Taylor Swift's “Shake It Off” was inspired by how she'd learned to deal with all the false rumors that circulated about her. "The only thing we can control is our reaction to that ,” said Swift. "You can either let it get to you … [or] you just shake it off."
Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult wrote "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" after he was diagnosed with a heart condition and started thinking about his own mortality.
Holland-Dozier-Holland originally wrote "Where Did Our Love Go" with The Marvelettes in mind, but they turned it down. Marvelettes lead singer Gladys Horton sang in a lower key than Diana Ross, so when The Supremes came to record the tune, Ross was forced to sing in a lower, breathier style than she was used to.
Neil Diamond originally wrote "I'm A Believer" for the Country artist Eddy Arnold. He was surprised when record executive Don Kirshner passed it instead to The Monkees.
An Allen Ginsberg line from his poem Howl inspired "Machinehead" by Bush: "Machine says I saw the best minds of my generation."
"Spoonman" by Soundgarden is about a real street performer in Seattle: Artis the Spoonman.
Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger tells the "Sister Christian" story and explains why he started sweating when he saw it in Boogie Nights.
How well do you know the lyrics of U2?
The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.
Mike Rutherford talks about the "Silent Running" storyline and "Land Of Confusion" in the age of Trump.
The co-writer/guitarist on many Alice Cooper hits, Dick was also Lou Reed's axeman on the Rock n' Roll Animal album.
Dwarfs on stage with an oversize Stonehenge set? Dabbling in Satanism? Find out which Spinal Tap-moments were true for Black Sabbath.