HEY YOU! NOGOODFORME.COM is now found at...NOGOODFORME.COM! You've stumbled upon our old mirror site instead. Please point your browsers to NOGOODFORME.COM instead and update your newsfeed to http://feeds.feedburner.com/nogoodforme/tYOS. Thanks and we shall see you at NOGOODFORME.COM!
Tuesday , December 14, 2010
Kat & Liz On: The Secret Sexy Genius of Bob Seger
A long time ago, in an Internet hideout far far away, Kat asked the hugely important question: "Why can't our generation recognize the totally obvious genius of Bob Seger?" "Because!" Barker barked back. "We're forever stuck with the image of Tom Cruise sliding across the living room floor in his underwear, no matter how hard we try to make it go away." Which was really lame and defeatist, in a very pre-nogoodforme.com sort of way. So in a valiant effort to steal Bob Seger back from Tom Cruise - kinda like when U2 stole "Helter Skelter" back from Charles Manson, only way less self-righteous - we present six songs that reveal the secret sexy genius of our beloved Bob.
"ROCK AND ROLL NEVER FORGETS"
Lately, like for all of 2010, the universe is trying so hard to get "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" into my ears as often as possible. It's all over my radio, it's always playing at 7-Eleven when I'm buying my Big Gulps or bubblegum, it's everywhere at every moment that ever happens. Which is cool cuz I finally listened to the actual lyrics, and I'm so thrilled at the one about how "sweet sixteen's turned 31." I'm 32, but I still get the thing about feeling tired and bored and "beaten down by life" (as I'm prone to saying in my more dramatical moments). I believe Bob Seger when he promises me rock and roll's the most reliable rut-buster, mostly because I believe anything rock singers ever tell me - and not in a naive kind of way! Like, in the wisest way possible.
Also in its last issue of 1994 Rolling Stone ran a photo of Kurt Cobain with the caption Rock and roll never forgets and I remember thinking "God, Kurt would hate that...but I would love it!" STILL TRUE. I still would love it. (Liz)
"Night Moves" is one of the Seeg's most famous songs, one of those tracks that only really made sense in the late 70s/early 80s where I guess casual sex was like the "official thing" and people wore those pukka shell necklaces and looked like Devendra Banhart before Devendra was a cultural concept or barely a twinkle in his parents' eyes. (I like to think of Devendra as hatching from a trunk of a tree at birth, though. It seems like a more suitable origin story for the Bearded One.) "Night Moves" is a great story-song, about two kids who have nothing better to do than have sex and drink beer during a long, hot summer. But there's this kind of twist in the last verse, a jump into nostalgia that looks back on it all with melancholy and gives an entirely different read on the title. Outside of its form and content, I always think of the Night Moves record itself in my parents' music collection, sitting there in a red milk crate along with Bruce Springsteen and Sheena Easton, who I know was not American, but whatever. Night Moves came out a few years after they first arrived in America from Thailand and was part of their own education into being an "American" at the time: joining bowling leagues, learning to drink Budweiser, listening to "heartland rock," getting the only jobs available to them as part of the "working class." Somehow I think of Bob Seger as being one of their spirit guides into what America was about at a very specific time and place, helping them get along in their new country and have some good old-fashioned American fun that didn't involve being an imperialistic world superpower. I'm a little too scared to ask my parents what they thought of "Night Moves," though they played it a lot on the record player when I was a small fry. I mean, I REALLY don't want to discover they were swingers or whatever. That would be awful, and traumatic. But I'm sure there was a reason why Night Moves disappeared after I turned five, along with a bunch of Queen records whose lyrics freaked me out for some reason. That's okay, though. I had a babysitter that had Prince's Controversy, so my "little kids accidentally listening to musical smut" quota was pretty full. (Kat)
Truly, I don't think Bob Seger is sexy, at all. He writes sexy songs with sexy words and maybe he's even got a sexy voice sometimes, but the man himself is no Mark Harmon nor even a Nick Nolte. He actually kinda looks exactly like my pediatrician, this really rad bearded dude who let me know I needed glasses by looking over my charts and announcing "Kiddo! Your vision SUCKS!" And I guess Bob's trying to be a little sleazy with "Her Strut" but it's kind of a bust, and there's even that line where he assures us that all the guys actually do respect the heck out of the hellcat dame he's singing about. That's so sweet! I bet Bob's such a good dad. (Liz)
"Hollywood Nights" was written so that I could move to Los Angeles at age 25, fall in big bad love with a blue-eyed heartbreaker, and spend the next couple years feeling that sick electric shock whenever this song came on the radio and tricked me into thinking I was living out the most tragic L.A. love story ever told. But I'm not a midwestern boy on my own; my love wore neither diamonds nor frills. I still do get the chills, though, looking down on the city from Mulholland Drive. Hyperemotionality's a gas. (Liz)
"YOU'LL ACCOMP'NY ME"
Once I wrote a story about wearing a red dress and dropping quarters into a pizza-parlor jukebox to play this very song for a sweet-hearted boy who didn't deserve it. I mean, I didn't play it for him - I played it cuz it was an unseasonably tropic Sunday night and we were drinking beer from plastic cups and he'd picked the goddamn Stray Cats for pete's sake, so I felt like I had a free pass. Sometimes I don't regret giving him "You'll Accomp'ny Me" but sometimes I do - so I've since decided he can have the whole song except for the second verse, which is, like, the most romantic verse any rock-and-roll man ever wrote for me. Or it's in the top 5 at least, in one of those spaces not filled in by Bruce Springsteen or "Mandolin Wind" by Rod Stewart. When his voice soars and soars some more at that part about "I'll take my chances, babe, I'll risk it all," it heals just as good as it hurts. (Liz)
"Shakedown" is off the Beverly Hills Cop II soundtrack, and is a kind of betrayal into what Bob Seger stands for: it's slick, synthetic, and kind of stupid instead of being authentic and heartfelt, which is what we all go to Seger for. "Shakedown" kind of just screams "mid-80s MTV generation." Which is not a bad thing, of course, but it feels Seger-wrong. However, I'm still really fond of it simply because it is associated with Beverly Hills Cop, one of the greatest, most seminal movie franchises ever and one of the first R-rated films I ever snuck into. Don't get me started on how awesome Axel Foley was, or the underrated genius of Judge Reinhold, or the ultra-80slicious Brigitte Nielson. Why does no one appreciate Beverly Hills Cop anymore? It's a mystery to me. Maybe the Seeg was a big Axel Foley fan, or maybe he was trying to stay "relevant." Fuck relevance, Bob Seger: we love you for your nostalgia and for "meaning it," not for your synthesizers! You're HEARTLAND, man, not CALI-FOR-NEIGH-A. (Kat)
P.S. After careful consideration, Liz has taken back everything she said four songs ago about Bob Seger not being sexy at all. He's actually sexy as all get-out, in that photo up there on the left. Wonders never cease.
Tags: Americanism, Axel Foley, Barker's pediatrician, being bored, Beverly Hills Cop, Bob Seger, boys, hellcat dames, hyperemotionality, Judge Reinhold, jukeboxes, Kurt Cobain, love, Mulholland Drive, Rod Stewart, rut-busters, smut, the Midwest, the Sexiest Men Alive, Tom Cruise, U2
Share | | | |