ufo1It’s been a while but our resident classic rock king Self Made Man is back (in black, probably) from his big summer break.

And it’s a holiday that’s got the old man thinking – not least because he arrived home to find his new copy of Classic Rock Magazine ready and waiting.

Read Self Made Man right here exclusively – every week! 


Holidays are a wonderful time to reacquaint yourself with old friends.

And that’s exactly what I’ve done these past few weeks, spending lazy hours under a red hot Adriatic sun, listening to music I’d only fleetingly sampled in recent times.

It’s not been a vintage year for new rock music (yet) and so as I flew out on my annual summer vacation, my iPod was not exactly crammed with fresh material.

No matter, I concluded. This was the perfect opportunity to play a few albums and artists which hadn’t been particularly over-active on my playlists.

The Who’s Quadrophenia was an obvious choice and also a mandatory one as my youngest son, still on a high from his first-ever rock gig, insisted it became the musical backdrop to countless car journeys.

And that suited me just fine as, having enjoyed The Who concert just as much as him, I found myself “getting into” the aforementioned album far more than I ever did during my own youth.

But it was Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band which became the sound of summer 2013 for yours truly.

I was first introduced to Bob Seger during my student days when a pal bought the double live album Nine Tonight and proceeded to play it at least twice a day for six weeks in our student digs.

Normally, such obsession would alienate me from the music but Nine Tonight was good, very, very good.

It was an album which had energy, melody, light and shade and damn good tunes. It rocked, it rolled and it got under the skin so much so that I bought my own copy a month or two later despite every song and every note being ingrained in my memory.

Over the next two decades, I continued to listen to Seger’s second live album occasionally (he’d recorded one a few years earlier which was almost as good) but for all my enjoyment of his music, I never did buy any of the American’s studio albums until a few years ago when I had a sudden urge to explore this wonderful singer-songwriter a little more.

It wasn’t a particularly cheap exercise. None of his studio releases are on iTunes – hence the absence of his album artwork in my library.

I couldn’t find any Seger CDs in my local HMV and when I logged onto Amazon, I was shocked to find the three albums I wanted all cost well in excess of a tenner.

Nevertheless, I bit my tongue and for the princely sum of £43.99 (postage and packaging included) I splashed out on Stranger In Town, Night Moves and Against The Wind.

I chose those three albums because Nine Tonight‘s setlist was largely taken from this trio.

It proved money well spent. Not only were all the classics I’d already heard there including Fire Lake, Rock n’ Roll Never Forgets, Hollywood Nights, You’ll Accompany Me and the title tracks from Night Moves and Against The Wind, there were other gems too.

I challenge anyone not to be stirred by the epic, poignant, majestic The Famous Final Scene which closes Against The Wind.

Those sitting close to me on the 11.50am flight out of Dubrovnik heading for Manchester last Saturday will testify to the fact, it certainly moves me.

So Bob Seger was well and truly back in my consciousness and here’s a thing.

At the weekend the latest edition of Classic Rock magazine arrived and there’s an article about Bob Seger in it, the first I’ve read about him for ages.

Not only that but he’s about to release a new album and could even tour the UK shortly.

Those who fancy seeing him, get behind me in the queue.

Ian Murtagh