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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Class of '07

January 8, 2007 12:00 AM ET

This year's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees have been announced and what a group it is: Patti Smith, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, R.E.M, the Ronettes and Van Halen (including both Diamond Dave and Sammy Hagar). All we can say is . . . oy. Considering the historical beef amongst the various members of VH, we think the producers ought to abandon the romantic notion of an all-member rendition of "Jump" and go straight for a steel-cage fight. It'll be the best of both worlds — classic rock nostalgia meets macho WWE-style posturing and (hopefully) some blood. Reunions can be so touching, especially when the touching involves blunt trauma.

The potential smackdown is scheduled for March 12th at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, and we are S-T-O-K-E-D. With all the warring versions of VH on display, we were kind of wondering which lineup you think is the true Hall of Fame unit. Let us know.

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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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