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

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Latest News and Updates

 
FACE THE PROMISE
 
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
 
 
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

Sounds from the Hall

Rounding third and heading home. Seger, known for his love of softball, compares the Hall of Fame to Cooperstown in a story co-bylined by longtime Seger writer Gary Graff in Billboard.

"I view it like Cooperstown," an ebullient Seger said. "I think about [Detroit Tiger right fielder] Al Kaline in the Hall of Fame. I've played golf occasionally with Larry Bird, who's in the Hall of Fame. Now I'm in my Hall of Fame."

"There wasn't a Hall of Fame when I started," he added, "but to be in there with my heroes -- with your Little Richards, your Elvises, the Beatles, the Stones, Dylan, is just beyond words. It's wonderful. To suddenly be in that same pantheon is pretty heady stuff."

Seger said he and his Silver Bullet Band will perform at the March 15 induction ceremony in New York, which will be taped to air on VH1 later that week.

Seger said his first choice for inductors are Glenn Frey or Don Henley of the Eagles, "because they're my oldest friends in rock 'n' roll," but he said Kid Rock has also voiced a desire to do the honors. Barry A. Jeckell and Gary Graff, November 21, 2003, Billboard. "Honorees React to Rock Hall Induction."

In other sports news, Seger got the loudest ovation of the night at the Pistons v. Hornets game last week, when he was honored for this election to the Hall of Fame.


Hammer Time. Seger told the Ann Arbor news that the band is stoked at the prospect of performing at the induction ceremony. "I think they'll be hammering me pretty hard (to tour)," he said. Seger hasn't yet decided which songs he'll play.

The article also includes some memories of earlier days:

"John Carver, who owned the Second Chance at the time, went to high school with Seger. 'We weren't like real buddies, but he was a nice guy - our paths crossed here and there… (Seger) was kind enough to play at Second Chance when he was a bigger star than normally would have played in a club like that, partly because of our relationship in high school,"'Carver added." Roger Lelievre, November 21, 2003, Ann Arbor News. "Bob Seger to join Rock and Roll Hall of Fame"

Carver also reminisces about the Roseland Inn, the Jackson, Michigan strip club where Seger's band, the Town Criers had a standing gig: "People were trying to get him off the stage to get the girls back on."


Never wanted to be no pop singer: The Hall's decision -- celebrated in Segerland -- disappointed some fans of John Mellencamp, who was nominated but not inducted. The Indianapolis Star's online site (indystar.com) complained that "long-mothballed Bob Seger got the Hall's call last week, and Mellencamp remains on the outside looking in." But Mellencamp set the record straight in an interview on Indiana TV.

"Well, you know," Mellencamp said, "the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is quite an honor to even be nominated for it. I don't really anticipate getting in this year. If I get in before Bob Seger, that's going to be weird for me, because you know, I was a freshman in high school when Seger had a hit called Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, which, ya know, was probably one of the reasons I wanted to be a recording artist, because that was a great song." Eyewitness News 13, November 21. "The John Mellencamp Interview."


Joe Knows

Uncle Joe Benson's Off The Record interview with Seger aired nationally last weekend. The interview, which was taped before Seger's election to the Hall of Fame, covered a lot of new information. Some highlights:

The comedy of physics. Seger said the neutrinos line in "Tomorrow" sprang from a comedy routine by Charles Fleischer.

"He gets up in front of the audience and says, okay, what happens if neutrinos have mass? And there's dead silence. I happen to know the answer because I read a lot of physics books… I always remembered that. I said, what a question to throw at people."

The kicker is that the comedy show was twelve years ago, which provides an interesting glimpse into how Seger writes. Presumably the line stuck in his head or went into a notebook for more than a decade, before emerging in "Tomorrow."

Seger adds that the neutrino theory, in vogue when the song was written, is now out of date. "It changes so fast, now that we've got dark matter in the equation." (Uh…right. I was gonna ding him on the dark matter thing myself. But management insists I stay on good behavior until at least after the new CD.)

(A side note: Fleischer's Comedy Store routine was remembered by someone else as well. Director Bob Zemeckis saw the stand-up act and hired Fleischer eight years later to be the voice of Roger Rabbit.)


Interesting choice of words. During their discussion of "Tomorrow," Seger says, "If I was forced at gunpoint to do Letterman tomorrow night, that'd be the song I play."

The laughter after the answer is priceless -- the big infectious Seger laugh that can't be faked. Was the gunpoint line a reference to Seger's ill-starred history with Letterman? Or just his reluctance to do TV in general?


Seger's Answer to the Tour Question Part I. "I've basically told the band, probably not," Seger said, regarding the possibility of a tour.

Uncle Joe then asked a terrific follow-up question: How 'bout just showing up with a guitar somewhere for an impromptu show? Seger's answer:

"It's always been my opinion that, you know, there's one thing people want to hear. And if you can't do it the way you've always done it, it's not fair to them. I went out and saw Springsteen in the last two weeks and the Eagles and they both wanted me to sit in and I won't do it. I hardly ever do that because I just don't think it's what people want to hear. They want to hear a certain thing and I want to be true to that. When we come out we want to be, three weeks of rehearsal, you know, to get everybody's touring muscles back up…"

My question is, who are these people who want to hear a certain thing??? I say we roll out the razor wire and go door to door until we find these narrow-minded fans. I say 'round 'em up and bombard them with Live Bullet and Nine Tonight, since that's what they like hearing. Then maybe the rest of us can enjoy some impromptu Seger. Or rather, I would say all this, if I hadn't promised to be on my best behavior.


More songs we'd love to hear. Seger said he's written "about 40" songs for his new CD.

"I've recorded about 29 of the 40 and I think about 22 of them are really good. But I would say there's definitely 11 that would probably be on the new [CD]…but I just robbed it of two, so now I've probably got to write five more.

Overall, Seger said he's written "over 500" songs. "And I would say there's probably half of them haven't been released."


Peter Green Reference #1. Of "Fire Down Below," Seger reiterated that he was inspired vocally by Scottish rocker Frankie Miller but added Peter Green to the equation.

"[Frankie Miller and I] are very similar in the way we approach rock and roll. And I heard the song called "Ain't Got No Money." And I liked that swampy middle-rock thing. Vocally, I was probably inspired by Frankie, but band-wise I think I was inspired by "The Rattlesnake Shake" by Fleetwood Mac and you know, Peter Green and those guys."

(Click here for a taste of Peter Green's Rattlesnake Shake.)

All Seger quotes in this section from "Off The Record with Uncle Joe Benson," November 23, 2003.


Tour du Jour

Seger's Answer to the Tour Question Part II. In a phone interview with WQUT 101.5 in Tennessee, Seger's standard answer to the tour question changed from "probably not" to "we'll play it by ear."

"In January," Seger said, "we'll start rehearsing for the Hall of Fame event, so the whole band will be back together. We'll just kind of play it by ear and see how my voice holds up. It has to hold up for two hours and I'm 58 and, you know, if I go out on tour I just want to make sure that I can do it justice."

Experts in our Segerology department say this shift in emphasis portends better chances for a tour than previously thought. (These same experts insist that "The poptarts are in the pantry" and "You will fall in love on Flag Day," so be warned.)

Seger also retold the story of how the new tracks were added to GH2.

"[Punch] actually started setting up press interviews and everybody who he set up said 'What are the new songs' and after setting up about eight of them he called me and said 'We gotta put the two new songs on there.'"

Seger said the lyrics and credits for "Satisfied" and "Tomorrow" won't be on the first 350,000 copies of the GH2 booklet.

Finally, he predicted the new album would be released "around June of 2004." Thanks to Kevin Walsh, who runs Segerbob.com, for posting an mp3 of the interview. Click the Segerbob link to hear it yourself


The Promise of Promise -- More in 04?

The Boston Globe has a recent piece with more Hall reaction from Seger, but the best part of the story concerns the upcoming CD.

Only three of the 11 songs planned for that album are ballads, says Seger. It's tentatively titled "Face the Promise," and Seger says he'll finish writing it by March.

In another quote, Seger says he writes songs "20 to 25 hours a week." And he leaves the door open on touring.

"I'll jump off that bridge when I get to it," he says. "I'm 58 now. Touring is a grueling thing, and I've got to be away from my kids. I'll have to see."

There's also a quote on how long it took for the Hall to induct Seger.

Seger was eligible for induction a few years ago but didn't worry about the delay. "I think it bothered other people more than me. I didn't have a clue what the criteria were. I just hoped it would happen eventually."

"I'm thrilled because that's great company," Seger says. "I'm a big fan of Jackson and ZZ Top, and I used to go see Prince before he made it." Steve Morse, December 5, 2003, Boston Globe. "Garage-trance band Laguardia arrives on time."

Also on the subject of the new CD, pauseandplay.com lists "Face the Promise" by Bob Seger for a summer release. And this time they really mean it, right? (It's worth noting that pauseandplay had it right when rumors of GH2 first surfaced there.)


In other baseball news...

Why do I get the feeling that Bob Edwards isn't the only journalist who might be reading the Seger File? Check out this piece by Scott Miller, who works Seger into the Sportsline.com baseball roundup:

The recent release of his CD Greatest Hits 2 marks a very welcome return from Bob Seger, who unfortunately has been semi-retired in recent years. What does this have to do with baseball? Not much, but it's a chance to lobby for the release of what's said to be a killer cut locked away in the Seger vaults titled "Can't Hit the Corners No More," an intriguing song about a struggling, aging pitcher. No, far as we know, it's not based on the life and times of Jack Morris or David Cone. Seger once said he had Catfish Hunter and Mark Fidrych in mind. Scott Miller. December 3, 2003. Sportsline.com. "Notes: As credibility takes hit, Brewers rebuild again."

Are albums over? I don't think so. When somebody puts out a collection of songs, that's an album. Doesn't matter whether it's on vinyl or tape or disk. An album is something that holds a collection of things -- pictures, songs, etc.

Nevertheless, a USA TODAY article surveys a wide range of artists, including Seger, on the demise of the album -- by which they really mean that black 12-inch vinyl thing properly called an LP.

"The album, music's dominant creative framework for the past 40 years, is dying under the wheels of an accelerating revolution," the article says. It was written by Edna Gundersen, (save your Mongrel jokes for a moment, please) who interviewed Seger after GH2 was released.

Classic-rock icon Bob Seger is saddened and mystified by the album's overthrow.

"It's a different world now, and I've got to come to terms with it…I'm just thrilled when someone like Bruce Springsteen puts out something like The Rising. That's what I strive for. We're of an era that still believes the whole package is important. But I don't know if it makes sense anymore. I'm 58, and this is all new to me." Edna Gundersen, December 4, 2003, USA TODAY. "Downloading squeezes the art out of the album."

Terminology quibbles aside, it's a worthwhile read. Also quoted are Keith Richards, David Bowie, Michelle Shocked, Dave Matthews, Lindsey Buckingham, Ray Manzarek and several others.


How's Sarah? In the Nov. 24 Newsweek, Kid Rock was asked whether he's a Seger fan. (Duh.) The answer:

"A hundred percent. He [Seger] wrote 'Hard Night for Sarah' in the 90s and never used it and you know, offered it to me. He's never done that for anybody. He really keeps to himself. I mean, it's just mind-blowing. It made me feel warm inside and so good and just like "wow." There's just nothing sweeter than that, you know." Lorraine Ali, November 24, Newsweek. "Does the Kid Know How to Rock."

Later in the piece, the interviewer proves that she has no hemi when she refers to the "Dodge 'Like A Rock' jingles."

Meanwhile, USA TODAY's Edna Gundersen says Rock "turns in a pointless cover" of Sarah, calling it "regurgitated classic rock." (Okay, now you can make your Evil Edna jokes.)

The Chicago Sun Times also slams the three covers on Rock's CD, calling them awful and boneheaded. The New York Post goes thumbs up, though, as follows:

"Rock makes his top solo on an old, unreleased Bob Seger song, 'Hard Night for Sarah,' rendering the tune about betrayal and infidelity with arena power and compassion. Dan Aquilante, November 11, 2003. New York Post. "Kid's All Right."


Florida Time

1973 was one of the years when Seger played nearly 250 gigs. One of those shows was at the Exposition Center in Orlando, Florida.

A number of things went wrong that night, including the fact that the promoter didn't pay and tried to skip town. But one thing went right -- the show was aired by the local FM station, WORJ, which was pioneering live concert broadcasts in the area. Even better, they found the tape recently and posted it on their site.

The show begins with two radio announcers doing the following "play-by-play" for the home listener.

"This has been the second delay of the show. It was supposed to come off at around 11 o'clock last night but Bob Seger's bass player and organist got hung up in Oklahoma City -- they couldn't get plane reservations to Orlando because of the people coming in for the moon shot…"

The reference to Oklahoma City makes me think this is the Borneo Band. Seger doesn't introduce them, but there are a couple references to Tom Cartmell (now Alto Reed).

Once the show starts, Seger rocks through a 40-minute set, including Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, Bo Diddley/Who Do You Love, Higher and Higher (featuring "our girl singer, Stoney") and a 20-minute medley of Turn the Page / Heavy Music / Let It Rock / Heavy Music.

The encore provides the second Peter Green reference: it's a cover of Green's "Stop Messing Around."

At the end, you can hear the crowd of 500 screaming for more as the stage announcer shouts above the din:

"I want you people to realize -- I want you people to realize that the Bob Seger band has come all the way down here from Detroit…they did not get paid for tonight! They came all the way down here at their own expense…and they knew before they went on that they were not getting paid."

And they're probably not getting paid for this "re-broadcast" on the WORJ website. The link will take you to WORJ's home page - hit the Live Concerts link for Seger (as well as a Poco concert). It's a 30-minute download for us non-broadband types. The sound is good by 1973 standards, coming from the mixing board, so enjoy it while you can.

Listening to the concert reminded me of a couple Seger quotes from earlier interviews:

"Whenever we'd play Florida, which was my only decent market besides Detroit, we'd drive down there in 24 hours and play without rest." Timothy White, November 1977, Crawdaddy. "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rocker"

"Really for the first 8 years I was more of a driver than a performer: I spent 8 hours a day driving and then an hour and a half a day performing. But that was the price that I paid to do it." May 1979 radio interview.


Don't Stop Thinking About "Tomorrow."

Don't get me wrong: I love all the recent news stories filled with inside information, details and background. I eat it up. But ultimately, my interest centers on the music, not the business. And I'd like to hear more about the music…particularly the lyrics.

For example, "Are you going to tour?" is a business question. Ditto "When's the new CD coming out?" "What are you going to play at the Hall of Fame?" "Will there ever be a box set?" etc., etc., etc.

All fascinating questions. But imagine it this way: if Seger had just come out with a book instead of a CD, the questions would be about the words: i.e., What were you trying to say here? and Why tell this story and not some other story?

Of course, in some of what Seger writes, the words are just there to support the beat. I don't really have any heavy literary-style questions about "Her Strut," for example. (Although, on the business side of things, I'm fascinated to learn that producer Bill Szymczyk threw a slap flange on Seger's voice to get that gritty vocal -- thanks to Uncle Joe for that tidbit.)

But with "Tomorrow," Seger was clearly writing to say something. Everyone gravitates to the neutrinos line. But the line that's pure genius, for me, is "It won't save you from the sky." As the payoff to the first bridge, it's a beautiful example of a line that's simple, powerful and chilling.

From various interviews, we know that the song came out of a conversation about asteroids and comets that Seger had with his son (now 11, but presumable eight or nine when the song was written). But there's more I'd like to know.

Yesterday, I was listening to the song with my son, who's ten. When we came to the line "No more road rage," he asked me to hit pause.

"Why No more road rage?" he asked. "Out of all the things that won't exist when the sun blows up, why does he name that? What about some of the other things we won't have?"

Here in the Seger File, when someone asks a question that I can't answer, I generally just make stuff up. But with Zane, I'm honest.

"That's a good question," I said. "I don't know."

"I thought you knew everything about Bob Seger."

"Yeah, well, no one's asked him that yet."

So interviewers, hear my plea. Ask about the lyrics. Seger spends hours, days, months writing them, and I bet he's got something to say about them. Find out about the business stuff, but don't stop thinking about the lyrics -- especially when songs like "Face the Promise," "Little Jane" and "Let Me Try" come out, presumably on next year's CD.

December 1, 2003


Simpson Slams Seger (or the Limits of Contrarianism in the Classic Rock Environment)

First the facts. Last Sunday, Homer Simpson went out of his way to slam Seger. It was for laughs, of course, or more like a chuckle, since the writing wasn't all that clever. Here's the context: Early in the show, Homer secretly takes up panhandling and makes a lot of money, which he spends on gifts for Marge. When she catches him and tells him to stop, Homer says:

"But Marge -- that's how I bought you those diamond earrings. And that Bob Seger boxed set. Which turned out to only be one disk. But the box was nice."

In other words, the cardboard box was better than the Seger music inside. Zing! -- but why? As you might imagine, I have two theories about Simpson's slam -- one simple and one complicated. Guess which one we'll do first.

Okay, my Big Idea here is that Seger and Punch Enterprises employ what I call a contrarian approach to marketing Bob -- that is, an approach that's contrary to the conventional wisdom.

The conventional way, as Don Henley so aptly wrote on his last album, is called Working It. That is, work every possible angle for maximum exposure. Cross promote your CD and your DVD in magazines and movies and on MTV. Look for "synergies" to grab as much of the media spotlight as you can hog. Increase your value by being everywhere.

The Contrarian way is more like the JD Salinger method. Increase your value by being totally unavailable. Drop mysteriously out of sight for years. Purposely stay out of the media. So that when you do finally emerge, it's a big freaking deal.

And the contrarian approach works. In fact, it's been hugely successful for Seger. Look how nuts we all went when he did a 90-minute radio interview earlier this month. Keeping the lid on tight creates massive pent-up demand among Seger fans.

Note that I said "among Seger fans." Because one thing keeping the lid on tight doesn't do is expand Seger's appeal to those who aren't already fans.

So you've got this big dichotomy, where Seger's reputation and respectability is sky-high among those of us who know -- the two or three million of us who send his albums multi-platinum. And then there's everybody else. They don't know Seger. Why should they? He's been practically invisible for almost a decade.

I ran into one of these 'don't know/don't care' people a while ago when I had my iPod on. Hip guy, early thirties. He asked me what I was listening to. When I told him it was Seger, he snorted.

Would he have snorted if I had said "Tom Petty?" Maybe, but I tend to think he wouldn't have. He probably doesn't own any Petty -- he struck me as more of a White Stripes/Dandy Warhols/Strokes kind of guy -- but I'm guessing he would have had more respect for Petty as an artist, just because he's probably seen Petty more. TP, while not a media hog, shows up on tribute albums, in videos, on talk shows. (He even portrayed himself on The Simpsons a while back.) People who don't care for his style of music still know about his reputation. They don't say "Is he still alive?" as my ex-girlfriend did about Seger recently.

The irony of the contrarian approach is that we, the fans, end up doing a lot of the new customer recruitment work for Seger. Despite the snort, I told the hip guy in his thirties that there's more to Seger than Old Time Rock 'n' Roll and truck commercials. Maybe after he checks out the Segerfile, he'll figure it out.

In that sense, I'm personally thankful for the contrarian approach, because if Seger were Working It, he'd have a super deluxe Web site of his own, and no one would need the Segerfile. (As it is, fairness compels me to note that Seger's official site has recently caught and surpassed the Segerfile in the Alexa traffic rank. I guess they are Working It a little bit after all.)

So the bottom line of Theory Number 1 is that The Simpsons' writers are just plain ignorant. There's no Seger Media Plan to tell them what to think and they haven't bothered to seek out Seger's music and find out for themselves.

Which brings me to Theory Number 2, the simple one. The Simpsons are always including musical guest stars. Maybe they asked Bob to do a guest shot and he said no. So they did the boxed set joke to get a little payback.

Who knows? If it's any consolation, the very next night on syndicated reruns, the show included a pro-Seger joke. Lisa is babysitting for Chief Wiggums. As he and his wife leave, Lisa calls out "Enjoy the Bob Sagat show!" The Chief then looks at his tickets and winces. "Bob Sagat!? I thought it was Bob Seger! Aw jeez...."

So we know that Chief Wiggums, at least, is a Bob Seger fan. Now, for a presumptuous and longwinded explanation of why The Simpsons would slam Bob Sagat, you'll have to visit my other site, www.Sagatfile.com.

February 22, 2004


Live from New York...

One of the most fascinating guessing games in Segerland lately is "which songs will he play at the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in New York?" In his interview on Morning Edition (December 1), Seger added a few details.

One song will be "Night Moves," Seger said, since it's already on the wall in Cleveland as one of the top 500 rock songs. He also mentioned "Turn the Page" and "Mainstreet" as possibilities. Earlier news stories have said Seger would play two songs, but in this interview Seger refers to "a 45-minute set." The more the better.

December 1, 2003


The Wait is Over -- Seger's In!

For a great piece on Seger's long overdue induction into the Hall of Fame, check out Brian McCollum's column in the Detroit Free Press, which says Seger will perform live at the ceremony. (And thanks to Brian for including the Seger File and Segernet.com in the story.)

"The induction gala will be held March 15 before a tuxedo-and-gown crowd in New York. Seger said Thursday he'll stick with ceremonial tradition and perform at the show, which means attendees and TV viewers will witness his first live performance in more than eight years....Seger was home Wednesday night, in the basement watching the Detroit Pistons on television, when his family got the call. 'I heard the family screaming upstairs, and they came down and just piled on top of me,' he said." Brian McCollum, November 21, Detroit Free Press. "Seger gets Hall of Fame invite - finally."

An earlier story in the Freep comes with a cool vintage photo from 1976. Check it here or click on the thumbnail. And a follow-up piece in the Freep puts Seger right smack on the editorial page. Now that's my kind of newspaper!

"OUR SEGER, FINALLY: The Detroit area, which has given so much music to the world, is well-represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and deservedly so. But something was missing from the Motor City contingent until now, with Bob Seger's membership in the class of 2004 inductees.

Seger, who began rocking local audiences in the mid-'60s, has always been all about the music, giving it everything he's got, whether in front of a few hundred people in a club or many thousands in an arena. As a performer, songwriter and musician, he's an icon of the industry. Best of all, he's ours, a whiskey-voiced, blue-collar rocker who's still living and working right here, his music a touchstone for a place and its people. Like a rock." November 22, Detroit Free Press. "Issues and Rockers."

The Detroit News followed suit with a somewhat stiffer editorial:

"Bob Seger finally received the respect he deserves Thursday when the Rock and Roll Hame [sic] of Fame announced he would be inducted next year.

"Seger had been passed over for 10 years, even though he was immensely popular during the 1970s and 1980s. He connected with audiences nationwide and especially in the Midwest, where he played all sorts of high school gyms, roadhouses and clubs in the 1960s.

"His cultural influence hasn't wavered. His "Like a Rock" remains an advertising anthem for one of the Big Three automaker's truck lines.

"But the reason Seger's music resonates is because it sounds like the wisdom of the heartland. We're glad the Hall of Fame at last recognized Seger's mainstreet appeal and gave him his due." November 24, 2003, The Detroit News. "Seger Deserves Induction into Rock Hall of Fame."

The editorial is subtitled "Detroiter's music personifies Midwestern sensibility," which kind of puzzles me. He uses music to make the midwestern sensibility more like a person? That's not exactly how I would describe what Seger does.

Note how the Freep ends with a Seger song reference -- Like A Rock -- while the DetNews slips in Mainstreet. And what's with the "one of the Big Three automakers" line? Why not just say Chevy?

And they almost get it right when they say "the reason Seger's music resonates is because it sounds like the wisdom of the heartland."

If you omit the last syllable, it's absolutely true. The reason Seger's music resonates is because of his incredible voice and talent and his emotionally honesty. That stuff comes from the heart, not from the heartland. It's emotion, not geography, that makes Seger great.


The DetNews reports on Seger's reaction here:

"Seger gave eight radio interviews on Thursday to promote his current "Greatest Hits 2" package without even mentioning that he'd been inducted into the Hall of Fame. That's because Seger still wasn't quite sure it was true, after his wife couldn't find mention of it on the Internet." Susan Whitall, The Detroit News, November 21, 2003. "Seger humbly accepts news of Hall of Fame induction."

And while we're at, check out USA Today's profile of Seger...one day prior to the announcement.

"Seger, who volunteers as a football, baseball and basketball coach, says family life realigned his values. 'Your heroes change,' he says. 'My new heroes are teachers. I'm knocked out by what they contribute.'" Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY, November 19, 2003. "Seger returns to that old-time rock 'n' roll."

Now that it's official, I'm finally calling off the national tourist embargo on Cleveland. Pack your bags and let's rock.

November 21, 2003


Great week for Greatest Hits 2

Feel like a number, or maybe two? Check out this figure: 47,000. That's how many Seger fans bought GH2 since its release one week ago. Which means the disk debuts at Number 23 on Billboard's Top 200. (Meanwhile 322,000 addled music fans went home with Vol. 14 of the Now That's What I Call Music! rehash. With their blinker lights on all the way, I'll bet.)

Seger on the radio. A couple of radio websites have short phone interviews with Seger. Try WRIF in Detroit and WZLX in Boston.

The WZLX interview covers a wide range of topics. About "Tomorrow," Seger says, "Well, it's just a hammer...It really came from a science conversation I had with my son about asteroids and comets coming close to earth." Seger also talks briefly about outtakes and reissues, and says that "Fire Lake" is based on Silver Lake near Dexter, Michigan. Segerbob.com also gets a good mention.

And in a week and a half, Uncle Joe Benson will air Seger's first national radio interview in ages. Uncle Joe writes this about Bob:

"He's looking great, and is very excited about the new album coming next spring or fall. Still too many songs, and he keeps on writing/recording them.

"The special Off The Record will air the weekend of November 23rd. There's a pretty substantial list of affiliates at unclejoe.com."

He kids us not. Kid Rock's new CD not only covers Seger's unreleased track, "Hard Night for Sarah." It also begins with Seger's introduction from Live Bullet, according to a recent Adam Graham article in the Detroit News.

"(Seger's) my king of rock and roll. For me, there's nothing better," Rock said. "I put him on the highest plateau, probably, out of anybody I really enjoy. Everything he stands for, I just dig.

"You know, he's just a normal guy, and I think that's a big thing for someone like me that's coming up who sees all these other people acting a certain way. I could use him for my role model and say, 'No, no, you can still be normal and rock ... and get crazy and wild and then come back down to earth with it.' I think he's been a good example of that."

The respect is mutual, Seger said. "I see his shows, and I think his show is great. Every time he's in town I try to see him." Adam Graham, November 7, 2003, The Detroit News. "Father role, Mich. life keep rock star grounded." 

Photo update. Thomas Weschler confirms that the center photo of Seger on stage in the CD booklet is from the mid-70s. "Probably in E. Lansing w/Peter Frampton," he writes. According to TLW, the photos were selected in October 2002 -- a year ago -- and then the project got put on hold.

That would track with an email I got -- and foolishly ignored -- from "J.V." on January 16, 2003, saying GH2 would be released this year, based on a Gary Graff article in the Oakland Press.


Got any gum? 47,000 thousand Seger fans aren't the only ones excited about GH2. This, my friends in Detroit say, is a photo of Seger showing a preview copy of the new disk to Joe Walsh. We shoulda been there but we weren't.


Meanwhile, a handful of those 47,000 first-week fans wrote the Segerfile with their own reviews. Check out the comments of Michael Good, Charlie Keegan, Paul Dunn, Chip Stewart, Gord Hunter and Bill Wolski (who explained neutrinos to us earlier), Marty Carlisle and a few others here.

"It's like seeing an old friend after many years apart, " Chip Stewart writes. And I love Bill's comment about Satisfied -- "This song would make the career of virtually anybody else who could have recorded it, yet it's just Seger doing what he always does." You'll also want to ponder his query on the future of the saxophone.

And Gord Hunter sums up what a great Greatest Hits volume can do: "I feel like I've found his music again with all the strength and conviction of my youth." That link again is here.

November 12, 2003


Let "Tomorrow" Never End

"Tomorrow" is here, and I can't stop playing it. This song has a hold on me like morphine...my family has fled to the other end of the house because I keep playing it so loud.

The whole CD is great -- more on that later -- but as the final cut, "Tomorrow" makes a huge statement. Get the CD just for this track alone, if you must. Then do your life a favor and play it loud -- louder than you've played anything for a good long while. Let it thump off your chest. Hear Seger doing what he does with incredible power.

As for "Satisfied" -- get ready to give up some major brain space. You won't have to open the door for this song...it floats in by itself. It's gonna be in my head for a long, long time.

I'm so slammed, so jazzed about these new tracks, I can barely pull it together for a quick round-up slash rip-off of web stories and Segerfile insights. But here goes.


Apocalyptic and tense. That's how Mark Brown, writing in the Rocky Mountain News, describes "Tomorrow." Some excerpts from Brown's piece.

"My son and I are very into science. We're always talking about asteroids hitting the Earth, science in general, physics, things of that nature," Seger says. "We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, so it's just live for today and, gosh, enjoy it...The line about the sun and the road rage - I just really liked the way the lyric came out." Mark Brown, Rocky Mountain News, November 4, 2003. "Seger compiles greatest hits (and slips in some new tunes)"

Brown says that Seger plays all the guitar solos on "Tomorrow."

Seger's next album: Brown quotes Seger as saying, "I turned in 11 (songs), and I've got another 15 I've been recording since '97."

"Much of the material was actually rerecorded," Brown writes, "after he (Seger) discovered a new Sony 44-track, 24-bit machine that sounded better than anything he'd ever recorded on before."

"'I recorded a total of 29 songs, but the best ones - there were 11 of them,' Seger says. ...He plans to write and record five more songs during the winter and give them to his old friend Andy Slater, Capitol Records president, to package and release."

Seger has also recorded Come On up to the House, from Tom Waits' Mule Variations album, Brown writes.

Cooking the tapes. The master tapes of the older material on GH2 were gooey and had to be cooked in a convection oven to stabilize them, according to a Rocky Mountain News sidebar.

"The problem was remastering them without destroying the tapes. That was a trip," Seger says. "We had to be very careful. You bake them for eight to 10 hours and you run them through once and put them on hard disc." Rocky Mountain News,November 4, 2003. "Tapes didn't age well in the vaults."

Read the entire Mark Brown piece, and tape sidebar here.


No RGM. Gary Graff, a journalist who has covered Seger extensively, explains in the Cleveland Plain Dealer why "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" is not on either Greatest Hits album.
"No matter how we tried to fit it in, it's just so mono in the mix that it stood out like a sore thumb," Seger explains. "It just didn't sound right." Gary Graff, November 4, 2003, The Plain Dealer. "Something old, something new by Bob Seger."

Blue Ridge? Graff adds a tantalizing note about a scrapped album.

"Seger also notes that improved recording technology spurred him to scrap an album he was working on, tentatively titled 'Blue Ridge,' and create a new body of work. Sailing, including back-to-back regatta wins in 2001 and 2002, has also chewed up some time.

"But mostly, Seger says, it's family that has commanded the attention he might otherwise give to the music. 'You know, it's so soothing, the whole kid thing,' he says. 'I love being around them.'

Read the entire Graff article here.


The liner notes. Because "Satisfied" and "Tomorrow" were added at the eleventh hour, the first batch of booklets in the CD -- and the track listing on the CD itself -- don't include these songs. According to info at Segernet.com, the first "a couple hundred thousand" booklets will have the wrong tracklist.

The sequencing. It's fantastic. Right off the top, someone had the genius to put "The Fire Down Below" after "Understanding." And "Beautiful Loser" after "Her Strut." Sometimes on greatest hits collections, the sequence works against the songs. On this one, the sequence works perfectly, enhancing the songs.

Weschler scores. The booklet inside the CD begins with Tom Weschler's beautiful back-cover shot of Seger from Brand New Morning. And the centerpiece is a terrific Weshler shot of Seger in concert. I've never seen this one before. Okay, TLW -- what's the story behind the photo?

The Silver Bullet Girls. Naked girls wearing huge ammo belts, hugging a phallic bullet. They've never seemed Seger-like to me. Couldn't they find work as a graphic for say, a Blue Cheer cutout, or some Led Zep reissue? Do they seem horribly dated to you, or am I just getting old? (TLW: what's the story behind that piece of art?)

Someone tell Capitol. This is first Seger CD since 1995, and guess what's on the Capitol Records home page? Coldplay, Duran Duran, Yellowcard, various Beatles stuff. Way to overlook a guy who's sold nearly 50 million albums. [Update: Sometime on Nov. 5, Capitol added Seger to their home page.]

Someone tell iTunes. When you search for Seger at Apple's Music Store, it asks "Did you mean Bob Siegal?" Uh, no.

The missing verse. I was three times through "Satisfied" when I realized it was one verse short from the version I heard in the Vault. The missing second verse is a little more biting. The full lyrics are updated in the Vault write-up.

BobSeger.com? When you put the enhanced CD in your hard drive, you get a menu page where you can start the Turn The Page video. There's also a link to www.bobseger.com, which is registered to Capitol. When you go there, you'll get a picture of the album cover and a link to Amazon...in case you want to buy another copy of the CD maybe. I guess they just couldn't find any good Seger sites they could link to...

Alto wants to tour: Alto Reed posts this message on his site, AltoReed.com: "Be sure to tell all your friends and neighbors to go out and snatch up as many of the new CD's as possible...and maybe that will help in convincing Bob that our fans need us up close and personal...tour wise that is."

DMC and Jones. "All I listen to," says DMC of Run DMC, "is Pink Floyd, Bob Seger, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin - I'm like a classic-rock head." And then there's this disturbing item from the Nov. 5 Washington Times: "It wasn't until he sang a techno-y near-ballad version of Bob Seger's "We've Got Tonight" that the panties really started sailing toward Tom Jones, about midway through his 90-minute steamer at the Lisner Auditorium Tuesday night."


Okay, those last two bits have nothing to do with the Greatest Hits 2 CD, but a web round-up is a web round-up. And it certainly demonstrates Seger's amazingly wide range of influence.

Meanwhile, my ten-year-old son is suggesting that I not wait for the police to find me and demand that I turn it down. "Just call up and turn yourself in now, dad," he says. But "Tomorrow" stays on at top volume.

I fear I'm going pay for this night when he's a teenager. Til then, we rock.

November 5, 2003


DetNews Covers Seger

Today's release of Greatest Hits 2 brings the added bonus of more news coverage. Susan Whitall's story in the Detroit News makes two stories in one week, which is two more than we've seen in the last several years.

Some excerpts from Whitall's piece:

The two new songs were picked "because they sounded the most done," says Seger. "I've got some other great stuff, but the vocals aren't final or whatever." Susan Whitall, November 3, 2003, The Detroit News. "Seger's back in the groove."

Whitall says Seger writes in an upstairs, guitar-filled studio over a barn, "where he sits on a leather sofa facing the woods."

"I love being out here. I can just bash away and nobody comes down that drive, I don't get any mail. My wife wants me to move closer to our house, so I don't have to drive so far, but the lawn mowers! I can't record with lawn mowers and planes, and trucks going by."

I like the fact that Whitall takes the time to describe Seger's appeal. He has, she writes, "the rare ability to roar in a rock 'n' roll context, but a minute later convey heartbreak and sensitivity." That's a good line. She also gets points in my book for mentioning his early stuff, particularly "the anti-war song, '2 + 2,' and the angry young man rant, 'East Side Story.'"

On hitting the high notes:

"Some of the real high notes like on 'Katmandu,' I can't do that anymore. And 'Old Time Rock 'n' Roll,' that was F sharp, oh boy! I couldn't do that anymore. I've got to go two steps down for that. But that's cool because the guitar sounds better there." ...Joni Mitchell once said to me, 'Let me tell you, I've been there. You smoke, I smoke. Those high notes are gone -- they're not coming back. Just ... turn it down!' "

Punch in demand. Seger reveals that J. Geils Band and Diana Ross once asked Punch to manage them. "He said no, I like your stuff, but my plate's full."

Read all of Whitall's piece here.

November 5, 2003


Kid Rock Covers Seger

As rumored earlier, Kid Rock's new CD will include an unreleased Seger track, "Hard Night for Sarah." Once again, the info comes from Louisville's Classic Rock station, 107.7SFR (and the tip comes from Segerfile reader Richard Petty). The 107.7 site says:

Seger told us that he keeps tabs on what Kid Rock is up to, though the two don't get together often: "I obviously know Rock, but I don't really see Rock much. I don't want to influence him one way or the other -- you know, I want him to be his own person. I don't see him much."

Interestingly, that's the same reason I don't hang with Rock.

"Hard Night for Sarah" was profiled in the original Vault write-up. "Upbeat and sexy this song is not," is how I described it. "Musically, the song owes a lot to "Mainstreet," the entry continues, "but in the Release or Don't Release vote, 'Sarah' got two 'Don'ts.'"

I'd like to believe Rock is releasing it now just to prove how dead wrong I was. Read the full Vault write-up of "Sarah" here.

November 4, 2003.


Carved "In Stone" -- Seger Says New CD in O4

Seger talks.

Specifically, he's talking in the longest and most interesting Seger article and interview in over a decade, both written by Brian McCollum, music writer for the Detroit Free Press. You'll want to read the whole article and the even more fascinating interview yourself, but some excerpts are included below.

In addition, one of the most definitive statements yet appears on the website of Louisville's Classic Rock station, 107.7SFR. They quote Seger as saying this about the due date for his CD of new material:

"I'm hoping spring, but it'll probably be more like summer or fall. But definitely, I'd say in stone by next fall it'll be out, 'cause, I mean, it's virtually done. I got a lot of really good stuff on it already, and I'd just like to add some more."

That tidbit alone is great to hear. But McCollum really puts the meat on the bones. Some excerpts:

Seger: I'd say (the new album) is 70 percent done. I was 80 percent done, but I had to steal ("Satisfied" and "Tomorrow") from myself. I was gonna write three more songs; now I've got to write five.

When that comes out, we might do a small tour. Everybody says, "Why don't you just play 10 or 12 places?" But the problem is that you can't get a good crew, and you can't get a good sound system, and you can't get a good light system, if you do a "small" tour. If you want the best, those guys want a commitment of about 4 to 6 months. And I'd want the best people and the best stuff. So that's the problem. And then there's the issue of when do you do it?

The kids really want me to do it. They don't remember the last one.

McCollum: But do you feel like you have a debt to your fans, the people who'd like to see you get back out again.

Seger: Well, yeah. But they sure saw me! (Laughs) I played everywhere on earth for 22 years -- gymnasiums, cafeterias, clubs, concerts, outdoors, indoors. I played every kind of venue there was.

I mean, I know what you're saying. But I guess it's just the gearing up for it that's monumental. We've got to practice three weeks, get the kinks out, then we've got to practice three weeks with the crew, and then go out for four months. It's just a huge chunk of time out of life. It's a question of do you really want to commit to that physically...I want to be sure I can deliver what people expect to hear. I'd definitely be enthused. I just don't know if I can physically do it. Or if I should.

McCollum: A lot of fans wonder when we're gonna see compact disc reissues of older albums like "Noah" and "Back in '72." What's the status of all that vintage material?

Seger: We, in conjunction with Capitol, bought (the masters). So we -- and Capitol -- can determine when that stuff is going to come out...

But I am considering putting out an album eventually of all these tracks that you read about on the Internet, all these tracks that just missed being on albums -- even outtakes from "Live Bullet" and things of that nature. Just clearing the deck. It would be about 30 or 40 songs that have never been released. Like, "OK, here they are! Now stop calling me!"

-- "Interview with Bob Seger: I'm just trying to keep things simple." by Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press, October 31, 2003

Seger doesn't mention where on the Internet you can read about these unreleased tracks, but probably a Google search would turn up something. McCollum's article says Seger may call the eventual outtake album "Everything" -- a truly delicious prospect.

The article and interview cover all kinds of ground -- what Seger thinks of "It's A Mystery," his relationship with Capitol and how he divides his time between songwriting and family, and much more. It's must-reading for all Segerphiles.

Thanks to Bill Cook for the Free Press tip, and to Richard Petty for the Louisville info, and to McCollum for the great articles. Best Halloween treat ever.

October 31, 2003


Great Hits, Great Pics

With the release of Greatest Hits 2 just around the corner, sheet music publisher Hal Leonard is getting in on the act with the release of "Bob Seger Anthology," available for pre-order on Amazon. Check out the fantastic, hard-rocking cover photo. Previous sheet-music books, shown below, have used more familiar graphics -- including the picture we'll see on GH2 on November 4. And speaking of great photos, that one of Seger at the keyboards looks oddly familiar. You can find the strangest things on e-Bay sometimes*.

Thanks to the original Seger DEW liner Jesse for tipping me off to all of these.

Click to enlarge.

*Including repackaged versions of the Retro Rock radio broadcast, or so it would appear.

October 27, 2003


Another Reason We Should All Live in Traverse City

Actually two good reasons: A chance to see some terrific rock and roll photos. And a chance to run into some great musicians, maybe including Bob Seger.

These two opportunities come together at an exhibition called "Knew and Used Photography: The Tom Wright Collection." It opens at the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City on November 14 and runs through February 1.

Wright photographed groups and musicians including Led Zeppelin, Cream, Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones and The Who. The exhibit and the premiere are being organized by media promotor and Seger fan Rick Coates, who will also host a panel discussion about the 1966-1973 Detroit music scene.

Rumors are buzzing around TC about the various rockers who might attend the opening.

The Traverse City paper says:

"It's the Nov. 13 VIP premiere of the show that's already generating lots of grist for the Traverse City rumor mill. There's talk that any number of rock superstars may be on hand, either for the opening itself or for the late-night "Tom Wright Jam" scheduled afterward at Streeters. Rumors include anyone from Pete Townshend (Wright's longtime buddy) to Joe Walsh to Bob Seger, David Teegarden and Kenny Olson.

      "I know there's a ton of great performers coming in," said Streeter's owner Doug Street. "A lot of big national acts have expressed interest, although I can't say just who has committed." -- October 21, 2003, Mike Norton, Traverse City Record-Eagle. "Rock photos, maybe some stars."

Other names being mentioned for the opening and/or jam session include Drew Abbott and Ian McLagan. Tickets are first-come, first-served from the Dennos Museum Center box office at (231) 995-1553.

 October 26, 2003 


Hey First-Dayers -- How's It Sound?

"Satistfied" -- Seger's first release since 1998 -- is already getting airplay. And in ten days, we'll all be able to buy Greatest Hits 2 and hear the other new track, "Tomorrow."

If, like me, you're buying the CD on its release date -- November 4 -- drop me an email that day or the next and let me know what you think of the two songs. Worth the wait? Better than ever? Or anti-climatic? Did the Vault write-ups (Read "Satisfied" here and "Tomorrow" here) do them justice? Is new Seger a reason to live, or what?

Write a short paragraph on each song, shoot it to me at sparling@segerfile.com and I'll post your take on it here.

October 26, 2003


Seger Delivers!!

Forget what I wrote below about the track list for Seger's Greatest Hits Volume 2 being conservative. That was yesterday. Today, the track list rocks, thanks to a last minute change made by Seger and Punch.

The news simply couldn't be better -- Seger has added two fantastic unreleased tracks to the lineup: "Satisfied" and "Tomorrow." I'm ecstatic about the choices -- these are tracks I had a chance to hear in the Vault, and both are Seger at his best. (For the Vault's write-up of these tracks, click here.)

Just like that, GHV2 just became essential.

Segernet.com broke the wonderful news this afternoon -- get over there right now (if you haven't just come from there) and read about Eric's phone call with Punch Enterprises explaining all the details behind this last minute switch.

BusinessWire.com has a release, probably written by Capitol, which is not as detailed as Eric's version, but which contains an interesting quote from Bob.

"Rock and roll legend Bob Seger put the brakes on his upcoming "Greatest Hits 2" CD only three weeks before its scheduled release date of November 4th. 'The fans have waited a long time for this record and I appreciate that,' said Seger. 'It didn't seem right to put it out without something new.' Business Wire, 10/14/03. "Bob Seger Stops the Presses and Adds Two New Unreleased Tracks"

Both accounts point out that the change is so last-minute, part of the initial packaging will be wrong. Also, the video of "Night Moves" will be removed from the disc to make room for the two new cuts.

Historians, please note: In five and a half years, this is the first time the Seger File has used exclamation marks in a headline. I'm just that damn excited. When you hear "Satisfied" and "Tomorrow," you will be too.

October 14, 2003 -- With another thanks to Segernet for the scoop.


Get Out of Denver, Like a Truck and GHV2

That's right, it's a Web roundup. And in today's Seger news...

First, a couple of e-mails and DenverPost.com report that Springsteen opened his Denver show last night with "Get Out of Denver."

The e-mail from Robert D. Quimby said: "Nice rendition - really slowed it down. Only problem was most people around me had no idea what the song was or whose it was." A similar note from Rick (rickypaddy) confirms that "many who were at the show and who posted on Springsteen's forum, wanted to know what song that was."

Are Springsteen fans really that unaware? Almost makes me want to update the Seger-Springsteen Complexo-Meter.

 

Second, this weekend's NYT Magazine has an interesting piece on the pickup truck and its place in our culture. There are some good Seger references, such as:

''We launched 'Like a Rock' when the truckers, guys who used them for work, were still the primary market for pickup trucks,'' says Bill Ludwig, chief creative officer at Campbell-Ewald, which handles advertising for Chevrolet.

That changed almost immediately. Suburban car shoppers started trading in minivans and station wagons for full-size pickups. Observing this shift, Chevrolet commissioned what Ludwig describes as the first comprehensive anthropological study of car buyers to determine what accounted for the change -- and to see if ''Like a Rock'' had anything to do with it. ''The economic conditions were much the same as they are now: huge economic downturn, people losing white-collar jobs to downsizing, all manner of economic instability,'' Ludwig says.

In response to this insecurity, white-collar consumers embraced blue-collar "workingman" values, like pickup trucks:

It was just good timing, Ludwig says, that these workingman virtues were the ones expressed in the lyrics of ''Like a Rock.'' Better still, Seger's lyrics could be parceled out to sell particular trucks to specific audiences. Television commercials for the modest S-10, a starter truck, were scored to reach strivers with a self-described inner dignity. Ludwig recited, like the poetry that it is, Seger's second verse to make his point: ''I was 18/Didn't have a care/Working for peanuts/Not a dime to spare/But I was lean and solid everywhere/Like a rock.'' Manny Howard, The New York Times Magazine, 9/28/2003. "The Pickup, a Love Story."

You can find the full article here. (Free registration required.)

 

Third, Eric Verona, who runs segernet.com has a very interesting post about GHV2, based on a conversation with someone at Punch Enterprises. There's also a cool picture of Bob and the Boss, which I stole and reprinted very small. Check out the Segernet Forum and find the full-size photo on your own.

September 27, 2003


Greatest Hits 2 Slithering Along

As reported below, a couple of web sites are reporting a November release date for Greatest Hits Vol 2. Matt Rowe, editor of musictap.net says the source is straight from EMI/Capitol. The release date "has slithered off to November 4," according to the site's update for August 28.

If true, that could mean no CD of new material for another year.

Four scenarios come to mind. 1) Capitol is driving this. They don't know if the new material will ever be ready, and they know a Greatest Hits package will sell more copies anyway. So they're moving ahead on their own. 2) Capitol is bluffing, penciling in a release date for Volume 2 to make Bob fork over the new stuff. 3) Seger is rewriting, remixing, rethinking or retiring and won't have the new stuff ready for at least another year anyway, so Volume 2 is a stopgap. 4) I'm just making up stuff as I type.

On the other hand, the ten unreleased tracks from 2001 that I heard recently in the Vault would make a perfectly fine new album, as is. Why they aren't already released is another mystery. (No Vault update this week, by the way. I'm off to see Donovan and the Dandy Warhols. Separately.)

Meanwhile, Capitol's Seger page is content to report the old news that GH Vol. 1 has been certified as 6X Platinum by the RIAA (Reality-Impaired Alien Attorneys.)

Seger Trivia Extra: Please note: The Bob Seger tribute at the Whidbey Island (Wash.) County Fair begins promptly at 5 this Sunday. CCR tribute at 3 pm.

August 29, 2003


SegerFog Descends on SegerFile

Greatest Hits Vol. 2? Rosalie? Apple Music Store? There's nothing but questions this time out. (What else is new?)

Is Seger's Greatest Hits Volume 2 due for release on November 18? A couple web sites (pauseandplay.com and musictap.net) say it is. Someone at Punch's office says it isn't. (Thanks to Daniel Hawks and Mike Faye for the website info and to Eric Verona at segernet.com for the counter-info from HQ.) What's the real story? As always, those who know don't say.

Michael McNamara, who is making a documentary about CKLW, e-mailed me recently with this question. Is it true that "even though "Rosalie" charted on other Detroit radio stations, the song was NEVER played on CKLW."

I think that statement is true -- that CK never played it. Anyone know with certainty? McNamara is also looking for images of the song on radio station charts (like Keener, etc.) If you have any, let me know.

Finally, why can't I buy any Seger (except for Shea) in the Apple Music Store?

Ponder these imponderables while you're checking out the vault, which has just been updated.

August 24, 2003


More Unreleased Seger -- The Seger File Returns to the Vault

Last year, the Seger File was given limited access to a cache of unreleased Seger tracks spanning nearly 30 years. The result was a 10,000-word essay describing more than 30 songs -- the most detailed account of Seger's unreleased music ever published on the Web or on paper.

Two months ago, a friend (known mysteriously as "Ears Two" or E2) and I returned to the Vault. This time a young woman handed us a jumbo-sized baggie jammed with nearly 20 cassette tapes. A minute later she led us to a dubbing tape deck, gave us some headphones, told us not to copy the tapes and disappeared.

For the next two days, we listened to Seger cuts from the 1970s, '80s, and '90s -- and five new tracks recorded in this century, presumably for Seger's next CD.

For a full report -- and to find out why Seger can't promise you tomorrow or what happens if neutrinos have mass -- follow the link and Return to the Vault.

July 19, 2003

Update: Bill Wolski, a longtime Seger fan, writes to ask, If neutrinos have mass, do they take Communion as well? His note also offers a physics perspective on Seger's lyrics, as the Vault grows deeper. Click on the link above for more.

August 8, 2003


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


Just take those 2003 Updates off the shelf...

      
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December 16, 2002