The Seger File
An unofficial web site about the music of Bob Seger
Last updated April 1, 2013
Written and edited by Scott Sparling
 
 
Follow the Seger File on Facebook & Twitter.

Thanks to everyone who came out for the Wire to Wire book tour. I'll see you next time around!
 
Trains, Michigan music & Wire to Wire.

SEGERFILE CONTENTS
Latest News and Updates  
2011-12 Updates  
2010 Updates
2009 Updates
2008 Updates
2007 Updates (Jan -July)
2006 Updates (Jan-Sept)
2006 Updates (Oct-Dec.)
2005 Updates
2004 Updates
2003 Updates (July-Dec)
2003 Updates (Jan-June)
2002 Updates
2001 Updates
1998-2000 Updates
 
Click for complete contents
 
  

 
"Well crafted and thrilling..."
- Publishers Weekly
Electric...it crackles."
- Cleveland Plain Dealer
"All edge from start to finish.
- Willy Vlautin
"An electrifying debut..."
- Donald Ray Pollock
"Darkly funny."
- The Oregonian
"Badass page turner..."
- Penthouse
"Stunning emotional depth..."
- Playboy
 .
WIRE TO WIRE by Scott Sparling of the Segerfile.
A playlist from the book.
Buy WIRE TO WIRE.

The Full Contents

Search the Seger File
The 2011 Tour Page
 
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
 
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"
 
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.
The Seger File's Birthday Party
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
 
 

Buy the book
 
Buy the CD
 
Motor City Horns
 
Shaun Murphy
 
Reed & Dickinson
 
Laura Creamer
 
(The Seger File receives no income from sales. Links are posted as a convenience only, and because I like the CDs and book.)

Seger's Unsung Lyrical Genius

I guess it's not quite true that Seger's ability as a lyricist is unsung. After all, he's been singing his lyrics since the 1960s. But on the other hand, I don't think he gets anywhere near the credit he deserves for his songwriting skills.

It's like when you look at the sky on a sunny day. The stars are there in all their glory, of course, but sun is so bright, you can't see them. Similarly, the power of Seger's live performance and the amazing instrument that is Seger's voice tend to get all the attention. But if you look past that, you'll see one of the best songwriters of his generation.

A little while ago, The Portland Mercury gave me the opportunity to share my views on this subject. The resulting essay, The Joyous, Lonely Soul of Bob Seger, went on to get more than 500 shares on Facebook.

In fact, The Portland Mercury ended up doing an entire Seger issue (never say Portland doesn't know how to welcome Bob Seger). I'm extremely grateful to the Mercury and especially to music editor Ned Lannamann for the opportunity. And to all Seger fans online who helped make the piece a success, many thanks!

Read the Merc's Seger issue here.


-- The Seger File's April 1 Post Begins here --

Guest Review -- Portland Show

To my eyes and ears, Saturday night's show at the Rose Garden in Portland was one of Seger's best. And I wasn't the only one who thought so. Heading home after the show, I ran into a gesticulating figure at the light rail station who seemed to be in the throes of a practically rabid delight.

At first I kept my distance, not certain how crazed this loner might be. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be non other than uber critic Greil Marcus, America's most cerebral rock reviewer. After I helped him wipe the foam off his mouth, Mr. Marcus agreed to write a guest review for the Segerfile! I couldn't be more honored.

So here it is -- Greil Marcus' review of Saturday's show:

Seger and the Garden of Glory
by Greil Marcus

Seger excelled early and often at Portland's Rose Garden Saturday night, delivering a roundhouse punch of vocal and moral clarity, a whirling and rope-a-dope thrill-ride from the merely mortal to the eternal. The Seger chops were particularly evident in his demonstrable love for rhythm and blues, showcased in his indestructible version of "Come to Poppa." Going up against the old meaning of the tune, or simply determined to beat out James Brown, Seger delivered with an honest refusal of doubt and fatalism, making the world real by degrees and displaying an inner veracity in which we were all invited to partake.

During "Old Time Rock and Roll," the Silver Bullet Band negotiated a masterful transition from the mundane to the contemplation of incorporeal elements, with black plum and juicy black-currant flavors abstracting the soul from the sensibles. There was a strong sense of minerality in "All of the Roads," as well, giving Seger's performance a signature richness with a beautiful nose of black cherries and red plums plus a smooth velvety texture, perfect for barbecue.

Moving into "Traveling Man/Beautiful Loser," Chris Campbell and Jim Moose Brown quickly established a correspondence between the vertices of two congruent songs, taking the form of m > a) = mx < D) with layers of pear and citrus and a train leaving Baltimore at 10 a.m. traveling 52 miles per hour. The soaring engine of the song was evermore enhanced by Don Brewer's hi-hat eighth notes and swaggering paradiddles that expanded the vocabulary of competent rock drumming.

"Nutbush," "Turn the Page," and "Hollywood Nights" added similar delights, the former featuring John Rutherford and a sizzling complement of hot horns, in accordance with the ancient prophecies. On "Roll Me Away," Seger called a double reverse, sending Craig Frost off left tackle as Shaun Murphy led a diamond toward dummy's Queen and East's Jack, delivering us down a westbound road with dulcet tones and a tambourine. When trump came around, Rob McNelley led brilliantly. After Laura Creamer and Barb Payton stuck the landing, it was all up to Mr. Seger to decide.

And decide he did. At its apex, the show challenged and then solved the problematic interval for octave inversion, turning the perfect 5th into a perfect 4th with an invertible counterpoint reliant on thirds and sixths, emphasizing a stepwise descent on the downbeat of each measure. To which the crowd screamed, "Huzzah!"

Clearly, aging has smoothed Mr. Seger's palate, which makes it feel dense and fully mature in matters both Exoteric and Esoteric, inviting listeners on the mystery train to Motown, while the indomitable saxophone of Alto Reed intuits truths inherent in the funky R&B in a manner unsurpassed.

The result was music of staggering power, stoked by the Silver Bullet Band, the Motor City Horns and the pure delight of the shared Midwestern soul. With his head full of brains and his shoes full of feet, Seger is too smart to go down any not-so-good street, charging the performance instead with a humble humanity that exceeds normal limits, all flowing over a spicy base leading to a lingering finishing with medium tannins. In short, the performance was a triumph, powerful stuff, howlingly good, and never to be forgot.

Overall, three out of five stars.

Man, Greil Marcus is stingy with the stars. If you run into him at the transit station, maybe the best thing is to just keep on going.


The Top Ten List, Seger Style

A personal note: the next time you go to a Seger show, check to see if I'm sitting in front of you. If I am, don't bother bellowing "ROCK AND ROLL!!!" three times during every song. Seger is rocking-and-rolling. You're not encouraging him, because he's already doing it. (Except when he's playing "Come to Poppa" or "Nutbush" or "Sunspot Baby." Then you really should be hollering "RHYTHM AND BLUES!!!" to be accurate.)

But really, you'd be better off yelling at someone who should be rocking and rolling, but isn't. The Supreme Court, for example, or your parole officer. Maybe your therapist, if you have one, which you should. Or if you can't afford that, just go out in traffic and yell. Be careful not to spill your beer. I'll save your seat. Actually I won't. But go. Please.

There are other things I don't like hearing at Seger shows too. If you're like me, and I don't think you are, you might have a whole list of them. But in case you don't, here's mine:

The Top Ten Things You DON'T Want to Hear at a Seger Concert:

10. Your attention please: In tonight's performance, the role of Bob Seger will be played by Kenny Rogers.

9. Help, I was doing the Horizontal Bop and I can't get up!

8. Will the owner of a 50-pound, humongous saxophone please report to security? Your instrument is scaring the children.

7. Kid Rock's not here, so Punch is gonna rap with me.

6. Please welcome to the stage, Mr. Bob Saget!

WTF?? I was certain the tickets said Seger.

5. Betty Lou has wandered off from the home again tonight. Please be on the lookout.

4. I'd like to dedicate this next song to Scott Sparling, creator of the Segerfile and author of Wire to Wire. My apologies -- that's something you would like to hear. Wouldn't you? Sure you would.

3. Bob Seger couldn't make it tonight -- he's got a fire down below.

2. Come to Grampa

And the Number One Thing You DON'T want to hear at a Seger concert:

1. You can come back, baby, rock and roll doesn't…uh…rock and roll isn't…wait…I had it a minute ago…dammit…line please!


Seger Reflects on Career Mistakes

You don't last nearly half a century in the music business without making a few missteps. For example, Seger famously didn't take a writing credit on "Old Time Rock and Roll," despite rewriting the verses. The song later became the Number 1 jukebox hit of all time, earning its original writers bazillions.

After Seger's blistering, heartfelt show in Portland, we went backstage and asked Bob to share some of the other wrong turns he took along the way.

"Gosh, how to start," Seger said. "We did so many things by trial and error in the early days. That's how most young bands learn, and we were no exception. Still, looking back, there are a few mistakes that stand out."

Woodstock Miscue

"Woodstock was a big missed opportunity for us. They invited me to play, but the festival was billed as 'Three Days of Peace, Love and Music.' My manager thought they wanted me to play continuously for three days. Back in those days, I had enough material for 48 hours, but not 72, so we had to turn them down. After we passed on the festival, they reached out to Jimi Hendrix instead."

Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

Oprah's Bad Example

"Remember that show where everyone in Oprah's audience got a new car? GM got a ton of great publicity out of that, so they asked me if I'd do the same thing. We happened to be playing Madison Square Garden, and I told the crowd that everyone was going to get a brand new Silverado. The place went nuts. Thing is, there was only one Silverado. Somehow people had the idea they were each getting their own truck. When they discovered they each owned 1/20,000th of a single Silverado, a riot broke out. The lawsuits set us back years. It turns out people in New York don't like to share."

One Silverado, 20,000 fans: Like A Riot

Live Bullet Aftermath

"At one point during the Live Bullet shows, I yelled out, 'Let's hear Dee-troit Michigan make some noise!' Big mistake. That set off a thunderous caterwauling inside Cobo Hall. The acoustics were such that it created a sonic ripple. Scientists are still measuring it today. Ultimately, the roar of the crowd caused so much structural damage that the whole place had to be rebuilt, and half of Detroit emptied out. I feel terrible about that."

Sonic reverberations from the Live Bullet shows levelled half of Detroit. Oops.

Super Bowl Fiasco

"Being invited to play the Super Bowl halftime show is a huge honor. When I got the call, I decided the only way I'd do it would be with complete artistic integrity. So I agreed to do the show, but I vowed not to sell out or pander to the crowd. I'm still proud of that. On the other hand, I see now that performing an acoustic set of Brand New Morning wasn't the best choice for that venue."

There's a time for artistic integrity and a time for pandering.
Guess which approach works best for the Super Bowl.

Revenge Is Best Served Cold

"Everyone knows I love Tom Waits. But a few years back I made the mistake of telling Rod Stewart that I'd just recorded 'Downtown Train.' Next thing you know, that thieving rooster slinks off to the studio, croaks out his own version of the song and releases it before I can release mine. Asshat. So I waited ten years, then sent Kid Rock to slap the taste out of his mouth. In retrospect, that was a mistake. I shouldn't have asked Kid Rock to do that. I should have done it myself. It would have been more satisfying."

Nike Deal

"Like the song says, it's all about what to leave in and what to leave out. You got to know when to hold them and when to…uh, wait, strike that. What I mean is, I've turned down a few deals that I should have said yes to. The biggest missed opportunity: Nike brand Bob Seger headbands. 'For the times when the sweat pours out your body like the games that you playTM.' Coulda made millions off that."

Rolling Stone Misprint

"Years ago I was reading in Rolling Stone magazine where they said Detroit audiences are the best rock and roll audiences in the world. I thought to myself, shit, really? I didn't know that. But if Rolling Stone says so, I guess it must be true. I mean, they wouldn't print it otherwise, right? Long story short, I ended up playing a whole lot of Detroit shows over the years. But after tonight's show in Portland, Oregon -- all I can say is, damn, you guys blow the roof off compared to anywhere else. If only I'd known!! Next time I see Dave Fricke I'm gonna give him hell."


 
Good news and bad news: After Seger's show here Saturday, a puff of white smoke appeared from the Rose Garden, signalling that Seger had been chosen as "The Pontiff of All That Rocks." His new duties are unclear, but Seger's management said that care and cleaning of the robe alone will set
the new album back at least two years.
 
This is the April 1 post for 2013.
For more falsehoods, see the Seger File's April 1 post for 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005 and 2003.

Seger Opens Tour With New Songs

On opening night in Toledo, Seger kicked off the 2013 Tour with three new songs in the setlist -- two covers and a new original, "All The Roads." Also in the set list for the first time since 1996 was "Like A Rock."

Gary Graff writes:

Seger, clad in all black (including his headband), also tossed in a melodic, midtempo original called "All the Roads" that he wrote in September and is "kinda about the career," as well as a genuinely surprising and stellar rendition of "California Stars," whose Woody Guthrie-written lyrics were turned into a song by Wilco and Billy Bragg for their 1998 album "Mermaid Avenue." "I heard this on the radio once and said, 'I have to record this,' " noted Seger, who added a rich arrangement by the Motor City Horns to his version. More here.

Rolling Stone's Andy Greene says:

The 24-song set featured all the expected hits ("Night Moves," "Turn the Page," "Against the Wind), but Seger also sprinkled in many gems unheard on recent outings. The show opened up a cover of John Hiatt's "Detroit Made" and then went directly into his cover of Otis Clay's "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You." More here.

Videos from the show -- like this one -- are widely available on YouTube.

March 3, 2013

 
The Schedule So Far:

FEB 27 Toledo, OH
MAR 01 Toledo, OH
MAR 05 Grand Rapids, MI
MAR 07 Green Bay, WI
MAR 13 Winnipeg, MB
MAR 15 St. Paul, MN
MAR 16 Fargo, ND
MAR 19 Calgary, AB
MAR 21 Edmonton, AB
MAR 23 Saskatoon, SK
MAR 27 Vancouver, BC
MAR 29 Seattle, WA
MAR 30 Portland, OR
APR 02 Denver, CO
APR 04 St. Louis, MO
APR 06 Chicago, IL
APR 09 Dayton, OH
APR 11 Detroit, MI
APR 13 Detroit, MI
APR 16 Brooklyn, NY
APR 18 Buffalo, NY
APR 23 Reading, PA
APR 25 Charlotte, NC
APR 27 Raleigh, NC
APR 30 Norfolk, VA
MAY 02 State College, PA
MAY 04 Uncasville, CT


View
Seger 2013 Spring Tour in a larger map
 
Blue pins for upcoming shows, pink pins for past shows.
Hitching A Ride With Bob Seger

You put your thumb out, a van pulls over, and it's Bob Seger inside. For Ted Simmons, who went on to a 21-year Major League Baseball career, it's a true story.

Scott Miller of CBS Sports writes:

Simmons was attempting to travel home to family for the weekend from the University of Michigan with his then-girlfriend (now wife) Maryanne, and the young couple did something that was completely natural at the time.

They hitchhiked.…

"I get in, all the seats had been removed, and there was a full drum set in the back," says Simmons, now a senior adviser to Mariners general manager Jack Zdurencik after a long pro career as a player.

…Simmons mentioned the drum set and wondered if his ride was a musician.

Yes.

"What's your name?"

"Bob Seger."

Read the rest here.

March 3, 2013

A Conversation with Bob

Tom Barnard on KQRS in the Twin Cities tells some great Seger stories, going back to when Bernard worked for Capitol Records. Because they're old friends, the interviews are more like casual conversations. In a previous interview, Seger accidentally gave out Kid Rock's home address. This time around, they talk about the tour and share some more good stories, including how Bob would disguise himself in the mid-1980s.

The Detroit Tigers were in town to play the Twins and Bob snuck over wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, your hair tucked up under the hat and no one knew it was you.

Hear the rest here.

March 3, 2013

Two Seger / Kid Rock Shows Added

Two of the promised Seger/Kid Rock shows have now been added to the tour schedule. The two joint events are in Minneapolis/St. Paul on March 15 and Fargo, N.D., the next night, March 16.

This will be the second Mpls/St. Paul stop for Seger in less than two years. The 2011 Tour stopped there on May 12, 2011. Seger hasn't played the Fargodome since...wait, has he ever played the Fargodome? Not this century, anyway, according to my records.

Interestingly, Kid Rock's current tour schedule has an empty gap from March 2 to March 14. Seger has a couple shows already scheduled during that period, including Grand Rapids. So more joint concerts could theoretically be added. We'll have to wait and see.

January 19, 2013


New Seger Tour Gets Ready to Roll

There's a nonstop train coming, two miles out: After barely a year off the road, Seger's hitting the long and lonesome highway again, starting in February. Eleven tour dates were announced last week, covering a lot of the territory that he missed in his 52-show tour in 2011.

Hints were dropped from time to time last year that Seger might tour in fall 2012, or even that he was considering shows in Australia. But the year ended with no word. A teaser appeared on Seger's FB page about ten days ago, and then the details came: The new tour begins in Toledo and Grand Rapids, which has been the pattern lately, and continues through Canada (for five of the 11 shows) and then on to the Pacific Northwest. Info on ticket sales is here.

No Detroit dates have been announced yet, but Seger's people have hinted that Detroit shows are being planned. They're calling this the "first leg" of his tour. So will the second leg take him back to the some of the cities he hit in 2011? Or Down Under, where Seger is reportedly very popular? No clues yet, but more dates will be announced soon, apparently.

Longtime Detroit rock journalist Gary Graff wrote recently that Seger planned to "rock into the spring, including some rumored shows with Kid Rock," who is also on tour. No cities on Seger's itinerary overlap with KR's at this point. The last two shows currently listed on Kid Rock's tour page put him in Saginaw in early April, raising some interesting possibilities.

As for Seger's set list, there's no new album to support, and they're calling it the Rock and Roll Never Forgets 2013 Tour (as opposed to the 2011 Tour, which was called the 2011 Tour). So…a greatest hits show, then? Maybe, if we're lucky, it will be spiced with some of the six new songs Seger reportedly has done for his upcoming album (tentatively titled "Ride Out" the last time Seger spoke of it).

The map below shows the first and second legs of the 2011 Tour, which left out the Pacific Northwest and a whole bunch of Canada. The new tour takes care of that right away. Where else it will go, who knows. Here's hoping it stops in your town soon.

View Seger Tour 2011 in a larger map.

January 13, 2013


Recap: The Upcoming Album

Here's what we know about the upcoming album from past news reports. The track list includes:

"All the Roads," currently on the live setlist and on video here.
"The Price," a break-up ballad.
"You Take Me In," a ballad.
"Hey Gypsy," an upbeat number inspired by Stevie Ray Vaughan.
"Wonderland," inspired by the world of science and the discovery of water on Mars.
"Hannah," a song to his daughter with Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock.
"I'll Remember You"
"Ride Out," perhaps the title track, about heading out and escaping it all.
 
Some past descriptions:

"Ride Out"

"That covers an awful lot of territory," he says, "and that might be the title song. There's an awful lot of lyrics in it pinched into a small area and goes from line to line of different subjects. It's pretty bizarre, and I really like it. Deborah Evans-Price, Spinner, November 30, 2011, "Bob Seger Working on New Album, Admits 'It Might Be Time to Go Away Fairly Soon'"

"A muscular message song about escaping the overload of modern life." Brian McCollum. USA TODAY. September 12, 2011. "Bob Seger's down on Main Street again."

"Wonderland"

"We are living in a wonderland age of science. I just read in the December [issue of] 'Astronomy' that water might be flowing in Mars….It's a wonderland we are living in right now." Nancy Dunham, Ultimate Classic Rock, "Bob Seger Details New Album Schedule, 2012 Tour Plans and his Songwriting Methods."

"Hannah"

"It's a father-to-daughter song. It's not a hit or anything, but it's a pretty song. . . . Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow did a wonderful job. I recorded it on a Friday night in Nashville. Kid Rock just happened to be playing in town. He texted me and said, 'Come to the show.' I texted him back and said, 'I can't -- I'm recording at 8 o'clock. But if you want to come after the show and bring Sheryl, I've got something for you to do." John Soeder, The Plain Dealer, April 3, 2011, "Bob Seger catches a 'Downtown Train' from yesteryear."

"Hey Gypsy"

"A Texas-fried tribute to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan." Brian McCollum. USA TODAY. September 12, 2011. "Bob Seger's down on Main Street again."

"I'll Remember You"

This title has been mentioned, but I've seen no info on it. In 1986, Seger recorded the Dylan song, "I Remember You," and told Musician Magazine it would be the flip of "Like a Rock," but the track has never been released. Since this new track is "I'll Remember.." not "I Remember..." it must be a different track, unless the title is being misreported.
 
Also mentioned in the press:

Besides "Downtown Train," Seger's next project also could include covers of Fats Domino's "The Fat Man" and "Blind Love," a Waits ballad that Seger first reworked for his 1991 album "The Fire Inside." He recently came across a live version of the latter song that he likes even better than the studio version.

"Seger Catches A Downtown Train from yesteryear" by John Soeder, Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 3, 2011.
 


Recap: Fourteen Years Online and Rolling

This is a reprint from last year. I didn't write anything for this year's 15th anniversary of the Segerfile, but what I wrote below still stands. And more so.

Fourteen years ago -- on February 11, 1998 -- I launched the Seger File. I didn't know it at the time, but it was the beginning of one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done, all because of the people I've met and the friends I've made.

A few Seger File facts:

  • When I started, the site had very few graphics or images. I figured the information superhighway, as we called it back then, was all about information, not pictures. Also, my computer was way too slow to handle images well.
  • The site was launched on a dial-up Internet service -- almost everything was dial-up back then. I built the site in Claris Home Page, doing most of the coding in the cafeteria of Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan. My mom was in the hospital recovering from a stroke, and I could only see her a few times a day for short periods. In between visits, I'd go back to the cafeteria and do more coding.
  • The site still runs on Claris Home Page, which only works on Mac OS 9. I keep an old laptop around to host the site. I do all the updates on a MacBook Air, then transfer them to the old laptop to upload.
  • On the day after I launched the site, there were four visitors. There was no Google at the time and so no Google analytics. I've had several different visit-counter/analytic programs over the years, some of which are no longer functional, so I don't really know how many people have visited the site in all. In the past five years, there have been 200,000 unique visitors.

Bob Seger, America the Beautiful.

  • I started the site because I was having trouble finishing my novel, Wire to Wire. I thought doing the site would provide a good little break, and then I'd go back to writing my book. In fact, the site was so much fun to work on, it probably slowed the novel down by five years or more. (Shameless pitch: Don't worry about buying the site a birthday present. But feel free to buy yourself a "smart, thrilling and darkly funny" book that's not really a crime novel, set in Michigan.)
  • I was tremendously fortunate to have started a site about Seger at a time when he had pretty much dropped out of sight. That meant that instead of reporting news, I had to create essays. Without a lot of information to rely on, I had to give the site a personality. It made me a better writer.
  • Want to know what's up with Seger these days? Do a Twitter search or set a Google alert. If you wanted to know what was up with Seger in 1998, there weren't many places to go. I'd hit the library, look through the microfiche and the out-of-town newspapers. If I found something, I'd make a photocopy, come home and re-enter the information. There were no other Seger sites back then, so for years the Seger File was the only online resource.
  • In 14 years, I can only remember four times when people have asked me to take things down from the site. One was a bad review of a video, a couple were photos, and one was when I posted some lyrics Seger hadn't released yet.
  • There was more sarcasm and humor in my writing during the early years. When Seger got inducted into the Hall of Fame and the Detroit Free Press called me for an interview, I realized a lot of people were reading the site, and I became a little less gonzo and a little more journalistic. When the BBC called for an interview, I knew the site was making an impact. And there's still plenty of sarcasm on the annual April Fools post.
  • I initially named the site "The Segerfile." Then I realized search engines weren't listing it when people searched for "Seger." So now I usually write "The Seger File." But I still like Segerfile better.

And the best thing about the site, by far -- all of you. Thanks for all your encouragement and friendship over the years. As Seger says in one of my favorite lyrics, no one has to tell me I'm a lucky man, and it's your friendship that makes me feel that way.

February 11, 2012



Also by the author of the Segerfile


How the Segerfile Got Started

The Wire to Wire book tour gave me a chance to talk with Seger fans around Michigan about the early days of the Segerfile. A few weeks ago, the book editor of The Oregonian newspaper joined me in the treehouse where I write to about the book, freights, and Seger.

You can check it out, and get a glimpse of Segerfile world headquarters, here.

There's even a video here. The actor who plays me does a pretty good job, I think. Gotta wonder where they found him.

September 10, 2011



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Cobo Hall ticket stubb photo courtesy of Jim Cummer