American Songwriter
American Songwriter
You are here:

The 77-year-old, Detroit-born songwriter and performer, Bob Seger, is an American icon.
Seger broke out with his album, Ramblin’ Gamblin Man in 1968. And the rest is road dog history. The roots rocker has a powerful, raspy voice that aided heartland rock songs like “Night Moves,” “Turn the Page,” and “Like a Rock.”
To date, Seger has sold more than 75 million albums. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and, sadly for fans, he played his last tour after announcing the farewell trek in 2018.
Here, we are going to dive into the things Seger had to say outside of his many songs. Those thoughts the artist had on life and love, his craft, and the world at large.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the 30 best Bob Seger quotes.
1. “I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”
2. “Be original. That’s my best advice. You’re going to find that there’s something that you do well, and try to do it with as much originality as you can, and don’t skimp on the words. Work on the words.”
3. “Radio is so fragmented, it’s unbelievable.”
4. “I never say never, because I don’t want to be one of those guys.”
5. “Every now and then you’ll nail one that’s really, really special. And that’s what you live for.”
6. “You go to LA, or you go to New York, and it’s really fun to go there. But they’re not grounded. Everybody is just competing all the time for the limelight. It’s too much entertainment industry. There are too many choices. And it’s distracting to me.”
7. “I love working with different musicians in the studio, that’s a real joy working with someone for the first time.”
8. “It took me a long time to learn how to write a good song.”
9. “I’m trying to be a good parent and set a good example. When I’m on the road, they don’t see a lot of me. I see them every other day. It’s pretty all-encompassing when I’m on the road.”
10. “Most of the time, I’m here in Michigan and I’m taking out the garbage every Monday.”
11. “I once won a Grammy for an Australian version of ‘Turn the Page’ that another artist did; I can’t remember his name. There’ve been covers down through the years around the world, but I did like Metallica’s, because I kind of related to Metallica when they first came out, because Jimmy Hetfield really reminded me of me in 1965, you know?”
12. “For a long time, I thought when you do a box set, you’re giving up; you’re saying, ‘OK, I don’t have anything left.’ But now I’ve listened to some of the old stuff I haven’t heard in 20 to 40 years with fresh ears. It’s like, ‘Oh yeah, I can see where people might want to to hear some of this stuff that didn’t make it onto the records.’”
13. “I’m really glad I didn’t have kids earlier because I probably would have ignored them. I was so into my career. I could just go and play a ton of shows, night after night after night. I can’t do that anymore.”
14. “You don’t know what inspires you. You like to think you know what inspires you, but in the final analysis, I don’t think you really do. It’s great to look at a blank sheet of paper, you know, and walk up to an instrument and not know what’s gonna happen. It’s the most challenging thing I do.”
15. “I’m not a tour rat. I’m not crazy about it.”
16. “I am trying to write stuff that is different. I am a big science fan. I read a lot of science, and ‘Wonderland’ has a lot of science in it. I don’t know. They are hard to describe… We are living in a wonderland age of science.”
17. “I’ve covered so much Tom Waits. He’s one of my favorite writers. I have a real affinity to how he writes.”
18. “Great sex is wonderful while it’s happening, but who remembers great sex they had in 1983?”
19. “Yeah, I’m just blessed to have this very strong thing, my vocals. I’m very healthy in that regard.”
20. “My management tells me, Don’t be optimistic, because it’s the young people’s world now. They want to hear what they want to hear, and you’re a classic rocker. I don’t know if you’re gonna get the play.”
21. “I really enjoy being with the people I play with. I enjoy their company. I love the crew, the band – we just move through the country like an army. I always feel very grateful to be up there. There aren’t any bad nights anymore unless I’m singing bad, but then the band will carry me. And if they’re playing bad, I will carry them.”
22. “I don’t have and have never had an email address. I’m old school. But as far as downloads go, my only objection is I like the sound of CDs better, so I buy those. I think the sound quality is better.”
23. “I just fell into the Dylanesque idea of recording. He is real fast.”
24. “I write a lot of songs people don’t hear. I really just enjoy the process. I finish ’em all. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of difference between the bad ones and the good ones.”
25. “If I want to work, I can. If I want to play golf or ride my motorcycle, I can. But the rest of it is family. Sometimes you’re not really needed by your family, but you’re there. And my kids like to know I’m there.”
26. “When I try to write I try to write something different every time. That’s the challenge.”
27. “I just start playing music and eventually I sing something, a line of a verse or a B section or a line of a chorus, and the line that I end up singing is related to the music I’m playing if that makes any sense. And I go from there.”
28. “When you have kids, you start thinking about their future and you forget about yours.”
29. “Elvis came along when I was 10. My father gave me a bass ukulele. I taught myself how to play from a book to play some chords, so I was laying down ‘Hound Dog’ and things like that when I was 10 years old in 1955. That’s the way I was. My ear was glued to the radio. I knew right then what I wanted to do.”
30. “We’ve been really lucky. We’ve gotten a lot of airplay over the years. I guess people keep requesting our songs on the radio because Lord knows I don’t do a whole lot to promote myself.”
Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images
See more
Only members can comment. Become a member. Already a member? Log In.
December 22, 2022, 5:10 pm
December 22, 2022, 1:26 pm
December 22, 2022, 12:31 pm
December 22, 2022, 10:30 am
December 22, 2022, 10:14 am
December 22, 2022, 9:56 am
April 13, 2021, 7:44 am
September 14, 2016, 10:08 am
November 30, 2009, 12:46 pm
December 22, 2022, 5:10 pm
December 22, 2022, 4:40 pm
December 22, 2022, 2:55 pm
For the latest songwriting tips, reviews, podcasts, and more.
© 2022 American Songwriter