by the Night Writer
Just in time for Thanksgiving, the real Bob Seger is now on iTunes in epic fashion, rolling me away with a 26-song collection entitled “Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets” for just $9.99. And just like Bob when he climbed out of his Corvette to watch the long train roll by in the classic video, I’ve had some time to think about his music and my life.
I liked Seger well enough when I was growing up but I wasn’t necessarily a huge fan. Perhaps it was easy to take him for granted because he was so ubiquitous. It seemed as if he always had a song on the charts and playing in the background of most of my memories from my teens and into my 30s. They were songs of wheels and women, of loving and leaving, and of doing whatever it takes to have a good time that became an American bushido of masculinity for an era. The style was gritty but not too deep and it was a match made in Marketing when Chevy hitched it’s truck line to the Detroit-born and bred Seger’s “Like a Rock” hit, almost turning the song into a parody of itself. It did sell a lot of quarter- and half-ton trucks, though, and Seger sold a million tons of records as Americans found a certain resonance, real or hoped-for, in the words and images.
Yeah, I could picture myself taking a look down that westbound road and making a choice to get up with the sun and be gone with the wind all the way to Katmandu (but not to Fire Lake); of being rock hard and hard-rocking, and thinking that while I wasn’t good-looking I wasn’t shy and wasn’t afraid to look a girl in they eye, even if they all wanted to change me
Somehow it seems like yesterday, but it was long ago.
Because somewhere along the line I wanted to change, needed to change, and met the woman who could do that, the woman I could love and never leave, the one who still causes me to sit up at night marveling at the traces she’s left on my soul.
And those, my friends, are the memories that truly make me a wealthy soul. And I still believe in my dreams.
For my money, “Like a Rock” is one of the most creative and well-crafted music videos of all time. Though Seger was in his 40s when the video was released, it resonates more for me in my 50s.