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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

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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