The Seger File
An unofficial web site about the music of Bob Seger Archived updates from 2004 For the latest updates, see News & Updates page. Written and edited by Scott Sparling
sparling@spiritone.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

Seger Rocks the Hall


Recently in the Seger File

Hall Shots. Seger photographer Tom Weschler shares some photographs from the ceremony.

Seger Inks SimTour Deal, Gets Ready to Rock. High-tech show will be "bigger than Woodstock."

The SegerFog Parts Over "Blue Ridge" -- Briefly. A glimpse of the album that didn't happen.

Mick, Kid, Prince, Rosalie, Smokey and Mahorn -- "Everbody But Seger." A news roundup from around the web.

Seger Nominated for Detroit Music Awards. Watch Kid Rock, also nominated, on video.

"Listen All Night to the Wind." My Hall of Fame tribute to Seger.

Video Links: Seger and Kid Rock. Excerpts from the induction ceremony.

Seger Rocks the Hall. More news reports from the induction ceremony.

What Bob Played Tuesday Night. Hear Dylan's version of "Get Out of Denver."

Dancing in the Aisles. Seger had them standing on the chairs Monday night in NY.

The Free Press and the Rest of the Press. A guide to Hall of Fame news links.

Prince takes Seger lessons and other Hall of Fame news from around the web.

The thin line of R&B. Seger explains what makes Detroit music great.

"Bob is in great voice; the band is kicking rock 'n' roll butt." So says Alto Reed.

Asked and Answered. Seger talks about the Hall of Fame; plus he's heading back to the studio in March. Click for more.

Halfway to Platinum. At the end of the year, sales of GH2 were half a million strong.

No one break the news like Uncle Joe. Some highlights from Uncle Joe Benson's interview with Seger.

"Bob Seger is not getting paid for this concert." A free Seger concert from a Florida radio station.


Hallmark of Greatness!

Bob Seger joins the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


The SegerFog Parts Over "Blue Ridge" -- Briefly.

"SegerFog" is my name for the cloud of mystery that usually hangs over all things Seger. What's he going to play at the Hall of Fame ceremony? Why didn't he join the all-star jam? Will he tour? Name any Seger question you like: there's usually lots of mystery and not many clues.

Last fall, the SegerFog even hung over the question of whether there would be a new Greatest Hits CD. Industry websites said yes. Sources close to Seger's management reportedly said no. What to believe?

For the record, I have to say that I like the SegerFog. Imagine how unexciting things would be if all the info we sought was released by Punch Enterprises in a clear, timely, unambiguous fashion. No more theories and counter-theories. No more debates, no delicious inside info. I'd have to get a new hobby.

One fog-shrouded subject has been "Blue Ridge" -- an album Seger was working on in the late 1990s. Rumors came and went of the audio not meeting Seger's standards (what else is new?), but nothing hit the press until Gary Graff's piece in the Cleveland Plain Dealer last November:

"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." Gary Graff, November 4, 2003, The Plain Dealer. "Something old, something new by Bob Seger."

That little morsel raised more questions than it answered. But recently, the SegerFile got a glimpse of what the track list might have been for that might-have-been album.

From 1997 to 1999, Seger wrote and recorded at least 14 songs. They are:

Dreamin'
Forward Into the Past
Blue Ridge
Before
At Sea
The Reckoning
Mr. Bottom
The Hard One
All Brand New
It's Over
I Knew You When
Amazed
Outland
Tonight

Was this the "Blue Ridge" album? Will any of these songs survive to appear on "Face The Promise" -- the CD promised for this fall? Too late: the fog closes in again...


Let's see...since 2000, Seger has recorded at least 11 more songs:

Let Me Try
Something More
Red Eye to Memphis
Little Jane
Finding Out
It's All Good
Answer's In the Question
Face the Promise
Kentucky Moonlight
Satisfied
Tomorrow

That totals 25 songs. Last fall, Seger said he had recorded 29 songs since It's A Mystery was released in 1995. Which leaves four other titles still out there in the fog.

April 3, 2004


Seger Nominated for Detroit Music Awards

On the footsteps of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, Seger has been nominated for Outstanding Anthology/Compilation Reissue in the Detroit Music Awards, to be held at the State Theater in Detroit on April 23.

Kid Rock, who inducted Seger, is nominated in the Outstanding Album category for his recent album...along with the White Stripes for Elephant, Alice Cooper for Eyes Of Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop for Skull Ring..

Of Seger's nomination, Kid Rock said:

 "I think in his own words he's the beautiful loser. I think he's the most underrated singer/songwriter of our generation. You never saw him pulling publicity scams or anything to get his music played. His music was always what did the talking. The songs are so powerful, all of them. The caliber of them is just tremendous. And being from Detroit, it makes me proud to be from there just knowing that he had championed it so much for so many years." Artisan News Service. March 26, 2004. "WHITE STRIPES, BOB SEGER, ALICE COOPER, EMINIEM, KID ROCK ALL NOMINATED FOR DETROIT MUSIC AWARDS."

You can hear and see Kid Rock say it himself here.

No info so far about who will perform at the award show.

The same website also has some video of Seger talking about being with his kids and why he hasn't toured in recent years.

"One word, kids (laughs). That was about it. I was forty-seven when I had my son, and I just decided to watch him grow up, really. They did go on one tour with me. He was four and my daughter was a baby, but it was kind of tough on 'em. Basically I've been writing a lot the last nine years, but yeah, the road just didn't have that appeal. I just wanted to be there."

The video was shot at the Hall of Fame ceremony.

April 3, 2004


 Mick, Kid, Prince...

Northern Michigan music journalist Rick Coates is a voting member of the Hall of Fame and was at the Waldorf-Astoria on the big night. When it ended, he shot the Seger File a 1 a.m. email from the media room, saying in part, "Seger was awesome…Turn the Page and Old Time Rock and Roll…he jammed on both songs… Kid Rock rushed to the stage at the end and took charge of the all-star jam…sort of squeezed Mick out…"

Now that he's back in Michigan, Coates has written an account in Northern Express (a weekly paper based in Traverse City) that adds some new details about the night, including this quote from Mick Jagger:

"Seger certainly deserves to be in," said Jagger. "Of course I am a fan."

Coates also caught up with Prince, who added these comments:

"It is especially meaningful to go into the Hall of Fame with Bob Seger," said Prince. "We are both midwesterners and Seger had a lot of influence on me at the start of my career; he certainly influenced my writing." Rick Coates, Northern Express. "Bob Seger Turns the Page at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame."

You can read the entire piece here.

…Rosalie…

The new CKLW documentary -- Radio Revolution: The Rise and Fall of the Big 8 -- is now on the film festival circuit and will be shown on (Canadian) History Television network April 8.

Located across the river from Detroit in Windsor, the AM station could be heard from Canada to Florida -- or from Chattanooga to good old Bogalusa, as Seger sings in "Rosalie," his 1973 song about music director Rosalie Trombley.

"'It was the biggest, loudest radio station on the dial,'" says [the film's director Michael] McNamara.

"And, the story goes that on summer nights, one could drive down Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the windows down and the dashboard radio off and still hear CKLW from other cars, from storefronts, in the air everywhere." CJAD online. "Documentary Radio Revolution recalls heyday of Canadian radio station CKLW."

Much of the film centers on Trombley, who became one of the most powerful forces in pop music.

"Bob Seger, Elton John, David Bowie and Alice Cooper are just a few of the performers who owe a big part of their success to Trombley. It wasn't unusual to see members of the Four Tops or Temptations waiting for their turn outside Trombley's office to personally deliver their latest single.

"'Rosalie had that kind of reputation as someone who could pick a hit before anyone else,' McNamara says. 'Getting a song on CKLW meant that automatically other radio stations far beyond the region would add the record.'" John Monaghan, March 24, 2004. Detroit Free Press. "The Big 8 rocks and roars again in new film."

Seger's homage to Trombley may have been a miscalculation, however. According the movie, she threatened to quit if it ever played on her station.

...Smokey...

Maybe Seger's performance at the Hall of Fame ceremony sparked some memories for Jann Wenner. For whatever reason, Rolling Stone Magazine has remembered Seger after a decade of pretty much ignoring him.

The current "Immortals" issue includes tributes to 50 rock and roll legends and one of them is…Smokey Robinson. But the short tribute is written by Seger. And elsewhere in the issue, Seger and Kid Rock score get some ink regarding the HOF. The Seger stuff is not on the RS website, but ten minutes at the newsstand will get you up to speed.

...and Mahorn...

When terrible things happen on great days, I think of Rick Mahorn. The former Piston was a member of the 1989 NBA Championship team. The tickertape parade through Detroit was the same day as the expansion draft, and as the fans and the team were trying to celebrate, Minnesota plucked Mahorn away. Never has a celebration turned to loss so quickly. You probably have to be a hardcore Pistons fan to remember how bad it felt. So I was fascinated by the following in the Detroit News:

"How big of a Pistons fan has Hall-of-Fame rocker Bob Seger been over the years? Seger, who has been a season ticket-holder at The Palace since the building opened in 1988, sat down with broadcaster George Blaha during Channel 50's telecast last Friday and told this story.

"Back in the summer of 1989, after the Pistons had won their first NBA title, the Pistons lost popular forward Rick Mahorn to Minnesota in the expansion draft.

"Seger said he was so upset he sat down and wrote a long and passionate letter to NBA commissioner David Stern complaining about the timing and heartlessness of the situation." March 27, 2004, Chris McCosky and Joanne C. Gerstner, The Detroit News. "Seger mourned loss of Mahorn."

According to the article, Stern did not reply.

"Everybody But Seger."

Kid Rock himself provides a little glimpse at the Hall of Fame after-party. According to the New York Post online, Rock hung out at Elaine's, where Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun held a party for Rolling Stone owner Jann Wenner.

"'We took Punch out on the town,' Rock said later. 'The party was great. We got a jam goin' on -- we did 'Feelin' All Right.' I think we were playin' some Ray Charles. Everybody was there -- Mick Jagger, Springsteen. Everybody but Seger.'" Jeffrey Slonim, March 21, 2004, New York Post "Boys Town."

March 31, 2004


Video Links: Seger and Kid Rock

Kid Rock's introduction of Seger at the Hall of Fame has been quoted in a lot of articles -- but you don't really feel the power of it until you hear it in his own voice. VH1 has a video clip, here.*

Earlier in the week, VH1 posted a one-minute video clip of Seger singing "Turn the Page" at the induction ceremony. (The video featured the middle verse of the song -- "Well, you walk into a restaurant..." That clip went down the day after it went up, replaced by the Kid Rock clip.)

You can also hear part of Seger's acceptance speech here.

In his acceptance speech, Seger says, "I want to thank all the fans who pushed real hard on the Internet and on rock radio to get me in here for all these years. Thanks so much. I know you never stopped."

So you know, when it comes to pushing for Seger's induction, Eric Verona's RocktheHall site led the way on the Internet, with help from a lot of great fans at Segernet.com.

Click to enlarge.

*(Side note: The American-built Kid Rock brings his rock and roll train to this part of the country on May 6, Seger's birthday. How many Seger shirts -- besides mine -- do you think he'll see in the crowd?)

March 20, 2004


Seger Gets Them Dancing in the Aisles

"Yoko Ono got up and boogied; Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner danced atop a chair; Springsteen and pal Little Steven Van Zandt clapped along..."

That's how Entertainment Weekly describes the reaction when Seger played "Old Time Rock and Roll" at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony Monday night.

The EW story says Seger's first song, "Turn the Page," got off to a slow "with a voice hoarse from over-rehearsal."

"But toward the end of the song (''Here I am/On the road AGAIN''), he found new strength, transforming his trembling rasp into his old roar, and winning a standing ovation.

"From there, Seger -- backed by longtime companions the Silver Bullet Band -- kicked into the overplayed, arguably corny hit ''Old Time Rock & Roll.'' But the sheer energy of their performance -- and Seger's heroic effort to push past his vocal troubles -- won over the audience...Maybe presenter Kid Rock was right to call Seger ''the baddest...of all time.'' March 17, 2004, Entertainment Weekly. "On The Scene at the Rock Hall Inductions."

For more on the big night, and more pics, scroll down.

March 17, 2004


What Bob Played Tuesday Night

A tribute from the master.

For months, we've talked about the Hall of Fame ceremony, wondering what songs Bob would play. In the end it was "Turn the Page," and "Old Time Rock and Roll," two all-time Seger classics.

But it was the song that got played Tuesday night that really sends chills up my spine. At the State Theater in Detroit, a different Bob -- Bob Dylan -- wound up his encore the way he almost always does, with a version of "All Along the Watchtower" that just rips open the sky.

And then he came back for a rare second encore and blasted out the first cover version of his current tour: "I still remember it was autumn and the moon was shinin..."

Tonight the Dylan message boards are buzzing, with some fans are asking, "what was that song?" (yes, even in Detroit!) and others fans filling them in.

I'm buzzing just thinking about it. Dylan, covering "Get Out Of Denver." Seger used to play that song to crowds as small as 50 and now...well, it's the perfect ending to the ceremony in New York.

There's no higher tribute. When Bob Dylan closes his show with your song, you're in the biggest hall of fame of all.

Listen to an mp3 of Dylan's version of "Get Out of Denver" here.

March 16, 2004. Special thanks to Scott Fader for the Dylan/Seger tip.


Seger Rocks the Hall

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is finally true to its name.

Around 11 o'clock Monday night, the Hall inducted Bob Seger. Free Press writer Brian McCollum reports that Kid Rock presented Seger and "spoke of the Michigan veteran's dignity, commitment to family, and his bond with Michigan and music."

"'I'm feeling great,' said Seger, decked out in a sharp black suit and accompanied by his wife, Nita, and a coterie of nearly 50 friends and family members.

"Nearby, associate Bill Blackwell toted a handful of throat remedies that included bee pollen. On the day of his first public performance in eight years, Detroit's most distinct rock vocalist had awakened with a cracked voice.

"'Wouldn't you know it? The first voice trouble I've had in two years,' Seger said. 'But my nerves are OK. Nobody's going to notice -- I sing so rough already.'

"Seger and his Silver Bullet Band went on to perform a pair of songs. 'Turn the Page' may have started shaky, but by the time Seger got to the song's rousing final chorus -- 'Here I am, up on the stage,' -- the familiar voice kicked in strong. It stayed there through 'Old Time Rock & Roll.' Brian McCollum, March 16, 2004, Detroit Free Press. "2004 ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION: Bob Seger, Detroit's leading man of blue-collar music is at ease on his black-tie night."

Elsewhere, the Tuesday Detroit News carries a Hall of Fame piece from the AP with some cool photos.

But to really get the full flavor of the night, check out the many posts at HELLUVA NIGHT! on the Segernet.com message forum -- the premier gathering spot for Seger fans from all over.

 

Click to enlarge.
Middle Row: Some sharp dressed men: Seger and Z.Z. Top

Bottom Row: Every ounce of energy you try to give away: Seger on stage in New York and Ann Arbor.

March 16, 2004


Listen All Night to the Wind

The Seger File's Hall of Fame tribute to Seger

The trees are swaying tonight, which means the floor is moving a little, too. It's late and I'm in my treehouse, and there's music coming in on the wind.

The party that I hear is 2,500 miles away. They're raising their glasses at the Waldorf-Astoria and they're cheering and clapping in Cleveland. The black-tie crowd and the foot-stamping crowd. The music's traveling cross-country tonight; I can hear them all the way out here in Oregon. They're playing songs I can feel right in my bones: "Turn the Page." "Old Time Rock and Roll." Seger classics.

But tonight I want to start with a different song. I often sit out here to write and think and work on the Seger File, and on this special night the song I want to hear first is an old, imperfect ballad off the Seven album: "20 Years From Now."

It's not his finest song, you might tell me, and that's true. But there's so much I like about it. Partly what I love are the young days when I first heard it, the sense of strength and unknown adventure that lay ahead.

But the song itself still moves me. As one of Seger's first introspective ballads, "20 Years From Now," was a precursor in both content and style to "Night Moves" and later "Like A Rock." In the lyrics, you can hear Seger developing as a storyteller, discovering what to explain and what not to explain, as in the odd and offhand reference to "her inhaler" in the first line. The final, abbreviated line of each verse -- "When she went" -- is genius, giving us part of an image and letting us fill in the rest.

And the vocals are great. If you love Seger for his voice -- and who doesn't? -- you have to like this song. If some confused sound engineer had taken these vocals and plopped them onto a Van Morrison album by mistake, with a better backing track, the cut might have become an FM radio classic.

The first time I heard "20 Years From Now" was 30 years ago. When I was barely 20 years old myself, the idea that I'd "be here 20 years from now" felt like a certainty. Tonight as I listen to the crickets sing, another 20 years seems less like a given and more like a privilege -- something dependent on good health and good fortune. What is certain, though, is that if I'm here, I'll be listening to Seger.

I guess that's the first thing I want to say. Seger lasts. Simple as this: From "Persecution Smith" to the Hall of Fame, Seger's taken us on a forty-year journey and it keeps getting better and better. If it lasts another twenty years or more, I'm definitely down for the ride.

There's something else I want to say before I come down from this tree, though, and it has to do with giving. As fans, we always talk about we want Seger to give us next: a new CD, a boxed set, a DVD, all those glorious unreleased tracks. We want, we want, we want -- well, that's what makes us fans. But as long as the wind is blowing and the music's still playing, I want to think about what he's given us so far. To borrow a phrase from Seger's friend Don Henley, call it my thanksgiving. Here's what I'm thankful for:

The music, of course. And especially the live music. I never thought much about going to hear bands until I heard Seger play live. Through Seger, I discovered the energy of live music, the excitement of the crowd, the thump of the bass against your chest. That's major. That's life-changing right there.

Something to believe in. Through a lot of hard years, Seger never gave up. Corny as it may sound, when I talk to my son about believing in your dreams, I talk about Bob Seger.

Someone to root for. I've liked a lot of other bands and singers over the years. But Seger was the underdog, the beautiful loser, so we rooted for him. We drove for hours to hear his gigs and bonded in the dark bars of southern Michigan. We wanted him to win and now he has.

Some truth. Listen to the words. It might be only rock and roll when the Stone's sing it, but Seger's lyrics go to the heart. They tell you something about how it is to live in this world. They remind you of something you've always known, but forgot, or they uncover something new. "2 + 2," "Like A Rock," "Tomorrow," "Famous Final Scene," "Somewhere Tonight," "Against the Wind" -- you name the song: if you're a longtime Seger fan, chances are you've learned something about yourself from his lyrics.

Something we can feel. So much popular music is just product these days, delivered by pop stars manufactured on TV. Seger's music is borne from something deeper. Listen to the last 60 seconds of "Night Moves." Listen to "Turn The Page," "Chances Are" or "Satisfied." When it's Seger, every note is something you can really feel.

A friend. In the first song he ever recorded, Seger said he was "The Lonely One"-- yet he's kept us company for forty years. He's sung to us in the dark and got us dancing in the headlights. He's made us feel connected. A friend for four decades, he's kept us from feeling alone and called us to celebration.

Some true and genuine joy. All these words come down to this: His music makes it so I can't stop smiling. It's pure, plain rock and roll happiness, straight from the source, and when I hear it, the only thing I want is more.

So congratulations, Bob. Circle the cars from the Hall of Fame to Fire Lake and back, because tonight's the night for the world's biggest grasser. Tonight the wind's blowing in from New York and Seger fans will howl.

I'm done with ballads for now. Tonight while you rock the ballroom, Bob, I'm cranking up "Hollywood Nights," and "School Teacher" and "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man." I'm gonna play "Lucifer" loud, and "Let It Rock" louder.

Tonight, I'm turning "Tomorrow" up to ten. I'm gonna shake this tree and rock this house.

I'm gonna play some Seger.

Tonight, I'm gonna smile.

March 15, 2004


The Free Press and the Rest of the Press

If you are lucky enough to get the Detroit Free Press, you've already seen some of the best media coverage on Seger in years. Brian McCollum's oral history of Seger's early career gives a terrific view of the Seger story, with inside info from the folks who were there. A must-read, the piece quotes Bob, Punch, Dave Leone, Charlie Martin, Russ Gibb, Rosalie Trombley, early band members...even the Seger File. Here are the links to it and other Hall of Fame stories

BOB SEGER: The definitive oral history of his rise to fame.

Cast of characters (Guide to the Oral History)

On the records (An album discography)

Michigan notables offer congratulations (Tributes from the governor, Bill Laimbeer and more.)

Questions and answers

Seger's journey through stardom

Seger fans never forget

Winners of the Freep's essay contest:

A war, an angry protest and '2 + 2 = ?'

'There we would sit, listening to tunes'

'A wonderful memory of my mother'

From The Grand Rapids Press:

Bob Seger stays home with the family and lets his music do the walkin'

This long piece by writer John Sinkevics, March 14, 2004, covers both old ground and new, including this unhappy thought:

"I'll be closing in on 60," Seger said as he contemplated release of his first studio album in eight years.

"It could very well be the last one."

From Adrian Daily Telegram:

Thanking Bob Seger

Bob Seger takes memories of Lenawee County to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Two interesting articles by Michael S. Miller, including Seger's advice to young bands:

"I tell them, if all you do is play in your basement, you'll never know what you have until you get in front of people, no matter how small the crowd. Then you'll know; then you'll have someplace to build, you'll build up goodwill by coming back," he said. "I tell any young artist, if you are successful, go back to where it started; the audience loves it when you come back."

March 15, 2004


Bob Seger Day

For some of us, every day is Seger day. Now Michigan makes it official.

Click to enlarge.

March 13, 2004


Heading to the Hall

Seger wrapped up rehearsals this week and is heading to New York City for the Hall of Fame induction.The official ceremony is on Monday, March 15 in the Waldorf-Astoria's Grand Ballroom.

As you know, rock and roll is all about stickin' it to the man. And in this case, that means stickin' the man for $2,500 per ticket. Not to worry, though -- tickets are unavailable to mortals like you and me.

If you can make it to Cleveland, though, you can watch the festivities at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is showing an unedited feed of the ceremony for $10. The show starts at eight and tickets are available at the museum or through Ticketmaster.

("Uncut, Uncensored, Unbelievable...and Unavailable Anywhere Else!" the museum's website screams. And you thought the museum's mission was to educate the world about the value of rock and roll. Well, actually, that is the museum's mission. But in this case "the world" means "people living near Cleveland." Hey, they've got to do something to keep a lid on this induction ceremony. Otherwise ordinary concertgoers -- you know, tramps like us, Rif and Raf, the folks who built and support the rock and roll industry -- might have a chance to see it. And that could lead to, I don't know, mass hysteria and devil-worship probably. Not to mention record sales.)

So anyway...if you reside far from the Cuyahoga, as I do, you'll have to settle for an edited "highlights" broadcast, to be shown Sunday, March 21 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on VH-1.

The latest info is that Kid Rock will present Seger. Springsteen will introduce Jackson Browne. Keith Richards will present ZZ Top. Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne will induct George Harrison. OutKast and Alicia Keys will introduce Prince, and Dave Matthews will introduce Traffic.

Seger and Traffic are scheduled to perform. The induction ceremony will include an original video about Seger (and the other inductees) by the folks who produce the Oscars Pre-Show and the MTV Movie Awards.

Finally, if you're anywhere near Michigan, keep an eye out for the Detroit Free Press, which is running a special Seger section on Sunday.

We've waited a long time for this -- a long, long time -- and it's almost here, so let's savor it. I can hardly wait.

March 11, 2004


"Bob Is In Great Voice; The Band Is Kicking Rock and Roll Butt"

The quote is from Alto Reed by way of Friday's Detroit Free Press story by Brian McCollum. "It was as if we'd literally come off the stage a week before," Reed said, describing recent rehearsals.

Seger and the band rehearsed for three days this past week at a club called Clutch Cargo's in Pontiac. (Side note: One of the equipment guys emailed to say they ran thru "The Fire Down Below," "Turn The Page" and "Old Time Rock N Roll" about 6 times each.)

The Free Press piece also notes that Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has issued a proclamation [see below] naming Monday Bob Seger Day. "Seger described himself as overwhelmed when he got the news Nov. 20." Brian McCollum, March 12, 2004, The Detroit Free Press. "Seger's night moves many fans."

McCollum also quotes Kid Rock, who will present Seger to the gathering Monday night. Check out the entire article here, and stand by for more in the Freep's special Seger section this Sunday.

The Detroit News also weighs in with a piece, quoting Seger on how long his career has lasted.

"It's nice to have that staying power," Seger said. "That is something I never expected would happen back when I started." And Kid Rock explains that "I couldn't go to sleep when I was a kid because my parents were out rocking to him in the barn all night long drinking." Mike Householder, March 12, 2004, The Detroit News/ Associated Press. "Rock and roll doesn't forget Bob Seger."

The full article is here.

March 13, 2004


Prince Takes Seger Lessons and Other Web News

Welcome to the Hall of Fame news roundup from around the web. First Prince:

"Prince once asked his keyboardist Matt Fink why Bob Seger was so successful. Fink explained how Seger's anthems appealed to America's heartland, adding, 'Write something like that and you'll cross right over.'

"Prince took the challenge, part of his plan to become a bigger star, without giving up on being an artist. Soon, the anthemic "Purple Rain" was born..."Glenn Gamboa, March 14, 2004, Newsday. "Prince's crowning achievements."


Best way to get invited to the Hall of Fame ceremony: Marry the drummer.

"Way back in the '80s, while Grand Funk Railroad was on hiatus, Bob Seger was riding high with Against the Wind and Like a Rock. For three blockbuster tours during that period, Seger asked his Motor City buddy Don Brewer to join the Silver Bullet Band on drums.

"Two decades later, Seger hasn't forgotten. Monday night, Brewer will be in the band when Seger is inducted as an individual artist into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Brewer already has left his Jupiter home to rehearse in Detroit, and Mrs. Brewer, Sunny 104.3 midday host Sunny Quinn, will join him in New York. 'I can't wait to go,' she said. 'We're going to have a ball.' Thom Smith, March 12, 2004, Palm Beach Post. "Brewer eager to celebrate Seger."

March 13, 2004


Asked and Answered -- Seger on the Radio (and the Web Chat)

"I know people think I just disappear, but I'm the type of person that, you know, if I haven't got a new record I just feel like, wait until the new record's done and then surface, I guess. Basically that's it."

"I'm the luckiest guy going really. I couldn't be luckier."

Those quotes from Seger opened his third national radio interview in three months, which aired last week on February 2. (The other two are the Off the Record interview by Uncle Joe in late November and the short piece on NPR's Morning Edition in December.)

Pat St. John, formerly of CKLW, Keener and WRIF (great stations all), did the interview and provided way more than enough deejay patter. The call-in/chat format yielded a mix of questions, some good and some amazingly lame. At 90 minutes, it was long enough to cover some new information about the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Plus in the online portion, Seger talked to the Seger File for the first time ever. A full report on that follows. But -- as Terry Gross would say -- first the news:

Hall of Fame Update

Seger said he and the band would start rehearsing for the Hall of Fame performance on February 10.

Seger's band at the Hall of Fame performance will include Drew Abbott, Chris Campbell, Alto Reed, Craig Frost, Don Brewer (drums) and Mark Chatfield (rhythm guitar).

Kid Rock will introduce/induct Seger at the Hall of Fame ceremony on March 15.

Seger will play "The Fire Down Below" and "Turn the Page" at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

The choice of Turn the Page surprises no one, but quite a few of the fans I talk to were caught off-guard by "The Fire Down Below." Would it have killed the interviewer to ask "Why that song?"

It was just over a month ago that Seger told NPR's Bob Edwards that "Night Moves" would be one of the songs. "The Fire Down Below" is a vocal-driven song that shows off Seger's power, but it's not nearly as well known as many other Seger classics and it generally wasn't included in set lists for the '96 tour. So what's the reasoning? No clue.

The choice of Kid Rock also begged for a follow-up question, since Seger earlier said his first choice for inductors were Glenn Frey or Don Henley of the Eagles, "because they're my oldest friends in rock 'n' roll." I was glad about the choice, since I like Kid Rock. But I still wanted to know the story behind his choice. But this was infotainment, not a straight interview, and it was live, so on we went.

Seger said the Hall of Fame has asked him for ten pieces of memorabilia -- handwritten lyrics, etc. He said he visited the museum in Cleveland in late January to talk to the curator and see what sorts of items they typically include. When he talked about the things he was impressed by, he mentioned Eddie Cochran's guitar that he played "Summertime Blues" on, and Leadbelly's guitar from 1938.

One of the items Seger will give the Hall is the original oil painting of the Against The Wind album cover. (Side note: Why not just hire this guy to take off his shirt?)

"Face the Promise" News

Of his new CD, Seger said "We'll try to get that one done by fall or something." As reported earlier, it will be called "Face the Promise."

He said he's recorded "about 30 songs" for his next CD since the last tour ended in 1996. (In November, Uncle Joe got a more precise answer -- "29 songs" -- to the same question. In that earlier interview with Uncle Joe, Seger said he thought 22 of those songs were really good and that 11 would definitely be on the next album -- minus the two he stole for GH2.)

Seger said he's written seven songs since December ("that's how manic I am") and that he's "on a writing roll right now."

He's picked eight songs out of the 30 that he's really high on.

He'll record for a week at the end of March in Nashville, and then the album will be done.

Will He Tour?

Same question, same answer:

"I would love to...it's just a huge commitment...and I just want to make sure that I don't show up and not do my best...Like I said, we're going to start rehearsing for the Hall of Fame, maybe that will spike us to do it, but we'll leave that open."

Some callers seemed to be clueless about Seger's past work.

Was anybody screening these calls? Apparently not. One person asked where she could get a copy of Seger's version of "Fortunate Son." Another wanted to know if Seger's CD "Blind Love" (sic) was still in print.

Attention shoppers: these aren't questions you ask Bob on national radio. These are questions you ask the guy at Borders.

Fortunately, the "Fortunate Son" question led to an interesting anecdote about John Fogerty hearing Seger's version in a supermarket and thinking that his label had released some live CCR -- which Seger said he took as a great compliment.

And while I was getting a busy signal, someone asked Bob about the motorcycle trip he describes in "Roll Me Away," setting him up to repeat the story of the trip, which has been recounted in a bunch of interviews. The town 12 hours out of Mackinaw City is Rochester, Minnesota. The motorcycle was a Honda 1100. If you've been following along, you knew that already.

While we're covering real-world allusions:

Someone (a Seger File reader, maybe?) took my advice and asked Bob for the name of the song referred to in the "Night Moves" lyric: "I started humming a song from 1962."

Seger's answer: "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes.

I don't doubt it for a minute, though I do note that "By My Baby" was recorded in the summer of 1963. But then Seger probably didn't do a Google search (like I did) before writing the lyric, since the Internet hadn't been invented yet.

He went on to say that he was a huge Phil Spector fan and still is. (Spector produced "Be My Baby." DishDiva, the chat host, spelled his name Phil Spectre, indicating she might be somewhat less of a fan.)

Other stuff we mostly knew, but hey -- not everyone's a fanatic:

Seger answered yes when asked if "Mainstreet" was in Ann Arbor. (The bar in question was actually on Ann Street.)

The restaurant described in "Turn the Page" was in Wisconsin. He was touring with Teegarden and Van Winkle at the time. He started writing the song at the Holiday Inn that night.

Regarding the lyric in "Back in '72," Seger said he wasn't personally homesick for Lincoln Park. But his band, Julia, lived in Lincoln Park.

Someone asked him about the first line of "20 Years from Now," and Seger said he couldn't remember the line. (Readers of Segernet.com know that the actual printed lyric is "Janice tired of her inhaler...").

Other Miscellaneous Info

Someone in the chat room asked if he'd ever do a song with Kid Rock. Seger said "Absolutely…probably a country drinking song. 'Real Mean Bottle' is one I've pointed out, but no one else seems to like it." ("Real Mean Bottle" is a Vince Gill song, written as tribute to Merle Haggard.)

Lennon was his favorite Beatle. He said he was knocked out by The Beatles "from the word go."

The Tom Waits songs he has recorded -- "Blind Love," "16 Shells," "New Coat of Paint" and "Downtown Train" and "a bunch of others" -- were all recorded on the same day.

He knew "Old Time Rock and Roll" was a great song when they played it in Europe before Stranger in Town came out -- audiences were hearing it for the first time, but they would be singing along before the song was over.

He likes the Metallica version of "Turn the Page," and mentioned especially liking the drums.

"I Can't Save You, Angeline," off It's A Mystery is "a song about a gal with a terrible drug problem, and anyone who's been with someone like that realizes you can't save them. So I thought it was worth writing about even though I've never been in that situation."

Favorites

Asked to name his favorite concert, Seger mentioned Springsteen and James Brown but picked Stevie Ray Vaughn playing with Eric Clapton at the Palace of Auburn Hills -- "Twenty-two minutes of just stunning stuff...Eric and Stevie were just burning...I couldn't stop smiling, they were playing so great." He described himself as a frustrated guitarist.

Asked to name some of his favorite songs to play in concert, Seger named "Turn the Page" ("always fun because people love Alto starting with the horn and it's a moody song and it means a lot to a lot of people"), "Mainstreet" and "'Old Time' is really fun...there's just so many of them."

A caller asked Bob which songs, beside "C'est La Vie," were done live in the studio, or in the first take. Seger mentioned "The Fire Down Below" and said he was a big fan of the first take and that 9 out of 10 times, he uses one of the first seven takes of a song. "I'm a big fan of the first take, because it's just so honest," he said.

On Writing

"When I write I'm a finisher...That's how I avoid writer's block…I finish everything I start."

He said he's written some new songs about his children that are "a little too close to the bone, too emotional."

He described "Satisfied" as being "a song to my wife, obviously," and said the first verse came almost effortlessly, and that, of the new material, it's one of his favorite first verses.

"There's a lyric I'm working on right now, it took me 12 hours to come up with two lines...but then occasionally you'll write something like 'Satisfied' that will just come right off the top of your head."

Bob, the Bot and Me

Finally, the moment you've waited for all these years: the first-ever one-on-one conversation between Seger and the Seger File. Stand by for the complete transcript.

A little set-up: In my pre-interview post here, I pointed out that my son was puzzled by the title of "Sunspot Baby." I was taking him to school and he made me stop the song to ask, "Why 'Sunspot?' Isn't that a strange name for a girl?"

I said I'd try to find out, and I thought the interview might be my chance. I wasn't disappointed, but only because I have a very high threshold for disappointment. Here's how it went:

Seger File: Hi, Bob. Scott from Seger File here. Dare I ask what you think of the site?

MSNBot: Thank you. Because of the high volume of questions, not all questions can be answered.

Seger File: Hi, Bob. Can you tell us some of the songs that will be on your new CD?

MSNBot: Thank you. Because of the high volume of questions, not all questions can be answered.

Seger File: Will you record another studio CD after Face the Promise?

MSNBot: Thank you. Because of the high volume of questions, not all questions can be answered.

Seger File: My son really likes "Sunspot Baby," but wants to know why it's called "Sunspot Baby"

MSNBot: Thank you. Because of the high volume of questions, not all questions can be answered.

Seger File: Are you working on a DVD of live material? Can you tell us when there might be a boxed set?

MSNBot: Thank you. Because of the high volume of questions, not all questions can be answered.

Seger File: What does the title of "Sunspot Baby" refer to?

Bob Seger: That was a goof song about a gal running off with another guy's credit card and I thought it was humorous. It's been a great touring song and my sax player Alto named his sailboat after it and now I'm a sailboat junkie with him.

Seger File: Cool. What does the title mean?

MSNBot: Thank you. Because of the high volume of questions, not all questions can be answered.

I don't know about you, but nothing gives me a warm, happy feeling like being thanked by a robot.

According to the MSNBot, a complete transcript of the online chat can be found at here.

Click to enlarge.

If you'd won the WDTW "Meet Bob Seger" contest, you could have had a picture like the one at the top. Moving clockwise, there's an older shot of Seger with Pat St. John. Michelle Kwan had nothing to do with the radio/web show, but it cannot be denied that the word "cannot" is misspelled with three n's. No typos mar the photo of Seger with Scottish rocker Frankie Miller, which is just included for balance, and I sure wish that Seger poster above them was bigger. Not pictured: the three cars Seger bought at the country's most prestigious collector car auction in Arizona during the last weekend in January.

February 9, 2004


Halfway to Platinum

Talk about your pent-up demand. Seger's "Greatest Hits 2" was released in early November and by the year's end had chalked up 498,000 sales.

Another long-haired, rock-and-roll son of Detroit also had a great year. Kid Rock sold 623,000 copies of the other CD the Seger File can't stop playing, the self-titled "Kid Rock" -- the best non-greatest hits album of the year, according to me. Rock also sold 1.9 million copies of "Cocky" in 2003. Brian McCollum, The Detroit Free Press, December 28, 2003. "Detroit's musicians score big."

January 31, 2004


The Thin Line of R&B

Greg Kot, a writer for the Chicago Tribune, recently did a good piece on Detroit -- specifically, what makes music from the Motor City special. Here's what Seger had to say:

"There is a thin line that runs through all of it, and it's R&B," Seger says. "It's a rhythm and blues thing that has always been part of Detroit music, right down from Motown, and people like James Brown playing at Cobo Hall.

"As a kid, I grew up in a black neighborhood (in Ann Arbor, Mich.) and the neighbors would be out washing their cars in the summer, and I'd hear R&B. It just permeated the neighborhood.

"I bought more black records than white records. This has always been an R&B town, and we have always had great R&B radio stations here. I certainly heard that in the MC5, and I even heard it in Glenn Frey, who loves R&B and brought some of that to the Eagles. Those great Motown bass players and drummers just hammered it, and after that, if you came out of Detroit, you had to have some of that in your sound."

"The Detroit thing for people like me, Ted Nugent and Mitch Ryder was to get out and play in front of people," Seger says. "We hardly ever saw each other because we were always playing. We built up so much good will with the relentless touring that I was able to ride out the rough spots with the record labels, like when I got dropped by Warner Brothers in the '70s." Greg Kot, December 18, 2003, Chicago Tribune. "Devotion keeps Detroit a rock city."

Seger also talks briefly about the Like A Rock commercials.

"Glenn Frey accuses me of sitting back and counting my 'Like a Rock' checks," Seger says with a laugh. "It's the only song I've ever allowed to be licensed, and the only one I ever will allow to be licensed for a TV commercial" (His 'Old Time Rock 'n' Roll' also has appeared in TV ads, but Seger does not control the publishing).

"I felt like I was helping a hometown industry with 'Like a Rock,' but I never knew it would turn into a 10-year ad campaign. We made it as hard on them as we possibly could -- we have final approval over every ad. But they keep picking up the option every time it comes up for renewal. It's been good for me, and it's been good for business in Detroit."

The article, which also quotes Kid Rock and Iggy Pop, is worth reading in its entirety. You can find it here.

January 31, 2004


Seger File Climbs the Charts

When the Seger File came online six years ago, I was glad to get ten hits a day. Recently the site "went platinum," by breaking into the Top Million web sites, as ranked by Alexa (a subsidiary of Amazon.com that ranks traffic on web sites).

Thanks to the excitement from Seger's Greatest Hits release and Hall of Fame induction, the Seger File now stands at Number 966,225 on the web in overall traffic rank.

For comparison, the new official Seger web site, BobSeger.com, is moving up at Number 1,274,442.

The official site, by the way, has some new stuff. There's a biography that claims Seger was born in Ann Arbor. (They might want to check the very first line of the Seger File: "He was born in Detroit.") There's a discography that lists some of Seger's albums and none of his singles -- with 30-second clips of every song on his past 12 albums.

There's even a link called "Forums" that will take you to the Capitol forum site, where you can read posts from people dissing the new site. (Hey, if you want to post or read posts about Seger, you belong at Segernet.com.)

But the cool Tom Weschler photos are on the site, along with the Night Moves video, and a collection of tictets/backstage passes that you can download.

January 31, 2004


More Rocking, Less Shopping

With a promised new album, the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and maybe -- if we're very lucky -- a new tour, we should be seeing more of Seger in the new year. But we'll be hearing less of him on TV.

That's because Chevrolet is scaling back its "Like A Rock" campaign. It will still be used for the Silverado, but new Chevy's will be rolled out with a new campaign, called "The American Revolution."

"The change will help Chevrolet, which plans 10 new models in the next year and a half, raise vehicle sales above 3 million for the first time since 1979," said Gary Cowger, head of General Motors' North American business. December 19, 2003, Bloomberg Business News. "Chevrolet's `Like a Rock' will roll a little less."

Seems a bit confusing to me. The GM guy seems to be saying that fewer Seger ads means more sales. If that's the case, why not cancel the ad completely and really sell some trucks?


But wait. The good merchants of FlatIron Crossing mall in the Denver suburb of Broomfield, think Seger-ads would mean more sales. They requested the right to use lyrics from "Get Out of Denver" to convince city dwellers to come shopping in the 'burbs.

But I'll bet they weren't planning to use Seger singing "All I had to do was lay my money down and pick it up, the cops came busting in and then we lit out in a pickup truck." We'll never know, though, because the request was denied.


So what do the slickest and shallowest in today's ad-biz think about Seger's sale-enhancing ability? Thumbs down.

"If you're trying to sound relevant and skew young now, are you going to go with Bob Seger or Outkast?" asks Max Valiquette, president of marketing consultancy Youthography. "For God sakes, go with Outkast if you can afford them." Lisa Wright, Toronto Star, Devember, 2003. "Yo, advertisers, listen up."

"It's the maturation of the hip-hop market" says someone named Max Lenderman, quoted in the same article, who really ought to stop and listen to himself for half a minute.

"Hip-hoppers are having babies now," he adds, "and they're maturing." Which -- the hip-hoppers? Or the babies?

Nevermind. If it means fewer of my heroes will be selling things on TV, I'm lovin' it.

January 31, 2004


Seger's Smash

There's the Seger File, and then there's the Seger files -- a big grey filing cabinet that I rescured from the Salvation Army long ago. Occasionally the older files must be moved, and when that happens I inevitably discover a tidbit or two that I'd previously overlooked. Like this one, still relevant today:

"The band's been bugging me about doing a double 'Greatest Hits,' but I think, maybe, somewhere down the line, maybe a year or two from now, we'll put out a double. I've already got a title for it, we'll call it 'Collector's Item.'

"We'll put it out for $7.98 or whatever we can get away with, and we'll put all those old things on it [with a sticker that says] 'This is for REAL fans. Unless you're a real fan DON'T BUY THIS RECORD.' And we'll put all the 'Persecutions' and the 'Heavy Musics' and the '2+2s' and the original 'Lookin' Back' and all this stuff that people can't get anymore. And the cool thing is that they're all two-and-a-half minute records, so we can put 15 of them on there."

Regarding those Cameo-Parkway songs, Seger continued:

"We own it now, Capitol bought it all. As far as I know. I think it's public domain. I think anybody can…I shouldn't say that with a tape recorder on. But 'Heavy Music,' 'Persecution Smith,' East Side Story,' I think those three songs are…I mean, we just put 'Heavy Music' on Smokin O.P.'s, we didn't ask anybody. And nobody called. Maybe if it had been big, they would've called."

Want to guess the month and year of the quotes? September 1980. Both are from Dave DiMartino's article, "Bob Seger Bops Horizontally," in Creem Magazine -- the same article, by the way, that started the myth about Brand New Morning being buried in Seger's backyard. In case you don't know, that was a figure of speech. I think.

A 1977 issue of Circus Magazine provided the teaser quote ("I think it's a smash") at the top of this page. A blurb at the back, titled "Seger Stars in Six-Minute Concert," reported that Capitol was distributing a six-minute Seger concert film "to movie theaters across the country."

The film featured excerpts of Seger playing "Katmandu," "Travelin' Man" and "Beautiful Loser" from his 1976 concert in front of 70,000 fans at the Pontiac Silverdome. "Although Seger knew the concert was being recorded," the article says, "he had no idea it was being filmed as well."

At the end of the blurb, Seger talks about his then-upcoming album:

"He's confident about the potential title song of the LP, scheduled for release in March [1977.] 'I wrote a song called 'Kuwait' which I think is a smash. And I never write smashes,' he raved, laughing." Circus Magazine, January 31, 1977.

The album was actually released in May 1978 and was titled Stranger in Town. Kuwait wasn't on it…but Ears Two and I heard it in the Vault last year. You can read about it here.

By the way, the Vault isn't closed. There are three or four unreleased tracks to go. Stay tuned.

January 31, 2004


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