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Song Stories

“Wipe Out”

The Surfaris | 1963

An instantly memorable guitar riff that rose and fell like ocean waves, as well as a dynamic drum solo punctuated by urgent chords, made "Wipe Out" a massive surf instrumental hit. Losing control of his right drumstick, Ron Wilson resorted to hitting the crash cymbal with his bare hand as the track ended. As for the sound effects and signature cackle at the song's beginning, rhythm guitarist Bob Berryhill said, "I went out and got a cement-soaked board from somewhere outside and just cracked it over the mike and Dale Smallin, who was our original manager, let out a laugh."

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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