Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bob Seger -- "Travelin' Man" (1976)

Travelin' man
Love when I can
Turn loose my hand 'cause I'm goin'

If you were tasked with coming up with some suitable words for my gravestone, you could do worse than those -- you could do a lot worse.

Actually, this old Bob Seger song has a number of lines that would do nicely for an epitaph for ol' 2 or 3 lines.  Like these:  

Women have come
Women have gone
Everyone tryin' to cage me

Bob Seger
And these:

Sometimes at night
I see their faces
I feel the traces they left on my soul
Those are the memories 
That made me a wealthy soul

But this post is about travelin', so we'll stick with the lines at the top of the page.

A Southwest 737-800 on
the ground in Las Vegas
I've done a lot of traveling this year.  In the words of another practitioner of 100%-pure American music, John Fogerty, my September has consisted mostly of

Comin' out of the sky
Won't you take me down to . . . 

Well, not Memphis, actually -- but Las Vegas, Kansas City, Baltimore, and Providence.  (All those flights were on Southwest Airlines, which flies on 737s.  I wonder if Fogerty's reference to a 737 in "Travelin' Band" means that he, too, is a loyal Southwest customer.)

The Wynn Las Vegas
Sin City -- in particular, the Wynn Las Vegas hotel -- was the first place my September wanderings took me.  

The CEO of Wynn Resorts is Steve Wynn, who Forbes magazine says is the 428th richest man in the world.

Wynn is also a lover of fine art, albeit a rather clumsy one.  

The centerpiece of his art collection is Picasso's Le Rêve ("The Dream").  In 2006, Wynn cut a deal to sell the painting to hedge-fund manager Steven A. Cohen (the 106th richest man in the world) for $139 million, which would have been the highest price ever paid for a work of art.

"Le Rêve" at auction
But while showing the painting off at a party -- the guests included Barbara Walters, author Nora Ephron (who wrote the screenplays for When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle), and famed litigator David Boies -- Wynn accidentally put his elbow through the painting.

It seems that Wynn is in the habit of gesticulating dramatically when he speaks.  He also has retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that has limited his vision.

Steve Wynn
An art restorer repaired the six-inch gash for $90,000.  But the estimated value of the repaired painting was only $85 million.  Wynn sued his insurance company when they wouldn't cough up the $54 million difference.  In 2012, he sold the painting to Cohen for $155 million.  (Don't cry for Steve Wynn, Argentina.)

Wynn used some of that money to buy a Jeff Koons sculpture titled Tulips for a mere $33.6 million.  (Plenty more where that came from, boys and girls.)

I loved Tulips when I saw it on a previous stay at the Wynn, but had no clue that is was worth $33.6 million.  

This year, I saw another Jeff Koons sculpture on display at the Wynn.  Earlier this year, Steve Wynn dropped $28 million at a Sotheby's auction to obtain Popeye:

When I was looking Popeye over, I noted a small sign next to it that stated it was for sale.  I asked a salesclerk at the Wynn's gift shop what the price tag for Popeye was, and she told me $60 million.

I guess Mr. Wynn is not what you would call a motivated seller.

I saw one other rather extraordinary work of art at Wynn last month -- this floral merry-go-round:

"Travelin' Man" was originally released on Bob Seger's eighth studio album, Beautiful Loser.  But I don't think I ever heard the studio version of that song until today.

The version I'm familiar with is a live version that appears on 'Live' Bullet, which was recorded over the course of a two-night show in Detroit in 1975 and released in 1976.  Rock critic Dave Marsh called it "one of the best live albums ever made."

Here's the live version of "Travelin' Man."  (Be prepared for a rather abrupt ending.  On the album, the song goes right into "Beautiful Loser" without a break.)

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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