The Seger File
An unofficial web site about the music of Bob Seger Archived Updates - Jan - June 2003 For the latest updates, see News & Updates page. Written and edited by Scott Sparling sparling@segerfile.com


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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


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.

This is the April 1 post for 2003.
For more falsehoods, see the Seger File's April 1 post for 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2005.


Capitol Punishment: Early Platinum Albums Nearly Nixed by Label

Think Capitol would never reject a live album, and then change their minds? Think again. Turning thumbs down on potential platinum was practically a trend in the early days. Seger's manager Punch Andrews describes the situation in this 1986 interview with Timothy White.

Andrews: "We love Capitol, they're like family now, but at the time they were quite conservative. In fact, every time I asked for anything they would tell me, 'The Lettermen don't get that, and so you're not going to get it.'

"The period around 1972 when [Bob] left Capitol for Reprise and then got dropped was the hardest time. Nobody knows this, but Warner Bros. rejected Beautiful Loser outright and Bob and I were dead broke. I had to find a way to borrow $1000 to remix the tape to play it for Capitol at a time when I had $4000 worth of $3 bounced-check charges against me."

"Nobody also knows this, but after Capitol welcomed us back for Loser, they turned around and rejected Live Bullet, thinking it was a cheap excuse for Frampton Comes Alive. It was a long, long argument.

"After Live Bullet hit, Capitol rejected Night Moves...They thought it wasn't as exciting as Live Bullet had been! No wonder Seger has so much heartache these days deciding whether he's got a finished record or not." Timothy White, 1986 interview, "Bob Seger Forgives But He Doesn't Forget."

March 31, 2003. True.


A Personal Note

Last April -- after five years writing and editing the Seger File -- I took a short break from the site...as you no doubt noticed if you e-mailed me during that time and got no response. Now I'm back, and I'll try to do better.

Of course, the nice thing about running a Seger site is that you can fall asleep for months at a time and not miss anything. While I was gone, an inmate somewhere had "You'll Accomp'ny Me" played during his execution. A remastered Against the Wind was released. (Question to audiophiles out there: How's it sound? Should I buy it?) Seger decided not to enter the Port Huron / Mackinac yacht race this year, due to a family reunion. He's still finishing his next CD. Dee-Pah isn't real. Never was.

There. Now you're up to date.

July 19, 2003


Bob Seger, Public Menace

Some of us just want Seger to finish the new tracks he's working on. Others hope he gets off track -- off the railroad tracks, that is.

A railroad industry group called Operation Lifesaver has contacted newspaper editors across the nation, warning them against glamorizing dangerous and illegal acts of trespass along our nation's rail lines. The group is distributing a poster that features the cover of Seger's greatest hits CD, showing the Train Man astride the tracks with his ax.

"Do you see innocent fun in these images?" the copy asks. The inconsistently punctuated message advises us not to confuse the tracks with a public park. Click on the image for a larger version.

I got my copy of the poster from my lifelong friend, Seger DEW liner and respectable newspaper editor Jesse B. -- pictured below in Prince Rupert, Canada, violating the property rights of the Canadian National Railroad with the future editor of the Seger File, a scant 24 years ago. Jesse's the one with the long hair and backpack. And that leads me to my rebuttal.

Yes, standing on the tracks is dangerous. It's no place for kids or fashion models. The danger shouldn't be trivialized. At the same time, America's romance with the rails has been on the rocks for four decades or more. We need more trains, more tracks and more people who think railroads are cool.

When Seger stands by the tracks -- or when Warren Zevon sings "Nighttime in the Switching Yards" -- it stokes a fire that needs stoking. Let's not get so cautious that we lose the allure of the rails entirely.

In short, Operation LifeSaver is a good thing. Maybe we need an Operation RailSaver too.

February 17, 2003


Seger Ribbed on Simpsons

In episode 301 of The Simpsons, which aired last night, Homer watches a commercial for the latest sandwich at Krustyburger. Over plenty of slide guitar, a smokey-voiced singer tells us the new mystery meat sandwich is "Like A Rib."

February 17, 2003


Stoned...

The Ann Arbor music scene gets a rave review in the current issue of Rolling Stone. To give readers a sense of history, the geniuses at RS list three important bands/performers from Ann Arbor: The Stooges, Brownsville Station and Taproot.

Yep, that about covers it.

Cloned...

It's time to get down...down on the farm, that is. Tim McGraw's 1994 record, "Down On the Farm" -- which continues to get airplay as part of his greatest hits album -- is an undisguised knock-off of "Horizontal Bop." Same song, different lyrics. Amazon calls McGraw "dumb, derivative and fun." I'll buy that, except for the fun part.

And Disowned.

In this post-9/11 world, no advertiser wants to appear unpatriotic. So at GM -- where stock prices have lost 40 percent of their value over an arbitrarly selected timeframe -- even the successful "Like A Rock" campaign has been the subject of concern, according to rumors made up by me. Now comes word from GM Chairman Rick Wagoner, appearing as a watery image on my bedroom ceiling during a particularly feverish point of my recent bronchitis bout, that the truck division will no longer use Seger's song as its anthem. "We don't want anyone to think we 'Like Iraq,'" Wagoner did not say. (The company hopes to license Springsteen's "Born In The USA" as a replacement, in the same sense that they hope gold pellets will fall from the sky.)

February 8, 2003


Cars and Stars

The man who's sold thousands of trucks was buying cars last week -- or at least looking at them. Seger joined 150,000 other auto aficionados at the prestigious Barrett-Jackson Collector Car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. Other celebrities included Don Johnson, Tim Allen, Cheech Marin, Reggie Jackson, Alice Cooper, and Mark Anthony of Van Halen.

More than 800 cars were on the auction block, most of which were snapped up. Last year's top sale was a sweet little '66 Ford Coupe, which went for a cool $405,000.

My '91 Mazda needs a new muffler, by the way, but I'm going to keep driving it anyway until the neighbors file an injunction. Times are tough.

January 24, 2003

Seger, shown here 33 years before attending the auto auction.


Searching for Seger on CKLW

Recently I read about a documentary being filmed called "Radio Revolution: The Rise and Fall of the Big 8." The film focuses on CKLW radio in Windsor -- one of the stations that helped make Seger a regional rock star years before the rest of the world knew his name. During the late '60s, a promo piece says, "CKLW dominated the airwaves and turned on the world to Motown, soul and rock and roll."

The filmmakers are looking for any audio (or video) of Bob being interviewed on CK:

"As you know," the producer writes, "the music director of the station, Rosalie Trombley, was a huge Bob Seger fan, and of course his song Rosalie, is about her. The "tower and the power" he sings about is CKLW and its huge antenna that perched on the Detroit River in those days.

At some point after Live Bullet was recorded, Bob came to Windsor to tape an interview with then Program Director Les Garland (who went on to be the first PD of MTV)."

"When the interview began, Bob clammed up," his email continues, so ultimately Rosalie conducted the interview herself. "I have this story from both Garland and from Rosalie," the producer writes. "What I don't have is any audio of that interview, which presumably made it to air at some point. Any idea where I might find it? Or any other audio (or video) of Bob talking about Rosalie, CKLW and Detroit radio in general?"

If you've got any clues, drop me an email here, and I'll forward it on to the filmmakers.

Rosalie: She had the power.
CKLW: They had the tower.

January 22, 2003


Sail On

Someone in the Navy must like Bob Seger. As part of the pre-war deployment, the Navy is sending sailors to sea to the tune of "Roll Me Away." Here's how USA Today described it.

"To the wail of Bob Seger's 'Roll Me Away,' the Tarawa Amphibious Ready Group set sail Monday toward the gulf from San Diego on a long-planned, six-month deployment. Once in the gulf, the ships will meet up with the USS Constellation aircraft carrier battle group." Cesar G. Soriano, January 16, 2003, USA Today. "Modern Marines have better ways to get ashore."

The fact that several news organizations carried this same tidbit makes you wonder if the song was played for the sailors' enjoyment or for the benefit of reporters. And it's anybody's guess as to whether the enlisted men felt lost, double-crossed and sick of what's wrong and what's right. Or whether two plus two was on their minds.

The same week saw another, admittedly subtle, national media reference to the same song. It was on Letterman, during a bit about driving across Montana. "You get to the border and just roll that power on," Dave said. I don't know if he knew he was quoting Seger. But that's the power of a great lyricist -- his words sneak into our conversations almost without our knowledge.

January 21, 2003


Just take those 2002 Updates off the shelf...

      
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December 16, 2002