There are some songs that were bigger, sometimes a Billboard hit, in their concert recorded version. They may have a studio-recorded counterpart but the live version, in this case, was bigger. I’ll stay away from the ones that have a “fake” live audience. The last criteria, it has to be a favorite of mine.
“Turn the Page” is a song written by Bob Seger and first appearing on his Back in ’72 album. He said he wrote the song in a hotel room in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It was not released as a single and I had never heard it until it was recorded live on the 1976 Live Bullet album.
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.”Drummer David Teegarden
The live version got released in Germany and the UK. The song became a mainstay of album-oriented rock radio stations and still gets significant airplay on classic rock stations. It was a staple of 96 Rock, back in the day, here in Atlanta. I hear it all the time on Sirius/XM.
- Bob Seger – lead vocals, electric piano
- Drew Abbott – guitar
- Chris Campbell – bass
- Charlie Allen Martin – drums
- Alto Reed – saxophone
- Robyn Robbins – Mellotron