No need to take those old records off the shelf - Bob Seger’s music is now available on iHeartRadio! To celebrate, here are 20 things you might not know about some of his biggest hits:
1. “Night Moves,” which is about a young couple losing their virginity in a Chevy, is actually somewhat autobiographical, but Seger took some artistic license with it. He’s also said it represents the freedom and possibility of the high school years.
2. Seger was inspired to write “Night Moves” after seeing the movie American Graffiti.
3. Bob has always been bothered by one line in “Against the Wind.” It’s “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.” He felt it sounded “grammatically funny.”
4. Seger was three verses into “Like A Rock” before he knew where the song was going or what it would be called, then he figured out the chorus and thought it worked.
5. “Like A Rock” was used in commercials for Chevrolet trucks from 1991 to 2004 and is considered one of the best song choices for an ad campaign ever.
6. Seger used the alternate spelling of Kathmandu in his song “Katmandu” because it was easier for American eyes to understand it.
7. While much of Seger’s music is not autobiographical, Bob really did come up with chorus to “Hollywood Nights” as he was driving through the Hollywood Hills one evening in 1977, just like he sings in the song.
8. There are actually two sets of drums on “Hollywood Nights.” Drummer David Teegarden laid down the drum tracks then recorded an entirely different pattern. Both appear on the song.
9. “Old Time Rock and Roll” is one of just a few songs Bob recorded but didn’t write. However, he reportedly did write most of the lyrics, only he didn’t take any songwriting credit, which means he doesn’t make any money when it’s used in movies or on TV. Instead, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios songwriters George Jackson and Thomas Jones get the credit and the cash. Seger said he was feeling generous that day but now calls it “the dumbest thing [he] ever did.”
10. With “Turn the Page,” Seger hoped to convey some of the loneliness and aggravation that musicians can feel while touring.
11. “Turn the Page” includes the line, “Later in the evening when you lie awake in bed with the echo from the amplifiers ringing in your head.” This is a reference to the tinnitus Seger suffers from, which causes a ringing in his ears.
12. The only two songs Bob ever wrote on the road were “Night Moves” and “Turn The Page.”
13. A 19-year-old future Eagles member Glenn Frey performed acoustic guitar and backing vocals on “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.” Frey then went off to find fame in LA but has since called Seger the “most important individual” in his musical career because of the support Bob gave him. Glenn and Bob also dated twin sisters at the time.
14. “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” was Seger’s first hit, peaking at #17, which is even more impressive since major cities didn’t give it any airplay, but the song was huge in Detroit.
15. Bob was inspired by the organ riff in the Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin’” and made sure to include one in “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.”
16. “Still the Same” isn’t about one person in particular – it’s about an amalgam of characters Bob met when he first went to LA, all of them driven overachievers.
17. Seger wrote “Shakedown” for Beverly Hills Cop II. It was nominated for the Oscar for Original Song but lost to Carly Simon’s “Let The River Run” from Working Girl.
18. Glenn Frey was actually set to sing “Shakedown” but got laryngitis and couldn’t. Seger replaced him but didn’t like the lyrics of the verses, so he changed them and got himself a composer credit on the song.
19. Seger took almost a year to write “Beautiful Loser,” coming up with different arrangements until he felt it was right.
20. The title for “Beautiful Loser” came from a book of poetry by Leonard Cohen called Beautiful Losers.
Check out this playlist of some of Bob's best songs:
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