Say Thanks at Standing Ovation
The Seger File
An unofficial web site about the music of Bob Seger
Written and edited by Scott Sparling
For the most recent updates, click here
sparling@segerfile.com
Archived Updates from January - July 2007. For the most recent updates, click here.
The Full Contents
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The 2011 Tour Page
 

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's Summer

Cybelle Codish Photo

Remember back before Face the Promise, when Seger made staying out of the spotlight into an art form...those years when it seemed impossible to find out what was going on? It looks like those times are back, at least for the summer.

So there's no news. But I did find a new photo, or at least it's new to me. This one's from Cybelle Codish's myspace page.

I don't know about you, but the album and tour spoiled me -- there was Seger news and excitement every day, it seemed. Now, it's back to mysteries and no clues: When will the live DVD be released? (Will the live DVD be released?) Is Seger switching labels? Will there be a fall tour? What happened to those four additional tracks he was going to add to Face the Promise?

I've heard no word on any of those topics. It's been such a slow summer, I made a trip back to the east coast and didn't even visit The Vault. There's nothing new in it these days.

Moore on Seger

But even though Seger's not talking publicly, other people are talking about him. Let's start with Michael Moore, who's reaping huge publiciting about his new movie. Here's what Moore had to say about Seger in Rolling Stone recently.

Rolling Stone: What was the music like in Flint in the Sixties?

Michael Moore: When it came to music, the triangle between Detroit, Flint and Ann Arbor was the Liverpool of America. You had Aretha Franklin and all of Motown. You had Bob Seger and Ted Nugent, the basic rock & roll at the time. You have to remember, this is the Bob Seger who is playing at our high school dance. You have MC5, another Detroit band, playing at a union hall down the street. Then let's go over to the bar where another Detroiter, Iggy Pop is playing. So you had this incredible convergence of white and black music.

RS: Did any particular song stand out for you at the time?

MM: Bob Seger -- boy, he had some great songs. He had one I wish they'd re-release called "2+2." It's about being drafted, and the chorus went, "Two plus two is on my mind" -- like, "hey, I can figure this out." ...I wouldn't have been able to do what I've done if I hadn't grown up in an area that had such a vibrant and rebellious political and cultural scene." Michael Moore interview by Eric Bates, Rolling Stone, May 3, 2007.

Moose Blogs

Meanwhile, the closest thing to actual Seger news comes from Jim "Moose" Brown, who joined the Silver Bullet Band on guitar this past tour. Here's what Moose posted on his myspace blog on Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hello to all, I'm back in action this week after a relaxing week in Cape San Blas, Florida. I'd never been there before, it was beautiful. They allow dogs on the beach there which is really cool.

No cell phone service, no internet, very secluded, not many people. It was awesome.

I talked to Craig Frost this week and he is doing great. He said he just got back from Vegas where he had been doing some Grand Funk dates with Don Brewer. I was going to ride my Harley up to see him for the 4th of July, but he decided he wasn't going to have a party this year. I may ride up and see him at a later time. I also talked to Laura Creamer. I demoed a song that her and I wrote while we were on tour with Seger last winter and it came out great. I sent her the tracks and she is putting her vocal on it out in California. I also have stayed in touch with Barbara Payton and Keith Kaminski through emails. They're staying very busy around Detroit it seems. I sure do miss the whole gang and I hope I get to do some dates with them sometime down the road. No news at all from Punch or the Seger office.

I hope everyone is great.

Moose

Thanks, Moose. I know I speak for all of us who followed the tour in wishing you a great summer.

Brewer Sighting

Don Brewer's keeping busy as well, performing with Grand Funk. The band played in Detroit at the GM Riverfront Plaza on June 28.

Doug Pullen, writing in the Flint Journal, points out that "GFR sold more than 25 million albums, sold out Shea Stadium faster than the Beatles, survived a bitter and costly legal split from manager Terry Knight, worked with Frank Zappa and Todd Rundgren and scored three No. 1 hits, including their signature "We're an American Band" and remakes of "Some Kind of Wonderful" and "The Loco-Motion."'

He also adds that "drummer Don Brewer, and [Mark] Farner have become bitter rivals." (Note to self: remember to slap forehead occasionally for getting their names confused.)

In the Freep, Brian McCollum quotes Brewer thusly:

"For the most part, we focus on putting on an all-hits, high-energy Grand Funk Railroad rock 'n' roll show," he said from his home in Jupiter, Fla. "We play the stuff people want to hear." Brian McCollum, June 28, 2007, Detroit Free Press, "Still an American band."
Brewer and the band.
 

Murphy and Little Feat

Shaun Murphy is also performing this summer. Little Feat is on the road with a tour schedule that extends through August.  

The Motor City Horns

The horns on Seger's Cobo version of "Nutbush" are still ringing in my ears. Trombonist John Rutherford reports that the Motor City Horns have remained busy, playing all kinds of events, including the Detroit Music Awards, now that they're no longer flying on the Seger tour plane (see below).

Check out their version of the Star Spangled Banner at Tiger Stadium.

Rutherford notes that the MCH were initially involved on 5 songs during the tour, but by the end they were playing on 15 -- "all of them arranged by members of the MCH, most notably Mark Byerly and Keith Kaminski."

Photographer extraordinaire Cybelle Codish took this shot of the MCH onstage with Seger. There are more at the Motor City Horns web page.

The Motor City Horns are John Rutherford, Keith Kaminski, Mark Byerly and Bob Jensen.
 
The Motor City Horns outside Air Seger.

Seger at the Stadium

Seger himself has been seen at the ballpark, as Michael Rosenberg reports in the Free Press, in this July 4 story.

"Things were going so well that, Bob Seger participated in the wave and sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" from his seat near the Tigers dugout. But as Tiger fans have seen this season, it's not funny how the night moves, especially when you have so much to lose. An inning later..." Michael Rosenbury, Detroit Free Press, July 4, 2007.

While I'm doing the round-up, here's one more photo from the tour -- Barb Payton and Bob backstage at Madison Square Garden. And check out "Rock Me Right" on Barb's myspace page.

Bob and Barb

Seger Sighting

Finally, one last Seger sighting...this one from the early Sixties. The photo below is from Lyle Salamin, who also sends the following message:

I came accross this picture of guys I hung with in Ann Arbor. It was taken the summer we graduated high school, 1963. You will notice who is pumping the pony in the middle.

It was taken in the Ann Padget Dry Cleaners parking lot next door to the Everett's Drive In, on Stadium Blvd. All the kids hung out there. The sign "4 lb. for a $1.00" was for the drycleaners next door to Everett's.

The guys in the photo don't remember the time at all, but it was in broad daylight and they were only 18 and 19 yrs old at the time. Seger's birthdays is in early May so he is only 18. The guys I have talked to that are in the picture think that it was probably left from the night before. One of those grassers we all were doing in those days.

You can't believe what fun it is to recall the old stories growing up with not only a big name like Seger, but we had great time with the whole group.

Thanks, Lyle Salamin

Posted July 8, 2007

Hiatus Interruptus

I've been offline for five weeks now. Here's a quick review of what I've missed.

1. Today (May 6) is Seger's birthday. He turned 62.

2. On April 20, Seger appeared at the State Theater in Detroit for the Detroit Music Awards ceremony, where he won three awards -- outstanding national single, album and video. More from the Detroit News here.
 
.

Photo by John M. Galloway

3. Seger's management, Punch Enterprises, sent out a release saying Seger would issue a live ablum/DVD in the fall -- hinting that Seger might jump from Capitol to a new label for the release. The photo in the release was captioned "Will Seger Turn the Page?"

Capitol was purchased by Virgin Records earlier this year and many of the old Capitol personnel are gone.

"He [Seger] was definitely affected by the loss of longtime staffers when Capitol and Virgin Records merged operations earlier this year and gave onstage shoutouts to his label publicist Judi Kerr and to former sales vice president Joe McFadden, who headed Capitol's catalog division.

"A Seger source said: "We don't know anybody there anymore. All the guys that got us to do that record ('Face the Promise') are gone."Gary Graff. The Oakland Press. "Bob Seger To Release Live CD/DVD."

News articles speculated that Seger might follow Paul McCartney to Starbuck's Hear Music label. In any case, the rumor makes it clear that Capitol will have to put a lot on the table to keep Seger.

4. The NewsHour with Jim Lehre ran a piece on Seger and Detroit on April 4. The word hiatus was used. If you must go there, here's the link.

5. You can now buy Bob Seger t-shirts and other merchandise online at the Bob Seger Web Store.

6. The April 30 Rolling Stone lists Bob as the 10th Most Underappreciated Artist ever. (Tom Petty is also on the list. Huh? I think there's a rule at Rolling Stone that Tom Petty must be mentioned in every article. How can someone so celebrated be underappreciated? The Band's on the list too. Same question.)

Thanks to everyone, by the way, who emailed and asked if I was dead or in jail. The answer, as far as I know, is neither. Actually what I'm doing is working on a fairly big (non-Seger related) project due June 1 -- so my personal hiatus may continue for a bit. And if I haven't actually answered your email, my apologies. I appreciate all of them.

May 6, 2007


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

DVD Nixed, Cobo Shows Continue

Seger rocked the house at Cobo again last night, finishing the second show with an especially energetic version of "Let It Rock," a song he recently brought out of retirement. It was the 32nd straight Cobo performance in the last 16 days with no end in sight.

"We may do another 50 to 100 shows here at Cobo," Seger recently told the DetNews. "As long as folks keep coming, we'll be here." Seger and the band have been doing two shows nightly at Cobo, at 8 and 10, since mid-March.

"We're the house band!" Seger laughed. "I told the Punch we'll be here till we blow the roof off. He thought I was joking. But I want to bring the house down before we leave. I mean literally bring it down. I'm starting to see some structural damage, but we've still got a ways to go." Susan Whitall, The Detroit News, April 1. "Despite court order, Seger refuses to leave Cobo."

Tickets for the Cobo shows, which have not been widely publicized, are available only at the door and online, and are not being sold through Ticketmaster.

The first show last night was marred by a delay when a roadie slipped and was temporarily pinned under Alto Reed's saxophone during the brief intermission. As a result, the break, which is supposed to be eight minutes long, was closer to eight and a half minutes. The 30-second hiatus drained much of the energy from the second half of the show.

"When you're ready to rock, thirty seconds can be a long time to wait," wrote a reviewer from the Chicago Tribune. "You have to do something to fill the downtime, so you start texting or checking email, and the momentum is totally lost. I felt bad for the crowd."

The reviewer, who noted that he has never enjoyed a concert in his life, later committed suicide.

Another bit of bad news emerged in Seger's "Way Off The Record" interview with Uncle Joe Benson, which aired April 1. Near the end of the program, Seger revealed that the hoped-for live DVD is now dead in the water.

"We really wanted to capture the energy of the show, so we've had a 8-man camera crew working it every night. Then I discovered these guys shot everything on 24p HD video," Seger told Uncle Joe. "We thought they were shooting film."

Movies such as Superman Returns and Apocalypto have been shot in 24p video recently. Purists say the format comes close but doesn't quite offer the nuanced richness of film. "We just couldn't get it to look big enough," Seger said, "so we decided to bag it."

A similar mix-up sunk Seger's ill-fated Blue Ridge album in the late 1990s. "We recorded Blue Ridge at a studio with 24-bit digital. At the time, there were only a handful of places that could do 24-bit digi, and that's what we thought we were getting," Seger said.

"We laid down 23 songs over a four-month period. Overdubs, rhythm tracks, everything," Seger said. "I don't like to micromanage things, so I never asked to hear playback. Big mistake."

Only when the recording was complete did Seger discover that the entire album had been recorded on a wax cylinder.

"It was really just an old Dictaphone," Seger said. "I was stunned."

Sound engineers at Woodland Dictaphone Studios record Seger's Blue Ridge album.

"At first, the studio claimed they were just doing their bit to reduce global warming," Seger explained. "You know, computer chips are energy-intensive, carbon-based products, and all that, while wax is more earth-friendly. But Punch sued their pants off. What it came down to is the sound engineer flipped the wrong switch."

When the mistake was discovered Seger immediately resolved to re-record the songs on the best equipment available, so that fans would be able to enjoy them.

"Fortunately, I changed my mind. Because if I had released Blue Ridge, I might not have recorded Face the Promise. And I wouldn't have been out of the spotlight for so long, so coming back might not seemed like such a big deal. What does Guildenstern say in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead? 'There is an art to the building up of suspense.'"

As a side-note, the wax cylinder Dictaphone was seized as evidence in the lawsuit and is now being used by Mike Boila to record Seger material for the Library of Congress.

Meanwhile, the Cobo shows go on. "I'm thinking we'll do Cobo till they kick us out," Seger said. "It's fun being back where it started."

"When we leave Cobo," Seger said, "I'm planning to play the rest of my career in reverse. We'll tour with KISS, then hit the Rock and Roll Farm and Uncle Sams and Wampler's Lake Pavilion and the Huron Bowl. Then some week-long gigs at the Roseland Inn. I'm gonna try to get Punch to reopen some Hideout Clubs. Then we'll finish with some frat parties and the junior prom at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. It'll be great. But only if Don Brewer is available."

Members of the tour are presented the Silver Innovation Award from Kohler Plumbing for improvements at Cobo Hall. The tour managment team has redesigned urinals there, equipping them with cupholders. Now concert-goers can set down their $7.50, 24-ounce plastic beer cups while attending to business during the eight-minute intermission.

April 1, 2007


Live Bullet Class Action Suit Near Settlement

Terms of a proposed settlement in the Live Bullet Class Action Suit were announced April 1 in a rare Sunday hearing in Oakland County Court.

The class action, brought by the firm Glantz & Bignall, seeks monetary damages from Edward Andrews Jr, Robert C. Seger and Hideout Productions, alleging a Denial of Service (DOS) conspiracy against purchasers of the album Live Bullet.

"It's really a very simple case," a spokesman for the plaintiff said Sunday. "More than a million people purchased copies of Mr. Seger's Live Bullet recording. Until recently, they were able to receive full enjoyment from their purchase. But Mr. Seger's current tour has made it impossible for many of them to receive the enjoyment that they purchased, to which they every reasonable expectation."

Attorneys for Glantz & Bignall agreed to a defense stipulation that Live Bullet remains one of the best live collections ever issued and a "must-have" Seger album. They argued, however, that the recent live show makes Live Bullet seem tame by comparison.

"As good as it is, Live Bullet is no longer satisfactory to those who have seen Mr. Seger on his curent tour," they wrote in a brief filed with the court.

In a dramatic closing statement, attorney Richard Wayne Penniman strode across the courtroom waving a copy of Live Bullet high above his head. "Your honor, I listened to this album again last night and instead of getting high and having a good time, I asked myself: Where's Chatfield? Where's Brewer? If it please the court, where is Moose? And where, your honor, are the girl singers on Live Bullet??? Nowhere! This is an outrage. Whooooo."

"Your honor," he continued, "this album purports to take us to Nutbush. But I ask the court: Where is John Rutherford, Mark Byerly, Keith Kaminski and Bob Jensen? How can we be expected to keep an eye out for the po-lice when the horn section is missing?!?"

At that point, Penniman was seated on a throne and carried across the court by a bevy of paralegals and interns while singing "Keep an eye for the horn section! Keep an eye out for the horn section!" When order was finally restored, he asked the judge to order restitution.

"I remind the court that we are here because we want the real thing. And speaking for Live Bullet vinyl, cassette, CD and eight-track owners everywhere, I respectfully submit that this is no longer the real thing."

In a preliminary rulling, Judge Charles Edward Anderson Berry ordered Mr. Seger to "reach on down to his every bit of Detroit Michigan soul" and release a concert DVD of his latest tour as soon as possible.

Hopefully, there will be no appeal.

April 1, 2007


Write This Bridge

A reminder -- April 1 is the last day for entries in Seger's "Write This Bridge" contest. If you're planning on sending in an entry, make sure your letter is postmarked today. No emails or faxes, Punch says.

The "Write This Bridge" contest began at the end of the last tour, when Seger told Reuters that he was still working on an unfinished track called "Outland" -- a song he began in 1997. Seger said the song is desperately in need of a bridge section.

"Worst case scenario," he says, "I'm gonna send it to somebody (like the Eagles' Don) Henley or somebody -- 'Write me a damn bridge, will you?! I've been working on this for 10 years!"' Reuters, April 1, 2007. "Seger seeks a bridge."

A few days later, on American Idol, Punch and Seger announced that they were seeking entries from the public at large, and that the winner's name would almost certainly be listed on the next CD along with the photography credit, unless there was some kind of snafu.

"I thought if I got out where the factories ended and the prairies began," Seger said, "I'd be able to write this thing myself. But it hasn't happened. I've gone down to the depth of my soul, but all I hear is the Burlington Northern rumbling west. Maybe somebody else can say what I mean."

Contest rules are available here.


Separated At Birth?

Andrews
Cobo

Ever wonder why Seger has such an affinity for Cobo Hall? Could it be that Punch Andrews and Albert Cobo are secretly the same person? Have you ever seen them together?

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


"And To Myself Be True!!"

They burned it down. They ripped it open. They took us to Nutbush and blew the roof off and kept going from there, with Bob in charge every fantastic step of the way. Now the tour's over, and as long as I live, the word "Cobo" is going to mean pleasure.

All you other great shows -- all you magical Seger sets in Ann Arbor bars, that night with Dylan when the sun was going down, the Michigan Jam, Springsteen, Steve Earle, the Continental Club at South by Southwest - all you unforgetable concerts on my personal Top 10 list, you all have to move down a notch. There's a new Number One. Called Cobo.

Of all the wonderful dumb things I've ever written, one of the dumbest lines was my claim, in reviewing the Cleveland concert, that it doesn't really matter where you hear Seger. Once the lights go down, the theory goes, it's just you and Bob and 15,000 screaming fans. An arena full of Seger fans is an arena full of Seger fans, or so I wrote. Well, forget that. Cobo isn't an arena. Cobo is more like some great big high school gym than an arena. The place just feels like rock and roll. Which is to say it feels like Seger.

Romain Blanquart/Free Press Photo

Face the Promise. Real Mean Bottle. Good for Me. Katmandu. Wreck This Heart. Rock and Roll Never Forgets -- just try to pick a highlight. Impossible. The entire set list was the hightlight.

To be honest, I know some folks who think last night wasn't the hightlight of the tour -- people who've been to more shows than me, who think maybe the first Cobo show was just a little better, or maybe Toronto, or Vegas, or that moment in Chicago...well, maybe when it gets that good, it all gets mixed up and all that really matters is that you're screaming your lungs out and you just don't want it to ever ever end. And that's what it was like for me.

And now it's The Day After. People who came to Detroit from Montreal or Boston or Calgary or Minnesota or Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo or, like me, from Oregon, are back on the road. It's an airplane day for me. I'm 40,000 feet in the air, but I was flying ten times higher yesterday from Roll Me Away to Rock and Roll Never Forgets. I'll post when we land. Till then, some random thoughts.

1. Is our Seger thirst satiated? Of course not. We want the DVD! I counted two cameras on jibs, plus two cameramen down front, two or three prowling the stage and two more on a platform in the back.

2. There are two sides to a Seger stage. There's the Chatfield side and the Alto side. You can't go wrong either way. Last night my seats were on the Chatfield side, and man did he rip. Plus the Chatfield side is also the Murphy/Payton/Creamer side, and what a kick it is to watch how much they add.

3. Is there some sort of niceness gene you have to have to play with Seger? Or does it just rub off from being around him? I'm just blown away again by how friendly and big-hearted everyone is. A huge, huge thank you to John Rutherford of the Motor City Horns and Jim "Moose" Brown for going out of their way to get me into the after party. And to everyone there, especially those close to Seger (not named here, but you know who you are), thank you for your courtesy and friendliness. It absolutely made my day.

4. Maybe there's a lesson there. Maybe if you have a big heart, you attract big-hearted people around you.

5. Brewer Stalking Tally: 0. In Cleveland I ran into Don Brewer twice (okay, the second time I was hanging out hoping to see him, so I could apologize for my brain-freeze at the first meeting). In Portland, I think Brewer was stalking me. He just happened to be walking past the Starbucks near my office at coffee-break time. Pretty suspicious, I'd say, especially considering he actually remembered me from Cleveland. (Tip: If you want someone to remember you, make a complete fool of yourself. It'll form a lasting impression.) Then the next day, enroute to Powell's City of Books in downtown Portland, there he was again. I guess our synchronicity is over now, though, because in Detroit I saw him not at all. Except of course, on stage, where he propelled the Silver Bullet Band and the entire arena into the stratosphere.

6. Speaking of which...why am I always complaining that Seger doesn't get nearly the due he deserves as a lyricist, as an artist, all of which is true, obviously -- but why don't I also complain that the freakin' amazing Silver Bullet Band ought to be known as the Greatest Rock and Roll Steam Roller slash Blast Furnace slash Pleasure Machine known to man. Huh? How come I don't complain more about that??? Well, from now on I will. Because they are.

Brandy Baker/The Detroit News

7. But what about the show, you ask. The setlist? What did he say between songs? Oh god, all I can say is best, best, best, best, best. Ever. Screaming for more, smiling till your face hurts, dancing in the aisles best.

8. He didn't play "Night Moves." He dedicated "Still the Same" to all of us. He played "Good for Me" for the first time on the tour and dedicated it to his wife. I was hoping for a third encore.

9. Alto has zero percent body fat. My estimate.

10. Keep an eye out for the po-lice.

11. The horn section on Nutbush. The stops. The starts. Seger. The power. The fist pumping the band. And Seger, Seger, Seger. This is perfection. This is why we're screaming. Organic and raw. Please never let it end.

12. My wife is the one who insisted I go to this show. She was right. And to all the Seger File readers who stopped by to say hello, and Boston Sammy, and Mike from GR and Casey from Boston, and Dawn, and the guy whose brother-in-law knows Chris and who was at the first Cobo show, and DetroitRocker and Little Queenie and smileeseger and Stephanie and Sandy and Freespirit and all of the great Segernet folks (including Eric on the phone), and especially Andrew and Shellie, all can say is wow. It was so great seeing you all.

13. Speaking of the other Seger web sites, I introduced myself to Punch at the after-party. His face lit up and he said, "Are you Walsh?" (Kevin Walsh runs segerbob.com and was supposed to be there, but his flight from Boston was canceled.) Probably I should have said yes, because when I confessed to not being Walsh, Punch seemed to lose interest. Five thousand page-views a day, and I'm still the off-brand site.

14. To borrow a line from Warren Zevon, about all of us at Cobo: We were in the house when the house burned down.

15. And lastly, (but only for now, because I keep thinking of more and will have to add to this later), try this idea on. Take a guy, in America, in 2007. He stays true to what he believes in and to who he is. He works his butt off, year after year after year. Surrounds himself with great people. Never quits, doesn't compromise. And because he's true to himself, he ends up happy. He wins the biggest all-time prize there is and makes all the people around him happy too. In America. In 2007.

As a movie pitch, that storyline would get you kicked out of Hollywood in less than 30 seconds. Unbelievable, they'd say. But it's absolutely real, and it's one hundred percent Seger. I had my eyes closed when the lyric came 'round, because sometimes when Seger sings, you just have to close your eyes and disappear into the music, but when the line in Katmandu hit me, I heard it with all my body, heard it into my soul and I just wanted to say yes, and thank you, and thank you some more. For absolutely everything. And to yourself be true.

March 18, 2007


Summer Shows Or No Summer Shows?

That is the question. Reuters/Billboard is circulating a widely reprinted piece that begins, "Don't sit around waiting for those rumored Bob Seger summer tour dates, because they're not going to happen, according to the Ramblin' Gamblin' Man himself."

The article is dated March 20. But the quotes that follow, in which Seger says he'll take the summer off and reassess in October, are all two weeks old. They first appeared in a UPI story on March 6.

I don't trust the Reuters/Billboard piece. I think it's old information and that the jury's still out on the possibility of summer shows. Seger told the Detroit papers he'd decide in three weeks, so hopefully we'll know soon. He called it a 50-50 chance.

I was thrilled, however, to read this in the Reuters piece:

Top of his agenda is mastering ProTools, which he's installed in the studio he keeps in another Detroit suburb. And he'll continue songwriting, hopefully to avoid another 10-year gap that preceded the "Face the Promise" album.

"I've been messing a little bit ... in the dressing room," Seger notes, "'cause I've got a lot of time between soundcheck and the show. There's two songs I really like that are left over from the last bunch, and I'm trying to re-write them."

Among those is a track called "Outland" which he's been working on since 1997 and, according to Seger, is desperately in need of a bridge section. "Worst case scenario," he says, "I'm gonna send it to somebody (like the Eagles' Don) Henley or somebody -- 'Write me a damn bridge, will you?! I've been working on this for 10 years!"'

"Outland" is one of best unreleased Seger tracks I've heard. Ears Two would probably say it's Bob's best. Here's how E2 described it in summer 2005 after one of our Vault visits: "Seems to build on 'No Man's Land,' but with more energy." (High praise, considering that "No Man's Land" is E2's favorite Seger song.) "Should be Bob's next single."

That's what I love about E2: he knows how to call 'em. But wait -- the Reuters piece says there are two tracks Seger's working on. Hey Mr. Reuters Man -- I don't suppose you could bother including the name of that other special track? Hmmm?

March 20, 2007

It's Over!

Check out a great fan review of the last Cobo show, here. And more photos here and here.

Also, the DetNews talks to Seger about summer shows. The Detroit Free Press opens its Seger archive. Plus, check out this Detroit preview.

News about the final three Detroit shows is at Seger Rocks Detroit.

The past shows are on the Seger Live page. The complete tour schedule is here.


A Summer Canadian Tour?

Seger talks more about potential summer dates in Thursday's Free Press story by Brian McCollum:

"There were a bunch of places we missed. So I floated the idea awhile back: What about a little swing through Canada?

..."We might build something around that. The Milwaukee Summerfest, Minnesota -- probably Minneapolis.

..."I've got to get some distance from this. Six dates (this summer) -- fine, that's no skin off anybody's back. I've got to decide in the next three weeks."

Seger also said it was his idea to play Cobo again. Read the whole article here.

Meanwhile, Seger told Doug Pullen of the Flint Journal that Saturday night could be his last show -- 50-50:

"I think I'll feel some emotion Saturday night, for sure," Seger conceded, "but at this point I'm still in worker bee mode. We've got to clean up a few songs, like 'Nutbush' and some other stuff that may or may not work. It all depends on how quickly it goes together."

Read the whole Flint Journal piece here.

March 16, 2007


More Shows This Summer?

Seger says, "maybe" in a preview piece by Susan Whitall in the DetNews. Check it here. And an article by John Sinkevics quotes Seger as saying he couldn't be more pleased with the tour. Seger also says he wanted to end the tour in Las Vegas...but was convinced to come back one more time. Check it here.

March 13, 2007


See You At Cobo!

If you're inside Cobo Hall next Saturday night, you'll definitely see Don Brewer and the rest of the band.

And if you happen to see me wearing my Seger File shirt, come over and say hi. (Pre-show party? Yeah, if we can find a place.)

(Click on the photo for the rest of the Portland show shots at flickr.)


Thirty Years Ago In California

In August 1976, Live Bullet was on the charts and Seger was on the road. In this case, Anaheim, California, opening for KISS. The photo comes from KISS photo collector Marty Dean, who writes this:

"During the early-mid 70's, Seger opened for KISS approximately 34 times. One of the most highlighted shows was a show at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California on August 20, 1976. This was an outdoor show where Ronnie Montrose, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent and headliners KISS performed .......along with some other things such as a tightrope walker, parachutists, and other festivities on hand. The interesting thing about these shots is that you can see the KISS logo and other stage props behind Seger. Unfortunately, there are only (3) slides of Seger, but none-the-less I thought you'd enjoy seeing them."

For a much bigger view, click here. For the other two shots, click here. Thanks, Marty!

March 14, 2007


Time to Say Thanks

It's not over yet...but with the tour drawing to a close, a lot of people, including me, want to say thanks.

So here's your chance. Several of the band members told me they check the Seger File, so let's give it up not just for Bob but for whole the Silver Bullet Band. I'll be adding my official "thank you" to the band and to Bob this weekend. You can add yours right now -- at Standing Ovation.

March 1, 2007

No More

At least for this year, Seger says he's done with the road. A story from United Press International says Seger wants to stay home with the family and do some writing this summer.

"I figure I'll take six or seven months (off) and just write and that's all, maybe a little bit of recording, nothing else, definitely don't play with the band," Seger said.

"Then I'll just reassess in October and say, 'How do I feel?' Do I want to start another record and do the thing the following summer or the following fall?' or something. That's a good way to approach it, I think." March 6, UPI. "Bob Seger says no more touring this year."

The story also says Seger was unhappy with the footage from the earlier Detroit shows and may film some of the Joe Louis or Cobo shows instead. (Thanks to John Hagan and Jason Stanaway for the tip.)

March 7, 2007


Message from Moose

People who interview Seger always say that he's one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. I've got to add that the same is absolutely true for the band members.

I met most of them backstage in Portland (and yes, I'm still planning to write that up), and nice doesn't seem like a big enough word. They were all great to talk to...friendly, easygoing, willing to spend time saying more than just the standard "hi, how are ya."

Jim "Moose" Brown, who I'd never met before, shared stories with us for ten minutes or more, talking about life in Nashville, buying guitars, being on the road, etc. It was great. So I was really impressed when Moose stopped by the "Thank You" page and added this comment. At the rate people are posting, it'll drop off the front page soon, and I didn't want you to miss it.

Hello all. I haven't been in here for a while but I stopped by and WOW! This is one of the nicest things I've ever seen. I can't speak for Bob but I know he would feel the same way as myself and I'm sure the rest of the band feels. There's no reason to thank us, thank all of you. It has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life to get to perform with Bob on this tour. I've been blessed over the years to meet and work with some of my musical heroes and Bob ranks right at the top. The music is fantastic, everyone in the organization from Bob on down has been kind and gracious to work with, and the fans our unlike anything I've ever witnessed. I've been touring with Bob for over 4 months now and I still am not used to the ROAR of the crowd, the way you guys are on your feet for 2 hours plus, but most of all the love that you have for the man. I don't blame you. I've been a huge fan of Bob's since high school and I'm even a bigger fan since I've had the opportunity to be around him so much. I've made a lot of friends and memories during this tour. Thank you for accepting me into the band and thank you for supporting Bob.

Jim "Moose" Brown

All I can say is, this tour just keeps getting more and more special. It's not just that we're getting some of the best music ever. But we're getting it from people who are genuinely friendly -- people you can both talk to and look up to. Hey, who says there are no role models left?

March 8, 2007


Guitar Gods: What do Chris Campbell and Mark Chatfield have in common? Besides being guitar gods, that is. Easy... they both use Whirlwind Selectors and Multiselectors in their rigs for all of their "silent switching" needs. The picture, which I grabbed from the Whirlwind site, is dated August 2006. A rehearsal shot? Is that Brewer in the background?

March 6, 2007
"Ears Two" Real Identity Leaked to Press

For years you've known Ears Two as the mysterious figure who accompanies me on trips to the Seger Vault. Indeed, since 1982 I've closely guarded his real identity, describing him only as a great friend with an encyclopedic knowledge of rock and pop music -- and a tremendous love for the same.

 
Now, his real identity has been revealed to the press. By me, actually. He's Randy Cepuch, a former vice president at Capital. That's Capital, the investment company, not Capitol Records.
 
It turns out Ears Two is also a financial journalist, and he's written a terrific business book called A Weekend With Warren Buffett and Other Shareholder Meeting Adventures. It's a book that gives you a unique look at all of the biggest and most interesting companies -- from Starbucks to eBay to Disney and of course Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.

Cepuch's love of music is apparent throughout -- the chapter on Starbucks is called "Whole Latte Love." There's even a Seger reference on page 30.

Publisher's Weekly raved, "This ranks among the best commonsense investment books, and is certainly one of the most fun to read." The former chair of the SEC called it "wonderfully readable." Someone on Amazon described it as "fast moving, informative, and a whole lot of fun to read."

If you're interested in companies like Google and Wal-Mart and Microsoft (and who isn't?) and if you enjoy good writing, this is a book you'll like. Check it out here.

March 1, 2007


Train Man Rambles Dusty Into Town

Seger sang about. Jesse Burkhardt did it -- rode freights that is. From time to time, I tagged along.

And now, speaking of great books, Jesse has written one about his freight adventures. It's called "Travelogue From an Unruly Youth," and it's as much about love, rebellion and redemption as it is about freights.

Jesse, as you might remember, is part of the original Seger Dew Line -- a shadowy group that used to send me Seger info before the internet was invented. About one of his previous books, the Vancouver Sun writes: "He has reached down into the human heart and tried to help us understand what it is about trains that creates so visceral a reaction in so many people."
 
As Travelogue opens, Burkhardt writes, "And we rolled on, and I stood watching it all roll past, to Durand, where I grabbed a freight going to Battle Creek and it was light and hot and great to be free again."

Seger is mentioned several times in the book. And so is a character named Spider. Who might or might not be me. Check it out here.

March 1, 2007


Find Your Indie Seger

Seger has thrilled us in so many different ways over the years. One of the biggest thrills was standing in crowd of 40 or 50 people -- in Ann Arbor, or Cleveland, or Columbus -- and listening to him sing his heart out. The term "indie" music didn't exist back then, but I suppose that's what it was.

And it's still out there. Somewhere, someone with the energy and potential of that young, unknown Seger is playing in local clubs and making great music. But because they're not well known, you won't hear their music on iTunes or see it in the chain stores. So how are you gonna find it?

The answer, or at least part of it, is IndiependenceMusic.net -- a free music community on the web where any artist can be heard and where new music can be found. If you love music, check it out.

indie music, online music

March 1, 2007
Seger Taps Uncle Kracker

Seger has chosen Uncle Kracker to open the last three shows of the tour, according to the Detroit News.

February 28, 2007


iTunes is iGone

That didn't last long. When I checked today, Seger was no longer on iTunes. No Night Moves, No Face the Promise. Glitch? Or is something afoot?

February 25, 2007


We Don't Have Tonight

Seger skipped the song in Seattle, according to Dennis Blanchard's fan report. Read the rest here.

February 23, 2007


A Seger Goldmine

Is it possible to overdose on Seger?

In the past week, I've seen him live, talked to most of the band members, heard an hour-long radio interview and now, read the Goldmine interview -- which also appears (in a shorter form) in Classic Rock magazine. Wow...there have been whole years when we didn't get that much information.

The Goldmine interview, which is by Ken Sharp, is definitely worth reading. The Goldmine version is here. In case that archive goes away, I've copied it here.

Some samples:

"After everybody had gone and the venues were empty, I remember some nights looking back at stages when I was so disillusioned and said, 'You're not gonna chase me off that stage and I'll be back next time.'" [More]

..."We'd go watch KISS do the first couple of songs and we had to find out where the explosions and pyrotechnics were so we weren't damaged [laughs]. I was very fearful of losing my hearing....KISS knows what their audience want, and they deliver it...Anybody who slams them has never done it."[More]

..."You'd go to Don's house and he had a huge kitchen table and on it stacked a foot high were lyric ideas. Things he'd written down on the road, things he read and wanted to say. The guy was such a dedicated lyricist and you can hear it in his songs." [More]

..."[I] was hearing Henley's writing and I'm saying, 'God, this is great!' Then Leonard Cohen came along with "Suzanne" and all that great stuff so I picked up on him. I've listened to Joni Mitchell since '67 when Tom Rush was doing her songs like "The Circle Game." Then there was Paul Simon and so many other great songwriters. Those are my influences and my heroes and they all inspired me." [More]

..."[On "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"]: "I actually sat at a drum kit and wrote that drum beat... I wanted to have a slammin' high-hat, I want the beat on the two and the four. What do I do with the kick drum? (imitates kick drum) It took me five hours to syncopate it [laughs]...The basis of 'Ramblin' Gamblin' Man' is the drum beat." [More]

..."I'll tell you a song that Don Henley really likes of mine and nobody ever played it on the radio. When I played it for him it knocked him out and it's a song called 'The Ring.'" [More]

..."I wanted so bad to put "Living Inside My Heart" on my Greatest Hits, Volume 2 record and I fought and fought and fought and my manager said, 'No, that's a movie song.' I said, 'No, I want it on there.' It's beautiful. I was so bummed when they wouldn't let me put it on there. I was actually working on my new album and let that one slide and I wished I had worked harder on that Greatest Hits, Volume 2 package because there were other songs that I really wanted on there. [More]

..."'Vagrant Winter' was a bum [laughs]. 'Chain Smoking' was a bum [uproarious laughter]. Oh my god, I hope nobody ever hears them [laughs]." [More]

Thanks to Marie Campbell for the Goldmine link. Just as she said, there's part of the newsstand copy that's not on the Goldmine site -- a sidebar where Seger talks about the origin of various songs. You can check that out here.

Meanwhile, the February issue of Classic Rock Magazine is also touting a Seger interview. But I discovered too late -- after paying $8.99 for a copy of the mag -- it's a shortened version of the Goldmine interview. The photos are kind of cool though.

Still to come -- a summary of Uncle Joe's interview from last week, in case you missed it. And some kind of write up of the Portland concert, also known as Don Brewer Chronicles, Part 2. First a little offline time, so I can check to see if my family still remembers me.

February 24, 2007


Call Him Ishmael

Give some congrats to writer Tom Lanham of the San Francisco Examiner: He manages to do a preview piece on Seger that's almost 100 percent new info. After all that's been written about Bob lately, that's hard to do. The trick: ask about something that hasn't already been covered.

Lanham notes that Seger travels with his Harley and gets this quote:

"I've always got these two certain things that I do while I'm in Oakland," he explains. "I'll ride to Seal Rock, out west of town, and watch the seals. And then I'll cross the Golden Gate Bridge and go up to Stinson Beach overlook."

And he ends the piece with this from Seger: "What's that Ishmael says in 'Moby Dick'? 'I have an itch for things remote.' That's me."

That's right -- a quote from Moby Dick. This from someone who is supposedly "less cerebral" than Springstreen, a "meat-and-potatoes" guy, an "arena rocker." Word to journalists: unless you too can quote from Melville, you are no longer allowed to use any of those terms in describing Seger.

Also, please note: the term "aging rocker" is out. Are there rockers out there who aren't aging? Besides dead ones, that is? Mike Seely uses the term in his brain-dead (and not worth reprinting) article for Seattle Weekly.

Hey, I used to write for the Seattle Weekly too, twenty years ago when I had no life and knew nothing. But I never went quite as far off the deep end as this Mike Seely guy, who claims Face the Promise is "unlistenable." Interesting. So I guess the 1,000,000 people who bought it are wrong and you're right. Must be a lonely life, Mike.

February 21, 2007


Third Show at Cobo

This Saturday, tickets go on sale for what is probably the last show of the tour -- Cobo Hall on Saturday, March 17. It'll be the 50th show of the tour, spanning 129 days. By that show, nearly 700,000 of us will have heard Seger live on this tour. What an amazing and wonderful experience it has been!

February 20, 2007


"My Heart Was Singing..."

That's exactly how I felt all through the Portland show last night.

Sometimes -- on certain extra-rare days and nights -- the stars align and things are just perfect. Those are times you remember forever -- and for me, last night was one of those nights.

Ears Two was there, and Jesse (of Seger DEW Line fame for long-time readers of this site) and my wife and son. The show was great and we got to meet the band afterwards. Some photos and impressions to follow -- but for now, what a night! My thanks to the people who got me backstage (you know who you are) and to everyone who shared it with me. Great friends, great music, great times. It couldn't have been better. The truth is, my heart's still singing...

Seger rocks the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon

February 18, 2007


Back to Cobo

Seger's current tour will end where it all began for him -- at Cobo Hall in Detroit. The March 13 show at Joe Louis Arena will be followed by at least one show at Cobo Hall, on March 15. (And there's a rumor of a second Cobo show to be added.)

Those shows will be the finale of the current tour. And will a fall tour follow? Nobody knows.

February 18, 2007


One I Missed -- Saginaw Review

Remember back when the tour began? I don't know about you, but it seems like long ago to me. Saginaw was the second show of the first leg, and somehow I overlooked this piece in Saginaw's Review Magazine.

(The link above will take you to the mag, which has a couple great photos, so try that first. If the archive ever disappears, I've cut and paste the piece, minus photos, here.)

There's also a great interview with Barb Payton, who describes what it's like to tour with Seger. Among her many comments is this one: "Laura Creamer & Shaun Murphy are two of the most gifted singers that I have ever had the pleasure and honor of working with." Check it out here.

Thanks to William Hard -- a self-described "Seger Freak from Freeland, MI" -- for sending the link.
February 19, 2007
Seger at "the Joe" Sunday -- Uncle Joe, That Is

Seger tickets for Joe Louis Arena in Detroit go on sale Saturday. But if you don't live near Detroit, you might be more interested in a different Joe -- Uncle Joe Benson, whose interview with Seger will run this Sunday on his nationally syndicated "Off the Record" radio program.

Check out Uncle Joe for a list of stations carrying or streaming the show. (I'll be listening in Oregon on KGON.)

And for a flash from the not so distant past, try this short summary of Joe's interview with Seger from November 2003. Unlike some of the "drive-time" radio chats that are billed as interviews, the Off the Record interviews always get into interesting stuff. Give a listen this Sunday. Thanks to Jeff Bednarski for the tip.

February 15, 2007


"Denver" in Denver

Mark Brown of the Rocky Mountain News is another music writer who knows what he's talking about. Check out the opening on his current review:

"The words "here's a song from the new album" are usually the kiss of death at a classic rock concert.

But when Bob Seger uttered those words introducing Wreck This Heart, fans actually cheered with recognition - and the title track of his new Face the Promise album had even the uninitiated captivated. "

And of course, the lucky folks at the Pepsi Center were treated to "Get Out of Denver." Read the full review here.

February 15, 2007


Heading Out on the Big Two Wheeler

A Seger fan named Kasey Donnelly-Costello wrote a while ago and asked where one of the photos in the Face the Promise CD booklet was taken -- specifically the black and white photo of Seger in a field. I didn't know, so I put the question to photographer Cybelle Codish. Here's her reply:

"None of us can actually remember where they were taken exactly! I have a vague memory of Davisburg, Mich. We drove around quite a bit that day. We started at an old "general store" and moved north. We would literally stop the car on the side of the road and shoot, and there was a time when Bob and I just took off on his motorcycle and found some interesting spots.  I think that was where the cover came from.  

 I know for sure that the field was north of Clarkston, and we did shots in Clarkston as well."

February 15, 2007

More International Travelin' Fans

Chalk up another Seger fan crossing international borders to hear a show. Effie from Ottawa reviews the New York show -- "What a concert! What a voice!! What a man!!!" -- here.

February 15, 2007


Nine Years, Two Days

A little bit late, but the ninth anniversary page is finally up. There are some stories, song clips, interview excerpts and photos I've been saving for a while. And, yes, a tribute to my new favorite Seger song, "We've Got Tonight." Check it out at Number 9.

February 13, 2007


Catching Up

The Seger File birthday party, now in its 20th hour, has been so consuming that you're going to have to wait at least until Monday for the special features I promised. Meanwhile, I've fallen behind once again on the previews, reviews and fan reports from the road. Check 'em all out, using the links above, and don't miss these nuggets:

Jack Hill, in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, gets this quote about Seger's voice:
"My voice is holding up good," the affable Seger explains from the road. "I'm trying to pace it, so we do shows pretty much every other night, Tuesday through Saturday, as it works out. I went to a vocal doctor who said the best thing I could do is to fly home after a show. So I get in a car, go to where the plane is parked and head on home, and don't even murmur until waking up the next morning."

Richard Baca, in the Denver Post, has Seger admitting to being a micromanager:

Yes, Bob Seger has a MySpace page. But does the old-time rock 'n' roller ever update it - let alone look at it?

"I let everybody else take care of that for me," Seger said recently in a telephone interview. "And being such a micromanager, I'm surprised I even give up that control."

Mark Brown, in the Rocky Moutain News, quotes Seger about the editing process.
"If I can take a little bit out, I do. Sometimes it's a little painful, but in the final analysis it's correct. I have another verse in the Patty Loveless song (The Answer's in the Question, from the new album). There were four more lines. I looked at the four lines and said, 'I'm not saying anything new in these lines.' It was painful, but it was the right thing to do."

Brown also notices, as I did, how "Won't Stop" follows "Real Mean Bottle" on the track list:

"I felt I needed that to level Real Mean Bottle, which is levity about addiction and drinking and being crazy. I need something to balance it, which is why I put (Won't Stop) right after that song. (Real Mean Bottle) is the perceived party-till-you-drop song; then the next song is the reality of what happens if you do that, the addictive compulsive personality that goes along with that.

"We all have friends who get off on the wrong foot, head out in the wrong direction and lose themselves to drugs and drinking and stuff like that. It's kinda about people I know who have done that, gone down that way. You end up not taking their calls anymore, you know what I mean?"

Andrew Dansby, in the Houston Chronicle, discovers that Seger is not an American Idol viewer.
"Never seen it. They just asked me that at Rolling Stone. No, I won't watch it. But my wife and daughter love it. They watch religiously."

He also talks about giving up the writing credit on Old Time Rock & Roll.

"Yeah, I wish I would've claimed some of that; I wrote the lyrics to that except for the title and chorus. I never asked for any credit. That was pretty dumb, right?. It was just a rush-rush deal. We had to leave on a tour."

(Note: Sure he lost millions by not taking a writing credit on OTR&R. But think of all the money he's saving by using my photo for free! That's gotta make up for a couple hundred right there!)

And you must read these fan reports:

David Ferman, who says about the Dallas crowd: "Too many sheeple going to get a beer over and over. You know what? You waited 10 years -- get that fifth beer tomorrow, okay, Bubba?"

Jeff Bornino, who rates four concerts he's seen thusly: "1. Cleveland, 2. Memphis, 3. Detroit, and 4.  Cincinnati.  The crowd in Cincy was great, but the acoustics were horrible."

And Michael Funk, who writes from Germany. "What if something you've been waiting for a very long time, 26 years, finally comes true?"

February 11, 2007


I Know It's Late. I Know You're Weary.

But the Seger File has a birthday coming up. This Sunday, the site will have been online for nine long (and sometimes lonesome) years. And despite the fact that eight other birthdays have come and gone with absolutely no fanfare, this year I'm kicking out at least some of the jams. Check back Sunday for nine Seger songs you may never have heard, some stories I've been saving, and a tribute to a beautiful Seger song that I've never really liked.

February 8, 2007


The 13th for the Joe

Seger's show at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit has been confirmed for March 13. Tickets go on sale Feb. 17. Who wants to bet that another show is added as soon as the first sells out? March 15 is still open...

February 7, 2007


True Words

A lot has been written about Seger, and sometimes it begins to sound the same. (Which reminds me: Not only is the word "hiatus" banned, but future interviewers are hereby prohibited from asking Bob what he was doing during his time off. We already know. Someone should get him a t-shirt that says, "I was raising my kids.")

But then you read something like Bob Mehr's review of the Memphis show, which has two lines in it that made me stop and say: Yeah -- that's it exactly.

Mehr says of Seger: "His music's place in popular culture -- from Tom Cruise's famous lip synch in the film Risky Business to the pervasive Chevy Truck ads -- has obscured his greater work as a songwriter."

I couldn't agree more. For many people -- maybe even most people -- Seger is defined by the popularity of an ad and a silly movie sequence. We're the lucky ones: we know about the songwriting. We know about the rest of the work.

Mehr also writes: "Removing the distance between the artist and the audience has always been his greatest talent." I'd probably say "one of his greatest talents." But you could argue it either way.

Read the rest of the review here.

For another good piece, read Tom Treece's column in the Monroe (Michigan) News. It's a good remembrance from someone who long ago shared the stage -- and a love of guitars -- with Seger.

Finally, check out these fan reviews of the New York and Boston shows from a German fan. People from all around the world have something to say about Seger.

February 5, 2007


Seger at Joe Louis -- On March 13?

It's official -- Seger's going back to downtown Detroit. The tour will definitely hit the Joe Louis Arena.

The Detroit News says the date is March 13. The Detroit Free Press responded, two hours later, with this: "Insiders say that despite published reports, an exact Joe Louis date is not yet set."

And WCSX says: "Lots of rumors about the date, so listen to 'CSX for details coming very soon."

This much is certain -- it won't be March 14, 16, 17, 22 and 24. The arena is already booked those days.

Details as they come in. Thanks to Bill Cook for the tip!

February 2, 2007


Boston Fire

Seger and the band added "Fire Down Below" to the setlist for the first time this tour in Boston. Here's an audio excerpt that will only leave you wanting more.

February 4, 2007


Closing Down the Place

Seger's concert in the Memphis Pyramid tonight was the last show ever in the venue. According to CommercialAppeal.com, here's how it came to pass:

"Bob Seger was looking for a routed date on Feb. 3 in the South," [promoter Barry] Leff said.

FedExForum was booked that night with the Grizzlies, but Leff knew that SMG, long-time operator of The Pyramid, wanted to stage one last concert in the arena.

"It literally worked out perfect," Leff said. "It was almost kind of meant to be. ... It kind of reminds me of his song, 'Rock and Roll Never Forgets.' What a great theme for the last show ever at The Pyramid."

The concert is expected to top 14,000, Leff said.

Planning continues, meanwhile, on the building's proposed next phase -- a Bass Pro Shops outdoors mega-store.

My big question is: Did Seger play "Red Eye to Memphis." I'll bet he did. We'll know as soon as the emails start coming in.

February 3, 2007


John Flis, Town Crier

A member of one of Seger's original bands, John Flis, passed away last week. His niece, Nicole Zaremba, writes: "John Joseph Flis is his full name. I know he was prevalent in the Ann Arbor local music scene in the 60's and 70's. He also owned a music store called the Music Mart and would play at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. I'd like to find some of their music..."

There's an online guestbook here. As far as I know, there are no recordings of the Town Criers. If I'm wrong, someone please let me know, and I'll pass it on to Nicole.

February 3, 2007


Sunday Morning Seger

CBS finally aired the video interview with Seger last Sunday (January 28). It was a pretty good piece, and yes, you can watch it on YouTube. The nationally broadcast spot even included my photo of Seger, to which no one owns the copyright but me.

Clicking on the image will take you to YouTube and the Seger segment of CBS Sunday Morning.

The photo used in the flash montage is from the Agora in Columbus, Ohio, taken in 1974. The contact sheet and a couple more shots are here.

Photos by Scott Sparling


Overheard in New York

From CelebrityMound.com, a New York gossip blog:

"Kid Rock was supposed to jet here last week to perform a few tunes with his idol Bob Seger at the Garden, but the plan went up in smoke after Rock took a little too long to make travel plans and Seger got miffed. "Tell him to forget it. I don't do things last minute," Seger was overheard saying, according to Steppin' Out's Chaunce Hayden. Rock's camp had no comment. Seger's flack said she wasn't aware of the incident.

Of course, it's only an "incident" because Celebrity Mound claims it is. Who knows what the real story is. Or even if there is a story...

February 3, 2007


New York Time Machine

Four different papers reviewed Seger's show at Madison Square Garden. Reading them made me want to go back and compare them to previous tours. So I dug up reviews from his last three New York shows -- in 1983, 1986 and 1996. Check them all at Lookin' Back.

Speaking of reviews, here's a great line from the current NYT review: "The concert was an affirmation of tenacity, of coming to terms with time; not defying it, like a Rolling Stones concert, but living with its consequences." Read the rest here.

Seger at Madison Square Garden -- January 25, 2007. NYT photo by Chang W. Lee.

January 27, 2007


Legendary Rocker and Bona Fide American Icon

That's how Rolling Stone describes Seger in a piece at RollingStone.com, titled Bob Seger Stops By for Sandwiches, Life Lessons.

What a difference a successful album and tour make. Remember not so long ago, when I was perpetually ticked off at Rolling Stone for not seeming to know that Seger existed? (Who could forget the rapier wit of my post RS, Meet RS from October 25, 1999?)

But now, Seger's a hero, and Rolling Stone has supplied one of the best and truest lines ever written about him: "Seger fearlessly remains Seger." Wow, that's good. A four word sentence that says it all. I wish I'd written that. And I almost never feel that way.

So all is forgiven. The current piece, by the way, is a teaser for a one-on-one video interview RS promises to post next week. Meanwhile, they give us a few excerpts. Here are some excerpts from the excerpts.

* On the thrill of being back on the road after a ten-year-plus absence: "We're a sports team, we're in season and every night we win."

* On the girl who inspired "Night Moves": "She knows who she is. She was my first love."

* On how he comes to the decision to release a new album: "When I have twelve great songs…or when they set a release date and I can't change it."

* On some of his favorite moments onstage: "'Hollywood Nights' becomes really wild, but at my age, sixty percent of the time I'm just trying to remember the lyrics."

Thanks to Mike from GR for the tip.

January 26, 2007


Seger Slips A Disk

I was joking when I wrote the following paragraph in my review of the Cleveland concert:

(Why would anyone imagine that Punch Enterprises or Capitol would still have the masters to Brand New Morning? I mean, c'mon on. I assume they've lost the masters to Face the Promise by now. It's been four months, for crying out loud. Who can keep track of things that long? And all that Hi-Def video they shot at the Palace two weeks ago? If the DVD's not out in a month, forget it.)

But check this out from last Friday's Boston Globe preview. (The writer obviously means the Palace of Auburn Hills, not Cobo Hall):

Seger recently taped a couple of performances at Detroit's Cobo Hall for a possible DVD release. He has yet to see the footage, however. "I've had the same manager for 40 years, and we're both getting kind of old, so I said, 'Where's the DVD? I want to see it.' And he said, 'I can't find it,' " he says. "So he's still looking around for it. They say it's good, but I'd love to see it myself."

You read it here first. I wonder if they've tried looking in the DVD player. Or maybe it got taken back to Blockbuster by mistake. I do things like that sometimes. If they find it, they should probably send a copy to the Library of Congress right away for safekeeping. Just a suggestion.

January 27, 2007


Today in Music History

From soundgenerator.com

January 23, 1977

Singer/poet Patti Smith, opening for fellow Detroiter Bob Seger, broke a number of vertebrae in her neck after falling from a stage in Tampa, Florida.

Patti Smith and Bob Seger on the same bill? There's a show I wish I could have seen!

January 22, 2007


CBS Says Seger on Sunday

And this time they mean it. After fooling us once with an announcement about Seger on Sunday Morning, CBS now says it will air the segment this Sunday. The show starts at seven, or eight, or nine in the morning, depending on when I set my VCR. (If I set it for eight, it starts at seven, etc.) So plan accordingly.

Hey, Charles Osgood (TV's biggest fuddy-duddy) and Bob Seger on the same bill? What is the world coming to?? Maybe Osgood will fall off the stage.

January 22, 2007


Hiatus Alert

Just two days after I banned the word "hiatus" from all future media reports concerning Seger's tour, along comes Jack Corraggio, writing about "an 11-year hiatus" in the Hartford Courant. Hey, don't you reporters read the Seger File to get your daily language-related marching orders? Maybe you should. The word's been used in ten different reviews already. Time to try something new.

How about gap or time-out or layoff? Try interim or break. If you feel the need to use a fancypants word, go for lacuna, caesura or interregnum. Wouldn't that make you sound smart -- "After a 10-year interregnum, Seger is back on the road." Yeah!

You literary types could pull out quiescence. That's always a good one. Of if you want a more legal-sounding effect, try "period of cessation."

And don't forget discontinuity, or lull or pausation, as in: "Seger's back after a 10-year pausation, but if the discontinuity affected his show, you wouldn't know it from last night's performance, which showed no ill effects from the lull."

So please, give "hiatus" some downtime. Give it a rest. A breather. An interlude of absence. A season of stillness. A 10-year intermission. The word is history.

January 22, 2007


Distant Shore

I was warned never to watch this video. So naturally I watched it. Now I wish I hadn't. Since I'm in one of those kinds of moods, I'm passing the karma on to you. Ladies and Gentlemen, Ms. Dinah Shore singing "We've Got Tonight" on Japanese TV, circa 1984. Run for your life: She's got tonight and she wants you to stay.

Clicking on the image will take you to YouTube. Don't say I didn't warn you. And thanks, I guess, to Rosemary in Bay City for the link.

January 22, 2007


Seger on Leonard Cohen

In Jane Stevenson's preview piece in the Toronto Sun today, Seger talks more about the influence of Leonard Cohen on his songwriting:

"Oh, Leonard, he's been a huge influence on me from Day One," said Seger, who has a separate studio in the woods about 12 miles north of his home but recorded Face The Promise in Nashville.

"I'm just a fan of great songwriting and he's a wonderful writer. I've got all of his stuff, everything he's ever done. And you can kind of hear the influence on Face The Promise. When I first saw (The Future) in the record store I thought, 'What a fantastic idea for an album, talking about the future and the ramifications of what we're doing now and what they're going to have towards the future.' And I love Waiting For The Miracle and I love Democracy and I love a bunch of songs on that record. I think I have five copies of it. I've always got to have it with me at all times."

I also found this quote interesting:

The 61-year-old Seger, whose first album, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, came out in 1969, says he's never afraid his audience won't be waiting for him when he returns after a long break.

"I don't think I'd take the break if I was fearful. Actually, I probably took the break thinking I never would come back," said Seger, 61...

The Sun seems to have a policy of putting Seger's age in every sentence. It's a good piece overall, though. Read the rest of it here.

January 21, 2007


Back in the Fall?

Seger has been interviewed constantly over the past year, so I am always amazed and impressed when a reporter uncovers new information by asking good questions. Jay Lustig's interview in the New Jersey Star-Ledger does exactly that.

But first, this sentence jumped out at me:

"He will definitely take the summer off, he says, but hasn't ruled out returning to the road in the fall."

We've heard hints of that before, but it's definitely good to hear it again. Here's hoping for a "Third Leg" to the tour.

Lustig also gets this quote about the band:

"I started to do this because I felt a little sorry for the band," says Seger. "They had been sitting around for 10 years, waiting for me to tour. I said, 'Well, maybe I'll do 20 dates.'

"But when I got out there, I saw how dedicated everybody was. And I added a horn section the last week of rehearsal, and that was a lot of fun. So I said, 'Let's keep going,' and we're going all the way to mid-March."

Other excerpts:

He says he had seen a Springsteen show featuring a horn section, years ago, and had often thought about how well that worked. "So a week before we went out on this tour, I said, 'I want to try that out.' My manager said, 'Oh man, don't do that, you're going to wreck the show.' But it's been great."

"You know, I never realized until I did this tour how many songs I wrote about traveling," he says.

"It's like, when I first started out, that's exactly who I was...And they have a new resonance now: They're very old, but they're very new for me."

Read the whole quote, and the whole article, here.

And now for some odds and ends. First off, a note to copyeditors: The song title "Still the Same" should no longer be used as a headline. It's over. Plays on "Turn the Page" in a headline are also suspect.

Also, the word "hiatus" is banned from future use. Seger took some time off. We understand. You don't need to hit us with your fancy Latin word.

On a different note, I'm getting so many rave reviews of the Tampa concert, I'm beginning to wonder if maybe Florida was one of the major highlights of this tour.

January 20, 2007


Number 2 for Kentucky

After the west coast swing, the tour seems to be coming back to pick up midwest dates it may have missed. The latest to be added: Lexington, Kentucky on March 8. Tickets on sale January 27. Thanks to Jason Francis for the tip.

January 20, 2007


Number 3 for Ohio

It was back on November 25 when a fan named Paul S wrote with his story of hanging with the band after the Cincinnati show. "PS," he wrote. "They told me they added a show in March in Columbus,OH (my hometown)."

Sure enough, the tour will return to Ohio for the third time on March 10. This show's at the Schottenstein Center, a 21,000 seat arena on the OSU campus in Columbus. Tickets go on sale January 27.

January 19, 2007


More Travelin' Men

If Seger won't tour internationally, then Seger fans from around the world will have to visit the states to hear the shows. And that's exactly what's happening.

For the Tampa show, fans came from Norway and Africa.

Jamil Haidous came from Gambia, in West Africa. He also saw shows in Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Milwaukee, Indianapolis and Cincinnati. You can read Jamil's Tampa review here.

Hoba Berg came from Oslo, Norway. He is also planning to see shows in Boston and New York. You can read Hoba's Tampa review here.

I've also heard, separately, from fans Michael Funk, and Til Langhorst and Steffen Schulz, who will be traveling from Germany to see the Boston show.

Here's one more: Marco Felli, who is coming from Italy to see the New York show.

Add to the list: Campbell and Janis Patrick from Scotland. Campbell writes:

my wife and i are a couple of seger fans from glasgow scotland. we were at the 2nd grand rapids and milwalkee dates way back at the start of the tour. we've just booked up for the oakland, phoenix and vegas dates and can't wait to see him again. last time bob played glasgow was 76 so we knew we had to go to the usa to see him. i've enclosed a pic of us in grand rapids and the poster for the glasgow gig bob done in the 70s. cheers...

 

And another: Kenny Taylor from Aberdeen, Scotland, who flew over for the Chicago and Kansas shows. "Had waited 30 years to see him and it was worth every panny. Awesome as you guys would say."

One more: Philippe Pedron from Vannes , France

Who else is coming from overseas to hear Seger? Let me know, and I'll add your name to the list of globetrotting Seger fans.

February 5, 2007


CBS -- Casually Bumps Seger

No word on why CBS Sunday Morning first hyped and then bumped its segment on Seger. Maybe they knew I forgot to set my VCR. (Hey, the show airs at 6 a.m. in Portland.) At any rate, there was no Seger on the program this morning. Maybe next week.

January 14, 2007


East of Omaha....and now, Los Angeles

Actually the Qwest Center in Omaho is on N. Tenth Street. And that's where Seger will be on March 6. Can you imagine how the crowd will roar when he sings "Turn the Page"?

Los Angeles is also now on the schedule for March 1 at the Forum

Tickets for Omaha, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Las Vegas go on sale January 20.

January 13, 2007


Seger at the Top

Check out this week's Pollstar chart:

January 13, 2007


Seger on Sunday

Do rock fans get up early on Sunday to watch TV? I guess we're gonna have to. CBS Sunday Morning is featuring a segment on Seger this Sunday, January 14. You can see a print preview online here.

An excerpt:

"Most of the time, I'm here in Michigan and I'm taking out the garbage every Monday," he told Sunday Morning correspondent Russ Mitchell. "I get up and move a couple of cans out to the edge of the road like everybody else."

The show airs at 7:00 a.m. in most West Coast markets; on the East Coast it starts later, I'm told.

January 11, 2007


Real Mean Guitar

From the Detroit Historical Museum:

January 13, 2007


Phoenix in February

One more tour date joins the schedule today: Phoenix, on February 27 at the US Airways Center.

January 11, 2007


Seger on Morning Edition Monday

An interview with Seger will be featured on NPR's Morning Edition on Monday, January 8. The online verison, including audio, is available here.

Seger talks about learning to write songs with Glenn Frey by studying Motown writers as well as the Beatles and Dylan And he talks about what it was like to play Detroit again after so many years away: "There was a lot of pressure there...it was a little nerve-racking...but ultimately very satisfying."

He discusses the inspiration behind the song "Beautiful Loser."

That was really inspired by Leonard Cohen, whom I've always been a huge fan of. And he actually had a book of poems called Beautiful Losers... When I had read that he had written that -- I've never read the poems -- but I've heard every Leonard Cohen song ever written because I'm a big fan. And it struck me -- boy, what a great title for a song, you know?

There's a song ["The Stranger Song"] in a great [Robert] Altman film, McCabe and Mrs. Miller... I think it was something about a dealer and "like every dealer he is reaching for the card that is so high and wild, he'll never have to deal another."... He's reaching for the sky just to surrender. And those two things, the title Beautiful Losers from Cohen's book and "reaching for the sky just to surrender," I can relate to that. People who set their goals so high that they're impossible, so they have comfort in failing. Does that make any sense? And that's what "Beautiful Loser" is all about. You... I don't know how to describe it...

And thanks to NPR for the link!

January 7, 2007


Tori Turns the Page

You've heard the Live Bullet version and the Metallica version. If you're very lucky, you've even heard the Back in '72 version. But have you heard the Tori Amos version? If not, here it is. (Clicking on the image will take you to the YouTube page. This is a sound file only -- the video is a still shot.)

Many thanks to Michael Funk for finding the sound file.

January 7, 2007


Oakland Added

Here come the remaining Second Leg tour dates, starting with Oakland. Seger hits town on February 24. Thanks to Jeff Bednarski for the tip.

January 5, 2007


Dylan Spins Seger

Where would the Seger File be without the people who send me links? Every day, people send me tips and info I might otherwise miss. And over the past nine years, I've gotten countless great tips from Bill Cook. Here's the latest -- Dylan's intro to Seger's Sock It To Me Santa from his Theme Time Radio Hour.

"Some people call Bob the poor man's Bruce Springsteen, but personally, I've always thought Bruce was the rich man's Bob Seger. Love 'em both, though." -- Bob Dylan.

(Clicking on the image will take you to the YouTube page. This is a sound file only -- the video is a still shot.)

The voice of Chevrolet? Does that make Dylan the voice of Victoria's Secret? Anyway, thanks for the tip, Bill.

January 1, 2007


"Bottle" and "Promise" Make King's List

Stephen King, that is. In his year-end list of best songs, the horror writer lists "Real Mean Bottle" and "Face the Promise" as tied at Number 8.

"These tracks are magnificent," he writes in his Entertainment Weekly column, the Pop of King. He later refers to them as "two priceless tracks."

(To be fair, he also says "'Wait for Me' is shmaltz." Yeah, and the New York Times calls Cell, King's 2006 novel, "a literal trudge." But The Shining was priceless.)

Thanks to Holly Baker-Kreiswirth (via Bill Wolski) for the tip!

January 2, 2007


More Seger on Brown

Last Friday, CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed Seger for his perspective on James Brown. Here's the transcript:

COOPER: The procession this morning for James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, who picked up a lot of self-adopted godchildren along the way. One of them was Bob Seger. He of the "Night Moves" and the Silver Bullet Band and the new album, titled "Face the Promise". We spoke earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: What -- what made him different?

BOB SEGER, MUSICIAN: Energy. You know, the way he danced. He was like kind of forerunner of Prince and Michael Jackson. He was a great dancer. But you know, a fantastic singer. We all owned the album "James Brown Live at the Apollo" and listened to that in high school.

COOPER: Yes. You've called that album your favorite album of all time. Why?

SEGER: Kind of like was the basis of what I wanted to be. You know, a great live performer, nothing like James Brown, but in my own way, you know? And I sang a lot like him. I tried to. When we would play nightclub gigs and stuff like that, we'd do a lot of James Brown gigs, and I was always the one that sang them.

COOPER: It's also amazing when you think about James Brown's influence on all sorts of genres of music. I mean, soul, obviously, funk, hip-hop, rap, R&B. He really is at the core of all of this.

SEGER: He was so ahead of his time, you know. He was doing talk type narrative songs, you know, so -- so far ahead of rap and hip-hop and everything. They didn't call him the Godfather of Soul for nothing, you know.

I loved all types R&B. I liked Motown, but I always gravitated personally to the real heavy stuff. And to me the heavy stuff, the big beat, the great rhythmic stuff was James Brown.

COOPER: Did you ever try to sort of imitate James Brown on stage?

SEGER: No, but I used to be able to do that dance where he moved his feet like this, kind of. I learned that and just because I was such a fan. I learned how to do it.

COOPER: The energy, I mean, some of the old clips I've seen of him back in the day were just -- it's extraordinary. He had this sort of potency that kind of burst forth from him.

SEGER: It's all really, really high energy powerful in the '50s, '55, '56, '57. And that's when James Brown was also, you know, cutting his teeth in the south. And he wasn't the big record seller, but he was the big performer, if you know what I mean.

People knew him from his performances, kind of like when I first saw Prince. He was known as a great performer first, and then he became like a radio, you know, and video and everything else star. But he started out being a great performer. There's a great parallel there, I think, between Prince and James Brown and then later on Michael Jackson.

COOPER: Bob, it's a pleasure to talk to you. Thanks for coming on.

SEGER: Thank you, Anderson.

Thanks to Karen Freeman for the tip.

January 1, 2007


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