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Song Stories

“That's When I Reach for My Revolver”

Mission of Burma | 1980

A popular track from the landmark Signals, Calls and Marches EP, this Clint Conley song highlighted the Boston postpunk band's poppier side. The song's title alludes to an essay by author Henry Miller, which in turn makes reference to an infamous line from the pro-Hitler 1933 play Schlageter, by playwright Hanns Johst, a member of the Nazi Party. "I wasn’t too happy to hear about that because I don't want to be linked to that sort of thing," Conley later said of the Nazi reference. "But it was a phrase, it had power, I had this riff." The song also features a rare example of bass solo in a studio-recorded rock 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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