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A Raven About Bob Seger


GFOP Aaron Crapster Writes: Why aren't there more Bob Seger references in any of your material? Maybe I have missed it, but I am surprised lyrics from "Roll Me Away," "Always in My Heart," or "We've Got Tonight" haven't worked themselves into a Raven or pod. Seger's songs are like someone trying to make the music of Bruce Springsteen, but only using the emotions of Tracy Chapman.

Rog Writes: When I was 15 and obsessed with America, a country to which I had never been, but come to adore via exposure to Miami Vice, Hart to Hart, and the Super Bowl Shuffle, I learned to feed my obsession by subscribing to Rolling Stone and having it shipped to Liverpool.

In the 1980s, objects shipped by mail could take months to arrive, and even though the Rolling Stones that dropped through my mail box were already passed their sell-by-date, I devoured them as if they were manna from heaven. I tore at the pages as if our mailman had handed me a slither of America itself. The magazine introduced me to movies (Top Gun, Pretty in Pink, Back to the Future) that would not be released in England for months; television shows (The Equalizer! Perfect Strangers! The Wonder Years!) that I would have to wait, in some cases, years to see; and bands (Violent Femmes! The Hooters! The Long Ryders!) who would never crack the British market. And whose albums I would have to import by mail myself.

Bob Seger was one such artist. Like Jackson Browne, he was huge in the United States but never heard on English radio, and so appeared on the pages like a cultural blindspot. Perhaps, because he looked like bearded Bob Ley’s Dad, I was never that motivated to invest the energy in his music and as a result, I have no emotional connection to him. The fact that his work is not on Spotify is final death knell. So I am listening to “Night Moves” right now as I type. Not for the first time, as it is vaguely familiar to me as a peripheral radio sound on road trips of yore. I can understand why he moves you, but to my Sub-Optimal ear, Bob Seger seems to Bruce Springsteen what Hendo is to Stevie G.

For what it is worth, the remarkable people at KCRW invited me to Guest DJ and pick 5 Tracks that shaped my life. I narrowed it down to the five songs I listened to as a kid in Liverpool which made me want to move to America. Let me know if you were shocked by my choice of Greatest Song of All Time. You can listen HERE.