According to a
Detroit News article by Susan Whitall, Seger's
management says the new "Early Seger" CD may be
released more widely in January 2010. So far,
the only solid information is that the CD will
be available in Meijer stores on November 24 and
on BobSeger.com on November 30 (presumably as a
CD, not a download, given Seger's disdain for
My guess is
that the CD will turn up in all sorts of places
after the Christmas season. But for now, Live
Nation wants to control the sales -- and the
profits. In one respect, I think that's fine --
it shows Seger embracing the new business model
made possible by the internet.
It was just
four years ago, you might recall, when the old
BobSeger.com said "Capitol Records is responding
to requests from the Detroit rocker's online fan
community for reissues of Seger's more obscure
works by releasing a newly remastered version of
his 1972 release, Smokin' O.P.'s." Many of us
(okay, all of us) wondered at the time
(okay, complained at the time) that there
were no unreleased tracks -- all Capitol did was
repackage an existing CD with some audio
upgrades so we could buy it again.
difference four years makes. This time around,
the rules are different and we get a great mix
of old tracks, re-recorded tracks and unreleased
tracks. It's truly cause for
At the same
time, I'm not wild about being forced to buy the
CD from Live Nation. But maybe that's the price
we have to pay for unreleased tracks. If so,
just tell me where to send the money, and keep
Midwest Gets "Early Seger" First - Nov.
Much of the
mystery around "Early Seger, Vol. 1" has been
revealed. The tracklist, cover art and even
audio clips are on the new and improved official
website. One song -- a powerful new version of a
classic from Seger's Seven album -- features
great new vocals and music. And we have a
release date -- November 24 in Meijers stores in
the Midwest, and November 30 online.
screenshot tells the
through five sound more remastered than
re-recorded -- the changes aren't obvious in a
big way in the online samples.
track six -- "Long Song Comin'" -- has terrific
new vocals and a scorching new backing track. It
will blow you away with the mighty power of
Seger's voice and the Motor City Horns.
effect is stunning. The new vocals fit so
perfectly that I didn't even notice them until
Seger aficionado Ken Settle pointed them out
(and few fans have better ears than Ken).
It's one more
tribute to the power of Seger's instrument --
his voice. More than 35 years have passed since
the original was recorded, yet the song has more
raw energy, power and impact than ever.
What was once an interesting album cut and
precursor to "Fire Down Below" is now a Seger
classic. I haven't even heard the whole thing,
and my advice is to play it night and day until
The last four
tracks are something to celebrate as well. All
are previously unreleased songs -- three of them
from the Like A Rock era.
Tonight" has been available only as the Don
Johnson cover released in 1986. What a
difference Seger's vocal makes. When Seger's
version was profiled five years ago in the
Vault, I described it this way:
Tonight" is a song about a woman who uses her
acting skills both to please and manipulate.
At least that's what I think it's about.
Seger's vocal, obviously, is more heartfelt
than Johnson's. When he sings "Isn't it
amazing how she makes you love the chase,"
you feel the mix of attraction and distrust
that the narrator seems to have for the woman
-- getting caught up in her act even while he
knows it's an act."
Pumpin'" seems to be a different version of
a song originally called "Pumpin'." If so, it's
the one track not originally from the Like A
Rock timeframe. The original song, "Pumpin'" is
from the 1970s, but at least part of this
recording is new, since the Motor City Horns
play on it. Based on the lyric sheet only, the
Vault described "Pumpin'" this way:
-- another Seger song from the '70s --
consists of exactly nine words. In
alphabetical order: All, Feelgood, Got, I'm,
Long, Me, Mr., Night and Pumpin'.
I bet this
song had a great Stax/Volt groove. But I
don't read music, so we'll never know for
The track on
"Early Seger" does indeed have a great groove
(along with slightly different words). Whether a
purist would call it Stax/Volt, I'll leave to
adds some expert background on this
are absolutely right -- the song was
originally called, "Pumpin." It was copyright
in 1976. However, the song goes back to
summer 1973. The 1976 copyright makes me
think perhaps it was considered for Night
He used to
play that song with the short-lived band
between the Borneo Band and The Silver Bullet
Band. I've seen him do "Pumpin'" at the
Roostertail, as well as St. Clair Shores
Civic Arena, opening for The Stooges! The way
he did this song at that time was "You got ME
pumpin." And HE played the nasty guitar power
chords that we hear now. He performed it as a
medley with "Seen A Lot Of Floors." He would
play "Floors" first and swing into "Pumpin,"
after, saying, "And if things get reaaal
good"....and then it would go into that
ferocious riff that we hear on the new album.
Albeit with Alto playing TWO saxes at
Any way you
look at it, the song is an amazing testimony to
the power of Seger's vocal -- how he can take
some simple lyrics and invest them with
extraordinary life. It hard to think of anyone
else who could do what he does here.
and Reed at Ann Arbor's Primo Showbar in
track, "Wildfire," is an undisputed gem.
Seger fans have been passing a bootleg version
of this around for years; now everyone can hear
it. This version is slightly different -- the
girl in the bootleg version had brown eyes; on
the just-released cut, they're blue. Doesn't
matter. The vocal, the lyrics and the
songwriting are all Seger at his very best. From
the 2004 Vault write-up:
expected, "Wildfire" was also fantastic. It's
possibly the best unreleased Seger song I've
heard, certainly one of the very best. If it
had found a place on Like A Rock or any
subsequent album, it would be a Seger
classic, a crowd-roaring staple of any live
show. The unreleased version of "Wildfire" is
fairly well known to Seger collectors, so I
haven't made a big deal of it here. The
version I heard in the vault was slightly
different than the track that gets passed
around -- I could tell because he threw in an
extra "oh lord" here and there -- but it was
substantially the same. A great, great song
with great energy. If I hadn't already heard
it before I went into the vault, it would
have knocked me off my feet. "Wildfire"
should definitely be released.
track, "Days When the Rain Would Come,"
is another Like A Rock out-take. Again, from the
2004 Vault visit:
ought to be released" is what Ears Two said
about "Days," which was recorded for the Like
A Rock album.
"Days" is in the "American Storm," "Roll Me
Away" and "Wildfire" genre -- which is to say
that it's a big, piano-driven track. It's
slower than all three of those songs, though,
and sadder or more melancholy. If you turned
"American Storm" into a poignant, slightly
uptempo ballad, you'd be close to
it's a song about memories -- about a romance
that might have worked, but didn't. "I
remember firelight / and a softness in her
words / I remember laughter / I remember
feeling sure." But in the end, they were
reckless with love's gifts. "Maybe we got
older / it's hard to say / maybe we just lost
our way." The verse ends with Seger singing
"I remember me and you on / Days / Days when
the rain would come."
and vocally, the song has nothing to do with
Dylan -- but one of the middle verses
reminded me of Dylan lyrically. By that I
mean the lyrics were both evocative and
simple, almost magical in the way they say a
lot by saying very little: "Maybe it was
summer / maybe it was fall / I think the
trees were changing / but I can't seem to
recall." Hearing those lines reminded me of
how underrated Seger is as a
the best part of many Seger songs is at the
end, when he often lets loose. "Days" is a
great example. When the song is basically
over, he tips his head back and lets it rip.
"When the rain WOULD come. DAYS when the rain
would come." It's a big, moving, powerful
is an album Seger fans will treasure. And, as I
wrote earlier, a lot of folks who only know
Seger for his radio hits are in for a blast of
pure, high-energy rock at its best. My guess is
that this album with stimulate demand for much
more early Seger.
the official site, Seger fans in five midwestern
states will get the album a week before the rest
of us. (Some reports have said just the Michigan
Meijer stores.) If true, I suppose that's a way
of rewarding Seger's loyal fans in the area --
except for the fact that half of us moved out of
the area long ago.
Of course, by
the time the disk is released nationally, fan
sites that have been loyally writing about Seger
for more than a decade will have received their
promo copies...or not. Along with review copies
of that new photo book, massively promoted here
but as yet unseen in the Segerfile offices.
(Readers, let me know if any of this snarkiness
gets to be too much. Just raise your hands and
I'll tone it down.)
fans get the early Seger early:
has stores in five midwestern
snarky complaints, I'm gonna miss shooting
zingers at the old BobSeger.com,
which for years was the most anemic and
lackluster site on the Internet, and a great
target for my laser-guided wisecracks.
putdown, from May 6, 2005, claimed that Seger's
official site "is updated every time a pope
official site is anemic no more. Quite the
contrary, it is now robustly collecting money
from fans for one-year "subscriptions" to the
Bob Seger Fan Club. Not wanting to be left out,
I just paid $30 for a t-shirt I don't really
want, an album I already have, and vague
promises of early access to concert tickets if
Seger ever tours. But at least the money goes to
some good cause, a hardworking start-up company
called Live Nation/Clear Channel/Ticketmaster,
or something like that. In tough economic times
like these, it's important to support our big
not gonna get sarcasm like that or cheap social
commentary on the official site, robust or not.
Only the Segerfile pokes an ineffectual finger
in the eye of big music conglomerates. And the
Segerfile is still free.)
But the good
news is, "Early Seger" is on its way. The track
list is fantastic. It's going to re-introduce
the hard-driving Seger we love to tons of
people. And, best of all, it's Volume 1.
Can life in
Segerworld get any better?
note: Well, that was fun while it lasted, which
was slightly less than 24 hours: Yesterday I
posted the following allegedly humorous rant,
and today the problems I pointed out are gone.
Almost as if they were never there! What kind of
world are we living in when complaining about
something results in prompt, remedial action???
I sense some vast Punch Enterprises conspiracy
to make me look crazy...not that I need any
help. Here, at any rate, is the post that was
A new Bob
Seger CD is enough to send my spirits through
the roof any day. Though, admittedly, I've been
a bit worried that the new, spiffed-up official
site would be so cool that I would no longer be
able to poke good-natured fun at it.
But fear not
-- the new BobSeger.com site is still an object
of derision. Exhibit A: the official Bob
Segar t-shirt you get when you
Bullet Girls are notoriously bad
Yep, for a
meagar $30, Segar fans everywhere can receive
this true collectars item. Why, I'd wagar that
everyone -- lovars and deceivars, givars and
receivars, true believars, eagar beavars and
majar leagars, even dog breedars and those who
have committed misdemeanars -- will love this
new shirt. Unless I've made a majar blundar.
aside, it's obvious that the official Seger
site is not being produced by people who really
know and appreciate Seger. The Live Nation
web-minions who have been tasked with creating
the site probably have only passing familiarity
with his music. Which is why they can spell his
name wrong on a shirt.
It's also why
they can get the order of his albums wrong. When
did Stranger in Town come out again? Was there
ever an album called Brand New Morning?
Noah and Beautiful Loser. Anybody in the Live
Nation web factory got a copy of those laying
around? No? Well, send one of the interns out to
the nearest vinyl shop. Don't bother removing
the shrink wrap before you take the photograph,
and don't worry if Beautiful Loser was actually
in the cut-out bin. Those Seger fans won't
notice -- they're all old, their eyesight's
small hole in the upper right-hand corner of
Beautiful Loser indicates a remaindered
that's not how it actually happened. But the
bottom line is this: What Seger really needs is
not some spiffed-up online vending machine
disguised as a website. What he really needs is
a comprehensive, insightful and rockin' website
produced by a dedicated fan who truly loves his
And that would
be The Segar File. I never make mistakes.
Although I may have blown my chance at a free
Seger, Vol. 1"
name of the upcoming Seger album, confirming
that it is older material, with at least some
portions re-recorded. No release date has been
set, but the cover art is done.
You gotta love
that "Vol. 1," which hints that more is to come.
Box sets are dead, but multiple volumes of older
material are just as good.
I have a
feeling a lot of people are about to find out
that there's more to Bob Seger than "Old Time
Rock & Roll." For long-time fans, it's music
we've loved for years. For a whole lot of
others, it's the Bob Seger they never knew --
information on the album title comes straight
from Seger's management, which tipped the
Segerfile in appreciation for the many years
of...er, no wait, it actually comes from
Segerfile readers Paul Dunn and Carol Domanus,
who do a better job of searching the web than I
early Seger and Segerfile readers: Until the
album is released, Bill Cook suggests you go
and check out the playlist: Early Seger,
My guess is
Seger news will start coming fast, very soon.
Which is why you should follow the
Says Seger is Re-recording Seven and
If a famously
secretive rock star was working at my studio,
I'm not sure I'd post much about it on Twitter,
Facebook, myspace and the studio blog. But
here's what Yessian Music has on its various
social network sites.
think I'm spilling any secrets, Yessian's
Twitter page has over 4,500 followers, so the
news is clearly out.
leaves plenty of questions, of course. Including
how trustworthy Yessian's tweet is, considering
that Punch et al haven't asked them to take it
down. Maybe it's a red herring. On the other
hand, would the studio purposely spread
inaccurate information across all its social
network sites? That would be a great way to
destroy your credibility.
it's at least somewhat true, what does
"re-recording" mean? New vocals? Or the original
vocals with horns and back-up singers?
the exact same track list would be one thing.
But there were plenty of other songs recorded or
considered for those albums.
For those of
you who remember, can you imagine "Bringing It
Back from Mexico" with the Motor City Horns? I'd
stop the world for that one. Or an updated
version of "Carfax Abbey?" (Indeed, I speculated
about exactly that on the Segerfile's
in early October.) Hopefully there will be at
least one or two new cuts.
And even if it
is the exact same track list, there are gems on
those albums -- "School Teacher," "Twenty Years
from Now," "Hummin' Bird," etc., etc. etc. --
that would be stunning to hear in updated form.
I also wonder
how accurate Yessian's blogger might be, since
there are so many tracks on albums like Back in
'72 and -- dare we dream it -- Brand New Morning
that are practically crying out to be redone.
Does the Yessian blogger really know the
difference between those albums?
there are still plenty of secrets yet to be
revealed. And plenty of excitement in the air.
To be fair,
the folks over at that other Seger site,
segernet.com, have been talking about this for a
little over a week. In my defense, I'll say
this: I would have known about it earlier too,
except that the past two weeks have been so
busy, due to a personal project I've been
working on, soon to be announced.
I'd tell you
about it now, but it's a secret.
Seger CD Coming...by
Seger is recording is always exciting, but never
too exciting. After all, Seger can be
"working on a new CD" for years at a time. But
Seger is in the studio, and currently,
the talk is of a new release this year. Could
that change tomorrow? Sure. But so far the signs
are good. More info, when I hear it, will hit
Man is Out Now
Travelin' Man: On the Road and Behind the
Scenes with Bob Seger by Tom Weschler and
Gary Graff is available now from
and from some other
that occasionally features Seger news. Says
George Thorogood: "Travelin' Man captures
in photographs the history and legacy of one of
the great American rock classics, Bob
out the great Detroit News article
book, with quotes from Weschler and
City Horns Release A Musical
What does it
take to back up one of the biggest and best
voices in rock? To create new arrangements for
some of the most popular songs of our time? And
add muscle, oomph and pure pleasure for more
than half a million fans over 60
To do all
that, you've gotta be the Motor City Horns --
Mark Byerly, Bob Jenson, Keith Kaminski and John
Rutherford. If you heard them with Seger, you
know they pack a punch. Now, on their new CD,
you can hear them with some of Detroit's best
musicians, including 14 guest vocalists.
Local Boys, and it just hit iTunes -- or rather,
14 of the 15 tracks did. One of them's missing.
More about that in a minute.
represents almost two years of recording and
production, and spans a wide range of musical
styles. The up-tempo numbers -- like "Kissing My
Love" with Thornetta Davis and The Brothers
Groove, or "If You Love Somebody" with Tino
Martin Gross and The Howling Diablos -- have
been burning my car stereo speakers all summer.
Give a listen
and you'll recall exactly what Seger meant when
he said this about the Motor City Horns:
"They're like our turbocharger -- when we really
want to shift into triple digits, we get the
hear blues, worldbeat that will sweep you off
your feet (it may be a federal crime to listen
to "Appollonia" in a seated position) and even
an old Duke Ellington number, "The Mooche,"
recorded by MCH with The Hot Club of
scratches the surfaces. There's more info
After listening to the generous samples, you'll
want to go straight to iTunes.
But if you do,
you'll miss the track that will blow away every
Seger fan. I call it the official song of the
summer, since I've had my copy for a while:
"Lucifer" by the Motor City Horns and Barb
Payton, one of Seger's amazing backup singers.
Seger's music is not licensed for the Internet,
Rutherford explains. To get this track, you need
to buy the physical disk at CD
Which you should do. Now.
After all, how
many groups can take a classic, powerful Seger
song and just knock it out of the park? Not many
that I know. And when Seger himself uses words
like "turbocharger" to describe your music, you
know you're good.
boys, making good: The Motor City
Murphy Out Front Again on "Livin' the
talking about backing up Seger, how about
backing him up not just for a tour, but for half
a career? To get to that level, you'd have to be
term "backup singer" doesn't come close to
describing Murphy. Yeah, she's been adding her
particular genius to Seger's shows since the
early 1970s. She also started her career as a
lead singer, later teamed up as a duo in "Stoney
& Meat Loaf," and shared the lead singing
role in Little Feat for 15 years. (She's also
been in musicals. I first heard Shaun in the
Detroit production of "Hair" when I was in high
school, with a cast that also included Meat
collaboration with Seger says a lot about the
kind of singer she is. Seger's incredibly
particular about his sound, a perfectionist by
many accounts. To be part of his live show, off
and on, for thirty years, you've got to be great
at what you do. Murphy is.
back out front with a new CD "Livin' the Blues."
While you're at CDBaby,
just do this: click on the audio sample for the
title track. "I might be livin' the blues,"
Murphy sings, "but I feel like rockin' tonight."
That was all
it took for me. I ordered the CD immediately.
(Though not from CDBaby -- I got it from
Murphy's site so I could get a signed copy.
wails on songs like "Hound Dog," "Can't No Grave
Hold My Body Down," and "Rock and Roll Every
And how's this
to seal the deal: "Come to Mama." Did I say
something earlier about taking a Seger song and
knocking it out park? Times two. (The only
difference being that Seger didn't write "Come
to Papa." But still.)
When Shaun Murphy sings it, you know it's real
and you know it's good. What more could you
Murphy: Out in front and living the
Night" at Sherwood Forest
years, there have been a lot of great places to
hear Seger -- and some of venues have developed
heir own, lasting mythology. Cobo Hall. The
Hideout clubs. Wamplers Lake. Caveland. Everyone
has their favorite.
But if you
were anywhere near Flint in the late 1960s or
early 1970s, the place to hear Seger -- or
almost any rock and roll -- was Sherwood Forest.
Ten years ago,
the Flint Journal described Sherwood Forest as
"the region's answer to Woodstock."
it functioned as a community center, dance
hall and concert venue for more than 20
years, Don Sherwood's Sherwood Forest in
Richfield Township was the happening place in
metro Flint in the late 1960s through the
mid-1970s, part of a burgeoning Michigan rock
'n' roll scene where future stars such as
Seger, Alice Cooper and Nugent cut their
Sherwood Forest is long gone, memories of its
indoor and outdoor shows, the festival
atmosphere, the pond behind the hill where
audiences sat, the bands and the audiences
David Forsmark, Doug Pullen and Jennifer
Walkling, The Flint Journal. June 27,
How big a deal
was Sherwood Forest in the life and times of
Michigan rock and roll? Here's what Michael
Moore told Rolling Stone magazine a couple of
obviously knows about Woodstock, but we had
our own mini Woodstock every Wednesday, every
summer, just outside of Flint. It was called
Wild Wednesday. It was in a field with a big
pond, and it was the first place that people
saw so many of these groups, like MC5, Iggy,
Seger. We'd literally be there every
Wednesday from noon to midnight. Thousands
would show up.
said rock & roll, you didn't mean just
the music. You meant it as a way of life, as
a coat of armor against everything that was
coming at you. It was a force to be reckoned
mind, there would be no 'Roger & Me,' no
'Fahrenheit 9/11,' if I had not been one of
thousands participating in that moment. And
the millions who go to 'Fahrenheit' carry
that with them as well. They were there at
Wild Wednesday too."
Forest concerts were promoted by Peter Cavanaugh
of WTAC. How important was Peter C. to Seger?
Here's how Seger's longtime manager, Punch
Andrews puts it:
can never say "thank you" enough when it
comes to who really broke Bob Seger locally
and nationally. It was and still is Peter
Cavanaugh and Rosalie Trombly. Rosalie had
CKLW that went into 36 states. She would ask
who else was playing the record and, of
course, I would say Peter C. at WTAC in
You had to
have WTAC and Peter if you were going to have
a hit in Michigan. If he wasn't playing our
record, I would immediately jump in my car
and drive to Flint. As long as the record was
good, he never let us down. We always got a
fair run and real air play. Pete, Bob and I
thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
If, like me,
you never made it to Sherwood Forest, you can
read about it on Peter's
or better yet, buy his book, Local
And if, like
me, you never heard Seger play at Sherwood
Forest, now you can -- thanks to longtime Seger
fan and Segerfile reader Craig Daniels and a
friend of his, Dean Wagner.
wrote me about Sherwood Forest. Attached to his
email was a recording made by Dean -- Bob Seger,
live at Sherwood Forest, playing a song that has
never been recorded or circulated, to my
excerpt from Craig's message.
first time I saw Bob at Sherwood Forest was
my 18th birthday -- September 26, 1971. At
this point he was playing with Teegarden and
VanWinkle or "T&V" as he called them, and
they were playing inside.
time I saw Bob again at Sherwood Forest he
played a set alone first, then played with
T&V again. My guess is that was in the
summer of 1972. I remember sitting very close
to the front of the stage outside as he sang
some of the Brand New Morning songs,
including the title track and "Railroad
And now, the
song. Seger called it "One Night." The Sherwood
Forest recording was made on a portable cassette
recorder around the time of the Mongrel album.
I've added visuals, including photos I found on
Peter C's blog -- and some other non-Sherwood
Forest photos, including some from another
mythic Seger venue, The Michigan Jam.
messed with the recording in one small way --
I've added Peter C's PA announcement at the end
of the show. Actually, Seger closed the show
with a wild version of Lucifer and then Peter
made his announcement. I have a snippet of that,
and I wanted to include the voice of the man who
made so much of this possible, so I pasted
Peter's voice on at the end.
there aren't more photos of Sherwood Forest
online, considering how many people were there
over the years. If you have a good one,
especially if Seger's in it, send it my way.
And a special
thanks to Craig and Dean for making this rare
& Seger: Twitter and
As many of you
know by now, Bob Seger and Tiger Woods paired up
at the Pro-Am portion of the Buick Open in late
July. Many readers sent me photos and links,
which I appreciate. If you haven't read the
transcript of an interview Seger gave
afterwards, you should check it out
coverages illustrates the difference between
Segerfile.com -- the page you're reading right
now -- and my Segerfile
that does not relate to his music -- like the
Tiger Woods story -- is covered as soon as I
hear about it on the Twitter feed. In that
specific case, I posted four tweets about the
Pro-Am, more or less as it was happening, with
links to photos and video.
will also get a shout out on the Twitter feed,
but it will almost always be posted here
on the links with Tiger Woods and Bill
Blackwell. (Photo by Curtis Houghmaster.)
Segeratus photo (middle) courtesy of Wild
Kingdom. And why does the myspace version of
Cybelle Codish's Seger shot have crumpled
brown paper in place of the
Krayolas: The Machete Always Wins
Even if you
run and maintain (and that word is used very
loosely) a massive web site on Bob Seger, you
have to listen to something else sometimes.
There's been a lot of great music going around
this summer -- but there are two CDs in
particular that I think more people should know
One of them is
Long Leaf Pine (no smack gum) by
I caught The
Krayolas twice at South by Southwest last year.
As usual, I was with Ears Two -- my longtime
friend and partner on the Segerfile's legendary
trips into Seger's unreleased vault.
Krayolas finished their set, here's what
happened: We proceeded immediately to the merch
table and bought one of everything. And if The
Krayolas are at the Austin festival in 2010,
you'll find us in the front row. These guys are
that's just my take. How about legendary rock
critic Dave Marsh? I've written a lot about
Seger that I'm proud of as a writer, but for my
money, Dave Marsh captured it better than me or
anybody when he summed Seger up with this one
has all the requisites of greatness: the
voice, the songwriting, the performance
onstage, the vision and the ambition."
Marsh, June 15, 1978, Rolling Stone. "Bob
Seger: Not A Stranger Anymore."
Marsh knows music. About The Krayolas recent
single, "Corrido Twelve Heads in a Bag," Marsh
writes: "This one's something
special Hector Saldana is emerging as an
alone. Little Steven features The Krayolas on
his Underground Garage. Ben Fong-Torres writes
that The Krayolas "echo Warren Zevon, Bob Dylan
and, for sure, the Beatles." AltCountry
describes them as "Bob Dylan meets the Sir
Douglas Quintet ... and Dwight Twilley, Nick
Lowe, Dave Edmunds and John Lennon."
tracks off the current album include "Find A
Girl," a song I can imagine Seger doing, with
its Bo Diddley beat and driving horns. The title
cut will give you hints of Dylan in full blues
mode. "So Happy" sounds like it could be one of
John Lennon's contributions to the White Album.
Twelve Heads in a Bag" is amazing. "On the road
into this city," Saldana writes, "the machete
always wins." Check it out, and don't miss The
And as for
that other CD that I think you should
hear more about that soon.
from the Past: Seger on Swingin'
you're on a soundstage in a Windsor TV station.
Blink, and a few decades later, the whole world
is watching you on YouTube.
This video of
Seger performing on Robin Seymour's Swingin'
Time is the earliest I've seen. Thanks to
whoever posted it on YouTube-- and thanks to
Jack Shaw for the link.
arms were warm and strong and young: Seger
does East Side Story
his email, Jack found the link while scouting
around for a video of Seger and Michael Jackson
at the 1984 Grammy's. That's online
presents an award to Michael Jackson at the
My one comment
on the whole Michael Jackson saga is this: to
reach the King of Pop status, you have to
mythologize yourself into a larger than life
figure, and everything you do has to feed that
myth. Eventually, the man disappears,
overshadowed by the myth. That's true for
Jackson, Elvis and Sinatra, and for a lot of
King of Pop runner-ups, too.
Seger, on the
other hand, has spent his whole career trying
not to mythologize himself -- trying to be
authentically who he is, and giving us that as
honestly as possible. I like that a whole lot
June 29, 2009
celebrates a birthday this Wednesday, May 6. He
turns 64. Plenty young enough to rock and roll.
McCartney will be 67 in a few weeks; in another
month or so Jagger will be 66, and Dylan will be
68 later this month. In rock and roll, 60 is the
As a matter of
policy, this site doesn't write about Seger's
family. I'm here for the music, and I figure you
are too. But without posting anything you
couldn't find elsewhere, let me make a brief
exception. Thanks to a link someone sent me, I
recently read an essay that Seger's daughter, a
middle school student, wrote about her dad. In
it, she says a hero is someone who inspires you
to follow your dreams.
"My dad is
definitely without a doubt my hero," she writes.
"The reason he's my hero is not because he's a
famous singer....He's my hero because the
opportunity wasn't handed to him. He worked hard
to get where he is today. He turned a dream into
a reality by never giving up."
Amen to that.
I don't know what else Bob got for his birthday,
but being a hero to your kids has got to be the
best present you can get.
And hey -- she
also says he's thinking about touring. And if he
does, will we still need him, will we still feed
him? Oh yeah.
May 6, 2009.
Thanks to Lisa Regal for the essay
Book Has a Cover
of the Segerfile's
know, the cover of the upcoming Seger book by
Tom Weschler and Gary Graff has been released.
You can pre-order "Travelin' Man: On the Road
and Behind the Scenes with Bob Seger" from
The release date is October 2009. There's a
foreword by John Mellencamp and an afterword by
Kid Rock. The book runs 208 pages with 160
algorithms get me steamed. Overall, I like
Pandora, one of the most popular Internet radio
stations. Tell it which artists you like, and it
introduces you to a lot of other singers and
bands that you might also like. Usually, it does
a pretty good job.
because I like Bob Seger does not mean I want to
hear a lot of lame-ass, overplayed, low-talent
classic rock staples -- which is what Pandora's
been feeding me on my Seger station.
algorithm's hear that edge in his voice, that
great turn of phrase? How dare they send me
Journey right after Like A Rock? The two
couldn't be more dissimilar. I guess you could
consider Pandora successful, in that it has
accurately replicated the too-prevalent
misunderstanding of Seger as a journeyman
rocker. You and I know better.
The Seger File's April 1 Post Begins
File Exposed as Ponzi
actual file ever existed,
in Oregon yesterday raided the world
headquarters of the Seger File, one of
the oldest and most visited Seger sites
on the Internet. Agents entered the
building with hand-trucks and dollies,
hoping to cart away the site's massive
files on rock legend Bob Seger, but
turns out there is no file," said
Special Agent R. Trombley. "There's not
even an envelope or a notecard. There
was an empty case of Stroh's labeled
'Seger Stuff.' But inside there was
nothing but candy wrappers, a foam
rock, a souvenir 'Need-Ya' pencil
shaped like a baseball bat, a reel to
reel copy of Smokin' O.P.s and a VHS
copy of Instant Karma. Everything was
marked "Ebay Rejects."
dreams: The Seger File turns out to
be a beat up Stroh's case with a
hodge-podge of collectibles that
didn't sell on eBay.
discovery left millions of Seger fans
wondering how they could have been
duped by a site that once seemed so
authoritative. It is one of several
Ponzi schemes recently uncovered by
federal investigators. The schemes are
named after Art
a disreputable Chevrolet dealer in
Sandusky, Ohio who painted racing
stripes on Impalas and sold them as El
Seger File's Ponzi scheme was
deceptively simple. Visitors to the
site invested their time and energy
reading entries, thinking they were
receiving bona fide information in
return. In fact, the site's founder,
had no information about Seger and
simply made up the entries, passing off
worthless fantasies as profound
that what the media does all the time?"
Sparling said before he was hauled
away. "Think about it. The New York
Times coverage of WMDs? Dancing with
the Stars? Professional wrestling? It's
all fantasies. The information I made
up was entertaining, so what's the big
from police photos: The Seger Files
only assets were a foam rock, a
promotional pen and an unplayable
copy of Smokin'
of the site's biggest fabrications, the
tour, fooled more than a million fans
into believing the singer was actually
performing again. The web author told
agents he started small, making up a
single show in Grand Rapids, then
adding another and another, until soon
he had a nationwide 50-show
never intended it to get so big,"
Sparling told DISC
"Eventually I had to hire Kenny Rogers
to go around the country singing 'We've
Got Tonight.' No one's seen Seger in
years, so it was hard for anyone to
tell the difference."
fact, investigators said, the actual
rock legend has been living quietly in
Sedona, Arizona for the past fifteen
years, rarely leaving the retirement
community where he golfs and collects
automobiles. According to the Seger
File, Mr. Seger still lived outside
Detroit, another fiction the site
Seger had only limited comments when
told of the Internet hoax. "Interwhat?"
he said. "Say again?"
Ponzi scheme worked because
Seger-starved web users were overly
eager for any kind of news about the
elusive rock star. Other falsehoods
invented by the site and foisted on a
gullible public include Seger's
supposed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
induction, descriptions of unreleased
was my most successful invention," the
site's founder said. "I modeled him
after Ray Walston on My Favorite
Martian. All-powerful and stubborn,
with a mischievous underbelly. But
without the antenna."
Seger File created a fictitious
manager for Seger,
after a powerful and popular
most Ponzi schemes, the Seger File
claimed to use a secret technique to
deliver exceptional results. Bernie
Madoff, the businessman behind the
recently discovered $50 billion fraud,
claimed to use a proprietary
strategy of investing. The Segerfile
lured unsuspecting web readers with
promise of a "copy/paste" method of
site also used fraudulent quotes to
trick readers," said Picayune Q.
Dellington III. "Frequently these
quotes would be indented and
attributed to spokespeople with fake
names. A citation in smaller type
usually followed the quote, to make
it appear that the information came
from some other newspaper or
magazine, which was also usually
fake," Dellington said. "It's
amazing how gullible people are.
Readers fell for it every time."
McWhitall, New Old Media, April 1,
Web Readers too Stupid to Recognize
urged the public to use common sense
when visiting web sites. "Schemes like
this work because people are foolish
enough to think they can simply go
online and get actual information about
Bob Seger -- like when he might tour or
put out an album. That's preposterous.
If it sounds too good to be true, it
of SegerWorld Delayed Until
Enterprises announced today that
SegerWorld, the long-planned amusement
park based on the music of Bob Seger,
would be delayed another year due to
last minute design changes. The park,
located in Dexter, Michigan, was
originally scheduled to open in 1983.
were planning the Grand Opening," said
Bill Whitewall. "But Bob wasn't quite
happy with the way the parking lot was
striped. In the end, we decided to tear
out the whole park and start
than 100 rides have been created for
but developers say only 10 or 11 will
be included. Some of the rides simply
weren't practical, they said. For
example, on "Florida Time," riders
spent 24 hours in a station wagon, got
out, played two 45-minute sets, and
spent another 24 hours in the car. "It
was overly realistic," engineers said.
scrapped is the "Hollywood Nights"
ride. "It was kind of like
but without the splash. You kept going
higher and higher, but you ended up
alone. It was kind of a downer,"
to sources inside Punch Enterprises,
where visitors dance to Come Go With Me
inside a circle of headlights, is still
included. The park will also include
The Waiting Room, where thousands of
animatronic Seger fans will wander
around aimlessly waiting for word of a
tour or new album. "It's truly
frightening," one source said. "And
at SegerWorld, set to open next
popular interactive attraction,
Your Own Seger
has reportedly been scrapped. The
concept was that visitors would be
given eight words or phrases -- Wind,
Night, Moon, Shore, Shine, Ramblin,'
Big Two-Wheeler, and Neutrinos -- with
which to create their own Seger anthem.
"It was too easy," Whitewall said. "And
we were running into copyright
planned for the park is the popular
"It's An Old-Time-Rock-And-Roll World
After All" water feature. "People ride
on a little boat past dozens of wedding
and bar mitzvah bands banging out the
song," Whitewall said. "It's a
completely traumatic experience. Be
afraid. Be very afraid."
First-Ever Seger Book Scooped by
Newer First-Ever Seger
fans, delighted by news of a
forthcoming book about Seger, now have
more reason to celebrate.
month, writer Gary Graff and
photographer Tom Weschler announced the
forthcoming publication of Travelin'
Man: On the Road and Behind the Scenes
with Bob Seger, a real book which,
though mentioned in this April Fools
post, will actually be available and
will be well worth buying when it is
really published in October. But now
this first-ever Seger book has been
scooped by an even newer book: Seger's
new book is called Fortrel Polyester
Inkwell: My Descent into Madness. A
survivor's tale by Bob Seger. The
book outlines the singer's dark journey
through poor fashion choices. "I was
trying to find my way," Seger writes.
"And like a lot of people in the 1970s,
I made some bad choices."
to worse: Cowboy Bob, Mr.
Pinstripes, Glam Bob.
was a long way back to basics.
top hat and cane," Seger said. "What
was I thinking?" The singer, dressed in
jeans and black t-shirt, saw the light
in the 1980s. His song,
describes his decision to record only
with musicians who dress normally.
"It's funny how you come back to
basics," Seger said.
clean-cut teen to Manson look-alike.
Seger's journey is
of those caught by the demon beat
known as rock and roll.
thoughtful and introspective collection
of photographs from Alto Reed, called
opened today in Myalto, Michigan. The
photos represent years of outreach and
travel by the normally reclusive
always been interested in the common
man," Reed said. "Whenever we're not
touring, I travel around the country
and approach perfect strangers. I ask
them if I can have my picture taken
with them. Most people say yes."
resulting collection is an intimate and
insightful exploration of everyman -- a
slice of life, often with funny hand
gestures.The exhibition runs from today
through April 1.
Just as I was
heading out the door for SXSW, John Rutherford
shot me a note about the band's upcoming CD/DVD,
Local Boys -- due out in early May.
The 3-song DVD
features Johnnie Bassett, Thornetta Davis, Chris
Codish, and The Brothers Groove backed by the
Motor City Horns. It's definitely a good time.
Check the preview, here.
John says the
upcoming CD will feature nearly 50 of Detroit's
best musicians. If you heard The Motor City
Horns with Seger, you know the CD is bound to be
Check it out:
You'll be able to get yours on iTunes and CDBaby
or online here.
The Sweet Spot of Authenticity
outside Ann Arbor offered a choice between Seger
and Iggy. Not that you couldn't follow both. But
for whatever reason, most of the people I knew
went one way or the other.
In those early
days, Seger's music was more raw than it is now:
2+2=? had as much power and rebelliousness as
anyone could want, so I followed the Seger path.
There were a few Stooges songs that made my
playlist -- primarily "I Wanna Be Your Dog." But
I never really understood the song until last
occurred Sunday night in the Continental Club in
Austin, Texas, as Ears 2 and I were closing out
SXSW with the incomparable Alejandro Escovedo.
version of the song begings with a cacophony of
violin, cello and drums, a rising column of
chaos that grows louder and faster. Alejandro
has described listening to the Stooges this way:
"It was like you paid money to sit inside a
hurricane," and that's what this was.
hurricane comes to a dead stop and the opening
chords of the song break out. It was the perfect
cover. The song isn't supposed to be neat and
tidy; it's supposed to be disturbing, desperate,
messed up -- exactly the way Alejandro Escovedo
that's just part of the genius of A. Escovedo,
who can rock as hard as anyone and then slay you
on the next song with slowest, most gentle
ballad you'd ever want to hear.
throughout the week, Escovedo turned up almost
everywhere, winning Austin Entertainer of the
Year, playing at Maria's Taco Xpress, and
fronting a 13-piece band -- The Alejandro
Escovedo Orchestra -- for hundreds of fans under
the stars. Of course, in between those sets came
some other great bands and singers you might
want to check out, as we wait for the next
offering from Seger.
in past years, Ears 2 was the motivator
who got me to
Austin. We started our SXSW experience with an
amazing set by Jon Dee Graham on Wednesday
night. It seemed like nothing could possibly
beat it. Yet, before we closed the festival at
the Continental Club on Sunday, we heard many
other bands and performers who hit what I've
dubbed The Sweet Spot of
Others err on
the other side, posing and strutting in a way
that's transparently artificial.
the supergroup that includes the insanely
talented Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of
Wayne, along with (regrettably) Hansen, was
about as authentic as Naugahyde.
was an all-girl, all-bikini, all-trombone band.
(And you thought The Monkees were a manufactured
band.) Yet, as contrived as they were, they
somehow had the power to lure an otherwise sane
man directly in front of an ear-blasting speaker
column just to take a photo.
And then there
were those who connected easily and
authentically. Like Seger does so effortlessly,
they hit the sweet spot. In the very center of
that crowd right now is Alejandro Escovedo, who,
stunningly is currently without a label. ("That
Escovedo, whose 'Real Animal' was one of the
stories of the year in 2008, has been dropped by
his label tells you all you need to know about
the record business." From an article by Hector
Saldaña of the San Antonio
there was also the amazing and amazingly
-- one of the best songwriters writing
(and later at Maria's Taco Xpress) we heard a
fantastic band from San Antonio called
-- featuring the same Hector Saldaña
referenced above. (He's a staff writer for the
San Antonio paper by day.)
They put on a
tremendous show -- I highly recommend you check
them out. The
from Denmark, also rocked the house.
much softer, check out Elizabeth
a singer-songwriter with a beautiful voice and
great songs. I actually missed her showcase, and
then heard her onstage at the Austin airport.
(There are stages everywhere in Austin. They
don't call it the live music capital of the
world for nothing.) A country band called
hit the sweet spot too.
other people's summaries of SXSW this year and
they have nothing to do with mine. That's the
beauty of the festival. There's every kind of
music you could want, every where.
Ears 2 and I
even had a World War II bagpiper in our hotel
room. Check out the photos, here.
Seger Book to Hit the Shelves
somebody's done it. A book about Seger.
And not just
any book. This one -- the first full length book
about Bob Seger -- is from two people who have
arguably followed Seger's career more closely
than anyone: Tom Weschler and Gary Graff.
Man: On the Road and Behind the Scenes with Bob
Seger by Weschler and Graff will be
published on October 1, 2009 by Wayne State
Press. According to Weschler, the book will
feature "lots of photographs nobody has seen
before and plenty of stories from the studios
and the gigs on the road."
should know; he was there. He photographed Seger
and his bands from the start and was road
manager during the early days. He has also
photographed The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd,
Iggy Pop, KISS and many others; his work has
been included in previous books such as "1000
In the days
before Google, Graff was always the go-to writer
if you wanted to know anything about Seger. He
first began covering Bob for the Detroit Free
Press. His writing has appeared in The New
York Times, Rolling Stone,
Reuters, Billboard and many other
with Graff and Weschler, I'm certain this book
will be like any Seger album: well worth the
More news --
maybe the book cover and some sneak peeks -- as
it comes in. Of course, if you'd been following
you would have known all this five minutes
couple shots from Weschler -- NOT from the
forthcoming book, but from a quick web
search: Seger in 1968 and 1977. On the right
is my fake book cover from the 2005 April
Fools posting, which fooled a lot of people.
Hmm, I wonder if the fake book is still
available from the fake
March 17, 2009
-- No updates for at least a week: The Seger
File is off to SXSW.
File on Twitter
Now you can
get your updates, including some that probably
won't appear here, by following the Seger File's
On iTunes, Guitar Hero and
"new" Seger sightings all feature old Seger
songs. The oldest of these is a collection of
live songs that have mysteriously appeared on
iTunes this month -- in the form of an "import"
that looks a lot more like a bootleg to me.
listing, Live in America '74, is in fact the
same set that fans have been trading as "Live at
Ebbet's Field" for a decade or more. That's
Ebbet's field, the Denver nightclub, not the
Most of the
fan-traded copies put the performance date as
July 8, 1974. Of the various unauthorized live
shows out there, the Denver show has always been
one of my favorites. The Silver Bullet Band,
still relatively new, has found its chops and is
working itself into Live Bullet form, and Seger
is in great voice.
On some CDs,
and on the iTunes offering, two additional
songs, "Rosalie" and "Song for Rufus," have been
added, though the sound and vocal quality are
different; they're most likely from a different
Every track is
good, and the version of "Someday" is killer.
The big question is why iTunes is now selling
these tracks at 99 cents apiece. They list the
label as "The Store for Music, Ltd." I can't
imagine Bob or Punch are pleased. And I can't
imagine the listing will stay up for long.
(Thanks to Jack Shaw and Alan McWilliams for the
week, Guitar Hero fans will be able to
download "Old Time Rock and Roll," "Her Strut"
and a live version (presumably from Live Bullet)
of "Get Out of Denver." If you don't play Guitar
Hero, or just don't want to wait that long to
hear OTRR again, hit YouTube right now. The
complete video of Seger playing the song during
"The Distance" tour appeared earlier this month.
In the past, only snippets of the performance
had been released. The video is here.
Guitarist Dawayne Bailey comments on it at
the Motor City Horns have a project coming up.
I'm looking forward to some good reading on
Seger later this year. And the rarely-reliable
rumor mill suggests that something will happen
this fall. That's about as vague and unhelpful
as rumors get. But hey, we'll take anything.
And of course,
check out the Segerfile day party at SXSW next
month, hosted by Gross Mismanagement, Inc.
Location to be determined. Just look for the
oldest guys in the room.