77
Leonard Skinner, the Florida high school teacher whose name inspired a few of his students to name their band "Lynyrd Skynyrd," passed away in his native Jacksonville at the age of 77, after suffering from Alzheimer's. Skinner stayed connected to the band throughout the decades, appearing in the artwork for their third album Nuthin' Fancy, and introducing the band when they played Jacksonville. [Jacksonville.com]

Jerry Garcia's Last Home Hits the Market
Jerry Garcia's 11-acre Marin County, California estate, where the Grateful Dead singer lived before his death in 1995, has come on the market for $4 million. The home is equipped with a large artist's studio, solar-heated pool, organic garden and a view of the Pacific Ocean. [ AP]

Quebec's Karkwa Takes Home Polaris Prize
Quebec rockers Karkwa have won the Polaris Music Prize, which recognizes Canada's best album each year. Their Les Chemins De Verre beat out discs from better-known artists like Tegan & Sara, the Besnard Lakes and Broken Social Scene. [Polaris Music Prize]

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Announce Tiny 10th Anniversary Show
To celebrate their tenth anniversary, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs will perform at The tiny Brooklyn venue Secret Project Robot tomorrow. Tickets will go on sale at the venue today, between 6 and 8 p.m. [Brooklyn Vegan]

Plus: Steven Tyler announces first solo song, Bruno Mars busted for cocaine possesion and more.

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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."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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