The Seger File Falsehoods
"Don't believe me if I tell you / not a word of this is true..." Last updated April 1, 2005 Written and edited by Scott Sparling
sparling@segerfile.com
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FACE THE PROMISE
 
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Nine Years Online
The Seger File's Birthday Party
 
Unreleased Tracks
Vault V
10 more unreleased tracks
 
Vault 4
16 more unreleased tracks
 
Forward Into the Vault --
26 more unreleased tracks
 
Return to the Vault -- 18 More Unreleased Tracks
 
The Vault --31 Unreleased Tracks
 
Recorded but Unreleased --Unreleased Seger from A-Z
 
Photos
Photos 1Photos 2
 
Photos 3Photos 4
 
Hall of Fame Photos
 
Settle Annex
A collection of great Seger photos
 
Misc.
Dylan's "Denver"
 
The Albums
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
Noah
Mongrel
Brand New Morning
Smokin' O.P.'s
Back in '72
Seven
Beautiful Loser
Live Bullet
Night Moves
Stranger in Town
Against the Wind
Nine Tonight
The Distance
Like A Rock
The Fire Inside
Bob Seger's Greatest Hits
It's A Mystery
Greatest Hits 2
Face the Promise
 
Other Albums
The Promised Live Album
The Promised Studio Album
Seger on the Edge
The Bob Seger Collection --(Australian Greatest Hits)
Seger Classics
A Very Special Christmas,1987
Other Album Appearances
The Seger Tribute Album
Sing Your Own Seger
Perfect Albums?
 
Selected Singles
Check the Label
Who Picks the Singles?
Early Singles
The Lonely One
TGIF/First Girl
Ballad of the Yellow Beret
East Side Story
Persecution Smith
Sock It To Me, Santa
Vagrant Winter/Very Few
Heavy Music
2+2=?/Death Row
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
Looking Back
If I Were A Carpenter
Bombs Away
Understanding
Chances Are
My Take on Chances Are
Reaching Number One
 
Other Seger Tracks
Released on Singles, But Not on Albums
Covered by Others
Written By Seger, Recorded by Others
 
Videos
Night Moves (SNL)
Making Thunderbirds
Old Time Rock and Roll
American Storm
Like a Rock
Shakedown
Real Love
Fire Inside
Night Moves (New)
Turn the Page
It's A Mystery
Chances Are
Ten for Two
The Cobo Hall Tapes
The Palace Tapes
 
Influences/Other Bands
Soundtracks
 
TV Appearances
 
Like a Truck
Who Does the Song Belong To?
Ancient History Dept.
How Seger Sees Rock/Truck
Singer or Salesman?
Gatsby, Seger and Victory
The Mystery Man
How the Song Became An Ad
Good Song, Great Ad?
Bad Press, Bad Precedent
Through the Lean Years
Bob's View
Insults and Dead Horses
Fix Or Repair Daily
 
The Early Years
Early Days
Motor City's Burning
Places He Played
Jackson
More Dues-Paying Years
 
Career, Misc.
Lead Singer Vs. Guitar Player
The Slow Road to Success
The Requisites of Greatness
Theories: Why It Took So Long
"You Are Now Leaving Seger Territory"
Punch
Breaking Out
What Is Success?
 
Bands
Early Bands
The Decibels
The Town Criers
The Omens
Democracy Rocks
Later Bands
Bob Seger and the Last Heard
The Bob Seger System
STK
Julia/My Band/Borneo Band
Muscle Shoals band
The Silver Bullet Band
Back-up Systems
Shaun Murphy
Karen Newman
Related Bands
Detroit All-Stars
Alto Reed
 
Blue Highway (Drew Abbott)
 
Bio, Part 1
Detroit? Ann Arbor?
We Even Sang the Parts the Instruments Were Playing
A Father Leaves
Fire and the Memory of Love
All the Wild, Wild Good Times
Personality
Interests and Hobbies
Predicting the Future, Then and Now
 
Bio, Part 2
On Growing Older
Politics
The Seger Work Ethic
You Can't Miss That Driving Rain
Friends and Family
Let's Dig Up Something Really Nasty
Katmandu
I'm Gonna Tell My Tale, C'mon
Of Caves and Barbed Wire
Misc.
 
Songwriting
 
Early Tours and Shows
The Oakland Mall
Jackson
The Primo, R&R Farm, Suds Factory and Chances Are
The Agora
On the Road
Jackson County Fair
Pontiac, the Michigan Jam and Other Victories
Seger in the Arena
The 1983 Tour
 
The 1986-87 Tour
The Last Tour?
They'll Never Be in The Arena, But They Get to Write the Reviews
Savannah
Charlotte
Philadelphia
Oakland
Miami
San Francisco
Seattle
Houston
New York
Los Angeles
Vancouver (Canada)
Greensboro
 
The 1996 Tour
The Set List Discussed
The Set List Presented
The Set List Analyzed
Bringing the Family
Tour Notes
Thirsty for Seger
A Review of the Reviews
Charleston
Nashville
Palace of Auburn Hills
Washington
L.A.
 
The 2006-07 Tour Pages
 
Readin' O.P.'s
A compilation of e-mail messages. Some favorite are:
-- Hope to see you tonight
-- Motor City Rock
-- The FargoDome
-- The 7-Eleven and the Winter Olympics
-- He gave me a strange look
-- Now that we're older
 
 
Brand New Email
More great letters.
-- Seger, Sinatra, Cobain
-- My Dad, Bob and Charlie Martin
-- I work for General Motors
-- Seger and Mohammad Ali
-- The last thing I hear from Bob Seger
-- Road trip to Ann Arbor
-- I never spoke to Bob, but he always spoke to me
 
 
Brand New Email Pt. II
-- Bob at the Roseland Inn
-- Seger interview
-- Backstage with a bad pass
-- Put the car in park
-- Starry August nights
-- Cool me down
-- The bridge from Motown
-- The Seger-starved masses plead for tour news
-- The Kiss File?
 
Seger Stories and Misc. Email
--The best thing you could say
--Blue and Julia  
--Rockin' with Fidel  
--Early days of baseball and Bob
--Follow your heart  
--Waving with the lighter
 
Email '05
--About Drew Abbott
--On 2+2
--On "The Lonely One"
--About Tom Neme
--About Charlie Martin
--Shows
--The Toledo Jam
--About Pep Perrine
--About Jim Bruzzese
--Early days
--Fans
--Early songs
 
Falsehoods
Seger Inks SimTour Deal, Gets Ready to Rock
Capitol Releases "Dee-Pah!
The Seger Cam is back online
The Michigan Jam 2
The Seger versus. SpringsteenComplexo-Meter
The Medicated Top 20
 
Misc.
Reese: Money for Music
Get Back to Work
A guide to surfing The Seger File at work.
The Primo Photo
The Rolling Stone Letter
The Imaginary Interview

Why the Seger File Is Here -- Getting Over Bob Seger

 -- April 1, 2005 --

Reissues, Rare Tracks and Great Reads -- A Segerfile Round-Up.

Baby, It's Burt

This week's reissue of Rhino's Burt Bacharach tribute album provides another glimpse of Seger.

Personally, I never got the whole Burt Bacharach thing. With a few exceptions -- like Dusty Springfield's "The Look of Love," and Love's cover of "Little Red Book" -- most of Bacharach's songs struck me as pretty lame.

In fact, Love, Seger and The White Stripes contribute the only good tracks on this disk. The rest of the CD is largely drek.

B.J. Thomas's rendition of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" was bad enough the first time around. Hearing it again makes me wish something much heavier, like an anvil, would land on his noggin.

It gets worse. Tom Jones' smarmy "What's New, Pussycat" should be digitally encoded so that it can never be played again. And the only good thing about Herb Alpert, who ruins "Walk On By" here, was the whipped cream girl on the album cover.

It would be hard not to shine in this company, but Seger's track would stand out anywhere. He covers "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" and turns it into a classic.

The hit version, by Dionne Warwick, is one of the worst top-forty viruses in history. Hear it once on some easy listening station and you'll be humming its inane melody all day.

Yet Seger makes this song real. When he asks "Do you know the WAY," he hits the last word with the yowling energy of a hellhound -- think of "When you WERE a young girl" from his cover of "River Deep, Mountain High." With Warwick on vocals, this song was never more than a ditty. Seger brings genuine passion.

You get the sense that he really wants to get to San Jose, and that it's not just some city in California. With Seger at the helm, San Jose becomes a metaphor for something else -- the mountaintop, maybe, or a life well lived. You can tell by the depth of the vocals that Seger is going to keep searching until he finds it.

Seger rips the bridge to shreds, putting the Carpenters' version to shame:

L. A. is a great big freeway
Put a hundred down and buy a car
In a week -- maybe two -- they'll make you a sta-arr!

"Burt's Back" was originally released in 1977, when Seger was still rockin' his way up, so he's in top voice here.

Early Seger: Searching for San Jose, and not afraid to ask for directions.

The Rhino re-issue comes with a commemorative booklet with some nice snapshots of Arthur Lee, Bob and the other artists. No whipping cream girl, sadly. But The White Stripes version of "Baby, It's You" really cooks.

__________

True Sailing Is Dead

Next up, and due for release in May '05 is "Love U 2 Times," a tribute to The Doors. As you know, Seger rarely contributes to these compilation albums, so getting two in two months is a real treat.

In this case, the track list is mostly filled with younger bands and artists -- Maroon 5, Fountains of Wayne, Aimee Mann, Nara Leao, Lucero -- but Seger is joined by a few stellar veterans including Tom Waits, Randy Newman and a previously unreleased track by Janis Joplin.

Through a radio station friend, I was able to hear a few preview cuts -- unfortunately, Seger's track is not among the previews. But Joplin's cut is fantastic.

She belts out "Hello, I Love You" with incredible energy. You can tell she's just fooling around while the tape happens to be running, but somehow that makes it even more powerful.

Similarly, Tom Waits takes the already devilish "The End" into a whole new level of hell. In contrast, Randy Newman's ironic wit is mainly wasted on "When the Music's Over."

Seger's contribution, "Horse Latitudes," is bound to be one of the most unusual. Who can forget Morrison wailing "Awkward instant, and the first animal is jettisoned!" Lots of drama here, but not much melody -- it's mainly a talking/shouting kind of thing. The press release says Seger was given this cut because of his howling on "Cat."

__________

Live DVD -- Missing, Presumed Dead

These peeks and glimpses of Seger are the good news. The bad news is that we won't be getting the real look we've been waiting for -- by which I mean Seger's concert DVD -- for quite a while, if at all.

"Hey, Detroit!" -- the long-awaited concert DVD with Seger footage from Cobo, Germany, Madison Square Garden as well as Ann Arbor and some black and white Hideout clips -- has been taken off the release list, according to Punch's office.

The problem, once again, is technical difficulties. "All the footage was digitally remastered and almost ready to go," according to Punch, when a technical problem in the editing suite destroyed the only remaining uncompressed files.

The source videotapes were in sad shape to begin with, explains Mike Boila from Punch's office. Once they were digitized, the source tapes were ditched. "In retrospect, I wish we'd hung on to them," Boila said. "Also, we probably should have backed up the disk. But you never expect something like this."

The glitch occurred when Kid Rock paid a surprise visit to the normally quiet editing suite. Kid sauntered in, belting out a verse of "Cadillac Stiffy," his autobiographical song about the loneliness of being on the road. The shock caused Boila to knock a bottle of salad dressing onto the Avid editing deck.

"I was trying to eat healthy," Boila said. "I wish now it had been a cheeseburger. Spilling a burger wouldn't have shorted everything out and fried the memory like that." Indeed, salad oil and computers don't mix. "There was smoke coming out of the hard drive," Boila said. Though it was an accident, Rock reportedly feels terrible about it.

With all the source tapes and the only digital copy gone, the chances for a concert DVD anytime soon are slim.

Hope is not entirely lost, however. "There's one film canister left," said Boila, "with two hours of 16 millimeter footage that is really killer stuff. Seger really rocks."

Somewhere along the line, however, the canister got dropped. "It was sitting in a mud puddle in back of the office for about ten years," Boila said. "After that, a family of raccoons had it. We discovered it when some local kids started using it as a frisbee. We had to buy it back from them, which took several years to negotiate."

Now Punch has regained the rights to the film. Unfortunately, at some point during negotiations the canister was put into a box marked "Master Tapes. Valuable. Do Not Discard." That was the last it was ever seen.

"We're still looking for it," Boila said. "It's got to be around here somewhere."

__________

Seger Makes Good On "Promise," Delivers "On Your Own"

As we all know by know, when 2003's Greatest Hits 2 was released, Seger took two tracks that were meant for his new CD and moved them to GH2. He said at the time that he'd have to write new songs to replace them.

One of the replacements, we now know, is a soul-flavored track with a Memphis feel called "On Your Own."

You can hear Seger having fun on this cut -- at least, you can hear it once you listen to the unauthorized sample we've obtained.

How a thing like this could slip through the tight Seger Security is beyond me. I'm certain it did not come from the good folks who work at Ocean Way Nashville. By the way, did you know that the studio is actually owned by Belmont University, and that all the employees are actually university employees? True.

Anyway, as a special treat, here's this year's Low Bandwidth Special -- a tiny taste of Seger doing "On Your Own." Enjoy.

__________

Throw the Book At Them

Of course, before you can throw it, you'll have to buy it.

Some who follow the Seger File have noticed that I've been disappearing now and then. A couple of times the site has gone untended for four or five months. Email doesn't get answered, or gets answered late with apologies and vague mentions of "other projects."

Funny how that happens. It's also funny How the Night Moves -- which not coincidentally is the title of what I hope will be considered one of the best rock and roll books in recent memory: Seger's long-awaited and just-released autobiography.

Purchase from Amazon

Was there a ghostwriter involved, you ask? Well, gee -- maybe. All I can say is, it's a very well written book. If you like the Seger File, I'm sure you'll like How the Night Moves. By Bob Seger.

__________

All The News That Isn't

That's the Seger round-up for today, April 1, 2005. FYI, there are still a few unclaimed copies of Dee-PAH here on my desk. If you don't have yours yet, stop by the Seger File Headquarters (or your local branch office) and pick one up. You'll be glad you did.

Posted on the first day of April. As in April 1, 2005. Yep, that's good old April 1.


Seger Inks SimTour Deal, Gets Ready to Rock

Doncha Ever Feel Like Going Insane When the Fiber Optic Beat Goes Down…

For months or years, the ultimate Seger question has been: "Are You Going to Tour Again?"

Now, we finally have an answer -- and as the saying goes, there's good news and bad news.

The good news is, Seger will soon be playing in a major American city near you. The bad news is, Seger has decided not to tour.

Which is true? Both -- thanks to the deal finally reached between Seger and SimTour, the Clear Channel/Whole Earth Company spinoff specializing in live simulcasts.

While in New York for the Hall of Fame ceremony, Seger and Punch worked out the final details in their year-long negotiations with the high-tech concert promoters.

MusicTech reporter Percy Smith quotes Punch as saying, "We've resisted this for a long time, because we wanted to be sure the quality was there. The fans expect a Seger show and we wanted to make sure they'd get one." Percy Q. Smith, April 1, 2004. MusicTech. "Seger Joins Neil Young, Stones on High Tech Path."

SimTour -- whose themeline is "How Long Is Your Cord?" -- essentially allows performers to play at remote locations and be heard live in arenas full of screaming fans. The music quality is the same as if the performer were actually on stage.

Seger is quoted in the article as saying that SimTour is the only option that works for him now. "I'm 58. Doing a 50-city tour -- that's grueling when you're 30. I'm at a point where I don't want to do it physically. I don't want to take the time away from my family. At the same time, I don't want to disappoint my fans."

The Seger File has always claimed to be a website about the music, not the man. So in that sense, a SimTour seems fine with me. We get the music, Seger gets to spend time with his kids. Win-win.

Punch said this would be an "honest" SimTour -- meaning fans would know in advance that Bob was actually not in the building. Previous SimTours by other artists have been done on the sly. Neil Young was the first to openly acknowledge using the technology. Young's "Greendale" show is currently being SimToured around the country.

"It's great for something like Greendale, because it's so theatrical," Young told Entertainment Now recently. "It gives the audience something to watch, while I sit at home and play the music."

"The veteran rocker has performed every single show on his current tour from his home studio in Half Moon Bay. 'When it's showtime, I go down in the basement and do my thing for two or three hours. And the fans go nuts in Boston, or Houston, or wherever the concert happens to be,' Young says. 'I've got a realtime fiber optic feed, so I can see the crowd. I can hear what they're shouting and I can shout back. I can see the signs they hold up. I've got thirteen views I can choose from. I can do everything but smell them."

"Young's Crazy Horse band is also 'touring from home' -- drummer Ralph Molina has performed most shows from Singapore and the rest of the band is scattered in studios across the country. But they hear each other in real time, just as the crowd in the arena does.

"Bridgette Barlee, a 55-year old Neil Young fan sporting a well-worn Cinnamon Girl t-shirt, agrees. 'Face it,' she says. 'We're in a huge arena with a million other fans. Unless you're in the front row, you can't see who the hell's on stage. I'm here to party.'" Susan Whatall, Debt News, April 1, 2004. "Young stays home, and some fans should too."

A similar article echoes that sentiment. "'Sure, there's a guy on stage with a hat pulled down over his eyes playing guitar and pretending to sing,'" Young says. 'The audience knows it's not me, but it gives people something to look at. I thought of just having an elephant on stage, but that turned out to be too expensive. What happens on stage is just an act, anyway, so who cares? It's the music that matters.'" Gary Gruff, Missing Byline, April 1, 2004. "What's Next? WebCam Groupies? Actually, Yes."

Before Young came out of the closet, most acts who SimToured pretended to be there in person.

"'Paul McCartney hasn't left England in ten years,' one industry insider was quoted as saying. 'And Rod Stewart is currently 'on tour,' but if you saw him these days, you'd probably cross the street. The last time I talked to Rod he was 300 pounds and needed help standing up.'

"'These acts hire a look-alike to mime the words while he sits in a studio somewhere. In Stewart's case it's not even a look-alike -- it's a guy who looks the way Rod used to look. The audience has no clue. They go wild anyway. It's dishonest.'" Rick Jackets, Northern Expresso, April 1, 2004. "SimTour Raises Ethical Issues, But Most Fans Are Too Drunk Too Care."

The way I see it, the question for Seger fans is this: Does it matter how long Seger's cord is? In the old days a microphone cord was maybe twenty feet long. Seger sang into a mic, electrons moved through a cord, the sound reached our ears. We loved it.

These days, the cord is 3,000 miles longer and made of fiber optics. But the process is the same. Seger, microphone, cord, audience. The only thing missing is the visual. Hey, I usually close my eyes at concerts, so I can swim into the sound.

And the Seger shows will be even more "live" then most SimTours, according to sax player Alto Reed.

"'A lot of acts build in a three-second delay and run the whole show through ProTools 9,' Reed says. 'A week before the concert, they take all your songs and put them in memory. So the computer knows exactly how your songs are supposed to sound. Once the show starts, if somebody's off-key, or you hit a bad note, ProTools automatically corrects it. It guarantees every song comes out exactly the way it's supposed to. You can even program in little flaws so it doesn't sound too perfect.'"

Stewart's current tour is widely rumored to be heavily ProTooled. "Those high notes in Maggie May? Digitally enhanced. That's ProTools all the way," says one audio technician familiar with the process. Indeed, Stewart was recently embarrassed when the orginal sound file of his vocals -- minus digital enhancements -- surfaced on Internet websites under the title "Every Picture Tells a Hoary, Disgusting Story, Don't It?"

According to Alto Reed, Seger's show will not be ProTooled.

"'The band didn't want to do any of that, and Bob doesn't want to either. We want it to be real,' Reed said. 'Besides,' he laughed, 'we don't hit bad notes.'" David McCallum, ManFromUncle.com, April 1, 2004. "Silver Bullets Not Worried About Spectre of Technology."

In addition to being honest, Seger's high-tech tour will also be historic. For the first time ever, all the concerts on the SimTour will be held on the same night. The company will use software written just for Seger, called SimulChop, to pipe the live show into 50 arenas simultaneously.

"'After the Hall of Fame,' Seger said, 'I realized I didn't want to go through this 50 times. So Punch said, 'Let's do it all on the same night. One concert, fifty venues. It just makes sense.'

'I'm told the average venue holds something like 30,000,' Seger said. 'So when you think about it, that's a million and half people. That's like three Woodstocks all in one night. It's the largest concert ever held'" Stop Sparling, The SegerFile, April 1, 2004. "Bogus News Stories Have Fooled Too Many in the Past, So This Time I'm Making It More Obvious."

According to Punch, "After we decided to SimulChop everything the same night, the only question was where Bob would actually be playing."

"'I didn't want to sit home and play, because you don't get the right feeling,' Seger said. 'Finally I said, okay, I'll do one live show on stage in front of a real crowd. And you guys SimulChop that show to all the other cities."

And what's the lucky venue? Pine Knob? The Palace? Nope, for the one real show, Seger chose the FargoDome in North Dakota. "People in Fargo really know how to rock," Seger said. "I've known about that for way more than ten years."

The best news is that the concert will be soon -- as soon as the new CD is finished.

"I'm working on the last word of the last line of the last song," Seger said. "It should be done in a couple of months. A year at the most. Two years tops. Or not." Bob Seger. Web Site Parody, April 1, 2004. "When I Said Thanks to All The Internet People, I Meant The Other Two Sites."

April 1, 2004 


Capitol Reaches "Dee-Pah" Into Vaults for Ancient Live CD

For a while now, industry outsiders such as myself have wondered how long Capitol Records would wait for a new CD from Bob Seger. Apparently, the new faces in Capitol's hip boardrooms have decided eight years is enough, as they announced the release next month of "DEE-PAH" -- a live album of vintage Seger that Capitol originally rejected in the early 1970s. The CD, which includes a commemorative booklet and poster, can now be reserved at Amazon.com.

The good news is that the wait is finally over. DEE-PAH will be a treat for fans who hunger for Seger's rougher, rawer earlier days (myself included). The DEE-PAH concerts were recorded in 1971 and feature the last live performance of the Bob Seger System, as well as tracks by Seger with Teegarden and Vanwinkle.

The bad news, I suppose, is that the CD may signal a rift with Capitol, since Seger has long opposed releasing the material.

Some quick background for those who came in late: Seger signed onto Capitol in 1968 and issued four albums. But the Capitol crowd in the late 1960s consisted of old guys more interested in The Lettermen than rock and roll. The label's lack of interest turned Seger's early albums into instant cut-out bin fodder. After Mongrel died, Seger was ready to bolt, but he owed them one more album, so Bob and Punch conceived the idea of DEE-PAH -- a live album recorded at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor and at the Chillicothe Rock Festival in Ohio.

The music was never recorded with the intent of being released. The Hill Auditorium show was actually taped at the request of System drummer Pep Perrine, who wanted a personal souvenir of the last System show. The promoter of the Chillicothe festival -- mindful of the highly successful Woodstock album -- decided to record the Ohio festival (without the band's permission, it turned out) hoping to cash in with a soundtrack of his own.

Rejected, then resurrected: Seger's live album from the 1970s. To reserve a copy at Amazon.com, click the cover.

Punch had to sue to get the tapes, but eventually DEE-PAH was put together and delivered as Seger's fourth album, fulfilling his contract. Capitol took one listen and said "No way." Ultimately, Brand New Morning was issued instead.

Soon afterward, Seger left Capitol and recorded three albums on his own label, which was picked up by Warners. By then, a group of young turks had taken control at Capitol and they quickly invited Seger back. Then we all lived happily ever after, until recently, when a new group of young turks began pawing through the vaults.

The irony is delicious. Thirty years ago, Seger wanted to release DEE-PAH and Capitol didn't. Late last year, the players reversed themselves. With the wait for Seger's upcoming CD stretching into its eighth year, it was Capitol arguing to release the material, and Seger who was balking.

The tapes, however, legally belong to Capitol. Clearly, someone at the label has decided that it's better to make a few bucks and risk Seger's wrath, than to keep waiting for new material.

(This isn't the first time Capitol has rejected and then released a Seger album -- see the item below on how the label originally rejected both Live Bullet and Night Moves.)


All of that, of course, is insider baseball. The real question for fans is, Does DEE-PAH deliver? To which I emphatically respond: Indeed it do.

It's a short CD at just 33 minutes -- but every one of them is springloaded with vintage Seger. The title, as you've certainly guessed, comes from the stellar howl at the end of "Heavy Music" -- the final track from the Hill Auditorium concert. The Ann Arbor crowd goes wild and Seger prods them on with the famous refrain: "Deeper! Going dee-pah! Faster, look around." This is the "Heavy Music" of the System, not the retooled "Heavy Music" that the Silver Bullet Band later played at Cobo. Both are classics, but the original retains the raw, erotic, garage-rock sound of the single.

The CD is worth it for that track alone. But the rest of the set (or what we hear of it) also delivers. Knowing it's their final show, the System plays a high-gear, no-holds-barred set that includes "Song to Rufus," "Ivory," "Innervenus Eyes" and "2+2=?" This last song rings out with urgent authority, given that this was the height of the Vietnam antiwar movement.Who would have thought, back then, that the same song would be just as urgent and meaningful today?


The Hill Auditorium cuts were probably meant to be Side One of the orginal LP. The tracks are tight, fast, hard-hitting and sonically very clear. All in all, some great cuts from a great show.

Of course, I'm biased. I was there -- June 10, 1971, getting high on Seger and holding hands with my high school girlfriend. Can life get any better?

The Ann Arbor show ended one chapter for Seger. By the time of the Chillicothe Festival, three months later, he was already touring with Teegarden and Vanwinkle. That show was equally amazing. The one-day outdoor festival was essentially a hot August Saturday of scorching sun, beer, grass and midwest rock and roll. Seger came on early in the evening and played his solo Brand New Morning set -- just him, a stool and a guitar.

Onstage in Ann Arbor and Ohio: The CD comes with a commemorative poster. (Click to enlarge.)

The great Michigan band, SRC -- soon to become Blue Sceptor -- came on last and played a dynamite set climaxing with "Gypsy Eyes." By now it was fully dark and the Quackenbush twins had the crowd on its feet. That seemed to be the end, until suddenly Seger was back. I don't know if it was planned, but the festival became a Battle of the Bands at that point. SRC had the crowd on the ropes and then Seger came back and delivered the knockout punch. I know, because I was there, too. (Don't hate me because I'm lucky. Hate me because I was young and had nothing better to do than hitchhike around the midwest and go to rock concerts.)

Sadly, the Chillicothe half of DEE-PAH is a bit truncated. "River Deep, Mountain High," which drove the crowd nuts, is not included -- probably because a similar version was already on Mongrel. On the other hand, a ragged version of "Lookin' Back" was included and probably should have been skipped.

Hot night in Chillicothe: Seger rocks the crowd.

But there are a couple of gems. One is "Driving Wheel" the Tom Rush ballad that Seger frequently covered. The second is "Leaning On My Dream" -- another antiwar song from the System, adapted here with an organ solo by Skip Knape and a beautifully crisp vocal by Seger.

Unfortunately, the night's highlight -- a ten-minute version of "Lucifer" that closed the festival -- was omitted in favor of "God Love & Rock 'n' Roll." That track, a Skip Knape song, is essentially the same version most collectors have heard from "Ten for Two," the John Sinclair concert. Given the limits of LPs, it probably wasn't feasible to include the extra-long "Lucifer." But what a bonus track that would make for a future CD.

The other cool thing about DEE-PAH is the booklet. This is the first time Capitol has taken a stab at anything like a boxed-set booklet, and the results are outstanding. I won't give away all of the surprises, but two of the most interesting images are the orginal front and back of Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, before the conservative folks at Capitol decided Botticelli's Venus was too racy for America's youth and changed the naked lady into a blue-robed ice queen. No wonder Seger left the label!

The original artwork for Ramblin' Gamblin' Man. Preview copies of the "Venus" cover sell for over $100 on eBay.

For Seger collectors who have hoarded bootleg copies of DEE-PAH (although rare, it's been in circulation off and on over the years), the booklet provides a reason to plunk down your $17.95 for an official copy.

I particularly love the background stories. According to the booklet, the unofficial censor at Capitol at the time was a man named Richard Fineman. He was notorious for screwing up album art and was known by the derogatory nickname "Dr. Fine." The little note from Seger on the back of RGM ("Thank you, Dr. Fine") is meant to be sarcastic -- as in, Thank you for screwing up the cover of my album. One can only guess how many tens of thousands of sales were lost thanks to Capitol's squeamish art department.

One can also only guess what the release of DEE-PAH means for Seger and Capitol. Have they given up waiting for a new CD? Does DEE-PAH fulfill its destiny by fulfilling Seger's Capitol contract? Does it herald a label switch, a rift, another two or three years of waiting, or nothing at all?

As in all things Seger, the zen wisdom applies. Those who say don't know. And those who know don't say.

In the meantime, we can all enjoy going dee-pah.

April 1, 2003. All information about DEE-PAH in this post is false.


Seger, Kid R. and Lady Soul Rock Out at MJ2.

 
It wasn't any "wipes-clean-with-a-damp-cloth" pre-packaged modern concert, that's for darn sure. Not even close. It was Michigan rock and roll: The real thing, as the saying goes -- complete with surprise appearances and a grand finale that will go down in Seger history.

"It," in case you haven't guessed, was Michigan Jam 2, the long-delayed benefit festival that was finally held last week in Saline, Michigan. Fittingly, the stage was only a mile from the stomping grounds where a teenage Seger and his pals held their "grassers" -- impromptu all-night parties in the fields of unsuspecting farmers. "This time we don't have to worry about getting caught," Seger told his fans -- a crowd of 15,000 who braved spring rains to hear Seger play his first concert since 1996. Fifteen thousand and one, counting me. But Oregonians like myself are used to the rain.

More disturbing than any downpour is the fact that I very nearly didn't attend. According to the advance MJ2 publicity, Seger was supposed to play only three songs. Is it really worth plane fare back to Michigan for three lousy songs? To heck with that. By my count, Seger rocked through 13 numbers, six of them brand new, not counting the amazing encore.

Seger takes the stage at a rainy MJ2 in Saline, Michigan.

It was a night that brought back memories. The first Michigan Jam, you might recall, was held in 1976 in Martin, Michigan. The first time around, Seger shared the bill with Heart. The highlight of that night came during "Let It Rock," when a spotlight swung high above the stage to showcase Alto Reed pulverizing the crowd with his sax solo -- from a hot air balloon!

Nothing like that was needed this time around -- the crowd was going wild from the moment Seger took the stage. "Been a long time," were his first words to the crowd. Naturally, I sensed he was talking specifically to me -- but so did 15,000 others. That's part of the Seger magic.

Musically, the song selection was something of an homage to the hometown crowd. "Brave Strangers" was a natural, but "Big River" caught me by surprise. It sounds better than ever today. "2+2=?" was introduced as "a song for the '60s and a song for today." A rocker called "Mangled" seemed to be about misplaced blame, or perhaps unrequited love. "Love is dangled, the truth is mangled, on chaotic sandy shores," Seger sang.

Toward the middle of the set, something was clearly distracting him offstage. In my customary role as crazed loner, I was able to squirrel close to the front row, and I could hear him say repeatedly, "Not yet." They moved into a haunting new ballad called "Michigan City," followed by a song that brought down the house and could have easily closed the whole set -- "Lookin' Back." More new stuff followed, including a hard-edged "Revisionism Street"-style song called "I Got You In My Site" condemning...well, condemning people who run web sites and print cheesy, untrue stuff about celebrities. Present company excepted, I'm certain.

Finally Seger said, "Okay -- now!" and Kid Rock bounded on stage. Party time? Not quite. Their first song together was an almost-tender "Brand New Morning." After a moment of silence in memory of Dave Thomas, they gave "Turn the Page" a funky edge like you've never heard before.

It's a brand new version of "Brand New Morning." Seger and Kid Rock get down.

The entire event was a benefit for Michigan Cherries and Ferries. The fetching young staffers in their Cherries and Ferries t-shirts were a wonderful sight, but it turns out the organization is dedicated to supporting cherry farmers -- a group worthy of support, but a far less attractive breed, generally speaking. The main idea is to raise funds for the huge cross-lake railroad ferries which used to sail from Northern Michigan to Wisconsin. Reinstating the ferries will help Northern Michigan cherry growers get their product to market -- a worthy goal in Michigan's depressed economy.

Okay, the encore. Seger does his set. Kid Rock does his set. The stage goes dark. Four performers stand in the shadows. A familiar bit of piano silences the crowd. On cue, a baby spot illuminates Kid Rock, who changes his line into the first-person: "I want to dream like a young man," he sings.

The crowd goes nuts, of course. We're all figuring it might be Seger doing "With the wisdom," but it's not. It's -- Del Shannon? No, not possible. Mitch Ryder? Not quite.

Then it hit me like a sucker punch from the floor: Lord Almighty, it was Iggy Pop! Baby spotlight number three: "She wants her home and her family." Whoever that is, she's holding a little kid. I don't have time to figure it out before spotlight number four flicks on. It's gotta be Seger right? For the climactic line. I mean, of course.

Not a chance. You have never, never, never heard Aretha Franklin belt out a phrase like the "sailor at sea" line. The crowd was just plain skulled, ready to vaporize into pure energy. It's "We Are the World" all over again, only this time it's an all-Michigan cast. And then all four of them -- christ, that's Madonna in the three-spot -- are doing the chorus, and it's amazing, it's practically life changing, but where the heck is Bob?

It's not until the bridge that we get the answer. Behind the stage there is scaffolding. Someone has put a piano way up high -- I mean way, way up high. The spotlight swings up. Can you hear that piano break? It's followed by the voice we've all been waiting for. "Beautiful loser, never take it all..." Right there, my life's complete.

 
There was one more trick, of course. While we're all looking up at Seger, the stage fills. By the time I look down again, everyone is there. Nugent. Alice Cooper. Drew Abbot and Charlie Martin. Some guys from Sponge. Scott Richardson Case. The aforementioned Mitch Ryder. The Quackenbush twins. Even some rapper named Essenesse from the unlikely hometown of Jackson, Michigan.
 
And that was the night. If you were one of the lucky 15,001 to hear it, I know you'll never forget it. If you weren't, you'll have to wait for the DVD. The concert was taped as part of the benefit. For purchase information, check out Michigan Cherries and Ferries.
 

Afterwards, I was supposed to get five minutes with Seger. "Time for one picture," a Punch Enterprises handler-type told me. I didn't want a picture. I figured to ask a couple questions instead.
 
As it turned out, the time I had was spent standing around like a doofus while a reporter half my age from the Northern Michigan Expresso asked about 15 questions. Not being the assertive type, my turn sort of evaporated. I think Seger thought I was some kind of cherry farmer.
 
Now normally, I prefer to steal other people's hard-won Seger quotes after they've been printed. This policy isn't born out of any sense of ethics; it's just easier that way. But, since the so-called "reporter" from the Expresso stole my minuscule facetime with Seger -- boring us all with his nonstop questions and assorted blab -- I figure I can steal the answers he got. So here it is, another Seger File first:
 
"It was one of those 3 a.m. moments," Seger told the Expresso, explaining his decision not to finish his new CD. "Someone told me I've sold 10 million CDs, and I was staring at the ceiling trying to picture 10 million jewel cases. That's a lot to be responsible for. You know -- I was imagining all the plastic and vinyl trailing out behind my life, the way a jet plane leaves a vapor trail."
 
The Expresso guy wasn't even writing this stuff down. No tape recorder, nothing. "I actually got out of bed and calculated how many times "Old Time Rock 'n Roll" has been played in the past 25 years," Seger said. "Broadcast, jukeboxes, personal stereos. You figure it's 3:12 long, and it's been played a million times a year for 25 years. The energy that takes equates to a something like one and half nuclear plants. When you think of it that way, there could be an "Old Time Rock 'n Roll Nuclear Plant Complex" somewhere just for that one song. You have to ask, is it really worth it?"
 
That, according to Seger, is when he decided to erase the tapes and perform his new songs live on streaming audio over the web instead. "If I release a CD and it sells a million copies, that's a million fans making a million trips to the store using internal combustion engines. I don't want that on my record. So I talked Punch into going Internet-only this time."
 
Seger will perform the material a total of ten times. The web addresses where you can hear the performances are written down on a little slip of paper that Seger handed the Expresso guy; otherwise I would have copied them down also. Two minutes later, I saw the Expresso guy writing the phone numbers of a couple of Michigan Cherry girls on the same slip of paper.
 
That was the moment Bob finally noticed me. "You the Seger File guy?" he asked. Searching for the right reply to spark a meaningful, significant dialogue, I came up with, "Yes." He seemed on the verge of saying more when Aretha burst into the room. End of interview.
 
All in all, it was a helluva day. For a listing of where and when you can hear Seger's anti-album on the web, check out the Northern Michigan Expresso site. And tell 'em the Seger File sent you.
 
April 1, 2002.

Seger-Cam Is Back Online
 
As members know, the Seger-Cam has been down for maintenance most of the past week. The timing was unfortunate, since we missed some of the current recording session in Nashville. All I can say is that the cam service is provided to the Seger File by Celebrity Cams, Inc. and their maintenance schedule is determined months in advance -- we basically had no say in the matter. To those of you who have asked, no, we are not offering refunds. As of April 1, the cam is back online.
 
Meanwhile, our thanks to Stewartfile.com for allowing us to patch into the Stewart-Cam during the interim. I know many of you were hoping to catch a glimpse of Britt Eckland -- in the shower with Rooster Rod, maybe -- but no go; it turns out they broke up eons ago. And it was just our "bum" luck, as they say, that we caught Stewart during his annual sigmoidoscopy. Well, when you get to be that age, it's an important health precaution, and thank goodness they didn't find any polyps. The clarity, I have to admit, was stunning. Non-members who are brave enough can check out a sample here.
In other news, we are proud to announce that the Seger File was one of two Seger sites on the Internet honored today at a luncheon hosted by Capitol Records Group President and CEO Roy Lott. The other site, of course, was the ever-excellent Segerbob.com.
 
"These two sites have done more to keep fans informed than all the mainstream media combined," Lott said. "They deserve our recognition and thanks."
 
In one of a long string of toasts, Lott added "With sites like the Seger File around, who needs Rolling Stone? As far as I'm concerned, Jann Wenner can take a long walk off a short dock."
The only problem with the fan sites, he said, just before losing his balance, is "they make our official site look like an anemic afterthought. But we're saving money and that's what matters. So here's to you guys. Especially Segerbob.com, which doesn't post all that sarcastic b.s. like the Seger File does."
 
Afterwards, Punch Andrews gave the two webmasters lifetime All-Access Passes for any and all future tours.
After the luncheon, I learned some bad news: Capitol has once again delayed "Bombs Away," a collection of Bob Seger classics and rarities. The box set, originally scheduled for release in 1979, has been delayed until at least 2009, sources say, so they can redo the artwork, remix every track and come up with a new title. Under consideration are "Can't Hit The Broad Side of A Barn," and "Septuagenarian in Town."
Finally, you may be pleased to learn that the long negotiations with Sealy Posturepedic over the use of the song "Night Moves" have fallen through. The Detroit News reports that a test TV commercial was actually filmed before the plug was pulled. Focus group results were overwhelmingly positive, according to Sealy.
 
Interestingly, or so I assert, the ad agency responsible for the spot is the same one that produced the new Britney Spears/Pepsi ad -- the one that ends with Bob Dole and his barking dog. The Sealy spot used a similar surprise ending, I'm told. The scene starts with an amorous couple steaming up the screen on their Posturepedic, as the soundtrack tells us they're "working on mysteries without any clues." At the end of the 30-second spot, the camera moves in on the couple and we see it's ex-Prez Bill Clinton with a woman who is clearly not Hillary. He sits up, lights a cigar, and says "Sealy Posturepedic -- When you just don't seem to have as much to lose!"
 
The spot was good to go, but reportedly Seger objected to the cigar smoking and Clinton wouldn't do it without the stogie. So instead, "Night Moves" will be used in an upcoming spot for a nonprofit group promoting education, safe-sex and public health. As I understand it, the group results from a merger of STARS (Students Today Aren't Ready for Sex), SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) and TRUTH (Tobacco Really Undermines Teen Health.)
 
The combined group, STAR/SMART/TRUTH, promotes public health by teaching kids to read sex manuals and, more importantly, by convincing them not to light up afterwards. The name is an acronym for Start Taking A Role So More Adolescents Reach Third-base Tonight Regardless Uf This Hoax. The spot airs in selected markets today only. If you're like me, you've probably already missed it.
 
April 1, 2001
And now, back to reality...
 

The First Annual Seger Internet Poll
 
Hearty thanks to everyone who participated in the "What song should Seger play first?" poll. This poll marks the first time Seger has harnessed the power of the internet, letting the fans decide which song he should play to open his show... (if and when he decides to tour again.) It also marks a new low in completely baseless and non-factual information printed on this page.
 
Anyway, I'm happy to say the Seger File received 47,039 entries, all of which were disqualified for being imaginary. And one real entry -- mine.
 
So the votes are in. Seger will open his new shows by blasting out the piercing guitar of "Persecution Smith."
 
"It shall be so," Seger said in an imaginary interview. "I have no free will. I just do whatever that obsessive SegerFile guy says to do. Here, take this boxed set."
 
So...see you at the shows. If there are shows.
 
April 1, 2000
 

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