Sometimes groups surprise me and this is definitely one of those cases. I was flabbergasted when I heard that Metallica had covered Turn The Page and really didn’t know what to expect from them. Once I heard their version it all made perfect sense. The great Kirk Hammett slide guitar part that replaced the saxophone solo from Bob Seger’s version immediately convinced me that the song was in good hands. Let’s listen……..
Turn the Page is a maybe the greatest song about touring ever written. Here is the story behind the song as featured in a Detroit Free Press article on Bob (http://www.freep.com/article/20070312/ENT04/103120103/):
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.”
You’ve heard the riff let’s listen to the song. This is the live version from classic 1976 live album, Live Bullet……..
Stay tuned tomorrow for a cover of Turn the Page that shocked the hell out of me when it was released.