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Bob your head

In the winter of 1972, Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet band were on the road with folk-rock duo Teegarden & Van Winkle somewhere in the middle of the American state of Iowa when they decided to stop at a diner.

music Updated: May 05, 2012 13:40 IST
Suprateek Chatterjee
Suprateek Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Suprateek Chatterjee

In the winter of 1972, Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet band were on the road with folk-rock duo Teegarden & Van Winkle somewhere in the middle of the American state of Iowa when they decided to stop at a diner.

It was the era of hippies, so most of them sported long hair. Seger and the rest walked into a blindingly well-lit diner to find several burly truck drivers sneering at their appearance, passing comments like, “Who are these guys? Is that a woman or a man?”

According to drummer David Teegarden, this incident inspired the line ‘Oh, the same old clichés/‘Is that a woman or a man?’, which Seger added the following night to a song he’d been working on for some time. That song was eventually named ‘Turn the page’.

While younger music listeners may be more familiar with Metallica’s grimy groove metal cover, ‘Turn the page’ first appeared in Seger’s Back in ’72 album (released in 1973) and is considered one of the most influential rock radio classics of all time.

Seger turns 67 tomorrow, which makes this a good time to look at some of the singer-songwriter’s staggering body of work in this collection of his greatest hits, many of which have similar origin stories. These include classics like ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’ (best enjoyed à laTom Cruise in Risky Business), ‘We’ve Got Tonight’ as well as a joyous big band cover of Chuck Berry’s ‘Ce’st La Vie’ (the song immortalised by John Travolta and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction) that is guaranteed to make you bob your head in agreement.