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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

“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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