Rock & Roll Memories
Bob Seger’s 1979 hit, “Old Time Rock & Roll” was playing on the radio recently, and a blog topic came to mind when listening to the following lyrics:
Still like that old time rock 'n' roll
That kind of music just soothes the soul
I reminisce about the days of old
With that old time rock 'n’ roll
This hit song is the number two most played jukebox single of all time, behind Patsy Cline's “Crazy; maybe it should be the theme song of my blog! Oops; Tom Cruise already used it as his theme song from the movie “Risky Business”. Hilarious!
Speaking of theme songs, another one of my favorite Seger songs is “Like a Rock”, the song in Chevy Trucks during the 1990’s. As a Ford employee, it was not good to like a competitors ad, but I did! Little know fact; in 1963 Seger took a job on the Ford assembly line near Detroit, filling conveyors for automatic transmissions, nine hours a day, six days a week for $4.20 an hour. He left after three weeks, began recording and the rest is history! One of his early songs was “Night Moves” about “working on those awkward teenage blues, in the back seat of my '60 Chevy, trying to make some front page drive-in news, workin’ on our night moves” Hum, that line could be the subject of an entire blog, except I had a ’59 Chevy!
Seger and the Silver Bullet Band got their big break in the mid-70’s opening for the rock band KISS's US tour, including one show at Dayton’s Hara Arena as shown on the poster below. KISS head singer Gene Simmons said Seger and company made them a much better band, because they had to be a cut above their opening act, which was a real challenge.
Soon Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band were headlining their own tour and it would stay that way until the late 80’s, when Bob took a 10 year sabbatical from song writing and touring to raise his kids and spend time with his family while they were growing up. About the same time, my wife and I were looking for a lakefront home here in Michigan and the very first home our realtor showed us was a California-style contemporary on Upper Straits Lake, aerial photo shown below. We were looking for something more traditional so chose not to make an offer on the home; however, shortly thereafter, Bob Seger and his wife bought the place as they were returning from living in California. He said at the time he wanted to raise his two kids in the midwest away from the Hollywood scene. As a result, the home was perfect for them; meanwhile we did eventually find a more traditional place on the same lake about a 1/2 mile away.
Several years later, the home next to Bob Seger burnt down (not for lack of water), so he bought the lot, demolished his place and built a much larger home on the combined lot pictured below. Likely the royalties Chevy paid him for the use of “Like a Rock” during his sabbatical paid for the new home, which included a fully furnished recording studio, as well as a 16 car garage and based on the number of chimney’s, a ton of fireplaces. He also took up golf, playing most Sunday afternoons with his wife and kids at the golf course shown in the aerial photo just north of the lake.
Bob is also an avid Detroit Tiger’s fan, having sung “America the Beautiful” at the first game of the 2006 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Tigers. Occasionally, we see Bob riding his Harley around town, which always brings to mind his ballad “Roll Me Away” about picking up a girl in Mackinaw City and heading west on his bike.
Once his kids were grown (see photo of the family on the right at Seger’s 2004 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction), Bob restarted his Silver Bullet band to begin recording and touring again. One of his songs, “Beautiful Loser” is about a guy who "wants to dream like a young man with the wisdom of an old man.” Right down my alley, neighbor Bob! Thanks for the memories.
For more old time rock & roll memories, catch Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band on their upcoming tour in Toledo, Columbus or Cincinnati by clicking this link.