I Think I Might Not Hate Bob Seger After All

I’m trying to figure out why I hate Bob Seger.  For some reason, I woke up this morning with “Against the Wind” stuck in my head, which has prompted this re-evaluation.  Ever since I’ve been alive, Seger’s been a part of my life and all over the radio.  I’ve been inundated with his so-called Silver Bullet Band from the time I was a small child because my parents like him. And while he projects a really cool imagine, I think his most beloved songs–like “Rock And Roll Never Forgets” (his lame spelling of rock ‘n roll, not mine) is about as cool as “You’re Momma Don’t Dance” by Loggins and Messina.  That’s not very cool.

Silver Bullet Band

Seger’s particular brand of blue-collar “heartland” rock has never really been my bag, but he has always struck me as sincere.  More sincere than many other musicians in this category—I’m looking at you John Cougar Mellencamp.  Seger’s a Detroit man and his affection for Motown is evident in his music, which is pretty damn cool for a white guy so he has that going for him.  Now that I think about it, other than “Rock And Roll Never Forgets” the only other song of his that I absolutely can’t stand is “Old Time Rock and Roll.”  And that’s probably due to a mix of it being overplayed and the fact that songs about rock ‘n roll tend to be lame.

I really like “Night Moves,” “Fire Down Below,” “Mainstreet,” and “Beautiful Loser.” There’s a live cut of his song “Katmandu” that I hear on the classic rock radio way too much that I alternate between loving and hating.  Really when I step back and think about it, my problem isn’t with Seger, it’s with the people who have been programming classic rock radio for the past 25 years. As I’ve been writing this, I’ve been listening to NIGHT MOVES via YouTube (why Bobby, won’t you add your music to Spotify?) and I actually really dig the deeper cuts of the album. Turns out I probably don’t hate Bob Seger.  He still reminds me of my Dad a little too much and his backing band has a name that makes me think of crappy beer…but overall I guess I really am a Bob Seger fan.

The moral of this story is: take time every now and then to ponder why you don’t (or do) like something.  Take it apart and if your dislike makes sense, then fine.  But if not…you’re just being an asshole.

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8 thoughts on “I Think I Might Not Hate Bob Seger After All

  1. Right on – you nailed it. I’ve never understood his appeal but I also have no real reason to dislike him

  2. lpon45 says:

    Seger’s grown on me, and not simply because now that I live in metro Detroit I might come to harm if I said otherwise. He’s got one of the few “life on the road” songs I like – the live version of “Turn the Page,” with its hollowed out vocal and mournful sax, feels earned. I’m also a sucker for “Hollywood Nights” – must be that descending chorus.

    Chalk your dislike up to too much airplay … and the fact that “Night Moves” was a lousy closing number for Ralph Bakshi’s “American Pop.”

  3. Craig Jefcoat says:

    Abou 10 years ago a friend of mine took me to see him and I was surprised how many songs by him I liked. I’ve always been on your side with Seger’s music, but I was really impressed. Tune after tune he churned them out, hits and misses and he even didn’t play a few things I expected, Great show and he is a great performer. You just don’t become this. You are or you aren’t. Bob Seger is an original.

  4. david says:

    I first heard Turn the Page done by Marshall Chapman back in the late 70’s. Loved the song, thought to myself thats what the road was like. Then heard Segers live version, and wanted to go on the road. thank God I cant play guitar! mourning the path not taken…

    • I actually left “Turn the Page” out of this post because I hate that song. It’s a good song, don’t get me wrong, but the idea that I’m supposed to feel sorry for a millionaire rock star because some dude makes a joke about his long hair (in the 1970s) is too much for me. I get it, the road is hard, but you play rock music for a living, you’re not staring at dicks all day at a rehab clinic (which, by the way, is what I’m doing for money right now).

  5. jo says:

    If you dislike his music – its you who has the problem.

    Just kidding.

    I actually think his voice reminds me of breaking wind and his lyrics and musical chord progressions are beyond corny. But otherwise he is quite good.

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