The Seger File
An unofficial web site about the music of Bob Seger
Archived Updates from 2011 & 2012.
For the most recent updates, click here.
Written and edited by Scott Sparling
 
 
Follow the Seger File on Facebook & Twitter.

Thanks to everyone who came out for the Wire to Wire book tour. I'll see you next time around!
 
Trains, Michigan music & Wire to Wire.

SEGERFILE CONTENTS
Latest News and Updates  
2011-12 Updates  
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
 
Click for complete contents
 
  

 
"Well crafted and thrilling..."
- Publishers Weekly
Electric...it crackles."
- Cleveland Plain Dealer
"All edge from start to finish.
- Willy Vlautin
"An electrifying debut..."
- Donald Ray Pollock
"Darkly funny."
- The Oregonian
"Badass page turner..."
- Penthouse
"Stunning emotional depth..."
- Playboy
 .
WIRE TO WIRE by Scott Sparling of the Segerfile.
A playlist from the book.
Buy WIRE TO WIRE.

The Full Contents

Search the Seger File
The 2011 Tour Page
 
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
 
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"
 
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.
The Seger File's Birthday Party
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
 
 

Buy the book
 
Buy the CD
 
Motor City Horns
 
Shaun Murphy
 
Reed & Dickinson
 
Laura Creamer
 
(The Seger File receives no income from sales. Links are posted as a convenience only, and because I like the CDs and book.)

No News is No Surprise

When Seger leaves the tour spotlight, the Seger news spigot goes good and dry. Which is basically how it's been for the past several months. We're used to that by now. There have been a few news blips, however.

-- John Fogerty spoke to Rolling Stone about his upcoming duet LP, due out in early 2013, and about singing with Seger on "Who'll Stop the Rain?"

"Bob is one of my favorite all-time singers... I heard him sitting in a little corner, strumming his guitar and singing 'Who'll Stop the Rain?' He just sounded so great, he almost sort of inflicted an arrangement choice almost immediately. It was sort of spontaneous. I said, 'We gotta hear what you're doing right now at some point in how we're treating this song.' So that's certainly part of the arrangement." Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, May 4, 2012, "John Fogerty on All-Star Duets LP."

-- Seger turned 67. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame marked the day by posting "10 Essential Seger Songs" starting with "2+2=?".

It's a great list, considering the impossibility of getting any Seger list down to 10 songs. I'm not sure I could do better.

-- At some point, an Adele album became the 29th album to sell nine million copies, causing a few Google Alerts to hit my inbox about Seger's Greatest Hits compilation, which was the 28th album to hit nine million sales.

-- Seger speculated, idly or not, about touring in Australia some day.

"We're talking about starting the tour in Australia but you never know when the songs are going to come or not," Seger tells AAP.

"I'd love to come down because I've never been but my friend John Fogerty has just been to Australia and says I have to go.

"The support for my music has always been incredible there."

Seger is a massive star in the US with album sales of 51 million and seven multi-platinum album awards.

His greatest hits collection holds the distinction of the number one catalogue album of the last decade and the ever energetic performer still manages more than 50 shows a year. AAP, The West Australian, April 19, 2012, "Bob Seger hints at Australian Tour."

-- Lisa Tanner, former staff photographer for Atlantic Records in New York, posted two Seger shots on her site, available for purchase.

-- Seger mentioned the title of another song on his next album. My list now includes the following:

"The Price," a break-up ballad.
"You Take Me In," a ballad.
"Hey Gypsy," an upbeat number inspired by Stevie Ray Vaughan.
"Wonderland," inspired by the world of science and the discovery of water on Mars.
"Hannah," a song to his daughter with Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock.
"I'll Remember You"
"Ride Out," perhaps the title track, about heading out and escaping it all.

As for when the album might be finished, and when he might tour…nothing but rumors, and not many of those.

May 19, 2012


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

No Fooling

The traditional Segerfile April Fool's post is being held hostage this year until Seger plays the Pacific Northwest, which was tragically overlooked in the last two tours, or the last two-legged single tour, whichever you'd like to call it.

"Those of us in Seattle, Vancouver, B.C., and Portland are the 99 percent," said Segerfile founder Scott Sparling. "Or at least the 15 percent or perhaps some other fractional percent. The point is that we, the flannel-shirted coffee-swilling microbrewing book-reading hipsters of the world, crave good music as much as the rest of you. And until we get some relief in the form of an actual Bob Seger concert, we're on strike. No music, no laughs."

Okay, the truth is, I actually haven't written the April 1 post yet. I'm off on the third leg of the Wire to Wire book tour, and the fake Seger interview that I planned to write just didn't get done. It would have been hilarious, I promise. Maybe I'll write it yet.

Meanwhile, if you're in Brooklyn, New York this week, come see me at Public Assembly (Tuesday, 4/3 at 9 pm).

Michigan friends, meet me in Owosso at the Shiawassee Public Library on April 30 at 7 pm. I'll read from Wire to Wire and talk about Seger and trains, or anything else that's on your mind. (There will be more Michigan dates, including one in Detroit and two in the Upper Peninsula in June.)

If you can't stop by in person, feel free to jog on over to Spinetingler Magazine and vote for Wire to Wire as the year's best Novel, New Voice category. It's the only book on the list that includes quotes from Heavy Music, Lookin' Back and 2+2=?

Meanwhile, my apologies for the lack of a new April 1 post. I know many of you -- wait a sec. Maybe the solution's obvious -- all I had to do was look to Seger. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting: The Ultimate Segerfile April Fools Collection.


2003

Capitol Reaches "Dee-Pah" Into Vaults for Ancient Live CD

For a while now, industry outsiders such as myself have wondered how long Capitol Records would wait for a new CD from Bob Seger. Apparently, the new faces in Capitol's hip boardrooms have decided eight years is enough, as they announced the release next month of "DEE-PAH" -- a live album of vintage Seger that Capitol originally rejected in the early 1970s. The CD, which includes a commemorative booklet and poster, can now be reserved at Amazon.com.

The good news is that the wait is finally over. DEE-PAH will be a treat for fans who hunger for Seger's rougher, rawer earlier days (myself included). The DEE-PAH concerts were recorded in 1971 and feature the last live performance of the Bob Seger System, as well as tracks by Seger with Teegarden and Vanwinkle.

Some quick background for those who came in late: Seger signed onto Capitol in 1968 and issued four albums. But the Capitol crowd in the late 1960s consisted of old guys more interested in The Lettermen than rock and roll. The label's lack of interest turned Seger's early albums into instant cut-out bin fodder. After Mongrel died, Seger was ready to bolt, but he owed them one more album, so Bob and Punch conceived the idea of DEE-PAH -- a live album recorded at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor and at the Chillicothe Rock Festival in Ohio.

The music was never recorded with the intent of being released. The Hill Auditorium show was actually taped at the request of System drummer Pep Perrine, who wanted a personal souvenir of the last System show. The promoter of the Chillicothe festival -- mindful of the highly successful Woodstock album -- decided to record the Ohio festival (without the band's permission, it turned out) hoping to cash in with a soundtrack of his own.

Rejected, then resurrected: Seger's live album from the 1970s.

The real question for fans is, Does DEE-PAH deliver? To which I emphatically respond: Indeed it do.

It's a short CD at just 33 minutes -- but every one of them is springloaded with vintage Seger. The title, as you've certainly guessed, comes from the stellar howl at the end of "Heavy Music" -- the final track from the Hill Auditorium concert. The Ann Arbor crowd goes wild and Seger prods them on with the famous refrain: "Deeper! Going dee-pah! Faster, look around." This is the "Heavy Music" of the System, not the retooled "Heavy Music" that the Silver Bullet Band later played at Cobo. Both are classics, but the original retains the raw, erotic, garage-rock sound of the single.

The CD is worth it for that track alone. But the rest of the set (or what we hear of it) also delivers. Knowing it's their final show, the System plays a high-gear, no-holds-barred set that includes "Song to Rufus," "Ivory," "Innervenus Eyes" and "2+2=?" This last song rings out with urgent authority, given that this was the height of the Vietnam antiwar movement.Who would have thought, back then, that the same song would be just as urgent and meaningful today?


2005

Throw the Book At Them

Of course, before you can throw it, you'll have to buy it.

Some who follow the Seger File have noticed that I've been disappearing now and then. A couple of times the site has gone untended for four or five months. Email doesn't get answered, or gets answered late with apologies and vague mentions of "other projects."

Funny how that happens. It's also funny How the Night Moves -- which not coincidentally is the title of what I hope will be considered one of the best rock and roll books in recent memory: Seger's long-awaited and just-released autobiography.

Purchase from Amazon

Was there a ghostwriter involved, you ask? Well, gee -- maybe. All I can say is, it's a very well written book.


2007

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.

"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."


2009

"Early Seger, Vol. 13" To Get Limited Release

Yet another in the long line of "Early Seger" CDs is scheduled for limited release, perhaps as early as today. The release was announced by Seger himself at The Village Palace this morning while ordering breakfast.

"I'll have the three-cheese omelet with diced ham and the fruit cup," Seger told Elsie Reynolds, longtime Village Palace waitress, "and I'll be releasing Early Seger 13 sometime later today."

The announcement follows the pattern of ever-more-casual announcements blurted out at odd moments by Seger, who also informed Elsie of Kid Rock's home address, Punch Andrew's hat size and the location of the Seger File's secret vault of unreleased tracks.

Like previous "Early Seger" disks, Vol. 13 will be released in limited distribution channels, at least initially. "Exclusive distribution deals are the key to making this series work," said Andrews. Revenue from the exclusive deals helps underwrite the project, he said.

The best way to get a copy of Vol. 13, said one insider, might be to stand outside Seger's gate and hope to catch sight of the singer. "Thursday night is garbage night," the source said. "If you see him then, he might burn you a copy."

Complaints from fans who live outside of Michigan have been common throughout the "Early Seger" series. "Why can't I download Seger's CD today?" one fan with an obvious sense of entitlement and a website complained last November, when Vol. 1 was released. "I'm 2,000 miles from a Meijer's."

"You should have thought of that before you moved to Oregon," Seger's management did not say in an imaginary reply, which was never really issued.

Seger's next CD will be distributed mainly by his driveway gate, which looks nothing like this gate gleaned from a generic Google Images search, unless by sheer cosmic coincidence this really is his gate, which it isn't.
 


2011

"Just in time" tour announcements catch on

The current tour not only sees the return of Michigan's favorite son and rock legend Bob Seger to the stage, but also marks new breakthroughs in tour technology and information delivery.

Every tour brings new advances in digital and wireless technology, observers said, improving the concert-going experience. "For example, our customer-facing data flow disintermediates the real-time audio delay on 24 DMX channels, eliminating the need for dedicated proprietary cables," said an audio geek in a Pavement t-shirt, just before being put out of his misery.

This year, however, the biggest innovation on Seger's tour is the "just-in-time" information delivery system used for announcing tour dates.

The system was modeled after the "just-in-time" method now common in manufacturing and retailing. Instead of keeping a warehouse of parts or supplies on hand, businesses using the "just-in-time" system take delivery of whatever is needed on the day it's needed -- eliminating the cost of storing inventory.

The Seger tour is the first to put this system to use for information delivery. "In the old days, I just put out a release listing all the tour dates," said legendary concert promoter Bill Graham, blogging on BeyondTheGrave.com. "Usually, fans only cared about one or two of those dates, but they were required to store a lot of extra information in their heads. It was really inefficient, when you think about it. Of course, this was in the pre-digital age, when people were used to storing information in their heads."

"Now that heads are mainly used as fashion accessories, the 'just-in-time' approach makes a lot of sense," Graham's post continued.

Fan Rebellion

Although the system has been deemed an unqualified success by overpaid industry weasels making their living off the sweat of honest musicians at LiveNation.com, some fans have complained. "What's good for your goose is good for my gander," said Artius J. Blygand, a longtime Seger fan. "If they're going to wait around and give me concert information whenever they feel like it, I'll just wait and buy my tickets whenever I feel like it. See how they like that."

So far, Blygand has failed to get tickets for any show on the tour.
 
This is the April 1 post for 2012.
For more falsehoods, see the Seger File's April 1 post for 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005 and 2003.

Fourteen Years Online and Rolling

Fourteen years ago -- on February 11, 1998 -- I launched the Seger File. I didn't know it at the time, but it was the beginning of one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done, all because of the people I've met and the friends I've made.

A few Seger File facts:

  • When I started, the site had very few graphics or images. I figured the information superhighway, as we called it back then, was all about information, not pictures. Also, my computer was way too slow to handle images well.
  • The site was launched on a dial-up Internet service -- almost everything was dial-up back then. I built the site in Claris Home Page, doing most of the coding in the cafeteria of Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan. My mom was in the hospital recovering from a stroke, and I could only see her a few times a day for short periods. In between visits, I'd go back to the cafeteria and do more coding.
  • The site still runs on Claris Home Page, which only works on Mac OS 9. I keep an old laptop around to host the site. I do all the updates on a MacBook Air, then transfer them to the old laptop to upload.
  • On the day after I launched the site, there were four visitors. There was no Google at the time and so no Google analytics. I've had several different visit-counter/analytic programs over the years, some of which are no longer functional, so I don't really know how many people have visited the site in all. In the past five years, there have been 200,000 unique visitors.

Bob Seger, Tiger Stadium, America the Beautiful. For a lot of us, the second half started right here.

  • I started the site because I was having trouble finishing my novel, Wire to Wire. I thought doing the site would provide a good little break, and then I'd go back to writing my book. In fact, the site was so much fun to work on, it probably slowed the novel down by five years or more. (Shameless pitch: Don't worry about buying the site a birthday present. But feel free to buy yourself a "smart, thrilling and darkly funny" book that's not really a crime novel, set in Michigan.)
  • I was tremendously fortunate to have started a site about Seger at a time when he had pretty much dropped out of sight. That meant that instead of reporting news, I had to create essays. Without a lot of information to rely on, I had to give the site a personality. It made me a better writer.
  • Want to know what's up with Seger these days? Do a Twitter search or set a Google alert. If you wanted to know what was up with Seger in 1998, there weren't many places to go. I'd hit the library, look through the microfiche and the out-of-town newspapers. If I found something, I'd make a photocopy, come home and re-enter the information. There were no other Seger sites back then, so for years the Seger File was the only online resource.
  • In 14 years, I can only remember four times when people have asked me to take things down from the site. One was a bad review of a video, a couple were photos, and one was when I posted some lyrics Seger hadn't released yet.
  • There was more sarcasm and humor in my writing during the early years. When Seger got inducted into the Hall of Fame and the Detroit Free Press called me for an interview, I realized a lot of people were reading the site, and I became a little less gonzo and a little more journalistic. When the BBC called for an interview, I knew the site was making an impact. And there's still plenty of sarcasm on the annual April Fools post.
  • I initially named the site "The Segerfile." Then I realized search engines weren't listing it when people searched for "Seger." So now I usually write "The Seger File." But I still like Segerfile better.

And the best thing about the site, by far -- all of you. Thanks for all your encouragement and friendship over the years. As Seger says in one of my favorite lyrics, no one has to tell me I'm a lucky man, and it's your friendship that makes me feel that way.

February 11, 2012


Tour 2011 Ends -- New Album, Tour Ahead?

The lights are down in the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, South Carolina, ending the second leg of the 2011 Tour, (which extended slightly into 2012). The rumored Seattle date for late January didn't materialize, and so the long run of shows ends with an encore of "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" in Greenville.

And what an amazing run it was. The first leg of Seger's 2011 Tour drew more than 350,000 fans. The second leg will certainly put up similar numbers. And that's without any stops in the Pacific Northwest, which (ahem) was not included. Hey, Punch -- the next tour will have to start out here, right?

View Seger Tour 2011-2012 in a larger map

And though this tour is over, it may not be the famous final scene just yet -- there is plenty of talk about a new album and a possible new tour in the fall. (Though as with all Seger-related timetables, everything is subject to change.)

As Seger moves from the big arenas to his songwriting hideaway, here's a quick rundown from recent press reports.

Tour Stats

"The legendary Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band lead the latest pack of Hot Tours with box office grosses reported from just one performance...at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Tickets ranged from $45 to a top price of $250 for the sold out concert on Dec. 28th that drew 14,465 fans.

"The $1,280,490 in ticket sales revenue was tops among the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer's single-show dates last year, but his highest reported gross in 2011 came from a three-show run in his hometown of Detroit. The sold out concerts on May 17, 19 and 21 at the Palace of Auburn Hills drew a total of 47,632 fans with ticket sales topping $3.3 million." Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard, January 13, 2012 Hot Tours: Bob Seger, Guns N' Roses, Joe McElderry

Segerfile Stats

Since the tour was announced in early February 2011 through today, 48,095 unique visitors have visited the Seger File, generating over 157,000 page-views. March 30, 2011 was the biggest day, with 906 visits.

Seger fans came from every state in the U.S. and from 118 different countries. (From Argentina to good ol' Montenegro they can read it fine.) My heartfelt thanks to all.

On Touring

"I really enjoy being with the people I play with -- that's a big part of it…I enjoy their company, my crew, the band. We just move through the country like an army. It's fun just being with everybody. I always feel very grateful to be up there, and the audience gives us such great feedback." Deborah Evans-Price, Spinner, November 30, 2011, "Bob Seger Working on New Album, Admits 'It Might Be Time to Go Away Fairly Soon'"

"I just take it tour by tour, really," he says. "At my age, that's about all you can do…as long as I'm still enjoying it and I think I'm doing something worthwhile, I'll continue to keep doing it." Deborah Evans-Price, Spinner, November 30, 2011, "Bob Seger Working on New Album, Admits 'It Might Be Time to Go Away Fairly Soon'"

On the New Album

"Hopefully, it'll be that I'll have finished this new album (tentatively titled, "Ride Out") and maybe do a fall tour. It's all up to the writing gods. Writing is so mysterious, you never know if it's going to happen or not." John Sinkevics, The Grand Rapids Press, December 25, 2011. "Bob Seger's Michigan Moments: Q&A with the rock legend."

"I'm going to write until the end of March," he says. "I'm looking forward to that, a three-month period of pure writing." Deborah Evans-Price, Spinner, November 30, 2011, "Bob Seger Working on New Album, Admits 'It Might Be Time to Go Away Fairly Soon'"

"Ride Out"

"That covers an awful lot of territory," he says, "and that might be the title song. There's an awful lot of lyrics in it pinched into a small area and goes from line to line of different subjects. It's pretty bizarre, and I really like it. Deborah Evans-Price, Spinner, November 30, 2011, "Bob Seger Working on New Album, Admits 'It Might Be Time to Go Away Fairly Soon'"

"A muscular message song about escaping the overload of modern life." Brian McCollum. USA TODAY. September 12, 2011. "Bob Seger's down on Main Street again."

"Wonderland"

"We are living in a wonderland age of science. I just read in the December [issue of] 'Astronomy' that water might be flowing in Mars….It's a wonderland we are living in right now." Nancy Dunham, Ultimate Classic Rock, "Bob Seger Details New Album Schedule, 2012 Tour Plans and his Songwriting Methods."

"Hannah"

"It's a father-to-daughter song. It's not a hit or anything, but it's a pretty song. . . . Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow did a wonderful job. I recorded it on a Friday night in Nashville. Kid Rock just happened to be playing in town. He texted me and said, 'Come to the show.' I texted him back and said, 'I can't -- I'm recording at 8 o'clock. But if you want to come after the show and bring Sheryl, I've got something for you to do." John Soeder, The Plain Dealer, April 3, 2011, "Bob Seger catches a 'Downtown Train' from yesteryear."

"Hey Gypsy"

"A Texas-fried tribute to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan." Brian McCollum. USA TODAY. September 12, 2011. "Bob Seger's down on Main Street again."

"I'll Remember You"

This title has been mentioned, but I've seen no info on it. In 1986, Seger recorded the Dylan song, "I Remember You," and told Musician Magazine it would be the flip of "Like a Rock," but the track has never been released. Since this new track is "I'll Remember.." not "I Remember..." it must be a different track, unless the title is being misreported.

On Singing with Springsteen

"'Introducing Bruce at the Garden was ungodly... Before the show, Bruce showed up. I said, 'You wouldn't want to come up, would you?...' We were singing in the dressing room. Everybody's taking pictures... We sound good together, we really do.

"I'm working really hard on an album, and I'm going to send him some of it. I told Bruce, 'Get ready!'" Bob Seger Hoping For Album Duet With Bruce Springsteen , contactmusic.com

On Releasing "Ultimate Hits"

"When we spoke with Seger in April, he said that he was against the idea of a two-CD hits set. 'For this tour, [my label] called up a lot around Christmas and New Years and said, 'You can't just put the two greatest hits together as a reissue?'" Seger said. "I said, 'You know, that's just cheesy. Here's another greatest hits, here's another free lunch for me.' They're out there, people can buy them, and if you can buy anything, those are the ones you can buy, Greatest Hits 1 and 2..." Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, November 20, 2011, "Bob Seger Releasing Career-Spanning Two-CD Set"

"At the time, I didn't want to do it because I was all fired up about the new record," he says. "I had no idea we were going to start downloading this year, and I didn't feel it was right to cut my record company of 45 years out of the picture, so I felt like they should have something for Christmas, and this was the thing that made the most sense." Deborah Evans-Price, Spinner, November 30, 2011, "Bob Seger Working on New Album, Admits 'It Might Be Time to Go Away Fairly Soon'"

On iTunes

The free six-track bonus EP on iTunes in September resulted i 1,698,000 free downloaded tracks.

Sales Stats

-- 51 million Seger albums sold
-- 11 platinum and seven multi-platinum RIAA certifications.

"Bob Seger Greatest Hits" has sold nine million copies and been on Billboard's Top 200 Albums and Catalog Albums charts for 17 years. It's the No. 1 Catalog Album of the Decade, beating the Eagles, the Beatles, Michael Jackson and all others.

On Songwriting

"I occasionally come up with a title I really like but more likely I write more…[by playing] and then singing something, a line or a verse, a line of a B section, a line of a chorus. The line that I end up singing is related to the music that I'm playing, if that makes any sense, and I go from there and try to figure out where I'm going with it. I will do about 40 minutes in a row and then take a half hour off and then do 40 minutes and then take a half hour off, and then do 40 minutes and then take an hour break and then go back and sing what I did. I mumble stuff and then occasionally sing a line. 99 times out of 100, [that's what I do]. Nancy Dunham, Ultimate Classic Rock, "Bob Seger Details New Album Schedule, 2012 Tour Plans and his Songwriting Methods."

What He's Listening To

"Right now The Civil Wars' song 'Barton Hollow' knocks me out… Kid Rock loves The Civil Wars, too. We both said that that is our favorite country song of the year…When I hear something like that, it's kind of like, 'Gosh, I wish I'd written that!' That's the stuff I really like." Deborah Evans-Price, Spinner, November 30, 2011, "Bob Seger Working on New Album, Admits 'It Might Be Time to Go Away Fairly Soon'"

The Civil Wars' John Paul White, it turns out, is a huge Seger fan:

"'What I admire most about him as a songwriter is I always believed everything he said,' says White….'The problem was no one could sing [his songs]; no one has the range he has,' White says." Melinda Newman, LA Times, December 25, 2011, "Bob Seger fans come for the old stuff."

"Her Strut"

Finally, the stop in LA yielded this great photo from Jane Fonda's blog of Jane, Bob, and Priscilla Presley.

On her blog, Jane wrote:

"I've always loved Bob Seger. When I hear "Night Moves," or "Against the Wind," or "Horizontal Bop" among the many others, I am transported to specific times, exciting times, romantic, sensual times and it makes me so happy...so when he got his manager to invite me to come to the Staples Canter for his concert last night Richard and I jumped at the chance...His voice was strong as ever, his band extraordinary..."

In 2007, Fonda was quoted on "Her Strut" in New York magazine:

"You know that Bob Seger song, 'Her Strut'? About how she's controversial, but they love to watch her strut? And her butt? I was listening to an interview with him years after the song came out, and he admitted that I was the inspiration for it. It made me so happy."

I'm always surprised by the people who are just finding out that "Her Strut" was inspired by Jane Fonda. Doesn't everyone read the Segerfile? Speaking of celebrities, how about a current photo of Seger and Cheryl Tiegs -- the woman who was born with the face that would let her get her way in "Hollywood Nights."

Fonda strutting in Barbarella; the Time cover that inspired "Hollywood Nights."
 
January 14, 2012
Seger (Re)Joins iTunes

This week's release of the remastered Live Bullet and Nine Tonight albums brought another treat as well: Seger is now once again on iTunes -- this time to stay it seems.

When Face the Promise was released in 2006, it was briefly available on iTunes. Fans who purchased the album got an extra track, "Red Eye to Memphis." But the album disappeared without notice one day, and since then iTunes has mainly been a Seger wasteland, except for a few tracks off various compilation albums.

Now, in addition to the Live Tunes on iTunes, the "Early Seger, Vol. 1" album is also available online. "Nine Tonight," "Roll Me Away," "Little Drummer Boy," and "Sock it To Me, Santa" -- some of which were previously available -- round out the Seger selection.

To generate buzz -- and as a treat for fans -- Seger and iTunes also made a free six-song EP available, drawing tracks from the two live albums and "Early Seger." As of this posting, the EP is still available for free, but you have to search for "The Silver Bullet Band" (not "Bob Seger") to find it.

(iTunes Trivia: The free EP includes "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" from Cobo Hall. On the album, that track segues directly into "Heavy Music." If you listen closely you can hear the splice at the end of the free version where they've cut to crowd noise instead.)

Potentially the best news of all is Seger's hint that the iTunes store may become an outlet for his massive collection of unreleased tracks. Writing in the Detroit Free Press and USA Today, music writer Brian McCollum reports the following:

"Seger, who has never released a boxed set, says he'll use iTunes to unveil songs from his sizable backlog of unreleased material.

'"There's just so much of that stuff,' he says. 'I'd love people to finally hear it.'" Brian McCollum, USA Today, September 12, 2011. "Bob Seger finally goes digital."

That's great news. It goes without saying that we'd love to hear it, too.

Sep. 12, 2011


New Album in Fall 2012?

Or not. The idea that anybody, even Seger, knows when the next album will really come out is a little crazy, to say the least. Seger albums are delayed so regularly that a delay really isn't news at this point. But for record, the current target seems to be a year off, according to another Brian McCollum story in USA Today. That piece says Seger is "aiming for release by fall 2012."

"Eight songs are done, including Hey Gypsy, a Texas-fried tribute to the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Ride Out, a muscular message song about escaping the overload of modern life.

"He plans to write at least four more this winter, sticking with a familiar creative method: playing and writing and waiting and rewriting.

"It's always been this way. Songs such as Like a Rock and We've Got Tonight were epics months in the making …" Brian McCollum. USA TODAY. September 12, 2011. "Bob Seger's down on Main Street again."

The possibility that the album might contain new as well as old tracks, ala "Early Seger" is not mentioned, in contrast to previous articles. Seger seems to have dropped that idea in favor of an album of all new material. (As for those reworked older tracks -- will they end up on iTunes instead? Let's hope so.)

The article also reveals that Seger initially expected to end his current tour after the first leg last spring, but changed his mind once he got going.

"I didn't think there was any way I wouldn't call it quits," he says. "But it went so well and turned out so much easier than I thought, I said, 'Let's just go finish it.'" Brian McCollum. USA TODAY. September 12, 2011. "Bob Seger's down on Main Street again."

Lucky for us. May he change his mind many times more.

September 17, 2011
Also by the author of the Segerfile

Heavy Music Pt. Two -- Tour Restarts Nov. 3

We've been placing bets here in the Segerfile office, about when we'd get the first big blast of tour dates for the second half of Seger's tour, and the lucky winner is…well, me, because I'm the only one who works in this office. And it's not an office. It's a tree. (More on that below.)

But enough about me. The real winners are in Ypsilanti and the 12 other cities that were announced this week. We knew about Orlando and Evansville already, due to the completely random way information leaks out of Segerworld. And there are still more dates to come. But for now we've got what amounts to the first half of the second half. As follows.

Nov. 2 - Ypsilanti, MI
Nov. 4 - Columbus, OH
Nov. 9 - Evansville, IN
Nov. 11 - Greenville, SC
Nov. 13 - Orlando, FL
Nov. 15 - Birmingham, AL
Nov. 17 - Louisville, KY
Nov. 19 - Pittsburgh, PA
Nov. 25 - Baltimore, MD
Nov. 26 - Unacasville, CT
Nov. 29 - Worcester, MA
Dec. 1 - New York, NY
Dec. 3 - Philadelphia, PA

On sale dates and venue info is on the official site, here.

The venues start out small -- the Convocation Center at EMU in Ypsilanti seats 7,000 -- and build to Madison Square Garden and beyond.

He shoots, he scores: Seger to play EMU in Ypsi.

Given the pattern of playing every other day or so, the schedule we have so far has room for three more shows. There's room for 13 more shows in December. That's potentially 16 unannounced shows, presumably with three or four in Detroit.

That means another dozen cities we don't know about yet -- although the original announcement listed Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tampa, Dallas, Denver and Vancouver. Leaving five cities still to be named. Time for another office pool. Stay tuned.

September 10, 2011


New Live Albums Drop Next Week

The other piece of tour-related news concerns the remastered versions of Live Bullet and Nine Tonight. Live Bullet has already been remastered once, but fan comments on segernet.com weren't positive. Most said to stick to the original Live Bullet CD.

According to fans who know a lot more about this than I do, the really good Seger remasters have all been done by Capital audio engineer Robert Vosgien. Hopefully, he's behind the current remastering.

Remastering the master: New Live CDs Due

The Live Bullet remaster will include Seger's superb cover of Albert King's "I Feel Like Breakin' Up Somebody's Home" recorded at Pontiac Stadium. It will be great to hear that in all its digital glory -- but it's not exactly a lost track. Seger fans who collect such things probably have several versions of it already.

The Nine Tonight remaster will include a live version of "Brave Strangers." It isn't clear to me whether it's the exact same track that's on the B-side of "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You" -- but either way, it's not all that rare, at least compared to what Seger has in his vaults.

The real question, in my mind, is whether the remastered Nine Tonight CD will include the full version of "Let it Rock," which was painfully edited on the original CD. That alone would make the remaster worth buying. By the time you read this, we should know.

No further word, as of yet, on the new album of new/old material that Seger has been working on all year.

September 10, 2011


How the Segerfile Got Started

The Wire to Wire book tour gave me a chance to talk with Seger fans around Michigan about the early days of the Segerfile. A few weeks ago, the book editor of The Oregonian newspaper joined me in the treehouse where I write to about the book, freights, and Seger.

You can check it out, and get a glimpse of Segerfile world headquarters, here.

There's even a video here. The actor who plays me does a pretty good job, I think. Gotta wonder where they found him.

September 10, 2011


More Seger -- Tour Continues, Album Due

The official word came in mid-July, confirming rumors that floated around all summer: there will definitely be a second leg to the 2011 Seger tour, and probably an album to go with it.

The announcement listed New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Orlando, Dallas, Denver and Vancouver as probable tour stops, along with others, unnamed for now.

A few days after the tour news hit, the "Orlando Calling" Festival in Florida announced that Seger and Kid Rock would be headliners on November 13, the second day of the two-day festival.

If you assume that 1) this tour will be Seger's last and 2) that he'll end his touring career in (or near) Detroit, that would suggest a string of shows at the Palace of Auburn Hills or The Joe sometime between mid-November and Christmas. In May, Seger told writer Gary Graff that they were considering two months of dates -- from late October to just before Christmas.

There have also been Facebook items about more recording going on in Nashville -- a sign that progress continues on the album that supposedly will be released around the time of the second leg.

August 6, 2011


Wire to Wire tour: 2,700 Miles Across Michigan

The second half of the Seger tour was announced in the middle of my Wire to Wire book tour across Michigan. In all, I covered 2,700 miles, crisscrossing the state (with a slight side trip into Wisconsin) and talking to Seger fans in Traverse City, Lansing, Jackson, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo and other cities.

Many thanks to everyone who came to the readings -- including amazing Segerfile friends like Rick C., Michelle H., Patricia L's cousin Michelle, Rosemary R., Karen A., Jeff L., Dawn D., Shellie A. -- and many more who sent me well-wishes and bought the book. I heard from many friends and fans who couldn't make an event but who were there in spirit. I appreciate all of the support. (And if I left your name out, my apologies! I enjoyed sharing Seger stories with all of you.)

One of the best Seger moments of the trip came when I was driving from Ann Arbor to St. Joe. Near the end of the long drive, I cranked up Live Bullet in the car. It felt so good to be hearing Seger back in Michigan that I drove 20 miles past St. Joe -- I was almost to Illinois and halfway to Katmandu before I realized where I was! It was worth it to hear that album again on I-94.

The Wire to Wire tour: Talking at Horizon Books in Traverse City;
a flyer from McLean & Eakin Books in Petoskey.

Check out this photo album of the book tour for shots of some of the people I met and places I visited.

And the best part is, thanks to the new Seger shows coming, I expect to be back in Michigan soon.

August 6, 2011


Made in Michigan

Why Seger's Music Means So Much to Me

It feels like I've been blogging everywhere but here lately. My novel, Wire to Wire, was published on June 1, and in the weeks prior and since, I've been guest-blogging on every site that will have me.

That doesn't mean I've stopped thinking about Seger, though. In fact, in an attempt to connect the worlds of music and fiction, I recently wrote a post on the power and appeal of Seger's music -- at least, as I see it. It wasn't easy to do in 600 words or so, but I gave it my best.

See what you think. The post, Heavy Music, appeared on the blog of Powell's City of Books, the legendary bookstore in Portland, Oregon, where I live.

The day it ran, people who have never listened to Seger in any serious way (jeez, where have they been??) came up to me asking where they should start with Bob's discography. The answer to that is "just about anywhere."

Check out the full post at Powells.com.

June 18, 2011


Signed Copies Now Available

If you're looking for a good book to read this summer, check out my recently released novel, Wire to Wire. The reviews have been good. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review, Playboy featured it as one of three books in their June issue, and Kirkus says it's "a worthy combination of Bob Seger nostalgia and dope-fueled noir."

There's more info at scottsparling.net.

The popular music site, Largehearted Boy, recently asked me to compile a playlist of songs that inspired me while writing Wire to Wire. That list includes Seger, of course, and many other artists and bands. The full list is here.

The book is available at independent bookstores and Amazon. And, at the request of some Segerfile readers, you can now order a signed copy of the book.

Many thanks to all of you who have already ordered a copy!

June 15, 2011


The Tour is Over (Let the New Tour Begin)

The crowds have gone home, at least for now, but in our heads, we're still calling for an encore. And there's at least a chance that we'll get one.

In late May, Seger said he expected to decide about a fall tour in mid-June. If that decision has been made, nothing has been announced.

Seger also talked more about the album he is working on. It will include "a 'father-daughter' song called 'Hannah'… a 'very Led Zeppelin' track called 'The Sea Inside,' and 'Hey Gypsy,' a Texas swing-styled 'homage to Stevie Ray Vaughan,'" according to an article by Gary Graff:

No title or release date have been decided on for the album, and Seger says that, like touring, it might also bring an end to an era of his life.

"I'll still be writing songs, but I don't know about recording," Seger says. "I'd write for other people, because recording takes a lot more time than the writing, and I think I could better use my time just writing and then turn (the songs) over to someone else and hoping they do them well. And there are so many writers in Nashville to work with ..." Gary Graff, Billboard, May 26, 2011. "Bob Seger mulls fall tour, retiring from the road."

Let's hope the tour decision, when Bob makes it, is inspired more by "Tomorrow" than by "Yesterday Rules." Maybe if we all keep clapping and stomping our feet…

June 18, 2011


Better than the last time, but may be the last time

In advance of his upcoming St. Paul show, Seger talked to Jon Bream of the Star Tribune about how the tour is going -- and whether it will be the last of his career.

"It could be," he said last month from his Michigan home. "I flip-flop. I think maybe we can go back again in the fall and then I'm so frigging tired. I don't know if I should risk my health for this anymore."

"I honestly think this is a better tour than the last one," he volunteered. "I've challenged myself and took on some songs I didn't think I could sing anymore -- like 'Feels Like a Number' and 'Shining Brightly' -- and I've been able to do it. Heh-heh-heh. It's a little rowdier."

Seger also told Bream he was enjoying himself immensely.

"I'm surprised at myself. It is very physically challenging, but I didn't think it would be this much fun," he said on a recent morning after sending his kids off to high school.

Check out the rest of Bream's story here -- it's worth reading.

May 8, 2011


See You on the 17th - and 18th - in Detroit.

It's been tough scheduling shows to see this time around -- partly because the dates have been announced a few at a time, partly because I live in Oregon, and partly because I'm traveling myself to promote my novel, Wire to Wire.

But I'll definitely be at the May 17th show in Detroit, and am looking forward to seeing Seger fans that I haven't seen in a while. I think my Segerfile t-shirt still fits, so say hi if you see me.

I'm also hoping to stop by the St. Clair Shores Public Library on the 18th, where Tom Wechsler and Gary Graff will be talking and signing copies of Travelin Man. It's a great book, so if you don't already have it, make sure you get one at the show or at the signing.

May 8, 2011


Seger (Shirt) Spotted in WTW Video

The video trailer for Wire to Wire was just released (yep -- books have trailers, now) and already one sharp-eyed viewer has spotted the Silver Bullet Girls t-shirt I wore under my sweatshirt.

"Holy S**t," one person wrote after watching the video online. "Is Mr. Sparling wearing a Bob Seger T-shirt when you guys were at the strip club? I've been longing for this Night Moves T shirt that my Dad had when I was a kid. It's long gone, and the sight on this video was the closest I've been."

Yep, that's the shirt I bought in Detroit during the last tour. Thanks goes to my wife for telling me to wear it during the filming.

The full video is here -- and despite the strip club reference, it's totally safe for work or anywhere else.

Wire to Wire Trailer from Juliet Zulu on Vimeo.

The book will be out June 1 (or slightly before) if you're interested. If you're in the Portland, Oregon area, shoot me an email and I'll make sure you're invited to the book release party.

May 8, 2011


Six New Songs Recorded For Next Album

For a long time, Rolling Stone seemed to forget Bob Seger existed. Which makes it even more interesting that the best interview I've read with Seger in ages is in the current Rolling Stone. The interview, by Andy Greene, does a great job of getting to the questions that many of us have. The print version is good, and the online version is even better. Thanks, Andy and Rolling Stone, for a great piece.

Seger told Greene he has six songs ready for the next album. You should really read the whole interview, but to get you started, here are a few excerpts:

"I'll start writing again around June 1st. If the song-writing gods smile on me, it will all be new. If they don't, it will be a mixture of new and old -- and the best of the old. That's what it will be, whatever the best songs are is what I'll put out. Old or new.

"All summer I was working on [Early Seger] Volume 2 because the first one just had 10 songs on it. That wasn't my idea...

"I don't understand why nobody can download anything of ours. I don't understand it." Andy Greene, "Bob Seger: My Career's Winding Down," Rolling Stone. April 8, 2011

April 23, 2011


Eight More Michigan Dates Added

And that, friends, is the most misleading Segerfile headline you'll ever see, outside of the annual April Fools post. Misleading, but not outright false, I might add. Indeed, eight more Michigan dates have been added -- but to the Wire to Wire book tour, not the Seger tour.

Sorry about that.

But honestly, I'm hoping I can meet up with a lot of Seger fans and Segerfile readers in Traverse City, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo and four other Michigan cities in the second and third week of July. The entire book tour schedule is here. Come say hello if you're in the neighborhood and let's talk some Seger.

In other book news, the Wire to Wire book trailer is almost done -- yes, books have video "trailers" now, like movies.

To show a little Seger love, I made sure I wore my Seger bullet girl t-shirt under my hoodie. Why the video is set in a strip club is explained here.

Hope to see you out on the road this summer.

April 23, 2011


New album report: Could be mix of old & new

In the midst of all the tour news, John Soeder of the Cleveland Plain Dealer took the time to ask Seger about his upcoming album. A few interesting details emerged -- like the fact that it was "Downtown Train" that sparked Seger to think about touring.

After listening to the new version of "Downtown Train," Seger said to himself, ''This is pretty good -- we ought to put this out.' And then I said, 'Well, if I'm going to put it out, I ought to consider touring.' "

The Soeder article includes the following excerpt:

"A new studio project is in the works, although Seger, 65, isn't sure when it will see the light of day or which shape it will take. It might be a straightforward follow-up to the 2009 compilation "Early Seger Vol. 1," focused on unreleased material from Seger's vaults. Or it might be a mix of old and new songs.

"Some of the old stuff is so powerful, it stands right up to the new stuff," he said.

Besides "Downtown Train," Seger's next project also could include covers of Fats Domino's "The Fat Man" and "Blind Love," a Waits ballad that Seger first reworked for his 1991 album "The Fire Inside." He recently came across a live version of the latter song that he likes even better than the studio version.

Seger also has been writing new material lately.

"I've got four really good songs," he said.

He's particularly excited about one titled "Hannah," which he just recorded a few weeks ago. It features backing vocals by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow." "Seger Catches A Downtown Train from yesteryear" by John Soeder, Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 3, 2011.

April 3, 2011


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

Remainder of tour canceled

It was a valiant effort, but after just three shows, veteran rocker Bob Seger announced today that he was canceling the remainder of his tour, citing stress on his body.

"It's time to hang oh god, I feel guilty already. Some of you have just read the headline and moved on, haven't you? You think the tour is really canceled. You're telling all your friends and posting the "news" on Facebook. You have no idea this is just another lame Segerfile April Fool's post because you only scan the headlines.

Now I feel bad. I feel guilty. Especially since more headline-only readers will probably show up on April 2 and 3 and 4, and on and on and on, and they'll end up missing the chance of a lifetime to see Seger. And there's no way to undo the damage, because headline-readers don't read actual articles, so no matter what I say here -- wait, I just had an idea.


Remainder of tour not canceled

There. Now it's fixed.


"Just in time" tour announcements catch on

The current tour not only sees the return of Michigan's favorite son and rock legend Bob Seger to the stage, but also marks new breakthroughs in tour technology and information delivery.

Every tour brings new advances in digital and wireless technology, observers said, improving the concert-going experience. "For example, our customer-facing data flow disintermediates the real-time audio delay on 24 DMX channels, eliminating the need for dedicated proprietary cables," said an audio geek in a Pavement t-shirt, just before being put out of his misery.

This year, however, the biggest innovation on Seger's tour is the "just-in-time" information delivery system used for announcing tour dates.

The system was modeled after the "just-in-time" method now common in manufacturing and retailing. Instead of keeping a warehouse of parts or supplies on hand, businesses using the "just-in-time" system take delivery of whatever is needed on the day it's needed -- eliminating the cost of storing inventory.

The Seger tour is the first to put this system to use for information delivery. "In the old days, I just put out a release listing all the tour dates," said legendary concert promoter Bill Graham, blogging on BeyondTheGrave.com. "Usually, fans only cared about one or two of those dates, but they were required to store a lot of extra information in their heads. It was really inefficient, when you think about it. Of course, this was in the pre-digital age, when people were used to storing information in their heads."

"Now that heads are mainly used as fashion accessories, the 'just-in-time' approach makes a lot of sense," Graham's post continued.

Setting the Standard

"I have to admire Seger's organization for setting such a high standard," Graham added. "First they announced that there would be an announcement. Then they teased that there would be a tour. After that, they dribbled out tour dates slower than a hen laying hard-boiled eggs in the Kentucky moonli…oh screw it. Do you know how hot it is in hell? Damn hot. All the cool people are here, though."

The tour also won kudos for diversifying the information system. At times the system released information via the traditional, top-down system -- i.e., the official website -- but just as often, new dates were announced by the venues, radio stations, Ticketmaster and random homeless people. "Not long ago," according to an unattributed quote, "the mantra was 'Information wants to be free.' Today, it's 'Information wants to shriek about like an imaginary spider monkey on meth. The information-monkey could pop up anywhere, so look alive."

Starting a Trend

This new information-delivery system has quickly been adopted by others, including the NBA, which recently announced that the NBA Lottery -- previously scheduled for June 21 -- will now occur on June 21, 22, 23, 26, 28, and July 3, before breaking for the holiday. "On the first day, I'll put my hand in the bin, but I won't actually draw a number," said NBA Commissioner David Stern. "After that, we'll see how it goes. We may continue drawing numbers after the Fourth of July break, depending on how my hand feels."

And although no official announcement has been made, posts on Prince William's Facebook page have already hinted that followers of the Royal Wedding should not expect both "I do's" on the same day. "You might hear an "I" or an "I duh-" from Catherine," one post hinted. "Or we might just do a video with blurry pictures of a ring."

Similarly, next year's State of the Union address will be delivered one sentence at a time, with new installments whenever House calls another doctor an idiot on the popular FOX TV show. "We think the American people will," an administration spokesman said, indicating with a wink or a twitch that he might complete the sentence later. (Depending on how his tongue feels. Aaand….that joke is officially milked. Moving on.)

Ironically, this new "just-in-time" system for tour information brings Seger's organization full circle. In the old days, when Seger was playing hundreds of bar gigs a year, getting a schedule was next to impossible. Fans and future website creators had to call Punch's office and hope whoever answered would get "the book" and read out the next several dates. If the office was busy when you called, you might never find out where Seger was scheduled to play next.

"This new delivery model brings the same uncertainty and ambiguity back, using modern technology. It's not easy, in the digital age, to keep people so bewildered and in the dark, but I'm proud to say we've pulled it off," says a spokesman whose name I don't feel like making up, because I don't want to alienate anybody in Seger's organization and lose my chance for getting a backstage pass, but let's just call him T.L. "Andrew" Boilwell, Jr. (Backstage pass opportunity gone. Damn. Why can't I control myself???)

Fan Rebellion

Although the system has been deemed an unqualified success by overpaid industry weasels making their living off the sweat of honest musicians at LiveNation.com, some fans have complained. "What's good for your goose is good for my gander," said Artius J. Blygand, a longtime Seger fan. "If they're going to wait around and give me concert information whenever they feel like it, I'll just wait and buy my tickets whenever I feel like it. See how they like that."

So far, Blygand has failed to get tickets for any show on the tour.


Free downloads of unreleased tracks

Remember when the Segerfile used to visit the so-called "Vault" and then write flowery essays on the stunningly good and seemingly completely finished Seger tracks that have never been released? Well, now, as a reward to our valued readers, we're making those same rare Seger tracks available to you as a free download.

Now, for the first time, you can listen to tracks like "Patient," "All Brand New," "Outland," "Can't Hit the Corners," and the single (not the album) of "Stranger in Town." Plus many, many more. Completely free, as our way of saying thanks.

Did I also mention that I have a book coming out on June 1? A book set in Michigan, that I spent 20 years writing? A book that contains the phrase "Wait for me," and the word "mongrel"? As well as the phrase "like a rock[et]"?

A book that Publisher's Weekly said is "well crafted and thrilling, tying together an obvious love for both Michigan and railroads with an expert sense of timing and plot." A book that Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff, called "an electrifying debut by a writer who knows the wrong side of town like the back of his hand." A book that Willy Vlautin, author of The Motel Life, said is "all edge from start to finish."

Were you also aware of the Segerfile's tradition of posting links on April 1 that claim to take you one place, but actually take you someplace else? Like an author's website? If you are aware of that tradition, please don't worry that the free downloads link will actually take you to the website for my book, because that would simply be too desperate on my part, and the last thing I want to do is appear…oh, hell, I don't care. Here you go. Get yer free downloads right here.


New tour date added

One last show has been added to Seger's concert schedule on April 1 in Loof Lirpa Arena. Tickets are already sold out, but don't worry: I'll be live-tweeting the concert on www.twitter.com/Segerfile starting at 7 pm Pacific Time on April 1. It promises to be a fun, if not factual event for those who have absolutely nothing better to do on a Friday night.


Remainder of tour canceled again

Sorry. I can't help myself.

This is the April 1 post for 2011.
For more falsehoods, see the Seger File's April 1 post for 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005 and 2003.

3rd Detroit Show, New Tour Page, Toledo Tonight

A half hour into ticket sales for the first two Detroit shows, Seger added a third show: Saturday, May 21. Demand for the first two shows slowed Ticketmaster's response time -- at least on my computer -- so by the time my first click went through, floor seats were gone. Floor seats for the unannounced May 21 show were available for at least ten minutes after the tix went on sale.

To keep all the tour news together on one page, I've added a TOUR 2011 page, now live. I'll post links to all tour news via the Segerfile's Twitter feed there, along with excerpts and set lists.

Going to the Toledo show, or any show on this tour? Let me know your favorite moment or your overall take on the show on the Segerfile's Facebook page: I'll set up a special post to gather them all together. If you post photos to Flickr or other photo-site and want to share them, sent me the link.

To round things out, The Detroit News has reposted its extensive special section called "Seger Nation." And the Free Press still has its definitive oral history of Seger online. These links might not be live after the tour ends, so check them out now.

You ready to rock?

March 26, 2011


First Detroit Show Hits the Schedule

Another week and another four or five Seger shows have been announced: I could get used to this.

In addition to the release of "Downtown Train," this week saw another handful of shows hit the schedule, including the first Detroit show to be announced. The question now is, how many more will there be?

Gaps in the schedule have now mostly been filled in, but two remain: there's room for an additional show after Houston and after Chicago. It's even possible that the second Detroit show to be announced could come before the one we know about, ala Toledo. But for now I'm assuming that there will be at least two more Detroit shows after May 19.

After that, the question becomes, will there really be a Part 2 to the tour? Would Seger really skip LA, Oakland, New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Denver, Seattle and, ahem, Portland? This time, unfortunately, the answer is not in the question. At least not that I can see. March 5, 2011


17 Shows (So Far), Plus 1 New Song

The Seger Tour-- originally described as 20 to 30 dates -- is now up to 17 shows in 16 cities (with Toledo, Ohio getting two shows).

The most recent announcement sees the tour heading south and then west -- to Little Rock and then on to Tulsa and Houston. After a two week gap, Seger's back in the midwest for a Chicago show.

The empty two weeks potentially leaves room for another six shows following the every other day pattern -- up the west coast, perhaps? (Not to get anybody's hopes up, but in 2007, Houston was followed by Denver, Portland, Seattle, Oakland, Phoenix and Los Angeles. Past performance, of course, is no guarantee of anything.)

(What is clear is that the tour is going beyond those four mysteriously highlighted states in the tour promo teaser. What the heck did that mean? Did those states just have a fever?)

New Song Coming -- Downtown Train

While we wait for more details from the slow-motion-tour-announcement, we'll have a new song to listen to: WCSX-FM in Detroit has announced that they'll be premiering Seger's version of "Downtown Train" on Monday morning, February 28 at 7:30 am. (Which would be, uh, 4:30 am my time. Thanks, guys.)

Seger recorded "Downtown Train," a Tom Waits song, in 1989, in the same sessions that produced "Blind Love" and "New Coat of Paint," according to a Gary Graff article in the Detroit Free Press in August 1991.

But after Rod Stewart released his own cover version, Seger shelved his recording. (Stewart's version went to #3 on the charts and started a feud between Seger and Stewart. More details here.)

"Downtown Train" is a great song, and I'll bet Seger's version was and is terrific. The release of it now raises the question: Is there an Early Seger, Vol. 2 in the works? Reportedly, Seger's been working on new material, so is "Downtown Train" a bonus track on an album of new songs? Or a one-off release to keep us jazzed about the tour? (As if we weren't jazzed enough already.) Whatever, the answer, I'm anxious to finally hear it. I'll be listening to WCSX live online here.

February 24, 2011


'Sudden Seger' Tour Rolls On

Every day seems to bring a new surprise in what I'm calling The Sudden Seger Tour (at least until they give it a real name).

For a while, Saginaw was the tour opener. Then a second Toledo show got added, and now the tour opens there. New venues pop up on Google Alerts, or Alto Reed's Facebook, or someone's Twitter feed before the official Seger site, Ticketmaster, or Live Nation have the details. Welcome to the Internet Age of instant communication. Last time Seger toured, I didn't even know how to text.

As always, I have no hard info about what's going on in Segerland, but I'm picturing an all-hands-on-deck operation where everyone from Punch on down is working the phones, lining up dates, with a million decisions all having to be made at once. What are they going to put on the t-shirts? Who's designing the lights? What's the set list? Who's the opening act? What happens if neutrinos have mass?

Okay, that last one I know the answer to. (The world explodes. I think.) But everything else seems to be up in the air. Either that, or Punch Enterprises had this whole thing planned down to the price of beer at Pine Knob for the past 18 months and they're just messing with us to build buzz. If so, it's working.

It's making it hard as hell to keep the site up to date, for one thing, which is why I recommend you follow the Segerfile on Facebook or Twitter, for instant updates.

February 20, 2011
Happy Birthday to Me
The Segerfile turns 13

The Sudden Seger Tour isn't the only thing I'm celebrating right now. Today is also the thirteenth anniversary of the Segerfile coming online. (That means we're in the awkward teen years. Uh-oh.)

Still, you might think I'd want to write a little something about the anniversary -- and I did. But this time, just to be friendly, I loaded my Segerfile birthday post over at my new site, which is focused on books, not music. After all, you guys already know how I feel about Seger. You can check it out at scottsparling.net.

I will say this: Over the years, the Segerfile has become a part of me, mostly because of the many fantastic friends I've met (in person or online) from around the world.

There's a Seger lyric that always gets to me when I think about this. It's not from one of my favorite songs, particularly, but it's still a line that gets me choked up on important days, like when I got married, and when my son was born, and, actually, a little bit right now. It's this one:

"No one has to tell me I'm a lucky man."

Simple as that.

So thanks, Bob. And thanks to everyone who has stopped by over the past 13 years. And yeah -- I just renewed the URL for another couple years. The Segerfile's not going away any time soon.

-- Scott Sparling, February 11, 2011

Tour 2011 -- The First Four Shows

For about 24 hours, I'm proud to say that my hometown -- Jackson, Michigan -- was the virtual center of the Segersphere. If you're a Seger fan living in Jackson, rejoice. By traveling an hour and a half north, southeast or northwest you can hear Seger in Saginaw, Toledo and Grand Rapids -- the first three stops on Tour 2011.

But then Cleveland got added to the mix and messed up my math. But the important point is this: if you're lucky enough to live in southern Michigan or northern Ohio, late March and early April will give you four chances to hear Seger -- if you can get tickets.

Fan Club members might have a better chance. By signing into the Fan Club on the official site and hitting the Tour page, you get a personalized Presale code. How you use it exactly has not been explained yet.

More tour dates are expected next week as SegerLeaks, uh, I mean, Seger's management continues to finalize details.

While we're waiting to see what the future holds, Seger fan Jason Brown has done an excellent job of detailing the past. I wondered in an earlier post how long it's been since Seger played Toledo. An email from Jason provides the answer:

"With the announcement that Seger would open the tour in Saginaw and Toledo, I did some research as to when he was in those towns last. I have been compiling a tour history of Seger's for a while now and I found several past shows (certainly not an authoritative or complete list, but just from what I have tracked down through the years.)"

Saginaw

Toledo

4/9/69

Saginaw Auditorium

7/11/69

State Theater

8/26/69

Saginaw Pop Festival

3/24/73

State Theater

11/26/69

Saginaw Auditorium

12/27/75

Toledo Sports Arena

5/5/73

venue unknown

12/20/78

Toledo Sports Arena

11/22/73

Back Door

7/16/83

Toledo Motor Speedway

11/26/73

Back Door

9/14/86

Centennial Hall

2/18/76

Saginaw Civic Center

5/26/96

John F. Savage Hall

11/10/76

Dow Events Center

Another fan, Radagast, from way back in my AOL days, says there was another Toledo Sports Arena show on July 7, 1976.

The last show I remember in Toledo was in the early 70's. The opening act wouldn't get off the stage until the promoter called the cops and had him physically removed. When Seger finally came out, the power went off three times, and after three songs, he called it quits. The crowd mostly left, but we stood around, and after ten minutes Seger walked out carrying his guitar. He stopped and talked to us for a minute, then left through the front door and disappeared into the night.

Good memories. The memories to be made this March will be even better.

-- (With thanks to Jason Brown for the great research.)

From the center of the Segersphere: Bob plays the Jackson County Fair in August 1977. I'm in the crowd somewhere. Photo by Dale Stringham from his Facebook posting.

February 4, 2011


Saginaw First, then Toledo

The Seger news drip continues. The tour will open in Saginaw on March 29 in the 7,600-seat Dow Center. Two days later, the show moves to the 8,000-seat Huntingon Center in downtown Toledo. No ticket prices yet. No word on the opening act. No Detroit dates expected until next week.

Personally, I'm sure Saginaw and Toledo are fine places to live, and yet I have never really envied the citizens of those two towns until now. They'll get a chance to hear Seger in a much more intimate setting; surely as the tour goes on, the show will move into the larger, 20,000-seat style arenas.

The last time around, Saginaw was the site of Seger's second show. The set list, in case any one wants to compare or start a pool, was as follows:

Saginaw Set List -- 11/10/06
Roll Me Away
Tryin' to Live My Life Without You
Wreck This Heart
Mainstreet
Old Time Rock & Roll
Wait for Me
Face the Promise
No More
Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight
We've Got Tonight
Turn the page
Travelin' Man
Beautiful Loser
Intermission
Simplicity
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
C'est La Vie
Answer's In the Question
Sightseeing
Sunspot Baby
Horizontal Bop
Katmandu
Encore #1
Night Moves
Hollywood Nights
Encore #2
Against the Wind
Rock and Roll Never Forgets

No word on whether the March show will include an 8-minute intermission. A review of the 2006 Saginaw show is here.

Seger has played some memorable shows in Toledo as well, but he skipped the city on the 2006/07 tour, and I'll bet it's been a while since he's played there. Kid Rock played the Huntington Center just last week. The Eagles and Elton John have played their recently as well.

The two shows announced continue the every-other-night pattern set last time. If that pattern held precisely for 30 shows, the tour would end (or this phase of it would end) on May 29. Everyone is saying early June, however.

As for a possible second phase in the fall, I recall some talk last time around about how it's difficult to recover the front-end costs and make it all pencil out unless the tour includes a lot of shows. The fact that Seger's management had 40 to 50 shows booked in fall 2010 seems like a good sign -- though the fact that they were canceled demonstrates how quickly things can change.

Speaking of quickly, tickets for the two shows go on sale February 11 and 12. My advice would be, get them in the first five minutes or don't get them at all.

February 1, 2011

Tour Dates Coming Next Week, Album Half Finished

Seger has half an album done. He'll announce about 20 tour dates next week. Regardless of when he finishes the album, he'll probably go back on the road in the fall. Who says all this? A source close to Seger, quoted in a post on rollingstone.com today.

The first batch of cities and dates should be announced next week, the post says, although details such as ticket prices are still being worked out.

"For one thing, ticket price points have yet to be finalized. More crucially, Seger's drummer Don Brewer's tour schedule with Grand Funk Railroad has complicated matters. 'That's been a horrendous problem,' says the source. 'They have to work everything around that.'

"The setlist will focus on Seger's deep catalog of hits, but it will also feature select tracks from Seger's upcoming 17th studio LP. 'Right now he probably has half of an album that he's happy with,"' says the source. 'Whether or not he finishes it this summer, he'll probably go back out in the fall and do even more dates.'" Andy Greene, January 28, 2011, RollingStone.com."Exclusive: Bob Seger Tour Details."

The post also sheds some light on the 2010 fall tour that never happened -- 40 to 50 dates were booked, then canceled -- and on why so many Seger albums are out of print. Seger goes back on forth on re-releasing them, the source said.

"'Maybe he just doesn't want to take the time to do it? They actually called some people to re-release them a little while ago, but Bob wasn't comfortable with what they wanted so they didn't do it. They hope to keep working towards it.'" Andy Greene, January 28, 2011, RollingStone.com."Exclusive: Bob Seger Tour Details."

The RollingStone.com post is labeled an "exclusive." The Detroit media doesn't have these details yet, and neither does Seger's official website. My guess is that Seger's management gave RollingStone.com the scoop in order to get the national coverage. Using an unidentified source makes it seem like a hardworking reporter found a leak -- but when has any info ever leaked out of Segerworld ?? Never. It just doesn't happen.

Hey, give Seger's team credit: their media strategy this past week has been masterful. They turned the tour announcement, normally a one-day story, into a two-day story by teasing it first, effectively doubling their coverage. They drove tons of traffic to the official website. And now they're getting an exclusive on RollingStone.com -- the website of a publication that has unfairly ignored Seger for years. If I'd plotted and implemented that media strategy, I'd be pretty darned pleased.

And yet as good as it is, the strategy almost seems unnecessary. A mimeographed press release would probably do the job. As the Rolling Stone post points out, Seger's shows are gonna sell out, even in a bad economy. They always do.

January 28, 2011

Tour Begins in March, New CD Soon

After a one-day tease to build some buzz, Seger's official site announced that Seger would "be coming to a city near you." Beyond that, the site offered no details.

The Detroit music media, however, all added that Seger would release a new CD before or during the tour. Gary Graff in The Oakland Press, Susan Whitall in The Detroit News, and Brian McCollum in the Detroit Free Press, all had the tour starting in March. "The exact cities and dates will be announced shortly," Whitall wrote.

The announcement video.

Check the Segerfile on Facebook for the latest details as they come out.

January 27, 2011

The Segerfile's "Other Project" -- Wire to Wire
Michigan Novel Coming in June, Book Tour Follows

For a couple of years, and maybe more, I've been using the excuse of "another big project I'm working on" whenever there was a long gap between posts on this site. Now, I'm going public: the "other project" is a novel, Wire to Wire, to be published this June.

Wire to Wire is a story of train-hopping, crime, and love set in Northern Michigan in the late 1970s -- with love being the most dangerous of those activities. There's a bit of a Seger connection -- since the story is set in Michigan, the characters listen to his music, as well as to Iggy, the MC5 and other Michigan groups.

But the book is not about Seger -- it's about connection, and loneliness and memories, and a 1968 Ford Ranchero with a quarter-million dollars hidden in the side panels.

The Segerfile actually came into being because of the book. By 1997, I'd already been working on Wire to Wire for ten years, and I was frustrated, having trouble getting it right. Everyone told me to put it aside, take a break. You know a lot about Seger, people said -- write a book about him instead.

Starting another book was the last thing I wanted to do. But the Internet fascinated me. In 1997, there was next to nothing online about Bob. So in February 1997, I launched the Segerfile, thinking it would provide a nice six-month break from working on my book.

Man, did I get lucky. Instead of just providing a break, the Segerfile grew into one of the most satisfying things I've done in my life. The friends I've made, the people I've met and the fun I've had is just immeasurable. For a long time, working on the site completely crowded out the book.

But I never quit the book, never gave up on it. In Seger, I had the strongest possible role model for not giving up. Do you have a dream that's dogging you, that just won't seem come true, to the point where you wonder about quitting? Just listen to Like a Rock. It will keep you going. And don't even think of calling it a truck commercial. That song got me through the darkest moments of this twenty-year journey. It will get me through anything.

This June, Wire to Wire, will be published by Tin House Books, one of country's most highly respected literary presses. Which is another way I've gotten lucky.

Actually, there's an indirect Seger connection there too. I met the editors at Tin House through a set of coincidences involving John Rutherford, Shaun Murphy and Sheila Hamilton (of KINK-FM radio here in Portland). That's a story I'll tell another time.

I'll be doing some readings from Wire to Wire in New York in May, around the Northwest in June, and in Michigan later this summer. As soon as the dates are set, I'll post them. With any luck, maybe someone else will be on tour then too.

In the meantime, the Segerfile's not going away. I still love working on this site. And I'm not going to quit.

January 22, 2011


The Tour Rumors That Wouldn't Die

January 2011 is here, and in case you haven't noticed, no Seger tour has been announced. The info in the post just below this one turns out to have been a false alarm. No problem. We Seger fans were raised on false alarms. Maybe we've even gotten to the point where false alarms are better than no alarms.

Personally -- and I'm just speculating here -- I think the 'tour in January' rumor was not false so much as premature. There's still buzz about some kind of tour happening in 2011, and so I'm holding onto the idea that 2011 will be a very good year for Seger fans. Seger's been recording, by all accounts. He wants to get on the road, according to past reports. Details and timing have to be worked out. Okay -- I can live with that. It's vague and unsubstantiated -- but hey, this is Seger we're talking about. It's always tentative, right up to the moment when it isn't. It's just a hunch, but I still feel good about this year.

January 22, 2011


      MainMenu2010 Updates


Cobo Hall ticket stubb photo courtesy of Jim Cummer