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Song Stories

“Rooster”

Alice in Chains | 1992

For civilians, it's hard to fathom the horrific events that soldiers experience in war. And on"Rooster," Alice in Chains tackle a subject that hit home for guitarist Jerry Cantrell, as his father is a Vietnam War veteran. "It was the start of the healing process between my dad and I from all that damage that Vietnam caused," Cantrell explained. "This was all my perception of his experiences out there." The beginning of the "Rooster" video would feature Cantrell's father briefly talking about his war experiences.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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