David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" was likely based on various musicians in his ambit, including Iggy Pop (zIGGY), and Jimi Hendrix, who played guitar left-handed ("He played it left hand").
The lyrics to "Heartbreak Hotel" were written by a steel guitar player who was once a dishwasher repairman. He was inspired by a newspaper story about a man who killed himself and left behind a note saying only, "I walk a lonely street."
"Unchained Melody" first appeared in a 1955 movie called Unchained. The Righteous Brothers recorded it in 1965, and their version was resurrected in the 1990 movie Ghost.
"London Calling" by The Clash was written amid widespread fears that the Thames River was going to flood the city.
Outkast's "Hey Ya" was the first song in history to rack up 1 million downloads.
"Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty is set in Los Angeles, as he mentions Reseda, Mulholland and Ventura Boulevard.
You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.
The revered singer-songwriter talks inspiration and explains why she put a mahout in "Drop the Pilot."
Zac tells the story of Hanson's massive hit "MMMbop," and talks about how brotherly bonds effect their music.
One of rock's top photographers talks about artistry in photography, raising funds for a documentary, and enjoying a County Fair with Tom Waits.
Do you know who wrote Patti Smith's biggest hit? How about the Grease theme song? See if you can match the song to the writer.
Ian talks about his 3 or 4 blatant attempts to write a pop song, and also the ones he most connected with, including "Locomotive Breath."
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