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Song Stories

“Eruption”

Van Halen | 1978

Eddie Van Halen's six-string showcase immediately inspired countless guitarists to decorate their instruments in wild stripe designs, purchase Floyd Rose tremolos and learn the two-hand tapping technique. In 2008, Van Halen told Rolling Stone how he came up with the two-hand tap. "I was watching Jimmy Page going [sings hammering guitar lick], like that, with one hand, in 'Heartbreaker.' I thought, 'I can play like that, and you wouldn't know if I was using this finger or this one." Originally a concert warm-up piece for Eddie, "Eruption" earned a spot on the group's debut album after producer Ted Templeman heard it.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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