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Song Stories

“Trouble Every Day”

Mothers of Invention | 1966

A grim, downwardly spiraling blues-guitar riff sets the edgy mood for "Trouble Every Day," the Mothers of Invention describing watching street riots on television with a reporter's eye for detail. Frank Zappa wrote it while actually watching the 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles on TV. Zappa later said it "qualified as some form of journalism, because a lot of people don't even remember what the Watts Riot was, and so, at the point where you make the song, the Watts Riot was a recent journalistic event....but over a period of years....it just becomes folklore."

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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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