Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"Hollywood Nights"

Here's a song that really should be a film. Preferably a silent film, with no sound but this song to accompany it since Bob Seger's words are more than sufficient to tell the whole story. It's a huge, cavernous, monstrous cliche of a story, but one that romantics everywhere would probably appreciate: "She stood there bright as the sun on that California coast/He was a Midwestern boy on his own/She looked at him with those soft eyes so innocent and blue/He knew right then he was too far from home." Perfect! The whole story is right there, as clear and unambiguous as it could be. You know how it's going to progress, how it's going to be a tale of obsessive, all-consuming passion, riddled with stereotypes and cliches, but what the hell, you say, when a story's told this well....
And of course, you know how it's going to end as well: "Night after night and day after day it went on and on/Then came that morning he woke up alone/He spent all night staring down at the lights of LA/Wondering if he could ever go home." It's a song and a story as big and wide as the highways and beaches it populates, and Seger wraps it up in a driving, hammering song that doesn't let up for a moment, that reflects the urgency, the raw need and the eventual despair that plants your foot on the gas pedal to get you as far away as possible from your addiction.

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