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The song refers to the Wittenoom asbestos mine in Western Australia where blue asbestos was mined between 1947 and 1966. The once-thriving town is now a virtual ghost town. Shops are boarded up, the 2 schools are closed, the local cinema is derelict. In their ignorance, the original settlers used asbestos in gardens, school yards and roads. Wittenoom is without doubt Australia's greatest industrial disaster and it is estimated that 25% of the 20,000 men who mined asbestos there will die from related diseases. (thanks, Darryl - Kitchener, Canada)
Gary Louris of The Jayhawks
The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.
Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"
With the band in danger of being dropped from their label, Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith co-wrote the song that started their trek from horror show curiosity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Newman makes it look easy these days, but in this 1974 interview, he reveals the paranoia and pressures that made him yearn for his old 9-5 job.
His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."