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Song Stories

“Brian Wilson”

Barenaked Ladies | 1992

Steven Page wrote this song about a man whose life parallels Brian Wilson's back when the Beach Boys leader -- overweight and bedridden -- was under the care of controversial psychologist Eugene Landy. Several years later, Wilson visited the band during a recording session. "That was bizarre," Page told Rolling Stone. "It was a textbook postmodern moment: Brian Wilson entered the studio to play us his version of our song 'Brian Wilson,' and asked us, 'Is it cool?' He looked me straight in the eye, and I was like, 'You're asking me if your version of our song is cool? It's f---ing unbelievable.'"

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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