Video Savant: Bob Seger's “Heavy Music”

I'm about to leave on a trip for the Detroit area, where I spent my first 32 years, so allow me to indulge nostalgically in some of that city's musical lore. As deeply flawed as this Midwestern metropolis is, I still have fond memories of growing up there, and one reason was hearing the early songs of Bob Seger on the radio.

Yeah, Seger's music in the '80s turned as rancid as Kid Rock's bandana, but Bob's output in the '60s and first half of the '70s contains a monster truck's full of tough-as-beef-jerky Motor City rocknroll—and a handful of poignant slowies that could make Clint Eastwood shed a tear.

So let us now absorb the mighty power of “Heavy Music” which appeared on Smokin' O.P's in 1972. Truth in advertising or what? This is a garage-rock bomb made by dudes who believed they would live and fuck forever with wanton abandon. The rhythm is so elemental, pumping and stripped down—perfect for making cars and babies. Seger's voice is all feral soul and rampaging id, while the backing vocals haunt the periphery like a choir of satyrs. I can't even hear guitar or organ in this piece; it's all bass, drums, voices and hand claps, contoured like a potent phallus/missile for maximum cranial penetration.

“Heavy Music” is a party jam, but there's also a severe degree of danger animating it. Shake your ass, but watch your back, too, bro. And what a fadeout moment, as Seger wails, “Deeper! Deeper! Whoa! Whoa! We're goin' in now!”

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I've listened to “Heavy Music” 10 times in a row now, and I feel as if I've guzzled a pitcher of unfiltered testosterone juice (but the non-douche-y kind). Still, best to keep your distance from me for a while.

Ultimately, “Heavy Music” makes me proud to be from Detroit. (But, please, dear Bob, delete forever “Like a Rock.” Thanks.)

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