The Seger File
An unofficial web site about the music of Bob Seger
Last updated April 1, 2013
Written and edited by Scott Sparling
See the latest News & Updates.
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Also by Scott Sparling
of the Segerfile

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.

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
Full Contents
Search the Seger File
The 2011 Tour Page
The Albums
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
Brand New Morning
Smokin' O.P.'s
Back in '72
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
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
Night Moves (SNL)
Making Thunderbirds
Old Time Rock and Roll
American Storm
Like a Rock
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 1Photos 2
Photos 3Photos 4
Hall of Fame Photos
Settle Annex
A collection of great Seger photos
Dylan's "Denver"
Influences/Other Bands
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
More Dues-Paying Years
"Well crafted and thrilling..."
- Publishers Weekly 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.
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"
Breaking Out
What Is Success?
Early Bands
The Decibels
The Town Criers
The Omens
Democracy Rocks
Later Bands
Bob Seger and the Last Heard
The Bob Seger System
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
Interests and Hobbies
Predicting the Future, Then and Now
Bio, Part 2
On Growing Older
The Seger Work Ethic
You Can't Miss That Driving Rain
Friends and Family
Let's Dig Up Something Really Nasty
I'm Gonna Tell My Tale, C'mon
Of Caves and Barbed Wire
Early Tours and Shows
The Oakland Mall
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
San Francisco
New York
Los Angeles
Vancouver (Canada)
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
Palace of Auburn Hills
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
--The Toledo Jam
--About Pep Perrine
--About Jim Bruzzese
--Early days
--Early songs
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
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.)

The Seger File -- Introduction

He was born in Detroit.

At night, he stayed up late listening to a faraway radio station. On a transistor radio and an earplug, he heard James Brown, Garnett Mimms, Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and others.

He liked James Brown more than the Beatles. His favorite album was James Brown Live at the Apollo, Volume 1.

He was a good student in high school and could run a 5:05 mile -- until he discovered rock and roll.

He began staying out all night with his friends, cars circled in a farmer's field, listening to music on the car radios.

He formed a band. The applause at the Junior Prom changed his life.

In 11th grade he was playing bars three nights a week.

The first song he wrote was titled, "The Lonely One."

In 2006 he played for nearly a million fans across the country.

Dan Honaker, Pep Perine, Bob Seger play the Mt. Holly Ski Lodge north of Pontiac, Michigan.

For ten years, he was a regional phenomenon.

By 1968, he had five Top Ten singles in the Detroit market. He was unheard of outside Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and a few other Midwest markets -- but in Detroit, his records outsold the Beatles.

He was on the verge of breaking the national charts in 1967 when the record company promoting his single went bankrupt.

The first major label to offer him a contract was Motown.

He broke the Top Forty with a single in 1968, then survived seven years without a successful record.

His work ethic became a local legend. He played 260 dates in 1975.

In the early '70s, he and his band drove 25 hours to Florida, played three straight nights, and then drove 25 hours back, because they couldn't afford motel rooms. He considered himself more a driver than a singer at the time.

His mother taught him never to go into debt.

In June 1976, he played in front 50 people in a Chicago bar. Three days later, he played in front of 76,000 devoted fans in the Pontiac Silverdome outside Detroit.

Bob Seger at the Primo Showbar, Ann Arbor, Michigan, December 1973
Photo by Scott Sparling

For those of us under his spell, he posed the two greatest questions in rock 'n' roll: Doncha ever listen to the radio? and Do ya do ya wanna rock?

He wrote the first anti-war rock song of the Vietnam era.

He wrote about Lucy Blue, Chicago Green, Already Eddie and other characters long before Springsteen created Crazy Janey and her mission man.

His songs, he thinks, reflect a certain morality... "what happens when you do it wrong and when you do it right."

The characters in many of his songs don't find the satisfaction or fulfillment that they thought their dreams would hold. They end up "stuck in heaven," listening to the sound of something far away -- a bird on the wing, the sound of thunder. They think back on the promise of younger years, surprised at the passage of time. Only occasionally do they find renewal. More often, they try to make some moment last; they watch it slipping past. The light fades from the screen. They wake up alone. Next time, perhaps, they'll get it right.

Somehow, at the same time, his music manages to be incredibly life-affirming, celebratory and uplifting.

He was born lonely down by the riverside.

He went cruising on his gray snake till his dying day.

He even sang the parts the instruments were playing.

He knows the devil is red, but his money is green.

His '60 Cadillac went cruising through Nebraska, whining.

He woke one night to the sound of thunder.

He wishes he didn't know now what he didn't know then.

They used to call him reckless, they used to call him fast.

After twenty years, he saw himself again.

He's recorded 16 studio albums and two live albums spanning nearly 40 years.

He was greatly influenced by early advice from Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon, who said, "Do your best, 'cause it's only gonna last two or three years."

He's a perfectionist who spends months in the studio fixing problems no one else can hear. He's a Taurus and "you can't move him with a crane." Or, he lets people walk all over him.

He's had one Number 1 single and one Number 1 album.

He admires Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Joni Mitchell.

He believes his rock and roll savagery was tempered for many years by the need to produce mainstream records.

He has sold nearly 50 million albums.

One of his most heartfelt songs became the basis of one of the most successful ad campaigns in recent history.

He has "a voice that inspires trust."

He "exudes the brawny vocal friendliness of an American Everyman, but with a deep and special connection to soul music."

He "has all the requisites of greatness: the voice, the songwriting, the performance onstage, the vision and the ambition."

He recorded ten consecutive million-selling albums between 1975 and 1995.

He's been called the nicest rock star. Sometimes he feels like knocking you down, but he could never pull that scene.

In live performances, he displays "an embracing friendliness that transcends the normal barriers between rock performer and audience."

He played in front of 923,829 fans in 1996, making him the fourth most popular touring act of the year.

He's a father.

His kids, he says, "are the best thing that ever happened to me."

His father left when he was ten.

In "Golden Boy," he sings, "I'll be there for you."

He still lives in Michigan.


Always in our hearts, now Seger's in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Doncha ever feel like going insane? It's official. Seger's in.
It's for the 250 gigs a year across the midwest. It's for ten straight (soon to be eleven straight) platinum and multiplatinum albums, 19 Top-40 singles, nearly a million ticket sales during the '96 tour and nearly 50 million albums sold worldwide.

It's for seven years without a hit but without a hint of giving up.

But it's also for that one song that got you through the worst night of your life, or the concert where you just couldn't stop smiling, or the one lyric you are never going to forget. It's for the person you met at the Seger concert, it's for the famous Seger smile and the lonesome highway east of Omaha. It's for the pure raucous joy of it because when Seger is playing the answer to do you do you wanna rock is yes. It's for the music. And, yeah, it's about time.


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Also by the author of the Segerfile

Cobo Hall ticket stubb photo courtesy of Jim Cummer