The Seger File An unofficial web site about the music of Bob Seger Last updated December 2002 Edited by Scott Sparling firstname.lastname@example.org
In early 1983, Seger complained that you don't see enough black artists on MTV, "not enough R&B and black music unless it's the syrupy stuff. Where are Marvin Gaye and the rappers?" He said the best black video he's seen was 'The Message' by Grandmaster Flash, which he described as "a tough, scary, brilliant piece of hip socio-political work." But it wasn't shown on MTV, only on a black cable station in Detroit. "That's not right," Seger told Timothy White. "I want to see everything on music television from country to MOR to rap music to ethnic." Timothy White, April 1983, Musician. "The Roads Not Taken."
In 1991 Seger reflected that in years' past, he and Punch had scoffed at the idea of making videos, figuring that other artists might have needed them to sell records, but that Seger didn't. Now "I've got to do videos for every song," he said. Gary Graff, August 4, 1991, Detroit Free Press. "The Creative Fire Returns"
Night Moves (SNL)
"Night Moves" was used as the soundtrack of a short film by Gary Weis shown on Saturday Night Live. It aired January 22, 1977, while the song was just gaining popularity. The segment was called "Night Moves" and included Garrett Morris -- it had to do with his girlfriend missing him. (The musical guest that night, coincidentally, was Chuck Berry.)
Was this really a video? Or just something MTV put together for their 1983 "Liner Notes" interview. There was live concert footage interspersed with auto production line footage. Snippets of it were shown on the Later With Bob Costas show in 1987.
Old Time Rock and Roll
A quicky done mostly with Risky Business clips.
Includes Leslie Ann Warren, Jim Wood, Scott Glenn, Morgan Brittany and Randy Quaid. According to Punch, MTV shied away from playing it much, because they thought it was about drugs...which it was, though its message (or at least the song's message) was anti-drugs. But who could tell?
Like a Rock
Shot in the Mojave Desert.
Seger: "It's done in black and white with a blue tint. There's no lip synch. It's like a little movie, but I wouldn't call what I do acting. It's more like reacting to the art direction of the set around you. You're just sort of there, like a prop. I stand and make facial gestures. It was still frightening to me, but it was a nice way to ease into it. For this album, I'm putting my trust in the directors, but, hopefully, by the next one, I'll have a better grip on how I want to utilize video as a tool. At this point, I'm still an infant. Hopefully, after awhile, you get better at it." Roy Trakin, 1987?, Creem.
Copyright 1998, Henry Diltz
The photo above is a still shot from the video, sent to me by Peter Blachley, who worked in the video division of Capitol at the time. The photo was taken by Henry Diltz. "We had the train, which we hired for the day, go forward, shoot and then back up and do it over again until we were happy," Blachley writes. It was shot at a railroad museum in Perris, California. For Diltz photos of other rock stars, check out http://www.powernet.net/~peterb.
A high energy video that makes good use of movie clips.
The Real Love
A video done by a Detroit studio, Moon Kochis. Reportedly, Seger wanted to get away from the typical Hollywood approach, so he and Punch chose this Farmington production company, which specializes in industrial and corporate videos.
The video tells a story that has little to do with the song. A buff stud from central casting is trying to get to his wedding and runs into all sorts of obstacles. He gets an ice cream cone in the nose; he has to put his tuxedo on at a gas station. Interspersed with this is black and white footage of Seger and the band on a sound set, pretending to play the song. As far as I know, the video was shown only on CMT (Country Music Television).
Seger: "I thought it would be nice to do one in Detroit. I'd rather do it in Detroit, but I didn't know if there was anyone here...We started having story conferences with Ben and Mark and it felt good, real comfortable." Janet Braunstein and Gary Graff, July 26, 1991, Detroit Free Press. "Rock & Roll 'Em: Video Shoot for New Bob Seger Single Wraps Up at Detroit Sound Stage."
The video was filmed on Cadieux Stage, Detroit's oldest sound stage. The Moon Kochis' crew also spent 4 1/2 days shooting in Colorado with Detroit-area actors. The church is in Livonia's Greenmead, a historical village.
In the band sequences, a string quartet called the Stolbergs backs up the Silver Bullet band, pretending to play the string part. Actually, "The Real Love" was recorded with LA studio musicians, but Seger wanted the Silver Bullet Band in the video. Although the Stolbergs were playing cellos and violins on-camera, the music they were pretending to play was actually from a synthesizer. "We're playing air strings," said Greg Stawick, a 31-year- old cellist who lives in Union Lake. Janet Braunstein and Gary Graff, July 26, 1991, Detroit Free Press. "Rock & Roll 'Em: Video Shoot for New Bob Seger Single Wraps Up at Detroit Sound Stage."
Possibly Seger's best video,along with Like A Rock. The video style perfectly matches the song. It features Seger at a keyboard in a New York City skyscraper, with the city visible though large slanted windows. Out-takes showing the making of the video were shown during Seger's segment on "In Concert '91" on ABC.
Night Moves (New)
Released for the Greatest Hits album. Shot by Wayne Isham, and set in a '60s-style drive-in theater. According to Punch, the video has an "American Graffiti" feel that Seger loved.
The video featured Johnny Galecki from "Rosanne"; Daphne Zuniga from "Melrose Place"; Matt LeBlanc of "Friends" and Natasha Gregson Wagner from "SFW" and other movies. There are also appearances by Jordan Ladd, Katrina Ford and John Knight. Bob Talbert, December 4, 1994, Detroit Free Press. "Sweet sounds: Seger, 'Christmas in Detroit.'"
Turn the Page
A great Seger video, showing Bob at the piano. Projected in behind him are quick cuts of map fragments and still shots of him and the band, plus film clips from earlier live performances. The clips don't always mesh well with the emotion of the song, but they're fascinating to see. The song itself is the Live Bullet version. Very professionally done. Released around the time of the Greatest Hits album.
And of course, there is the Metallica video of the same song, featuring ex-porn star Ginger Lynn.
We've Got Tonight
An odd video also released around the time of the Greatest Hits album. The footage is from three sources: seemingly random film clips drawn from The Fire Inside video (the black and white New York footage); random clips from The Real Love video (the soundstage footage) and some concert footage that appears to be from the 1986 American Storm tour. It's disconcerting to see the two earlier videos recycled, and the live footage isn't particularly exciting.
It's A Mystery
No videos were made from this album.
Seger: "We sent the whole album to MTV and said we'd do a video for any song they wanted," he says. "They said, 'Nah, we're not going to play any of it.' I knew it would be a tough sell. Even the classic-rock stations would rather play my old stuff. But I can't control it, so I don't worry about it." Reuters
With Martina McBride. Seger plays piano in the video, though not on the recording.
Ten For Two
In 1971, Seger played at the John Sinclear Freedom Rally, organized in protest of Sinclear's ten-year prison sentence for selling two joints. The show, which was headlined by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, also included Seger, Stevie Wonder, Phil Ochs, Commander Cody, Allan Ginsberg, Teegarden & Van Winkle and many others.
The rally was captured on film by filmmaker Steve Gebhardt in his documentary called Ten for Two. But disputes with Yoko Ono have kept it from ever being released. It is shown once a year or so in Ann Arbor at various benefits. Part of Seger's version of "Oh, Carol" is included in Ten for Two. It's a powerhouse performance every Seger fan would love.
Seger: "I remember being real excited, as all the performers were, to see John Lennon. We were going to play on a show with a Beatle! For me, personally, it happened to be my favorite Beatle." March 31, 1989, Detroit Free Press. "Seger's Thrill: Playing With a Beatle"
Gebhardt: "I can understand why Lennon didn't want to release the film back in 1972," says Gebhardt...[inadvertantly quoting a Seger song and album title]. "In '72, the federal government was trying to kick Lennon out of the country, his phone was being tapped, and he freaked. He didn't want to have to go out and promote this movie and take a political stand." Kevin Ransom, July 25, 1997, The Detroit News. "Lennon-Ono film of John Sinclair's battles will get charity showing."
Ransom's article continues: "But in the years since, says Gebhardt, Yoko Ono also has refused to release the film. 'I think it's a sensitive subject for her," he says, "because John (Sinclair) kept fighting the fight, while Yoko went on to become a rich artist. John and I are still members of the proletariat. Plus, my name is on the film, and Yoko doesn't want to share anything, ever...In the meantime, we have a print, and we think it's necessary to drag its carcass around, periodically, for people to see.'" Kevin Ransom, July 25, 1997, The Detroit News. "Lennon-Ono film of John Sinclair's battles will get charity showing."
The Cobo Hall Tapes
In the early 1990s, Seger and Punch were pursuing the possibility of issuing a video of Seger's Cobo Hall show from 1983. The show had been filmed...but for years no one knew where the film was. Punch told me he had spent 11 years trying to find it, and he had finally located 33 cans of film, (out of the 110 cans shot) which were being shipped to him from England. At the time, Punch said it might take six months to a year to edit. I've never heard another word about the project.
The Palace Tapes
Currently, Andrews is reportedly preparing a Seger video from Seger's 1996 shows at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit and other cities.
As of mid-March '98, Seger and Punch were still sifting through old and not-so-old videos. Someone who works with Seger says that they are looking through tapes "from the past 25 years and have found some incredible performances." This source also reports that 28 shows were taped during the 96 tour -- which is certainly a lot to sift through. (Thanks to Varrd on aol for passing this info along.)
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