As its name says, rock ‘n’ roll is a continuous movement, and in fact many times, a leveling movement.
It is a continuous flow and evolution of music in general.
Besides the characteristics of a river, which from a few drops of rain becomes an immense volume of running water, it has also the characteristics of a book.
Where sometimes in order to understand the elements of its plot, you need to look back to the space and time of the “story”…
Turning the pages backward!
So, rock ‘n’ roll in its 60-year course, has turned the page many times.
Sometimes even backward!
It is not a few times that we have met an artist or a song, not directly, but indirectly through his cover.
Most often by another already renowned artist and/or band.
A song is often like the rose of Jericho, crossing the desert, moving by the dry air, until it finds some water and opens its leaves.
Thus, a song, from the moment of its creation until the time of its recognition, “waits” to reach the right performer to open the pages of its glory.
Turn The Page
One of the most typical examples is “Turn The Page“.
Created by country–rock musician Bob Seger that we find on his sixth album, “Back in 72”.
Although this song was not completely unknown in its time, it actually became world-famous for its performance by Metallica.
And it is one of those cases of songs, that the cover is “better” than the original and first performance.
Especially considering that the song became the band’s biggest hit, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
It remained there for 11 consecutive weeks in 1998, the year that “Garage Inc”, the album that included it, was released.
Lars Ulrich first heard the song as he crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and his first thought was that James just “got” the song.
Their performance does not change the tempo but makes it heavier by replacing the saxophone of the original performance with the guitar of Kirk Hammett.
The video refers to the life of a mother, who for a living is forced to work as a dancer in a strip club and at night as a prostitute.
MTV’s refusal to broadcast it is due to scenes, showing the violent behavior of a client towards her.
But the story behind the Metallica music video does not exactly match the original meaning of the lyrics.
The lyrics of Seger
When Bob Seger wrote the song, he was on tour with Teegarden & Van Winkle.
Drummer David Teegarden remembers being found somewhere in the Midwest, on his way to South or North Dakota.
The band had started on the long journey in the night from Detroit, where they had played.
In a blizzard around 3 in the morning, they stopped at a gas station with parking and trucks, to fill their tank.
It was the era of hippies in 1972 and of course, all the band members had long hair!
Bob Seger along with another member of the band entered the place, where there was a cafeteria with several truckers.
Once, therefore, the musicians took off their hats, which they wore having hidden their long wool, which was untied…
The truckers laughing asked the more cliched question: “Is that a girl or man?”.
The next day, after their concert in Mitchell, South Dakota, Seger played the song on acoustic guitar, with the lyrics:
“Oh, the same old cliches / ‘Is that a woman or a man?” to dress the melody.
Although in the lyrical part of the song the specific couplet does not exist, however, it was “Turn The Page“.
This unfortunate meeting created a flow of events to create a very beautiful song.
The lyrics speak mainly about the emotional ups and downs of a rock musician, who is constantly on the road!
These, among other things, are caused by the constant critical cliche comments that a street musician has the misfortune or rather the luck, from a musical point of view at least, to hear…