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The Seger File
An unofficial web site about the music of Bob Seger
Written and edited by Scott Sparling
Archived Updates from October - December 2006. For the most recent updates, click here.
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Latest News and 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
Nine Years Online
The Seger File's Birthday Party
Unreleased Tracks
Vault V
10 more unreleased tracks
Vault 4
16 more unreleased tracks
Forward Into the Vault --
26 more unreleased tracks
Return to the Vault -- 18 More Unreleased Tracks
The Vault --31 Unreleased Tracks
Recorded but Unreleased --Unreleased Seger from A-Z
Photos 1Photos 2
Photos 3Photos 4
Hall of Fame Photos
Settle Annex
A collection of great Seger photos
Dylan's "Denver"
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
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
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
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

Bob Seger and James Brown

James Brown, who died Christmas day, was the Godfather of Soul and one of the biggest early influences on Seger. Here's a sampling of Seger comments about James Brown from over the years.

"Among me and my friends, the absolute favorite record was James Brown Live at the Apollo, Vol. 1. It was like, if you didn't own that album, don't show up." Chris Cioe, Musician Magazine. "Bob Seger: Hymns from the heartland."

Cioe remembers Seger watching Seger perform in 1966 in Ann Arbor, on the front lawn of the Chi Phi house on Washtenaw Avenue. Seger was playing keyboard bass with this left hand. "The first song I remember hearing him sing was James Brown's 'I Feel Good,' his voice already a riveting mixture of Wilson Pickett, Van Morrison and something all his own."


Seger:"James Brown was probably my biggest influence, as far as the show was concerned. I saw him 3 or 4 times while I was in high school...Dionne Warwick was with the James Brown Revue, before she was on the Specter label, she was doing R&B back then, and we used to see all those acts [Warwick, Otis Redding, Garnett Mimms and Soloman Burke]. Then, of course, James would come out with the cape and the Famous Flames and the fabulous dance steps.

"I don't know if it was because of James Brown and Little Richard, I always preferred a high energy vocal, a hard full-force vocal. I liked Little Richard better than Elvis, and I liked James Brown better than the Beatles...but the Miracles were a heavy influence on me, too...[though] I always preferred the more energized vocals." Late-1981 radio interview.

There are James Brown influences throughout Seger's music, from "Sock it To Me Santa" to "Simplicity." It makes me wonder if Seger and Brown ever met. It also makes me wonder if Seger might send a song out to the Godfather of Soul on Thursday night.

December 25, 2006

Bob Seger and Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford, who died today, was the 38th president and also an important influence on Seger's early career. Ford's given name at birth was Leslie King, but his mother changed it to Gerald Ford to conceal his identity. Seger briefly worked at the Ford Motor Company. Ford was born in Omaha, which is mentioned prominently in Turn the Page; he later moved to Grand Rapids, where Seger began his recent tour. Ford pardoned Nixon; Seger once said "Pardon me" to a stagehand. The similarities are endless. It makes me wonder if the two ever met. It also makes me wonder if April Fool's Day has come early.

December 26, 2006

Dylan Socks it to Santa

The December 20 episode of Bob Dylan's "Theme Time Radio Hour" on XM Radio featured Dylan reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas." And if that's not enough to get you in a holiday mood, how about a little Seger in playlist?

"This holiday episode of "Theme Time Radio Hour" will be devoted to the theme of "Christmas and New Year's," with a song list that spans the decades, including "Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas" by The Staples Singers, "Sock It To Me Santa" by Bob Seger, "Jingle Bells" by Johnny Paycheck and "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" by Nancy Wilson, among many others." December 14, 2006, Digital Pipeline.

I'd love to know how he introduced the song, wouldn't you? The two-hour holiday will encore at various times on Deep Tracks, XM 40, through the end of the month, so if you've got XM, give a listen. Thanks to the ever-vigilant Bill Cook for the tip.

December 25, 2006

Oklahoma Disappears...Again.

It was on the schedule. It was off the schedule. It was on the schedule. And now...The Ford Center has posted this update:

"Due to routing issues Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band will not be appearing on February 06, 2007 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City...Management for Bob Seger and Live Nation are continuing to work with the Ford Center on a date that will work on Bob Seger's 2007 tour."

Thanks to Jason Brown for the tip.

December 19, 2006

Quick Times in Cleveland

The Cleveland show was everything you could want. I'll have my review posted soon. Meanwhile, check out these Cleveland photos from Lynne.

Click image for more Cleveland photos.

And thanks to Brenda Harrison for this photo of Seger and Patty Loveless in Atlanta.

December 19, 2006

Face the Promise Goes Platinum

That didn't take long. Face The Promise tour has already gone platinum, according to the PR Newswire. Thanks to Mike from GR for the tip.

While we're doing the numbers, a total 293,711 Seger fans have attended the first 21 shows.

December 18, 2006

Leavin' for Cleveland

Usually when Ears Two and I get together, it's to listen to some rare Seger in the Vault. This time it's for something even better: to hear some Seger live and in person in a great rock and roll city.

Meanwhile, here's a great picture of Seger you won't find on the Detroit News site, or at WCSX, the Free Press or any other site. It's from photographer Tim Jenkins. Enjoy.

December 14, 2006

Seger: Rock and Roll til March, Then Reassess

From the WCSX website:

Bob Seger plans to stay on the road until March 15th -- and after that things are up in the air.

Seger tells the insider that Silver Bullet Band drummer Don Brewer has to go back to Grand Funk Railroad after that date, which puts a relatively firm closing date on this portion of the "Face the Promise" tour.

But Seger notes that the tour "has been so successful (that) a lot of promoters are screaming for summer (shows) for sheds. And if I want to do a summer thing I'd have to do it with a different drummer; we might not be able to get Don, and I don't know if I'd want to do it without Don 'cause he's such a great wall to lean on. So we'll see. At this point I'm gonna go to March 15th...And I don't know how I'm gonna feel on March 15th, either. That's a long way off."

Seger has started to roll out 2007 dates and says the last one booked at the moment is March 3rd in Las Vegas. After that, he notes, "there's so many different ways we can go...and we've missed some places." But might one of those directions bring him back to Detroit area for some more shows in the early spring? "I don't know," he says. "I just don't know. I'm not looking past Vegas right now. We just don't know what we're gonna do."

Thanks to Mike from GR for the tip.

December 12, 2006

Seger Celebrates the Seger File's 9th Year
with Portland Concert

Nine years is a lifetime on the Internet. But next February will mark nine years since the Seger File was launched. (This site was born in February 1998. Six months later, an unknown search engine site called Google came online. Despite their best efforts, they have been unable to match this site for sheer depth of info about Seger. Unless you enter the term "Seger" in their clunky search box. And then you end up here anyway.)

For most of its existence, the Seger File was blessed by a near-total lack of Seger news. I came online just as Seger was going off the grid, so to speak. So in order to have anything to post, I was forced to input info from a huge collection of pre-internet Seger news and magazine stories. That background still forms the basis of the Seger File.

I was also forced to rely on personal opinions, humor, anecdotes, sarcasm and, every April Fools Day, outright, the Seger File the personality it has today.

Of course, another blessing was the fact that Seger had no official web site or fan club, so I had the field to myself (at least until the equally fabulous and came along).

And so, just as the Seger File celebrates its 9th year, Seger is coming to town. Coincidence? You be the judge. He'll be in Portland, Oregon at the Rose Garden on February 17.

(FYI, tickets for the Portland show are not being handled by Ticketmaster. You can get them through the Rose Garden's ticket site or supposedly through -- which may lead you to the same site. Don't know for sure, because Comcasttix crashed my laptop. Or call (877) 789-ROSE.)

Seattle's on the schedule too. February 22. No doubt we'll learn of some shows in between soon.

Meanwhile, if you see Bob, remind him to say "Happy Birthday, Seger File!" when he plays Portland. It's the best present the site could get!

December 10, 2006

Loveless Newbie

That's the title I've earned over at, where the message boards are lighting up over the Patty Loveless / Seger duet in Atlanta. Here's how a poster named Tammie described it:

"Bob introduced her something like this: "Well, we have a special guest here tonight, she's going to join me on stage in a few moments. I'm a HUGE fan of this lady, she's my favorite country singer - she's from right here in Georgia. I was lucky enough to have her sing a duet with me on my latest album - she's going to join me on stage here tonight - this is going to be my favorite night of the entire tour, I'm certain. That's all I'm going to say...ladies and gentlemen...Ms. Patty Loveless!"

She walked on stage and there was applause - I would have to say mostly polite applause. I'm sure some people there had no clue who she was...although one lady near me shouted "It's Patty Loveless!" Which I thought was cool.

So, she comes across to hug Bob's neck and they start the odd thing - he was center stage with some band members - sitting on stools together...Patty was standing, which was an odd duet...with her standing and him sitting...but whatever! Who cares...right?

So, he sang the first verse and then she comes in for her part with "The heart's a lonely hunter it never quite feels safe..."

Once she sang, "The heart's a lonely hunter..." the crowd went WILD! She literally brought down the was deafening! So loud, it actually drowned out her vocals for the next few seconds...thankfully, the sound guy was on top of things and turned her microphone up part way through her performance...which made it even better.

It was impressive - there were LOTS of folks there - I think she was VERY smart to accept his invitation to join him on stage - perhaps she can win some new fans over. Besides - how often do you go to a concert and sit through the entire thing HOPING that a duet partner shows up to perform...that's ALWAYS an added bonus and when it's Patty's even better.

Also, earlier in the show when Bob Seger sang "Old Time Rock and Roll" he sent it out to Emory....which was cool!

Overall, it was a wonderful concert...the man can still rock! He sounded great and did a couple of things that I really LOVED and appreciated (besides bringing PL on stage)....he introduced each and ever band member and had NO fancy light shows, no big screens, nothing to "distract" the listener - no need to "mask" for non-talent...the guy was awesome...just him and the band on stage....oh and one very talented guest vocalist!"

Thanks, Tammie. Hopefully we'll get some pictures to share soon.

December 10, 2006

The Answer's In the Question

After all the interviews Seger has done recently, some writers are still uncovering new and interesting information...simply by asking interesting questions.

The Tennessean is the latest to explore some new territory. The recent interview by Peter Cooper talks about Seger's motorcycle habits (he has motorcycle boots with 22,000 miles on them; he always wears a helmet) and reveals an unused line from "Answer's In the Question," (Loveless and her producer/husband Emory Gordy, Jr. liked the released version better). You can read the whole interview here.

Speaking of which -- in Atlanta a few nights ago, Seger introduced "Old Time Rock & Roll" by calling out "This one's for you, Emory."

Fevered Dreams, Part 2: If I were a rock star, instead of someone who hammers words together for a living, I would never schedule tours during flu season. Because I always seem to get it. This is the second time in two months that the Seger File has been "down" for a week. So if I missed responding to your email in the past week, my apologies.

December 9, 2006

Seger is Number 3 Ticket-seller Last Week


Eric Clapton
High School Musical
Bob Seger
Rod Stewart
George Strait
Josh Groban
Trans Siberian Orch
The Cheetah Girls
Billy Joel

December 7, 2006

Orlando and Worcester and D.C and Denver and Philly and Charleston, SC...

They're coming in droves now. The North Charleston Coliseum has announced a Seger concert on January 9. The Pepsi Center in Denver has Seger appearing on February 14. WMGK, the Philadelphia classic rock station, lists Seger at the Wachovia Spectrum on January 18.

According to Pollstar, Seger has added Orlando, Florida to the schedule on 1/6/07.

According to LiveNation, he's added Worcester, MA. He'll be there January 30.

According to Ticketmaster, he's added D.C. on February 1.

I've added them all to my master schedule, here. That makes 18 "second leg" dates so far. Thanks for the tips to Jason Brown, Craig from Allentown, Mike from GR, Mike (not from GR) and Johnny Mosteller.

December 2, 2006

Loveless in Atlanta

Patty Loveless, that is. Rumor is she'll join Bob on stage in Atlanta. Remember you heard it hear first. Unless you were at the Chicago show last night, in which case you heard it straight from Bob.

December 2, 2006

I'm Right, Chicago's Wrong

Growing up in Michigan, I never liked Chicago much. Maybe you grew up in Chicago and never liked Michigan much. Fair enough. But Chicago has always seemed to me like a good place to change planes, or if you happen to be driving, a place to get caught in traffic and miss your plane. I was once questioned by federal drug agents in Chicago simply because I happened to park in the middle of their stakeout. If they'd had a little sign reading "Federal Drug Stakeout in Progress - No Parking," I wouldn't have taken their precious parking spot, of course....

But that's all in the past. What ticks me off about Chicago these days is the attitude of their music critics. Specifically, their attitude toward Seger.

I posted three reviews from three different Chicago papers -- and to be honest, they're all pretty good. Not that bad at all. But little things stick in my craw. (Okay, so I have an extremely tiny craw; it's easy to get stuck in there.)

For example, the Chicago Daily Herald called Seger "an arena rocker."

Yes, Seger can rock an arena. But if that's all you think he is, you shouldn't be writing reviews about him. The same review claims Seger "represents solid, no-frills, reliable rock and soul" -- a cliche that gets repeated by every critic without a clue...a journeyman, a meat and potatoes rocker, Springsteen without the vision, etc., etc. Clearly these people have never really listened to any of Seger's albums.

The Chicago Sun-Times rolled out the cliches early, going for "Midwestern meat-and-potatoes arena anthems" at the top of the second paragraph. "Yeah, ol' Bob can be cheesy at times," the reviewer wrote. "He crossed the line from earnest to Hallmark card-banal while introducing the new 'No Matter Who You Are.'"

Oh really? Was there a collective groan from the 18,000 fans at the Allstate Arena. Or was it just the elevated sensibilities of the critic that were offended? Look, a guy comes to your town, maybe you only know him from his radio hits. He captivates and thrills 18,000 fans. Your job as a reviewer is to find out why.

Instead you come up with "Unlike the Boss, Bob isn't aspiring to craft Important Art." Yep, he's just up there banging out three-chord rock, rhyming moon with June. Nothing worth thinking about in Seger's lyrics. Okey-dokey. Hey, Mr. Critic. You need a parking spot? I've got a really good one you could use.

The review in the Chicago Tribune is perfectly fine, actually. I wouldn't mention it if the other two hadn't already got me on a rant. The one line that bugged me is this: "The set list occasionally lagged when he leaned too heavily on songs from 'Face the Promise.'"

That seems like the ultimate Catch-22. When he plays the radio hits from the '70s, call him an arena rocker. When he plays the new stuff, say the set list lags. What do you want him to do -- just stand there? (And not have to dance?)*

The thing is, these were all positive reviews overall, so perhaps I should stop complaining. At least they spelled his name right. Except they didn't. Check it out. See -- that's why I've never liked Chicago.

The Allstate Arena web site: Someone named Seeger is rocking the house.

*Insider joke known only to people who have actually listened to the new album. Sorry critics.

For a totally different perspective on Chicago, read this fan review.

December 2, 2006

...And When You Come to Oregon, Try the Granola

The Kansas City Star has posted the rest of its interview with Seger on their blog site. It includes insights on what Seger likes to eat in Kansas City.

Some excerpts:

What has changed the most in the record industry over past 10 years?

I think the biggest change has been the relentless promotion. I see someone like Gretchen Wilson doing promotion literally day and night for a year and a half ... because that's what they want you to do.

I can't do all that stuff; I have to save my voice. But if you're willing to do it, they'll promote you day and night. It didn't use to be that way; you didn't have to worry so much about that stuff. But I'm listening to the company. I've been on TV ...

How gratifying is it to tour again?

I don't think I realized how much fun it was until we hit the road again -- working with the band, being on stage.

I love Kansas City and Kemper Arena. Whenever we're in town we'd say, "OK, we're in Kansas City; we got to get a steak."

Read the entire interview on the Seger Live section of the Seger File.

November 30, 2006

Hollywood, Florida (But No Cleveland Sequel)

The latest official tour date to sneak on the calendar is January 11 at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida. Thanks to Miama Frank for the tip, who says it's a great venue with only 5,500 seats.

The rumor of a second Cleveland show now seems false. On Wednesday, radio station Y-103 in Cleveland had a January 5th show posted on their web site, but by Thursday it was gone.

The rumor about a concert in Columbus, Ohio in March is still on the table. Given the Cleveland experience, I'm taking it with an even larger grain of salt. And some ground pepper.

Also, while I was snooping around various Classic Rock sites trying to uncover more hidden tour dates, it hit me that one of the songs Seger says he doesn't want to play anymore is the very song that sexagenarian Rod Stewart is singing in many of these same arenas and the title track of Stewart's latest offering: Still the Same. "The 'Baby, baby, you're still the same' doesn't lay with me anymore," Seger said in a story by Jon Bream of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In other words, Rod, it no longer meets Seger-Standards, so you can have it.

Finally, you have a temporary pass to leave the Seger File and check out these great Milwaukee photos at concertlivewire. I'll expect you back in five minutes, so don't dawdle. Thanks to Mike from GR for the tip.

November 28, 2006

Updated Schedule; Azar and Church are openers

To keep the info all in one place, here's the full schedule:

Grand Rapids, MI


Saginaw, MI


Grand Rapids, MI


Charleston, WV


Milwaukee, WI




Knoxville, TN


Cincinnati, OH


Mpls/St. Paul, MN


Chicago, IL


Kansas City, MO


St. Louis, MO


Atlanta, GA


Nashville, TN


Louisville, KY


Pittsburgh, PA


Cleveland, OH










Orlando, FL


North Charleston, SC


Hollywood, FL




Charlotte, NC




Uncasville, CT




New York City




Worcester, MA


Washington, D.C.






Little Rock














Los Angeles


Las Vegas




Lexington, KY


Columbus, OH




Detroit (Cobo Hall)


Detroit (Cobo Hall)


Steve Azar is opening the shows through Knoxville. Then Eric Church opens for the next ten shows. Then Azar returns.

Azar and Church. Or maybe it's the other way around.


Ever since hearing "No More," I've wondered why Seger didn't incorporate some kind of a link, or at least a sly nod, back to "2 + 2 =?" Now I realize it's been right there in front of me all along. Look at where Seger has placed the word "understand" in these two stanzas.

From "2 + 2"
"Now he's buried in the mud
Of a foreign jungle land
And his girl just sits and cries
She just doesn't understand."
From "No More"
"It was 40 years ago and I was young
And the jungle not the desert heard the guns
Someone said they had a secret plan
And the rest of us were told to understand."

There's the connection right there -- one song acknowledging another. Maybe it wasn't even intentional and the lyrics are doing it all on their own. Either way, he followed his creative consciousness down a path and both times -- 40 years apart -- it landed right on that word. That can't be coincidence.

The other thing worth noting is that Seger came out with a song that said "I have had enough, no more," in September. In November, the country went to the polls and said basically the same thing. Memo to the White House: When you've lost Seger, you've lost the country.

November 30, 2006

Seger is Number 1 on Pollstar

A preview of the Chicago show published Sunday contains this tidbit: "Pollstar, a trade publication that covers the concert industry, has a chart with a "power index,'' which tracks the number of fan requests for an act's tour itinerary. For the week ending Nov. 17, Seger was No. 1 on the Pollstar Top 50.

So if you come to the Seger File for the latest tour news, maybe you should go to Pollstar too. Just to keep Seger's numbers up.

Some other excerpts:

..."I never thought I'd be out here again,'' Seger, 61, said during a phone call from his home in the Detroit suburbs.

...The track "No More'' makes a comparison between the war in Vietnam and the war in Iraq.

..."I came up with the chorus first: 'I've had enough, no more,''' Seger recalled. "I fit the chords and it was angry like a rock song, but I didn't know what I was talking about. It took me about two minutes to figure out, 'Oh, I know what I'm mad about.' These guys should be coming home. I was pretty proud of [Rep.] Jack Murtha, an ex-Marine who's been in combat, for standing up last year and saying, 'Bring them home.' That's basically my position. I think the next president is going to be picked by the best withdrawal strategy.''

...according to Pollstar's database, Seger played 64 shows in 1996, selling 922,484 tickets, with gross ticket sales of $26.3 million.

Read the entire article on the Seger Live page of the Seger File.

November 27, 2006

Seger: "We're doing close to 50 gigs."

That line definitely jumped out at me from the latest profile/preview piece on Seger. This one is by Jon Bream in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

My chart of all announced tour dates lists 32 gigs -- which means there are about 20 more shows we don't know about yet. Presumably three or four of those gigs will be at the Joe Louis in Detroit. So, by that logic, there's roughly 15 yet-to-be-announced shows around the country.

Bream also reveals that Seger has been flying home after the shows. (Though I wonder if he'll continue that practice when he plays the west coast.)

Some excerpts:

"My voice sounds like crap now," Bob Seger proclaimed.

It was the morning after the fourth concert of his first tour in 10 years. He'd just woken up. On stage, however, his voice is "holding up really good," he said. "It's actually getting stronger every night, believe it or not."

...After the long hiatus, Seger has developed a new routine for gig days: Wake up at 8:30, take care of business, maybe nap, see the kids after school, fly to the gig on a private plane, do sound-check, eat dinner, nap again, loosen up, drink his tea, perform, fly home, fall asleep by 3 a.m. or so.

"I just don't do well in hotels," he said from his home in suburban Detroit. "West Virginia last night was like 55 minutes home. The big thing is making sure I get enough sleep."

...He initially planned only 21 concerts over two months but now the tour has been extended into next year. "It's a little daunting, knowing that we're doing close to 50 gigs," he said. "I'm trying to get into that mindset."

Will this be his last tour?

"I don't think like that," said the silver-haired rocker, who did his first tour in 1966. "I never say never. And I go day to day. Right now, I'll be done the middle of March, and I'll rest for a month and see if I want to do it again."

...Seger is getting two thumbs up from his kids, who have seen two shows. "They're really digging it," he said, and he hopes to take them on the road every weekend.

The interview comes with a short sidebar about three songs Seger doesn't want to play anymore. You can real the whole piece, "Bob Seger's working on his night moves," by Jon Bream in the SegerLive section of the Seger File.

November 24, 2006

The (Non-smoking) T-Shirt

Opening night in Grand Rapids, I hit the merch stand pretty hard. Two t-shirts and a coffee cup. The shirts, like the album, coasters, posters and everything else, all feature photos by Cybelle Codish

But look closely at the photo and you'll notice that Seger is not smoking on the shirt -- they photoshopped his cigarette out. I guess it's a non-smoking shirt.

He rides on his Harley from morning to late afternoon:
The official t-shirt and the original photo by Cybelle Codish.

 November 27, 2006

It takes all kinds...

For the third year in a row, a volunteer named Dan O'Brien of Rochester Hills wore the papier-mache Seger head in the Detroit Thanksgiving parade. "I wanted to be Tom Selleck," O'Brien told the Detroit Free Press, "but that was taken."

November 24, 2006

Memphis in the Meantime

Another day, another tour date added. This time it's Memphis, on February 3. Other recent additions: Uncasville, CT on January 20 and Toronto on January 23 at the ACC. Thanks to Craig from Allentown for the Memphis tip. See the full schedule here.

November 22, 2006

Seger on the Stands

The newsstands, that is. The current issue of Performing Songwriter features a one-page interview with Seger. There is an online version of the issue, but it doesn't include Seger.

November 22, 2006

Commas for the Needy

With the holiday season beginning, it's time for the Segerfile's annual Punctuation Drive and Capital Campaign for those in need of commas, periods, capital letters and other fundamentals.

After all, winter's here, and no one should have to wander around the Internet without proper punctuation. If we can put a man on the moon, and then forget all about it, we ought to be able to give everyone online a decent supply of capitals.

But just yesterday I received an email that reminded me how fortunate I am, compared to some. A fan named Charles wrote:

you said "So it's really Capitol's way of thanking me for letting five pounds of Face the Promise postcards sit on my kitchen counter, still in the shrink wrap. Not that I wasn't planning to distribute them all."

thought you were a fan how come you didn't drop them off at record stores.  charles 

At first, I was touched by how he saved his precious few capital letters for "Face the Promise" and "Capitol." But then I noticed that that part of the email was inside quotation marks, and that he merely copied and pasted that section directly from my original post. The sad truth is, in the part of the email Charles wrote, there's barely a single punctuation mark or capital letter.

So I immediately sent him some from my personal supply. In fact, I sent him quite a few !!!'s, along with a variety pack consisting of !!#?*!# and a few choice capitals. i even sent him the ones i was going to use in this post the next day i got a very warm reply one might even say flaming

november 23 2006

Seger on YouTube

The last time Seger toured, in 1996, there was no YouTube, no Google, no eBay and (gasp!) no Seger File. Now, thanks to the modern cell phone with video features, you can find incredibly low-rez, low-fidelity video clips of his recent shows that sound as if you're right in the same room with him, as long as the room is actually a giant tin can being kicked down a hill. Still, it's kind of fun to check them out.

In fact, this video of Turn the Page from Grand Rapids is quite good, one of the best. To check the others, hit YouTube, search for Seger and go nuts.

For some great photos of Seger in Saginaw, check out this flickr page.

Speaking of nuts, Seger's concert in Milwaukee is already for sale as a DVD on eBay. It appears to be a fully authorized, professionally filmed...uh, no, wait. On closer inspection, it looks like someone's home video. The seller has a stunningly low feedback total of 5. Buyer beware.

November 17, 2006

No Static At All

Seger was the guest DJ on an XM Radio show called "Offstage" this week. The program's format allows artists to play their favorite music from their own collection.

According to the Free Press, Seger played:

Mark Broussard's "Home," the Eurythmics' "Peace (Is Just a Word)" Buddy Miller's "Worry Too Much" and "There's A Higher Power," the Del McCoury Band's "My Love Will Not Change," Kevin Welch's "The Restless Kind;" and "Me And Billy The Kid," Kris Kristofferson's "This Old Road," Seger's own "Simplicity" and "Face the Promise" and Leonard Cohen's " Waiting for A Miracle" and "Democracy." John Smyntek, Detroit Free Press, November 13, 2006. "Seger picks eclectic tunes for XM show."

The show repeats Saturday, 11/18 at 9 am EST on Deep Tracks - XM 40...and on 11/19 at 11 am EST on X Country - XM 12. If you're not an XM subscriber, sign up for the free trial to listen online.

November 17, 2006

Another Ride on the Northern Express

During the excitement of Seger's opening shows, I posted some brief exerpts from the Seger interview in the Northern Express (a weekly paper in northern Michigan). It's worth a longer look. And, while I'm doing the news roundup, there's also a new piece in Knox News.

Excerpts from Rick Coates' interview with Seger in the Northern Express:

...I have 700 songs in the 'vault' with 300 recorded. One of these days I am going to have to take the time and play all these tapes and hope they don't fall apart. I have had this vision of creating an album called 'Everything' and release 60 songs at once. I have this great song, "Stranger In Town," that wasn't on the album of the same name. There are outtakes from "Live Bullet" that people haven't heard. I have old Albert King songs I have recorded. These are all things that I want people to hear some day. It just seems that I am always working on the next project and I love to song write, so this project goes to the back burner and all this stuff stays in the vault. But maybe someday I will get to it.

... This will probably surprise a lot of people but I think I am a lot like Pete Townshend of The Who. He won't put an album out unless it feels good to him. Look, I took only 11 years; he waited 26 years...

...Dylan use to come to our shows on occasion. Once we were playing Toronto and he came out to the show after just touring Australia. The first thing Dylan said to me was, "We played 'Fire Down Below' in Australia and they loved it." It blew me away to think that with all of his great songs, he was playing one of mine.

...I was on Alice Cooper's radio program recently and Coop said 'Okay your plane is going down and you can listen to one last song -- what would it be?' I said "Home" by Mark Broussard; it's a screaming country Cajun blues thing. He sings it so well. He is my choice as best male vocalist of the year...

...We released "Wait For Me" in August but a guy at Capitol told me it might not be a hit until Christmas...So you wait patiently and hope that something busts out. I look at Rock's album "Cocky" for inspiration, and for eight months it did okay and then "Picture" came out and the album sold four million copies. So that is my private little hope -- that someone will grab onto one little cut and will play it a lot, and the album will catch on.

...Songs such as "Simplicity" and "Between" that are not getting airplay, and I love them. The songs "Face the Promise" and "Are You" are other personal favorites. I think you're right -- if this album would have been released in 1980, I would have 1,500 stations around the country playing these songs. ...

Read the entire interview, "Bob Seger faces a promise of a reborn career," by Rick Coates in the Northern Express archives.

Excerpts from the Knox News:

Seger had, in fact, been writing the songs that ended up on "Face the Promise" since 1997, but, as recording technology improved, he wanted to take advantage of it. He kept rerecording and writing.

"Finally, the writing got so good, in my opinion, I had these songs, and I wanted people to hear them," he says about finally completing the project.

Seger says that his return to the spotlight is going well.

"So far, everything has been a dream," he says. "I never thought I'd be here again. Now I'm just trying to remember the lyrics. The neurons don't fire the same way they once did! Today, I'm going to Charleston, W.Va., and I'll get there early and practice my lyrics."

One incorrect rumor, though, has kept cropping up for more than 30 years.

"In St. Louis in the 1970s, someone wrote that I had throat cancer," says Seger. "Now in every bunch of interviews I do, some guy will say, 'Well, Bob, I heard you overcame throat cancer in the '70s.' Nope! That's just the way I sing, pal!"

Read "Bob Seger: Still the Same," by Wayne Bledsoe in the Knox News.

November 17, 2006

Don't Be A Rock Star?

Blue Cross Blue Shield might want to ask their ad agency for their money back. Their recent web banner campaign ran right above a Free Press article about Seger. What's wrong with that? Look at the ad's headline.

Hey, I thought we all wanted to be Bob. Turns out their campaign is built around a guy named Bob who keeps injuring himself.

November 17, 2006

The Horrors of the Modern Day Rock Concert

From the letter's column of the Charleston Gazette:

"Who has responsibility for the tremendous amount of alcohol consumed at Civic Center events? I recently attended the Bob Seger concert and was horrified at the amount of alcohol sold, as well as the amount of flasks passed during this concert."

Really? Funny, because I recently attended the Bob Seger concert in Grand Rapids and was horrified by the guys who carry their 24-once cup of beer into the men's room, set it on top of the urinal, do their thing, then pick up the cup and continue on their merry way.

Guys, urinals don't come with cupholders for a reason. Don't you have girlfriends/wives who will hold the cup for you while your, you know, busy???

But the reader's complaint did remind me of this item from the Seger File's page on the 1996 tour:

Regarding Seger's show in the North Charleston Coliseum show, on Jan 19, 1996, the magazine wrote: "Pretzel, popcorn and beer sales have never been as high except at Jimmy Buffet concerts and Eagles games." Ray Waddel, Feb. 5, 1996, Amusement Business. "Seger shows generate strong food sales."

I guess Seger just makes us thirsty for more.

November 18, 2006

Little Rock, Tampa, and now NYC....!

I see what they're up to now. They're trying to drive me nuts by releasing tour dates one at a time.

A few days ago we got Little Rock, Arkansas on February 10. Yesterday it was Tampa, Florida on January 13. And now, Madison Square Garden on January 25. See the full schedule here.

So much for that bootleg t-shirt listing 38 cities (but not New York!). Today's addition is good news for Gotham, but a strike against bootleg t-shirts everywhere.

November 15, 2006

Ups and Downs on the Scalping Market

In some cases, getting good seats to see Seger may be a matter of waiting.

Through gross mismanagement, I ended up with seven tickets to the opening show in Grand Rapids, and I only ended up using three. (I overbought, and the fourth person in our party bailed.)

I was reluctant to resell the extra tickets, for fear they'd be bought by scalpers. Sure enough, a week before the concert I sold two 200-Level seats for face value, and they were later re-sold for $100 each.

But an hour before the concert, no one was willing to pay even face value. I sold my remaining 200-Level seats for $40 each. Meanwhile, scalpers were selling single floor seats for as low as $50.

It might be different outside Michigan, but at least in Grand Rapids, the longer you waited, the less you paid.

November 12, 2006

Coming Up: Seger on CBS

"CBS News Sunday Morning" is preparing a segment on Seger that will air sometime in the next two months, according to the Grand Rapids Press.

An article titled, "Seger concert draws media's spotlight" reports the following:

The national TV news program sent a crew of four to capture footage from the concert and interview fans as part of a profile they are preparing on the 61-year-old rock star.

"He's a great story," said correspondent Russ Mitchell, who traveled to Grand Rapids for Wednesday night's show with a cameraman, sound technician and producer Charlie Brooks. "He's been away for 10 years and he has a huge following among his fans."

Mitchell said "CBS News Sunday Morning" interviewed Seger two weeks ago in the Detroit area and expects to air the segment sometime in the next two months.

But the CBS crew wasn't the only out-of-town media outlet covering Seger and his Silver Bullet Band's tour kickoff: Michigan media outlets were well-represented, with writers on hand from across the state, including Flint and the Detroit area, where Seger lives and where he will play four concerts in December.

What, no mention of the Seger File's staff of one covering the concert? And the Segernet's army of hundreds? Typical old-media blindspot.

November 9, 2008

Gene Pool Guy Make Amends

Remember the "Gene Pool" cartoon that took a swipe at Seger recently? Ears Two sent me the strip, I posted it, and apparently the cartoonist got a ton of email from Seger fans.

Well, apparently he's decided to make amends. Eagle-eyed as always, Ears Two noticed this in yesterday's paper. Check out the middle panel! Hey, let's all email him again, and tell him how right on he is! Write him at

November 9, 2006

Opening Act: Steve Azar

For the November shows, Seger's opening act will be Steve Azar, according to the Grand Rapids Press, which describes him as a "soulful country singer-songwriter."

The tidbit comes in another story by John Sinkevics in today's GRP, which also includes this:

The band has spent several weeks practicing, even taking over the Palace of Auburn Hills for four days last week to hammer out lighting and sound details. "I just hope it paces out well," Seger said. "I hope what looks good on paper will work live."

"Any rock tour is quite a technical undertaking because you're moving from city to city, and taking a small city with you. We're going to have close to 30 technicians on the road -- sound, lights, crew," tour manager Bill Blackwell said, noting Seger's last concert in 1996 didn't include a pre-programmed, computer-run light show -- now standard arena fare. "The first couple of weeks, we are indeed fine-tuning some aspects of it."

Read the entire article at "Seger gears up for first GR show in 20 years."

If you're like me, you're probably wondering why Seger's people are announcing the opening act so far in advance. I mean, there are still 1,800 minutes until the show begins. It's not nearly the last minute yet. You might also be wondering what happened to Huck Johns, once talked about as the opening act. Me too

November 7, 2006

Michigan Fever, Seger Fever

I've been gone too long.

Northern Michigan is beautiful today, and everywhere you turn there's more Seger news. Mullins coffee shop in Frankfort has a fresh stack of Northern Express, featuring Rick Coates' interview with Seger. And the Grand Rapids Press has an article on Seger by John Sinkevics, plus a section on readers' early memories of Seger. All worth reading. Links and excerpts below.

Excerpts from the Northern Express:

NE: There is this rumor that a Seger Song Vault exists and it is loaded...

Seger: It's not a rumor. I have 700 songs in the 'vault' with 300 recorded. One of these days I am going to have to take the time and play all these tapes and hope they don't fall apart...

NE: ...What about touring in the future?

Seger: I am 61 so I don't know. After the 3 Michigan shows I am going to sit down with my manager and have a pow wow and he is going to ask me. "Do you feel physically feel up to it? Do you think you should do this past New Year's?" If I do then we will announce the second half, which will be another 16 to 18 dates all around the country in the major markets. If I say no we will finish in Detroit and that may be it. I honestly don't know how I will feel until I do three shows. This work is physically taxing. They say 60 is the new 40 but for me I like to say 61 is the new 59. Right around Christmas New Years we will do 4 shows in Detroit and if I continue after New Years we will close with a couple of shows at Joe Louis.

NE: How about a sneak peak into the set list for the tour?

Seger: We have been messing around with "Ramblin, Gamblin' Man," I haven't played that song in 26 years and it sounds amazing. It is so much fun to do. There are must do songs...I don't want to disappoint anybody so we are going to do all that stuff and we plan to throw some things out there that they don't expect. At this point what I have to do is be ready if Kid Rock shows up in Grand Rapids or If Patty Loveless walks in I have to be ready for her.

Read Rick Coates' entire piece, "Face the Promise: Bob Seger rides again down rock's endless highway," at the Northern Express.

Excerpts from the Grand Rapids Press:

"I heard about [the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids] from my buddy in the Eagles (Glenn Frey)," Seger said. "And Tom Petty's played it, and they both told me they really liked it. I filed that in the back of my head. That's why we're there."

Another selling point? The arena, which also will host pretour rehearsals starting Monday, is within a couple of hours' drive of the Detroit area.

"We always started in the Carolinas, where we're huge," Seger said. "This time, we were going to do the same thing, but I said I know about this arena in Grand Rapids. I said to (manager) Punch (Andrews), 'Wouldn't you much prefer to drive home after the show? Think about it. That's pretty convenient, buddy.'"

...Seger has taken time out to be a dad: He appeared on a recent "CBS Morning Show" segment only after assurances he'd be back on time for Cole's cross-country meet. "I try to build everything around them," he said. "That's the way it's been."

..."The first show is always a shock to me, physically. No matter how much you do it, nothing prepares you for being on stage and doing two hours-plus," he said. "Suddenly, you're battling to hear your voice over the crowd and over the acoustics of the arena and the band slapping back at you and everything else. After that first show, you're so tired you think you're just going to collapse."

Read John Sinkevics' entire piece, "Bob Seger a man of Michigan through and through," and check out readers' memories of early Seger shows here.

The beach at Frankfort. No early
winter Michigan storm today.

November 5, 2006

Seger Express Due Monday - Update

A fresh and potentially fascinating helping of Seger news will hit the streets Monday, when the Northern Express publishes rock-writer Rick Coates' latest piece on Seger.

Coates has written about Seger, Kid Rock, Leo Creek (Drew Abbott's band) and other music news for the Express, Northern Michigan's largest newsweekly. He was also the promotor behind the Tom Wright photo exhibition in Traverse City in 2003.

Coates says his hour-and-half interview with Seger touched on the Detroit shows, 2007 and beyond, and a "super Seger" album with 60 songs. Look for it online Monday.

As it happens, I'll be picking up a hard copy right from the stands. The Seger File is flying into Traverse City tomorrow and then heading to Grand Rapids for the opening concert. Just like some fancypants news anchor flying off to cover Katrina or whatever. Except in my case, updates may actually be less frequent while I'm on the road. The Hotel Maple City barely has heat, let alone wi-fi. But I'll post whenever I can.

November 5, 2006

A Terrific Omen -- The Return of Doug Brown

Before Face the Promise came out, I asked various Seger File readers to help review the album (and probably left out a lot of people I should have asked).

I also invited people like Tom Neme, Drew Abbott and author Jim Harrison. But of all the folks I asked, the person I most wanted to hear from was Doug Brown. For a couple of reasons. His group -- Doug Brown and the Omens -- was there at the beginning. Seger and Brown met in 1964.

Years later, Seger credited Brown as the person who "got me believing in myself. I started playing in bands on and off with Doug, whose father was also a booking agent and kept us working."

I wanted to know what the person who got Seger believing in himself thought of Face the Promise. And now I do -- thanks to Google and to some good folks who passed along my email requests. The man now known as Fontaine Brown adds his review of Face the Promise, here.

November 3, 2006

Face the Pumpkin
Seger wrote the first anti-war rock song (in 1968). Ears Two carved the first anti-war jack-o-lantern...or at least the first one I know about. Inspired by Bob, of course. Some people just know how to celebrate.

October 30, 2006

Kid Rock, DMC and Seger. From the D-NICE JOURNAL.

Detroit on December 20. (Oklahoma Disappears.)

A Detroit date for Seger has finally been revealed: He'll play the Palace of Auburn Hills on December 20. Tickets go on sale November 4.

The question is, will that be the only show -- or will more be added as soon as the first sells out, as happened with the Grand Rapids show.

Today's Free Press reminds us just how fast Seger can sell tickets in Detroit:

"When seats for his first Palace concert in 1996 sold out in three minutes, promoters immediately released additional dates. Within an hour, Seger had moved more than 100,000 tickets." Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press, October 27, 2006. "Bob Seger's Palace show set for December 20."

Susan Whitall in the Detroit News adds:

"There will certainly be at least one more show added as soon as the first one sells out, although nobody's confirmed yet how many Detroit-area shows Seger will do, or even where any additional shows would be.

"It's still possible that Seger would play a venue in the city of Detroit as well." Susan Whitall, Detroit News, October 27, 2006. "Bob Seger to perform at Palace on Dec. 20"

WCSX says it will be giving away tickets as prizes: A teaser on their website says "You can win tickets in the 5th row on Monday...4th row on Tuesday, etc..."

Meanwhile, Ticketmaster has removed Oklahoma from its list of Seger concerts. Friday morning, Tickmaster was showing a February 6 Seger concert at the Ford Center, but by mid-day, the listing had disappeared. Who knows what that means. If I lived in OK, I might hold the date just in case.

A February concert on sale in November? Ticketmaster later removed the listing.

The other huge question is whether the tour will continue past Detroit. He'll play 17 shows in 16 cities before Detroit. In the past he's said he would reassess after the holidays and possibly go back out in 2007. There's no definite word, of course.

October 27, 2006

New Songs To Hit the Road

According to Reuters/Billboard, Seger is rehearsing plenty of new songs for the upcoming tour:

"In the midst of rehearsals for his first concert tour in a decade, Bob Seger reports that he and his Silver Bullet Band are over-preparing for the impending run of shows, which begins November 8 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

"'We're learning so many songs' the Detroit rocker tells 'We're learning probably a show and a half, and of course we can't play a show and a half. So we keep playing them, and the ones that keep getting better are the ones that stay in.'

"Chief among those are songs from Face the Promise, Seger's first album of new material since 1995, which recently debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200. 'Right now we've got about six or seven of them in there, and there might be as many as nine,' he says. 'At first you don't want to do too much new (material); it's not what (the audiences) are expecting. It's really a feel thing, a balancing act.'

"Seger says he's also working up "Tomorrow" or "Satisfied," the two new songs included on 2003's "Greatest Hits 2" collection. October 24, 2006. Billboard. "Bob Seger spotlighting new songs on tour."

Hey, I'll take all the new songs Seger will play. The more the better. He could even throw in an unreleased track, like Hit the Road -- it would be a perfect arena song.

October 24, 2006


From sea to shining sea! See the video of Seger singing "America the Beautiful" at the World Series here.

Check out a few Flickr photos here.

October 21, 2006

Double Play -- More Seger at the Series

Maybe they should call it the World Series of Rock. Seger was back for Game 2, on tape this time. Was it a clip filmed just for FOX -- or a re-edit of an actual video?

Face the Promise of Game 2.
Click for the video clip.

The Seger clip followed a bizarre performance by John Mellencamp, who sang his current Chevy commercial, which apparently is also moonlighting as an actual song. We enjoyed a minute of dead airtime before Mellencamp managed to find his way onto the field. From the way he scowled before, during and after the song, I have to believe the performance was a put-up job by Chevy and that Mellencamp didn't want to be there.

Mellencamp's tardy arrival contrasted with the slip-second timing of Game 1. The instant Seger ended "America the Beautiful," the jets made their flyover. How do they time that? Seger hits the first note, and someone radios the jets, and they go into their 90-second drill? It was impressive.

October 22, 2006

Another Seger the World Series

Grand Rapids may kick off the tour, but the first chance to hear Seger sing will be Saturday night, when he opens the World Series with "America the Beautiful."

And, everyone who attends the game will get a copy of "Can't Hit The Corners" -- ("This ain't competition, man, this is war. And you can't hit the corners no more.")

Okay, the part about "Corners" isn't true. But Seger will sing, and earlier in the day, tickets will fly. Sellouts and shutouts (maybe) coming up.

October 19, 2006

Farm Team

The November issue of Vanity Fair features its 2006 Music Portfolio, which focuses this year on country music. It includes shots of Seger and Kid Rock and others taken at the Queens County Farm Museum -- New York City's largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland and the only working historical farm in the city. The shots were taken in late July.

The slow-loading Vanity Fair site also has a behind the scenes video. Visit the Seger File's page for more screen shots here, or do the click-and-wait at Vanity Fair here for the video.

Seger at the shoot, possibly discussing the whereabouts of a lost salt shaker.

October 21, 2006. Thanks to Marie Campbell for the VF link.

Photo by S. Sparling, Part Two

Elsewhere in The Seger File, I report the stunning experience of walking into a record store when I was a meager twenty years old and discovering a brand new Bob Seger album. This was 1974 and there was no "Street Team," no advance buzz, no warning of any kind. Just out of the blue -- wham! There, hidden in the "Seeger'' rack were two or three copies of an album called Seven. I was stunned.

And even more stunning, when I flipped it over, there was my photo of Bob Seger on the back. The shock wave that hit me was like nothing else I'd experienced.

When I first wrote about this, back in May 1998, I promised you an update. Now, eight years later, here it is.

My photo of Seger got on the back of Seven this way. In December 1973, I was living in Ann Arbor. Seger played a couple of four-night runs -- Wednesday through Saturday -- at place called the Primo Showbar. (Motto: "Dis Place is Smokin'!")

The three-dollar cover was more than we could fork out every night, and standing in line in the cold outside the Primo was a bitch. But my friends -- Jesse and TL -- and I managed to see Seger a bunch during that time.

After all, this was the early Silver Bullet Band, and they were honing the set that would rock the world on Live Bullet. Already, they were closing each show with a killer version of "Let It Rock." They were smokin', no doubt. All in a club that held maybe 300.

One night I took my Nikon, stood about two feet in front of Seger and took a roll of Tri-X black and white film. There was very little light, so only one shot really came out, but it was a good one.

In January '74, Seger played the Primo again. I was back at college by then, down in Ohio, but I drove the five hours to see him. Between sets I handed him an envelope with the photo in it. A couple nights later he told me his old lady loved it and had put it up on the mantle. I was so naive, and so stunned, that for a couple of days I thought he meant his mother.

I had written S. Sparling, Antioch College on the back of the photo, and no other contact info.

Later, I heard how plans for the Seven album art fell through. It was supposed to be a "Seagrams 7" take-off, in the same way Smokin' O.P.s ripped on Lucky Strike. But Seagrams objected, and the art was scuttled.

Someone -- I don't know who -- suggested my photo for the back. Seger's people telephoned the Antioch switchboard, trying to reach me, but with no luck.

So they used it anyway, figuring I wouldn't mind. They were a hundred percent right. No one outside of the midwest had even heard of Seger. I was proud to be lending a hand.

S. Sparling was all they knew of my name, so that's how the photo credit read.

Flash forward to 1993. Now Seger's at the top, and rightly so. Seven is reissued on CD, with my photo inside. I'm married, with a brand new baby boy to support. I figure if they're going to keep using my photo, they should get around to paying for it.

In my day job, I'm creating ads where photographers get $2,000 and up for photos that run only in the Oregon market. The Seven CD is available all over North America. So I send Capitol an invoice for $1,600.

A few days later, Punch calls me. We negotiate. I end up accepting $200.

You can conclude from this that Punch is a helluva good negotiator.

And that's the end of my story. Until, that is, last night.

After two weeks, the flu that has been dogging me was finally wearing off. I celebrated by watching the DVD Extra that came with Face the Promise.

And there, 33 seconds into it, is my photo. And there it is again at 1:04. But not the photo they bought. This is a different photo of Seger. One I took at the Agora in Columbus, Ohio. One they didn't buy.

Here's the flashback: After Seven came out, I sent Punch four or five more photos, hoping to strike lightening again. I sent the package to Purdy Street and never heard another word. In fact, I wasn't even sure if they ever got the photos.

But now I am. Gee, there it is, in a DVD that's being distributed all around the world. You'd think somebody would be tasked with securing copyright releases for that sort of thing, wouldn't you? I guess not.

Now I know I'm the last one who can complain about, ahem, copyright infringement. I mean, you can't run a site like the Seger File, on a budget of zero dollars per year, without a little borrowing now and then.

Still, it's a good photo, and you'd think it's worth something.

But don't worry, Punch. This time I don't want money. You can pay me in tickets.

Doesn't have to be front row. Just floor seats, up close. Three for Cleveland, where I'm meeting Ears 2 and his wife. And if you make it out to Portland or even Seattle, three for me and my family, so my 13-year-old son can see the guy whose 13-year-old son helped convince him to tour. Throw in some backstage passes and you can watch me stand around glassy-eyed and tongue-tied, which my wife claims is always a treat.

Heck, I might even bring my camera.

Seger, singing "Neon Sky" at the Primo in Ann Arbor, 1973, and telling us there's a freight train coming at the Agora in Columbus, Ohio, 1974. Photos by S. Sparling.

For the original 1998 post and more Primo photos, click here.

For more shots from the Agora, click here.

October 17, 2006

While I Was Sleeping

Things I missed while having fevered dreams and shaking off the flu:

Seger was on the Bob and Tom Show, October 9.

He was also on Pat St. John's show on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Rod Stewart, who once dissed Seger, came out with Still the Same, an album of rock covers featuring Seger's song as the title track. (It finally hit me why Stewart releases all these American Songbook type albums. As a singer who co-wrote only a few hits, he doesn't have the songwriting royalties that someone like Seger has. To make the millions, he has to keep churning out albums.)

Bill Wolski sent me a terrific review of Face the Promise -- now posted here.

Someone in the music industry sent some great stories about Night Moves, which I need to reread and post.

A couple dozen readers sent email that I still need to answer.

And probably more stuff I haven't even discovered yet. On the upside, I caught on my sleeping from now through 2012.

October 17, 2006

Another Sweet Saturday for Seger and the Tigers

Memo to Seger: Every time you put a new batch of concert tickets on sale, the Tigers clinch a series. Now just do it one more time...

Tickets for St. Paul, Kansas City, Cincinnati and Charleston, W. VA went on sale today. (The Charleston show was originally announced as being in Huntington, W. VA.)

And, as I have subsequently learned, Knoxville tickets went on sale as well -- just not through Ticketmaster. The show at the Thompson/Boling Arena on the UT campus is being sold through

(Thanks to Heather in Virginia for the tip. I've been to that arena a bunch, but never for Seger; as of Saturday night upper level tickets are still available. Chiliray57 adds that Knoxville tickets are already showing up on eBay.)

So that leaves seven more shows yet to go on sale. No info yet on which shows have sold out, but a random check on Ticketmaster Saturday night yielded single-seat tickets only for the St. Paul show.

And with the Tigers heading to the World Series, you have to wonder if Seger has added The Star Spangled Banner to his rehearsal list. Here's hoping!

(On a personal note, non-essential updates have been on hold while I fight off the flu. Sorry if I owe you email!)

October 15, 2006

Seger Tickets, A Tigers Victory...How Good Does it Get!!!

Grand Rapids, sold out. Saginaw, sold out. Grand Rapids, sold out again. Indianapolis, sold out. And Bonderman seals the deal against the Yankees! What a day to be in Michigan!

The ten-year streak without a tour and the 19-year streak without a playoff spot -- both are ended. Now will somebody please wake up the guy who runs the stadium PA? The Tigers win and he plays a 26-year-old warhorse from Kool & The Gang??? As if "Celebration" hasn't been played enough after every high school football game / soccer tournament / spelling bee in the country. Should we run him out of town, give him a copy of Face the Promise, or both? It was the perfect moment to wreck the speakers with some Seger.

The first Grand Rapids show sold out in four minutes, according to the Grand Rapids Press, ("Seger sells out two shows in record time.") The second show sold out in 15 minutes. About 25,000 tickets were sold for the two concerts. As of late Saturday, there were still some seats for the Milwaukee show.

Tickets for at least some of the remaining 12 shows will go on sale next Saturday.

October 8, 2006

The rest of the 2006 updates are archived here.

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