Turn the Page (Bob Seger song)

Last updated
"Turn the Page"
Single by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
from the album Back in '72, Live Bullet
Released1973 (original)
1976 (live)
Recorded1972 (original), September 1975 (live version)
Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan
Genre
Length5:11
5:06 (live)
Label Capitol
Songwriter(s) Bob Seger
Producer(s)

"Turn the Page" is a song originally released by Bob Seger in 1973 on his Back in '72 album. Though never released as a single, Seger's live version of the song on the 1976 Live Bullet album became a mainstay of album-oriented rock radio stations, and still gets significant airplay to this day on classic rock stations.

Bob Seger American singer-songwriter

Robert Clark Seger is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist. As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heard and Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s, breaking through with his first national hit and album in 1968. By the early 1970s, he had dropped the 'System' from his recordings and continued to strive for broader success with various other bands. In 1973, he put together the Silver Bullet Band, with a group of Detroit-area musicians, with whom he became most successful on the national level with the album Live Bullet (1976), recorded live with the Silver Bullet Band in 1975 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. In 1976, he achieved a national breakout with the studio album Night Moves. On his studio albums, he also worked extensively with the Alabama-based Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, which appeared on several of Seger's best-selling singles and albums.

<i>Back in 72</i> 1973 studio album by Bob Seger

Back in '72 is the sixth studio album by American rock singer-songwriter Bob Seger, released in 1973. It was the first new album on Seger's label, Palladium Records, to be released under their distribution deal with the Reprise division of Warner Bros. Records and one of several early Seger albums that has never been reissued on CD.

<i>Live Bullet</i> 1976 live album by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

‘Live’ Bullet is a live album by American rock band Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, released in April 1976. It was recorded at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan, during the heyday of that arena's time as an important rock concert venue. The album is credited, along with Night Moves, with launching Seger's mainstream popularity.

Contents

Inspiration

"Turn the Page" is about the emotional and social ups and downs of a rock musician's life on the road. Seger wrote it in 1972 while touring with Teegarden & Van Winkle. Drummer David Teegarden (of Teegarden & Van Winkle and later the Silver Bullet Band) recalls:

Teegarden & Van Winkle

Teegarden & Van Winkle were an American musical duo, composed of Skip (Knape) Van Winkle, and David Teegarden. Formed in Tulsa, they took their folksy rock to Detroit.

We had been playing somewhere in the Midwest, or the northern reaches, on our way to North or South Dakota. [Guitarist] Mike Bruce was with us. We'd been traveling all night from the Detroit area to make this gig, driving in this blinding snowstorm. It was probably 3 in the morning. Mike decided it was time to get gas. He was slowing down to exit the interstate and spied a truck stop. We all had very long hair back then – it was the hippie era – but Skip, Mike and Bob had all stuffed their hair up in their hats. You had to be careful out on the road like that, because you'd get ostracized. When I walked in, there was this gauntlet of truckers making comments – "Is that a girl or man?" I was seething; those guys were laughing their asses off, a big funny joke. That next night, after we played our gig – I think it was Mitchell, S.D. – Seger says, "Hey, I've been working on this song for a bit, I've got this new line for it. He played it on acoustic guitar, and there was that line: "Oh, the same old cliches / 'Is that a woman or a man?' " It was "Turn the Page." [1]

Midwestern United States region that includes parts of Canada and the United States

The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the American Midwest, Middle West, or simply the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau. It occupies the northern central part of the United States. It was officially named the North Central Region by the Census Bureau until 1984. It is located between the Northeastern United States and the Western United States, with Canada to its north and the Southern United States to its south.

Tom Weschler, then road manager for Seger, remembers the same incident:

"Turn the Page," Bob's great road song, came along in '72, while we were driving home from a gig. I think we were in Dubuque, Iowa, in winter and stopped at a restaurant. We stood out when we entered a store or a gas station or a restaurant en masse. At this restaurant it was particularly bright inside, so there weren't any dark corners to hide in. All these local guys were looking at us like, "What are these guys? Is that a woman or a man?" – just like in the song. ... That was one incident, but there were so many others on the road that led Seger to write that song. [2]

Instrumentation

Both Seger's studio and live versions of "Turn the Page" feature a mellotron and a saxophone part played by founding Silver Bullet member Alto Reed. Tom Weschler allegedly helped inspire Reed to create the opening melody. During recording, Weschler told Reed: "Alto, think about it like this: You're in New York City, on the Bowery. It's 3 a.m. You're under a streetlamp. There's a light mist coming down. You're all by yourself. Show me what that sounds like." With that, Reed played the opening melody to "Turn the Page". [2]

Mellotron musical instrument

The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard originally developed and built in Birmingham, England, in 1963. It evolved from a similar instrument, the Chamberlin, but could be mass-produced more effectively. The instrument is played by pressing its keys, each of which presses a length of magnetic tape against a capstan, drawing it across a playback head. Then as the key is released, the tape is retracted by a spring to its initial position. Different portions of the tape can be played to access different sounds.

Alto Reed American musician

Alto Reed is an American saxophonist best known as a long-time member of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Jon English cover

Australian singer Jon English released a version of the song in 1974 as the lead single from his second studio album, It's All a Game . The song peaked at number 20 on the Kent Music Report. [3]

Jon English singer, songwriter, musician and actor

Jonathan James "Jon" English was an English-born Australian singer, songwriter, musician and actor. He emigrated from England to Australia with his parents in 1961. He was an early vocalist and rhythm guitarist for Sebastian Hardie but left to take on the role of Judas Iscariot in the Australian version of the stage musical Jesus Christ Superstar from May 1972, which was broadcast on television. English was also a noted solo singer; his Australian top twenty hit singles include "Turn the Page", "Hollywood Seven", "Words are Not Enough", "Six Ribbons" and "Hot Town".

<i>Its All a Game</i> 1974 studio album by Jon English

It's All a Game is the second studio album by Australian musician, Jon English. The album was released in Australia November 1974. The album produced English's first top twenty single, a cover of Bob Seger's "Turn the Page" which entered the Kent Music chart in February 1975. The song peaked at number 7 in New Zealand.

Kent Music Report Australian music chart between 1974-1998

The Kent Music Report was a weekly record chart of Australian music singles and albums which was compiled by music enthusiast David Kent from May 1974 through to 1988. After 1988, the Australian Recording Industry Association, which had been using the report under licence for a number of years, chose to produce their own listing as the ARIA Charts.

Metallica cover

"Turn the Page"
Metallica - Turn the Page cover.jpg
Single by Metallica
from the album Garage Inc.
B-side "Bleeding Me"/"Stone Cold Crazy"/"The Wait"
ReleasedNovember 16, 1998
Format CD single
RecordedSeptember–October 1998
Genre Heavy metal, hard rock
Length6:06
Label Elektra
Songwriter(s) Bob Seger
Producer(s) Bob Rock
Metallica singles chronology
"Fuel"
(1998)
"Turn the Page"
(1998)
"Whiskey in the Jar"
(1999)
Music video
"Turn the Page" on YouTube

Of the many cover versions that have been recorded, the most popular cover version is by Metallica who released it as the first single from their 1998 Garage Inc. album, reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for 11 consecutive weeks, the highest number of weeks Metallica has ever spent at the top; drummer Lars Ulrich had heard the original song while driving across the Golden Gate Bridge and later commented that he thought it "had James Hetfield all over it". [4] Metallica's rendition is taken at much the same tempo as Seger's, but with a heavier feel; the saxophone part is replaced by a high slide guitar line from Kirk Hammett. The accompanying music video explores a day in the life not of musicians, but a mother (played by Ginger Lynn) who is a sex worker; that is, she works as a stripper by day, and a prostitute by night. MTV refused to air the video due to nudity and a scene depicting sexual assault between the mother and a client. [5] The video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund. [6]

Influences

Jon Bon Jovi has claimed that the song was a big influence on him and Richie Sambora when they were writing their 1986 song "Wanted Dead or Alive." [7]

The 1995 Bruce Springsteen song "Youngstown" uses a very similar tune.[ citation needed ]

Awards

In 2014, Seger performed the song on CMT Crossroads with country singer Jason Aldean. The video of the performance won the CMT Music Award for Performance Video of the Year. [8]

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References

  1. Brian McCollum (March 14, 2004). "A definitive oral history of Seger's early years". Detroit Free Press.
  2. 1 2 Weschler, Tom, and Gary Graff. Travelin Man: on the road and behind the scenes with Bob Seger. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press, 2009.
  3. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 . St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN   0-646-11917-6.
  4. [ dead link ]
  5. "Ginger Lynn". IMDb.
  6. Armstrong, Chuck. "Metallica, 'Turn the Page' – Official Music Video". Ultimate Metallica. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  7. Video: Jon Bon Jovi talks with Richie Sambora and the audience about Bob Seger on YouTube
  8. "2015 CMT Music Awards: The Winners". CMT.com. June 11, 2015.