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Album: Beautiful LoserReleased: 1975Charted:
Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. In the '60s, as many Americans were searching for enlightenment, the city was seen as a panacea for the ills of Western culture. A remote and exotic location, it was also seen as the ultimate getaway, which is how Seger used it in this song.
Seger took a humorous tone, singing about his desire to disappear for a while after dealing with constant touring and record company politics. For him, Kathmandu is used to represent a place far away where no one will bother you.
This is one of the highlights of Seger's Live Bullet album, which was released the following year. Known for powerful concert performances, Seger's career took off after the album was released.
Segar used an alternate spelling of Kathmandu which made it easier for American eyes to comprehend. In 1970, Cat Stevens released a far more earnest song about the city
which he also spelled Katmandu.
In the movie Mask, starring Cher and Sam Elliott, Eric Stoltz' character dreams of going to Katmandu with his good friend. The song was also used in the movie Last Fling, with John Ritter and Connie Sellecca.
Other mentions of Kathmandu in rock lyrics include "Cry Baby" by Janis Joplin ("Honey, the road'll even end in Kathmandu") and "Nobody Told Me
" by John Lennon ("There's a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Kathmandu"). Both songs were released after the artists died.