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This has been rumored to be about a drug deal, but in an interview with New Musical Express, Frank Black said the song was about hobos traveling by train and dying in a big earthquake in California. He started writing it when he was about 15 and was inspired by small earthquakes experienced growing up in California.
With much more pop appeal than most Pixes efforts, this became their most popular song, getting lots of airplay on college radio stations. The Pixies never seemed too concerned about popularity, however, and didn't bother promoting this as a hit single.
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.
Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.
Gary Louris of The Jayhawks
The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.