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Song Stories

“V.T.T.L.O.T.F.D.G.F.”

Fishbone | 1985

Quite a few musicians have utilized initials for song titles -- Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T.," Abba's "S.O.S.," Donald Fagen's "I.G.Y.," etc. But the more curiously initialed tune has to be "V.T.T.L.O.T.F.D.G.F.," short for "Voyage to the Land of the Freeze-Dried Godzilla Farts." Fishbone's original guitarist, Kendall Jones, explained to Rolling Stone, "When Norwood [Fisher] wrote it, he introduced it to the band saying, 'Man, I've been hearing about all these Nazi right-wing groups on the news saying the Holocaust was staged. So what if America said it never dropped two atom bombs on Japan, that it was actually Godzilla popping a couple off?' Only Norwood would come up with something that out." The same year "V.T.T.L.O.T.F.D.G.F." was released, the film Godzilla 1985 appeared in North America.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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