Bob Seger wrote one of the most simple and realistic songs about the dark side of the entertainment business in his brilliant piece, “Turn the Page,” originally released on his 1973 album, Back In ’72.
It’s easy to assume your favorite band has the perfect life when you see them in magazines, on TV and up on stage. They get special privileges, they get the girls (or guys), they get really cool free stuff and people want their autograph.
However, this is usually a brief, short-lived set of circumstances. Remember, we are talking about people here, human beings, as products. The emotions of life don’t stop just because you’re “famous,” and they are often more intense.
When the radio singles are no longer coming, the concert demand has slowed and album sales have fallen off, few care about the “famous one(s)” any longer.
But when the radio singles are coming, the concert tickets are being bought and your stuff is selling, no one cares then either, they just pretend to.
Seger sums up the loneliness, the boredom, the emptiness and the rut of life on the road (of course its implications go beyond the road life) in “Turn the Page.” One of the most powerful lines of the song says:
Out there in the spotlight, you’re a million miles away
Every ounce of energy you try to give away
As the sweat pours out your body like the music that you play
Metallica took the song and added further drama to it when they released it on their 1998 album, Garage Inc., and applied the song’s storyline to the life of a stripper. Check out this intense video, and be reminded that the entertainment industry is rife with heartache around every corner, and fleeting with every instant it offers.