American singer, songwriter, and musician Bob Seger hails from Michigan. With classic singles like “Night Moves,” “Turn the Page,” and “Still the Same,” he enjoyed widespread success in the 1970s. He is well-known for his distinctive voice and straightforward, sincere lyrics and is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
‘Hollywood Nights’ is one of his best songs and there are some facts behind the song. Stranger in Town, his ninth studio album, contained it. It has been included in many of Seger’s best hits collections and is one of his most recognizable songs.
The song is a fast-paced, rock-oriented number with lyrics describing the journey to Hollywood by two young lovers. Seger considers his own impressions of the region and pays tribute to the movie icons who have influenced his life. He also expresses optimism that his own aspirations of success will materialize. Over the years, numerous different artists have covered the song.
David Teegarden, Seger’s drummer played the drums two different times and overdubbed it with a different pattern on top. It made it sound like there were two drummers playing in the song which was a different thing. Piano and organ were played on this track by Little Feat’s Billy Payne. The cymbals add a potent accent to the main vocal melody in the song’s iconic chorus, which is also greatly influenced by the percussion. The percussion in “Hollywood Nights” gives the song a thrilling beat that makes it a great rock standard.
The album cover has young Seger with the Hollywood Hills in the background. Actually, the photo was taken on the lawn of the rental home he was residing in when the album was being recorded.
Seger had a huge opportunity to work with the Waters family while he was recording in LA. There are also backing vocals done by the Waters family; Julia, Maxine, Luther, and Oren on the song. The Waters family is renowned in the music business for its outstanding background vocals. For the past 20 years, they have been providing strong harmonies to some of the biggest names in music, led by patriarch Roger Waters and his daughters Hannah, Julie, and Rosalind.
“Hollywood Nights” was one of the tunes played throughout Sunshine Plaza in the original Disney California Adventure Park.
Story Behind The Song
About the song, Bob said, “The chorus just came into my head; I was driving around in the Hollywood Hills, and I started singing ‘Hollywood nights/Hollywood hills/Above all the lights/Hollywood nights.’ I went back to my rented house, and there was a Time magazine with Cheryl Tiegs on the cover… I said ‘Let’s write a song about a guy from the Midwest who runs into someone like this and gets caught up in the whole bizarro thing.'”