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Song Stories

“Rockstar”

Nickelback | 2005

In "Rockstar," the multimillionaire Canadians in Nickelback poke fun at the cliched trappings of the excessive rock & roll lifestyle: Playboy playmates, cheap and accessible drugs, hilltop houses and dozens of cars. The song lays out "just crazy, nonsensical things that help paint this picture of someone dreaming about being a rock star," explained frontman Chad Kroeger. "It's what you would also do if you won the lottery. I hope it comes across as us having a lot of fun and, even to some degree, making fun of ourselves." ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons obliges with spoken-word interludes in between the song's verses, and the video includes more than 100 cameos, including Wayne Gretzky, Gene Simmons, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kid Rock and Nelly Furtado.

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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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