Bob Seger

I wrote the following piece five years ago about Bob Seger for fun, and sent it around to a few friends on the internet. I got a terrific response, and every so often someone asks me for a copy of it. I reviewed Seger on his last tour in 2006, and he is still doing great stuff.

The day before St. Patrick’s Day I had a Snow Day at school. I bought a bunch of newspapers and spent most of the morning having a leisurely breakfast at the Red Chimney. One of the stories in most of the papers was about the Rock Hall Inductions the night before. I jotted down the following on some scraps of paper, forgot about it, then found it again yesterday.

He first came into our lives across Lake Erie on AM Giant CKLW out of Windsor, Canada. In between Byron MacGregor and Scott Hunter telling us about the traffic on Eight Mile Road on 20/20 News, and commercials for Farmer Jack Grocery Stores we first heard Bob Seger.

Here where the Midwest meets the east, before there ever was Michael Stanley or John Mellencamp, before Bruce Springsteen rose out of the east, there was Bob Seger. Bob Seger and the Herd. The Bob Seger System. And then finally Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.

He played Northern Ohio literally hundreds of times, first opening for acts at the old Agora, then headlining clubs, playing Music Hall and Music Carnival and the World Series of Rock at the old Stadium, headlining the Coliseum and the Gund. Some of us even remember the old days when he would take the stage wearing tails.

And every single time, every single show, Seger and his band left everything on the stage. Night after night, city after city, show after show, he gave it his all. As Kid Rock said at the Rock Hall Induction Ceremony, “Bob Seger has paid more dues than the current Billboard Top 40 put together.”

Last night they inducted the 19th class into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and many of us out here in the Midwest think it was 18 years too later for Bob Seger. What took so fu–ing long?

He gave us the most popular juke box tune of all time, “Old Time Rock and Roll.” He took us to “Katmandu” and “Fire Lake.” He introduced us to the “Beautiful Loser,” the “Rambling Gambling Man,” and to “Jody Girl.” He took us “Against the Wind,” showed us how to do the “Horizontal Bop,” and took us hundreds of times across a thousand Midwest sunsets, with autumn closing in.

He wrote the definite road anthem, “Turn the Page.” He wrote the best country hit of the Eighties, “We Got Tonight.” And his songs were featured in a generation of movies, including Top Gun, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Urban Cowboy, and Beverly Hills Cop.

He made albums where any of the songs could’ve gone Top Ten, and ballads that made your heart stop. He made the first great double live album, one that set the bar for others like “Frampton Comes Alive,” “Stagepass,” and “Certified Live.” Every single song on “Live Bullitt” got airplay, and the segue from “Rambling Man” to “Beautiful Loser” is the best one ever. You still have to listen to it on vinyl to hear it right.

Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You know those corporate suits in New York pull all the strings as far as the Rock Hall goes, because if it were up to the people here in Ohio it would’ve happened a long time ago…

Night Moves

(Words and music by Bob Seger)

I was a little too tall
Could’ve used a few pounds
Tight pants points hardly reknown
She was a black-haired beauty with big dark eyes
And points all her own sitting way up high
Way up firm and high

Out past the cornfields where the woods got heavy
Out in the back seat of my ’60 Chevy
Workin’ on mysteries without any clues
Workin’ on our night moves
Tryin’ to make some front page drive-in news
Workin’ on our night moves
In the summertime
In the sweet summertime

We weren’t in love, oh no, far from it
We weren’t searchin’ for some pie in the sky summit
We were just young and restless and bored
Livin’ by the sword
And we’d steal away every chance we could
To the backroom, to the alley or the trusty woods
I used her, she used me
But neither one cared
We were gettin’ our share

Workin’ on our night moves
Tryin’ to lose the awkward teenage blues
Workin’ on our night moves
And it was summertime
And oh the wonder
We felt the lightning
And we waited on the thunder
Waited on the thunder

I awoke last night to the sound of thunder
How far off I sat and wondered
Started humming a song from 1962
Ain’t it funny how
the night moves
When you just don’t seem to have as much to lose
Strange how the night moves
With autumn closing in