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Tom Petty vs. The Strokes – Song Parallels

Tom Petty and the Strokes
Alberto E. Rodriguez / Bryan Bedder, Getty Images

The song that launched one of the most storied careers in rock music, Tom Petty‘s ‘American Girl,’ boasts an immediately recognizable chord progression that’s been a mainstay on AOR stations for 35 years and counting — and apparently a favorite for Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, too.

Casablancas copped the basic structure of ‘American Girl’ for the Strokes’ 2001 hit ‘Last Nite,’ and although he discarded Petty’s blend of Byrdsy jangling guitars and Bo Diddley drums for a more distorted 21st century groove, it’s just about impossible not to notice the similarities between the two. Petty definitely noticed, as he laughingly pointed out in an interview with Rolling Stone where he shrugged, “A lot of rock ‘n’ roll songs sound alike. Ask Chuck Berry.” Saying the Strokes “took” ‘American Girl’ for their own song, he added, “I saw an interview with them where they actually admitted it. That made me laugh out loud. I was like, ‘OK, good for you.’ It doesn’t bother me.”

Listen to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, ‘American Girl’

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Listen to the Strokes, ‘Last Nite’

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Next: The Pretenders vs. The White Stripes

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