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Song Stories

“Last Nite”

The Strokes | 2001

“Last Nite” turned the New York garage rockers into one of the most talked-about indie bands of the Aughts, helped along by the fact that the opening riff was “borrowed” from Tom Petty. “People would say, ‘You know that song “American Girl” by Tom Petty?’” Lead Stroke Julian Casablancas said. “‘Don’t you think it sounds a little like that?’ And I’d be like, ‘Yeah, we ripped it off. Where you been?’” In a 2006 Rolling Stone interview, Petty said he found it funny they admitted to the pilfering. “It doesn’t bother me,” he said.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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