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Song Stories

“Help Me, Rhonda”

The Beach Boys | 1965

While recording this song about a guy seeking a rebound, the Beach Boys were repeatedly interrupted by Murray Wilson, father to band members Brian, Dennis and Carl. As heard on tapes that surfaced on bootlegs, a clearly intoxicated Murray--claiming "I'm a genius, too" --condescendingly tells the band how to perform the song. The awkward argument that ensued between Murray and Brian revealed their strained father-son relationship. "I think the father did nothing but hinder them," producer Nick Venet told Rolling Stone, "but I think he assumed a lot of credit."

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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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