The music industry has never been the most fun business in the world. The entertainment industry is just like any other business, and serving the bottom line tends to get in the way of artists who have something honest to say. While the suits decide what gets on the charts, all bets are off once the artist is left alone in the studio.
Whether it’s through venting their frustration or just poking the bear, every one of these songs has a lot on its mind about how the sausage is made, talking about how money hungry these people can be and the audiences that they’re told to cater to. What’s even more surprising is when they actually turn up on the charts.
Even though some of these tracks boil down to nothing but trash talking the industry, some of them actually found their way onto the hit parade, with fans listening to songs about how much making these songs sucks. The tone of these tracks might be cynical, but this isn’t about rock stars hating making music. This is just a warning about what you’re getting yourself into when you decide to sign that contract.
10. Turn the Page - Bob Seger
Every young band’s biggest dream is to get out on tour. The biggest acts in the world are the ultimate road dogs, and the best part is getting to see millions of people singing your song back to you. Though the road can be a tempting offer, it can also take your soul if you’re not careful.
Since Bob Seger had been in the business for years before Turn the Page, his weathered voice is perfect for this song, talking about the day-in-day-out nature of being a traveling musician. Although the crowds might give you everything you ever want, no one likes to talk about how isolating the road can be, just moving from one hotel room to another and playing to people that you don’t even know. Even when you have seconds to breathe when you walk into a restaurant, Seger talks about the clientele already judging you before you’ve said a word, almost like you’re some alien that happens to play rock and roll music.
While the music may take its toll on you every time you step on the stage, the spirit of rock never goes away, keeping you up at night as the echoes of the amplifiers ring in your head. This might be a celebration of the road in some ways, but you get a pretty clear picture of what that stretch of highway has to offer. It might be an escape for some, but after months at a time, you realize how lonely it can really be.