I’m so old — how old are you? — I’m so old I remember when Bob Seger was called the Bob Seger System, and had one song worth listening to: “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man,” which I love for many reasons, but mainly two. Those would be 1) the organ intro; and 2) those crazy lyrics, which seem to sprout entirely from the appealing rhyme of “ramblin'” and “gamblin’.” Let’s see, we’ve got a man born lonely down by the riverside, who learned to spin a fortune wheel and throw dice. He needs to ramble, he needs to gamble, he needs some lovin’. Add that great organ, and what else do you need?
Seger’s subsequent career arc as the poet laureate of blue-collar workers and inspiration for Bob Greene column collection titles didn’t exactly leave me cold, but for every gem (“Come to Papa,” “Roll Me Away,” “Main Street”), there were seemingly a dozen overplayed, overexposed, overeverything classic-rock radio standards that made you wince and change the station. Have you ever been to a wedding where “You’ll Accomp’ny Me” was the bride and groom’s first dance? Come on, you know there have been a few.