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Song Stories

“Penetration”

Iggy and the Stooges | 1973

Iggy Pop had descended into dark place marked by heroin addiction and the dissolution of his band, only to have David Bowie come to the rescue by helping get the Iggy and the Stooges a new record deal and producing the album. On the resulting Raw Power LP, James Williamson's buzzsaw guitar replaced Ron Asheton's primal blues licks, and Iggy moved lyrically from playful and scary to aggressive and lurid. "I created 'Penetration' at Williamson's mother's house one afternoon," Iggy recalled. "From that riff and that vocal I was able to conjure with it." The two "conjured" the rest of the album after this song.

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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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