The Seger File
An unofficial web site about the music of Bob Seger
Archived Updates from 2008.
For the most recent updates, click here.
Written and edited by Scott Sparling
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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 Full Contents
Search the Seger File
The 2011 Tour Page

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. Springsteen Complexo-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

They Know Music -- and We'll Miss Them

The evening's Google Alert brings some unwelcome news. WCSX-FM in Detroit has pulled the plug on "J.J. and Lynne in the Morning"-- the morning radio show hosted by Jim Johnson and Lynne Woodison.

Johnson's show often brought Seger news and sometimes featured interviews with Bob or Punch. Johnson hosted Seger's nationwide live radio interview promoting Face the Promise on September 12, 2006. He was also a friend of the Seger File and got in touch a few times over the years with a tip or a thank you, as he did here.

Johnson has done morning radio in Detroit for 31 years. I haven't lived in Michigan for many years, so I don't know much about Lynne Woodison, but her quote is one of the classiest I've seen:

"I have no hard feelings. If you live by your success, you also have to take the failures the same way. The auto worker is told to build a car, and he's building it to the best of his ability. It's really no different than we are. I am totally sympathetic to everybody in this city, and I now can really relate." Susan Whitall, November 11, 2008, The Detroit News. "WCSX fires morning show hosts 'J.J. and Lynne'"

Compare that to the corporate-speak of the Greater Media general manager who's quoted as saying the station needed to do better "from a revenue standpoint." Hey, I got a point right here that guy can stand on.

Anyway, here's hoping JJ and Lynne land someplace good, however they personally define it.

And speaking of radio folks who know music, it was good to hear Uncle Joe on the air last Sunday with music and past interviews from Seger. Even when there's no new news, it's always great listening.

November 11, 2008

Feat Rock the House, Wake Up Seger File

What does it take to wake up the Seger File after four months of slumber? How about Little Feat coming to town.

Touring in support of their new CD, Join the Band, Little Feat actually made two appearances in Portland this week -- a live performance at KINK-FM radio during the day, and a sold out show at The Aladdin at night.

I've been to the KINK-FM live performances in the past. The room holds about 40 people, and for Little Feat, it was standing room only. I got in the door only because Little Feat/Silver Bullet vocalist Shaun Murphy took time while on the road to email the station and put me on the list. Even then the event manager swore me to secrecy -- a lot of people wanted in who didn't get in.

The same was true that night at The Aladdin, one of Portland's best music venues. The place was jammed, and the band was great.

For now, Little Feat is headed down to San Francisco, and then to Jamaica for some shows. If you get a chance, don't miss them. Or get a full download of one of their shows at the Little Feat site (where you can also buy one of Shaun's classic camp shirts). For a sample of the live radio show, check out KINK-FM.

Shaun Murphy, Paul Barrere and the rest of Little Feat play at KINK-FM; Shaun talks to fans at the merch desk after that night's show.
My classic shot of the band, destined for their next album cover,
is ruined by a guy giving the peace symbol in front of me.

November 1, 2008

Brown at the Fence Line

Someone with even deeper roots in Seger's story is Doug Brown. I've quoted Seger elsewhere as saying that Brown "got me believing in myself." For a young performer, there can't be a bigger gift than that.

Brown had his own band, Doug Brown and the Omens, and he produced some of the early Cameo-Parkway singles, but then parted company with Seger. He's now known as Fontaine Brown, and I heard from him two years ago, when I asked him to review Face the Promise. You can read his review here.

Not long ago, I heard from Brown again, after the release of his latest CD, Tales From the Fence Line. From "Ain't No Brakeman" to "Endless Road," the songs are mostly rough-edged blues-rock, though Brown throws in some Motown influenced cuts as well. "Detroit Saturday" has the same kind of punch as Seger's "Simplicity," but with a raunchy harmonica adding some steamy funk. Check it out. A full review is available here.

If you've heard Brown's early cuts on on albums like Friday at the Hideout, give a listen to the rest of the story on Tales from Fence Line. There's more information and a few samples here.

November 1, 2008

What's Happened to the Seger File?

I know -- it's been four months since I've posted. I've been working on my novel. I've been soundproofing the room where my son's band plays. I've been dealing with that leak in the chimney. I've got more work to do at work. And I guess, probably, I've just needed a break.

With November here, it's now been two years since the heady days of the tour, when I was posting every day, and I definitely miss it. What I really miss is connecting with all the Seger fans and friends. Though posts may be fewer and farther between, I still treasure those connections.

Bottom line is the break may continue for a while. I hear Seger's doing domestic type stuff himself, so you could say I'm following his lead. When he steps back in the spotlight -- and I think he will, one way or another -- the Seger File will be back.

November 1, 2008

New Seger/Little Feat Track Is Out

Joy and Jubilation Dept: The new Little Feat album, Join the Band, has been released on iTunes, including the track "Something in the Water," which features Seger on vocals.

So much for the advertised August 26 release date. Actually Amazon is still taking "pre-orders" for the CD and still listing the August release date. But iTunes has it all. And though you could buy only the Seger track, you are hereby ordered not to cherry pick; download the whole CD. With guests like Dave Matthews, Jimmy Buffett and Emmylou Harris, plus Little Feat, it's totally worth it.

On a million-times more obscure and questionable note, the Seger Liberation Army recently released (or re-released) Down Home. I don't know where you can buy it, but you can listen to it here.

And finally, a Seger fan named Cort from Ann Arbor reports that the Kalamazoo Public Library has recently released "Brand New Morning" from its vinyl collection. The catch: they only had one copy and Cort bought it. For 25 cents. Deal of the century.

July 2, 2008 - Thanks to Johnnymbmw for the Seger/iTunes tip.

OTR&R Craze Continues to Sweep World

First it was me on the BBC. Now it's Kid Rock on German TV. Where will it end? Worth watching, below.

Stevie Nicks Faces the Promise

See below.

New Seger Track in August, Via Little Feat

Seger's longtime association with Little Feat will give fans something to celebrate this summer. A new Little Feat album called Join the Band will be released on August 26 with an all-star lineup of guest performers -- including a track by Seger.

As you probably already know, singer Shaun Murphy, who has toured and recorded with Seger since the early 1970s, is a member of Little Feat. Seger has also recorded with Fred Tackett and Bill Payne over the years -- both current members of the band. And Seger sang backing vocals on the title track of Little Feat's 1988 album, Let it Roll.

When I first heard about Join the Band, my guess was that Seger might contribute a cover of "Fat Man in the Bathtub" -- since Seger's live version of that song has circulated among collectors for years. But Shaun reports that Seger's song will not be "Fat Man."

Indeed, the track listing shows that Seger's cut is "Somethin' in the Water," originally by Jeffrey Steele. The song is a high-energy country rocker -- you can check out Steele's video of the song here, or find a higher-res, higher audio excerpt on iTunes. "Bob did an amazing version of it, and we're very jazzed to have it in the lineup," Shaun writes.

Join the Band also includes guest vocals by Emmylou Harris, Vince Gil, Brooks & Dunn and others. Dave Matthews, it turns out, covers "Fat Man in the Bathtub." It'll be fun to compare and contrast his version. The track list and credits are here.

All in all, this sounds like a really great album. Pre-order it here and you'll have something to look forward to all summer.

And if you're lucky enough to be at Bonnaroo, you can catch Little Feat live on June 14.

Little Feat's upcoming release, Join the Band
Updated, June 3, 2008

47 miles of barbed wire
Bo Diddley, your beat will live forever.

Stevie Nicks Covers Face the Promise
Video from Nicks June 5 show at the Biloxi, Mississippi Hard Rock Hotel and Casino:
June 7, 2008
Kid Rock Lets Loose on German TV

Thanks to Curtis Houghmaster for the link.

June 12, 2008

 Seger File Lies to the BBC
World demands apology over jukebox fib

There's an eight-hour time difference between London and Portland, Oregon, in case you don't know. So when the BBC producer called me Monday evening to do an interview for Alex Lester's Radio 2 show, it was actually Monday morning here. And I was asleep.

It wasn't Alex Lester's normal show, see, which airs in the morning and which would be evening here. It was a "Bank Holiday" in England, which is apparently what the Brits say instead of Memorial Day, and the schedule was all turned around and...never mind. The point is, they woke me up and I was talking kind of slow at first.

The subject of the interview was "Old Time Rock & Roll," which they had decided was the Number 1 jukebox hit of all time. (Technically, it's Number 2.)

"You're going to have to be far more lively when you're on the air," the producer warned me.

Okay. I can turn it on when I have to. The problem is my mouth starts moving faster than my brain. Which is why I told the BBC I have a jukebox at home stocked with Seger songs. I don't, unless you count my iPod.

In my defense, I contend that I was merely following the Improv Rule of Agreement, which is: Always Say Yes.

Anyway, here it is, spiced up with a lot of copyright, Fair Use usages of various video clips that were lying around. It was great fun, and I was proud to get a chance to talk about Seger. If you haven't listened to Alex Lester's show, check it out. He plays a lot of great music.

June 1, 2008

Guitar Hero Riffs on Old Time Rock & Roll

The BBC's Alex Lester isn't the only one thinking about "Old Time Rock & Roll" these days. The makers of Guitar Hero are using a remake of the Risky Business bit, featuring two finalists from American Idol, to promote the next version of the popular game. Compare and contrast here.

Watch the actual Guitar Hero promos here.

In other licensing news, "Her Strut" is in included in the popular "Mary Poppins Goes to Market" videogame for kids. Or else it's Grand Theft Auto. One of the two. The track is available as a free download here.

June 1, 2008

Summer Forecast: Seger Quiet, Others Not

A story in the Detroit Free Press this past week confirms what has begun to seem obvious: no tour this summer, and no DVD of the past tour. Instead, Seger plans a quiet summer:

"Rumors have circulated around town about a plethora of Seger projects for 2008, including possible studio sessions for the follow-up to his album "Face the Promise." But a source close to the Detroit rocker tells the Freep's Brian McCollum that while Seger engaged in limited writing and recording during the winter, no definitive timeline is in place -- let alone an album release date.

"A rumored concert DVD -- which would include footage from that tour's Cobo Arena dates -- has been indefinitely shelved as Seger moves his focus to new material, insiders say." Brian McCollum, May 14, 2008, Detroit Free Press. "Seger: Plans are for a quiet summer."

One interesting stat in the article: Seger's last tour sold more 560,000 tickets and grossed more than $36 million, according to Pollstar magazine

Seger contemplates taking the summer off.

Motor City Horns DVD

Seger's DVD may be shelved, but John Rutherford of the Motor City Horns reports that MCH will be releasing a three-song DVD in June. The three songs will also be on their upcoming album, due for a fall release. "The DVD will feature the horns in a variety of settings and styles and highlight Detroit talent, many of whom you will recognize," John writes. It will also include interviews...

Jim "Moose" Brown reports that a song he cowrote with Liz Hengber will be the next single for James Otto. "I think James is one of the best singers in Nashville and I'm very proud to have a song on his project, let alone the next single," Moose writes.

And as far as I can tell from Alto's myspace page, today is his birthday.

May 16, 2008. Thanks to Karen Freeman, John Hagan and Will Hohenstein.

Coming Soon: Your Backstage Pass

The good news: You're about to get a backstage pass. The bad news: The pass won't take you backstage at a Seger show. It takes you backstage at the Seger File.

Here's what I mean. Every few years, I get the urge to upgrade the site. (Remember when it first came online in those dark, pre-Google years? I do. I remember going to the Portland Public Library, getting a three-day old copy of the LA Times, photocopying the review of a Seger show, coming home, retyping the review on my Macintosh G3 and posting it on the site, using the slowest dial-up modem ever made. And that, sonny, is how news of Seger traveled back in the horse-and-buggy days of the Internet.)

Because of that slow modem, I believed the information superhighway should be all words and no photos. Only when the modem got replaced did I add photos and, later, photo galleries.

Then came The Vault -- still the most complete source of information about Seger's unreleased work -- and then the Ken Settle Annex, and finally the Tour pages.

From what I've heard, some websites now offer strange "interactive" functions that allow readers to create "user-generated content." I doubt if that will ever catch on. Where's the fun in reading an update about Seger if first you have to write the update yourself?

So instead, I'm adding a backstage area. What's back there, you ask. Simple. The same things you keep in your back room at home. Junk. Stuff I haven't bothered to post anywhere else. Things I don't want to throw away, but which don't seem to have a place. A 1980 Seger ticket stub from Wembley Arena. A disco Night Moves remix from Japan. A link to some old video. And anything else you want to send me. If it's backstage-worthy, I'll include it.

Look for the Backstage Area to open soon. Just remember, you're in Segerworld, where "soon" means "anytime before the next lunar eclipse." You'll know when it's up, because the pass below will become a link.

April 23, 2008

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

"Michigan City" Release Delayed Until June

The release of Seger's upcoming CD, Michigan City, has been moved back to June, according to reports in the Free Press and the Olean Times Herald. The delay was caused when Seger listened to the masters and decided to put finishing touches on a couple of tracks.

As previously reported, most of Michigan City was written and recorded around the same time as Face the Promise.

"I wanted Face the Promise to be an album full of rockers," Seger said. "These are the ballads and medium tempo songs that didn't seem to fit on that CD." Eric Darken, Olean Times Herald, April 1, 2008. "After Seger's "Promise," Comes an Album of Quiet Reflection."

The title song, "Michigan City," follows a familiar Seger theme. The song is written from the point of view of someone whose dreams didn't come to pass. But instead of looking wistfully at the emptiness they've left (as in "Jody Girl" for example), "Michigan City" celebrates those early, inspired moments when the dreams were still real. Even dreams that don't come true can give us hope, the song seems to say.

In terms of actual narrative, the person in the song is leaving Michigan, and pulls over in Michigan City, Indiana to consider whether the journey is really a wise one. Inspired by the promise of the future, he decides to travel on.

I believed in myself back in Michigan City
I believed that a better world, I could find
I believed in myself back in Michigan City
And I believed
That I could leave
My past behind.

"Michigan City" is one of Seger's longest songs, clocking in at 6:23. It started out as a duet.

"Originally, it was one of the songs I recorded with Patty Loveless," Seger said. "But in the end it sounded like a man's story. Fortunately, I was able to re-record it with Bruce Springsteen. We had always wanted to do something together and this turned out to be the perfect opportunity." Steve Brewster, Pampa Bowling News, April 1, 2008. "Bob and Bruce Meet Up for 'Michigan City.'"

Once the vocal tracks were done, Seger began adding layers of instrumentation, as he normally does, looking for his trademark full, rich sound.

An album of quiet introspection and social commentary: The back cover shows the electric chair at the state prison in Michigan City.

Over the next two months, Seger added three guitars, horns, strings, keyboards, wind instruments, drums, congas, timpani, handclaps, castanets, theremin, harpsichord, ukulele, an accordion, a men's choir, finger cymbals, harmonica, steel drums, bagpipes, whistling, the Blue Man Group, and back-up singers.

"There still seemed to be something missing," Seger said. "I kept adding more and more. We even brought an Aeolian Wind Harp into the studio and tuned it down half an octave. Then finally I began taking things away."

The more he took away, the more the song started to reveal itself, Seger said. "I got it down to just three tracks: Bruce and me and one guitar. Then I took the guitar away. That sounded really good, it had a very raw and exposed feel to it. Then I took the vocals away. That sounded perfect."

According to Seger, that was the breakthrough moment:

"I went back to every cut and removed everything," Seger said. "We got it down to rich, dark silence all the way through. It has the feel of being out in the woods on a night when not a leaf is moving, not a single bird or animal is calling, and you can't hear yourself breathe. It's that kind of silence." Paul Liem, Ocean Way Tribune, April 1, 2008. "Nothing Sounds Better Than Nothing on Seger's New CD."

Getting all of the songs down to absolute silence took a while, since the CD is nearly an hour and ten minutes long. But ultimately it was worth the effort.

"Punch didn't get it at first," Seger said. "He suggested adding tambourine. But after the third listen, he really started to like it. The band loves it too."

Now that there is no sound, the CD sounds great, Seger said. "It's an amazing effect. It's like listening to the rain on a day when it isn't raining."

The CD (originally titled Seger Without Seger) was mastered and ready to be pressed when Seger detected a faint audio hum on one of songs. A perfectionist, Seger went back into the studio to clean up the track. "Tomb-like silence," Seger said. "That's what I'm after," adding that the CD may not even be ready in June. "This could take a while," he said.

April 1, 2008
Gawker Media Plans Facelift for Seger File

Gawker Media, the celebrity gossip powerhouse, says it is planning a redesign of, complete with a new editorial focus, starting immediately. Gawker Media, which also owns sites such as Defamer, Fleshbot, Gizmodo and Wonkette , purchased a majority share of the Seger File three months ago, saving the fan site from Chapter 11 filings in the wake of the subprime credit crunch.

"The Seger File was an okay site," said Gawker Media CEO Will Denigrate. "But its priorities were all wrong. There was way too much emphasis on music and next to nothing on Bob's personal life. When we took over, we were stunned to find a complete lack of rumors, embarrassing snapshots, innuendo, medical records, court documents -- all the juicy stuff." Eddie Bayers, Paradiddle Times-Herald, April 1, 2008. "No Gossip, No Mud, No Fun on Seger Site."

As a result, Denigrate continued, the site was dull. "You could spend all day on the Seger File and never find out what the guy eats for breakfast, let alone what kind of car he drives. And forget about three-day drunken blackouts, shouting matches or public meltdowns. The site gave the impression that Seger sat around all day writing music and being a normal dad. Who wants to read about that?"

All that is about to change. Denigrate said Gawker will give Bob what they call The Full Britany -- 24/7 paparazzi, daily garbage can reconnaissance, bribing the cleaning staff and high-tech audio surveillance. "If someone sneezes and Bob doesn't say 'Bless You,' you'll read about it here," Denigrate said.

When all else fails, the site will simply make things up. "We've got a great feature next month showing Bob and Punch coming out of the Turkish Baths at The Body Zone. With Photoshop, we can fake anything. Basically, what we do for Britany, we'll do for Bob. Except the underwear shots."

Seger File founder and former editor Scott Sparling said he was forced to sell the site when creditors demanded payment. A possible merger with fell through at the last moment. "Given the different strengths of the two sites," Sparling said, "there seemed to be a lot of synergy."

Segernet CEO Eric Verona and The Seger File's Scott Sparling during merger negotiations.

The combined site was to have been called It would have offered files of all types, including nail files, wood files and assorted rasps, as well as a wide variety of nets. But competition from big-box stores such as Home Depot and Lowes proved to be too great.

"In the end, the creditors took control. I deeply regret that they sold out to a heartless media conglomerate with no sense of right or wrong," Sparling said. "Personally, I would never believe a thing you read on Gawker."

Later that day Sparling was seen coming out of the Turkish Bath House, where he spent the day drowning puppies.

Depraved Puppy Murderer at Sex Club. Gawker Media Photo. ©2008 All Rights Reserved.
April 1, 2008

Segerfile Writer Caught in Tryst With High-Priced MP3s

Once, he stood as a shining example of all things Seger. But the proprietor of one of the web's largest Seger sites revealed today that he has been caught in a liaison with high-priced mp3s -- many of them indie, folk and alt-country mp3s.

The scandal came to light when an anonymous customer on iTunes mistakenly clicked "Buy Shopping Cart" instead of "Buy Song." Since Apple provides no "Undo" button, his in-basket was instantly flooded with over a hundred non-Seger mp3s, including several by The Be Good Tanyas.

iTunes launched an investigation, and soon identified the user as Client No. 9,873,246. Later that day authorities revealed him to be the founder of the Seger File.

"I have acted in a way that violates the public pretense of right and wrong," he said in an oddly worded statement. "I have failed to live up to the standards expected from unofficial web sites produced by uncompensated fans in their spare time. I will not be taking questions. Thank you very much."

Later, his distraught wife told FOX news that she knew something was wrong as soon as she saw the Visa bill. "I always assumed he was in the computer room listening to Seger. Now I find out he has Meg Hutchinson all over his iPod."

Investigators also discovered Spottiswood and His Enemies, Amy Cook, Back Door Slam and the Quebe Sisters on his playlists.

"We were shocked," said Seger's longtime manager Punch Andrews. "Here we are faithfully putting out an album every 11 years, assuming that fans are listening to nothing but Bob. Then something like this comes along and shakes your faith."

"He seemed like a decent enough guy," an area man said. "If he'd been cheating with Tom Petty, I could understand it. But The Be Good Tanyas? Talk about depraved. I can't understand a word Frazey Ford is singing. And one of those chicks has a banjo."

April 1, 2008

Seger Trivia Winners

Congratulations go out to Michael Slater, winner of this month's Seger Trivia Contest, for correctly identifying Seger's first No. 1 album. Slater wins a copy of last year's concert DVD, Live at Cobo. Runners-up Lane Vancouver, Dimi Webster, Trick Bradley and Harp Maitland will all receive a copy of the double CD from the show. Thanks to everyone who entered and watch for next month's contest.

April 1, 2008

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

A Year After Cobo:
Nakia, Paul Thorn and the Anti-Seger at SXSW

"Miracles will happen. I promise you!" -- Jon Dee Graham, closing his set at the Continental Club, March 15, 2008.

It's been a year now -- one full year since Seger brought down the house at Cobo Hall, closing out his Face the Promise Tour on March 17, 2007.

And since then? No concert DVD, no re-release of FTP with added tracks, and nothing definite on a summer or fall tour. I'm not complaining. No matter how much he gives us, we'll always want more, and waiting is something we're good at.

Still, there has to be new music coming in. The program that runs my brain demands it; otherwise the system tends to crash. So when Ears Two, my longtime friend and comrade-in-music, suggested a South by Southwest trip, I jumped.

The festival, which ended Saturday, yielded plenty of new bands, or at least bands that are new to me -- including two I think every Seger fan should check out.

Looking for Commitment

First, a caveat: this is not a list of bands that ruled at SXSW. I have no idea who ruled. I'm off the grid, as far as buzz goes. To find out which bands supposedly caught fire at SXSW (or to read yet another puff piece on Vampire Weekend), I'd have to get myself a copy of Spin, just like you.

No, what blew me away at SXSW, time after time, was not buzz, but commitment. Some acts turn on the amps and perform. I mean that in a negative sense. What you're seeing is something they've contrived for you to see. It might be very entertaining, but ultimately it's an act.

Then there are the ones that would do what they do, no matter what. They're not performing. It's the music -- the pure, intense feeling of it -- that drives them. Everything they do is in service of that feeling. If you're lucky enough to be in the audience, you get to watch. But it's not really being made for your benefit.

Artists like that, they're all in. They're shoveling coal onto the fire with every note and with every ounce of energy -- and yeah, I mean that as a reference to Seger because that's the kind of commitment he brings, though of course he wasn't at SXSW.

Must-See #1: Nakia

But Nakia and His Southern Cousins were. And if you love the James Brown/Wilson Pickett/Memphis side of Seger -- the full force vocals of "Come to Poppa," "Fire Down Below," and "Ain't Got No Money" -- you should definitely check out Nakia.

After listening to more than 600 sample mp3s as part of our pre-festival planning, both Ears Two and I ended up with Nakia (pronounced naw-KEE-a, or so I claim) on our Must-See lists. That alone says a lot.

But when we heard him live -- in Lamberts, a club with maybe 50 people present -- we were totally blown away. His show was tight and high energy and full of life, and something about his music lifted my spirits in just the same way Seger's music can. This guy is good.

The problem is, you might have to go to Austin to hear him. Currently, when he tours outside of Austin, he doesn't take his band. But you can hear "Playing the Cards," the sample that attracted Ears Two and I, at the SXSW site. And check out his tasty Wilson Pickett cover here.

The samples don't give a full sense of what it's like hear him live -- just as Seger's early recordings didn't really capture the energy of the live shows. I don't know if Nakia and his band have quite reached Live Bullet form yet, but they're on their way. I'd definitely bet my cards on him.

Must-See #2: Paul Thorn

But what if you love the Chuck Berry/harder-rocking/"Get Out of Denver"/"Wreck this Heart" side of Seger? In that case, the man you want to talk to is Paul Thorn.

Thorn is a rocker who is thoroughly confident and friendly -- he's having so much fun on stage, you just can't stop smiling. Sound familiar?

His sample mp3, "Long Way from Tupelo" convinced Ears Two and I to see him at The Tap Room at Six in Austin. But you won't have to travel to the Live Music Capital of the World to see him. You can check his video here, or see him on March 19th on Conan O'Brien on March 19 or April 22 on Jimmy Kimmel. Thorn's on his way up; catch him at the small clubs while you can.

Johnette Napolitano

There were other artists who skulled me in equally intense but very different ways. One was Johnette Napolitano. When she played on Wednesday night, I felt I was in the presence of some holy, expletive-drenched, righteous force of nature.

Napolitano, who used to be in Concrete Blonde, is crazed. She would tell you that herself. Though it wouldn't be necessary. You sense it immediately. She is out of control in a way that seems completely necessary and liberating, and her voice soars and transports. When her set was over, I just wanted more.

Fortunately, Billboard editor Tamara Conniff was there. Conniff leapt up on stage at the end of the show and demanded that Johnette come back, under threat of, well, some sort of erotic craziness I actually would have liked to have seen. But Johnette came back. It was one of three encores and one of two standing ovations that I saw in 59 shows.

I mashed, or uh, stole, some audio of Napolitano singing "Joey" at her SXSW gig from somebody else's blog. I apologize for the theft. But I had to do it in order to get rid of the video portion. Trust me, you don't want to be distracted by video while this plays. You want to close your eyes and just listen deeply to the pain and the yearning and the realness of this. It's a long way from Segerland, and it won't be everyone's cup of tea. But it made me feel alive.

Paddy Casey

Paddy Casey had the same effect, though his music is very different.

I was ticked off at the beginning of his show because it was being filmed for some media outfit, and the stage director wanted Ears Two and I to stand closer to the stage so they could make the crowd look bigger than it really was.

In other words, they wanted to add some fakeness. That kind of crap would have ruined most shows for me.

But when Casey got to "Whatever Gets You True," and "Fear" and "It's Over Now," I forgot about me. I actually disappeared for a while and music filled up the space where I had been. Ever have that happen to you at a Seger concert? Well, yeah.

I don't have to steal any video to give you a sample of his voice. He'll be on Letterman April 3rd. And he'll be on your radio soon, if he isn't already.

The Anti-Seger

Then, of course, there was the Anti-Seger, Mr. Van Morrison. By Anti-Seger, I don't mean he's against or opposed to Seger in any way. (Though he did once complain that Seger was "doing my act." To which I retorted, "well, someone should, since you're not doing it." But I don't think Van heard me, since I was 2,000 miles and several years away.)

No, I just mean that Van Morrison does the opposite of what Seger does, at least onstage. Van played none of his hits. In fact, he didn't play a single song I recognized. He certainly didn't give a rip whether the crowd wanted to hear Saint Dominic's Preview or not. So some folks were not particularly thrilled with his set.

Also, there were lots of instrumental solos, which, though tasty, weren't all that tasty, considering we were standing on a hard concrete floor in the heat, and we were there to hear Van's genius, not tasty solos. By the end, a lot of people were ready to get on with SXSW. (By virtue of his time slot, he was essentially the opening act).

I'd done some research, however, so my expectations were different. I knew he wouldn't play any hits, and I knew he wouldn't give us too much of a look inside -- he kept his sunglasses on the whole time. But Van's genius is Van's genius. His voice is, all by itself, an instrumental solo. You don't get much enunciation with Van. And halfway through the set, when he started pumping his arm and throwing stiff, little punches in the air…at that point, I was flying. Nobody defines commitment like Van Morrison.

Who else? Tom Freund is a name you're going to hear. Ben Harper, having produced Freund's upcoming album, sat in with him, and the set was fantastic. Kim Taylor proved she has a lot more than the obvious Joni Mitchell roots in her music, while Sara Bareilles proved she more Joni roots than you'd expect from her iTunes hit. Patricia Vonne rocked. I missed seeing The Silos set when A.J. Croce (who was playing in the same time slot and who had barely made my "maybe" list) knocked Ears Two and I out with his opening song. It's gotta sound weird to trade The Silos for A.J. Croce, but if you were in the room, you would have done the same thing. Trust me. I know you.

The Miracle of Escovedo

Then on Saturday, the last day, the miracle happened.

By that time, the Texas heat had fried many of the circuits in my Oregon brain, and for complicated reasons, Ears Two and I ended up in a taxi, taking a long and misguided ride, while the unprovoked (or barely provoked) driver let loose on Ears Two and threatened to toss us out of the cab. Then, when we got where we were going, the complicated thing we wanted to see turned out to be a bust.

So we did what men will do when everything falls apart. We started walking. When we had walked a good mile, we heard some music coming from behind a fence. It sounded pretty good, so we crossed the street and made our way in.

The place was Maria's Taco Xpress, and the music was coming from a fenced in courtyard, where people sat eating tacos and drinking beer. It didn't take Ears Two long to figure out what had happened. Like fools, like blessed men, we had wandered unknowingly into Alejandro Escovedo's annual SXSW party at Maria's.

The first band was great. I wish I could remember their name right now. Ears Two will know. And then Alejandro played and it was just absolutely freaking amazing. The music and the place -- everything. I can't explain it to you. I tried to explain it to my wife and son a couple hours ago and started crying right in the middle, like I haven't done since my dad died, and my wife had to cross the living room and give me a hug and tell me she was glad I had gone to Austin even though it meant four days away from the family. I don't know why I would cry about a thing like that, except maybe when miracles are given to you, that's what you do. Or what I do.

Of course, people in Austin and a lot of other people have known about Escovedo for years. I don't why I hadn't, but there it is. Maybe the music gods planned it that way. Maybe I had to wait all this time so I could hear the right band in the right place at the right time with the right friend. Whatever it was, Escovedo's set had it all -- like that night at Cobo Hall a year ago, it was something I'll never forget.

Jon Dee Graham

After that, all that was left to do was to walk to the Continental Club and listen to the sound of two dinosaur's fighting, which is Jon Dee Graham and his band, the Fighting Cocks.

I've probably written enough about JDG here in the past, considering this is supposed to be a site about Seger. But in case it isn't glaringly obvious, this is also a site about me. And for me, all I can say is, until I stood in the roar of JDG's music and Alejandro's music, there were still places in my soul that hadn't been touched. You might not feel the same way, or maybe you would.

What I know about us -- you and me -- is that Seger gets in just as deep. Touches something just as important. No one can explain why. That's just the way it is with us.

I didn't start out writing about cathartic and soul-affirming music experiences thinking it would lead back to Cobo. I didn't start out intending to do anything except type up my notes. But great music cuts deep pathways in us. It surprises us in so many ways.

Great music is, in fact, a miracle. And when miracles are put in front of you, you take them.

Written March 16, 2007; posted March 18, 2007

More Cover Songs

Suggestions keep coming in for songs that Seger could cover and knock out of the park. Here's the latest batch, along with your reasons for your choice. The list starts with one of my all-time favorite rockers.

"Double Yellow Line" by the Music Machine. Imagine Seger doing this -- now that would be an unimaginable kick. WOW. Doug Burkhardt

"In the Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett. It suits Bob's vocal style and I can just hear Alto's awesome sax blowing in the background like the original! Second choice: "Mustang Sally." I can hear Bob's growl on that one! R J Nungesser

"Cold Cold Rain" by the Amazing Rhythm Aces. No doubt about it -- the music in the track already is very, very Segeresque. Ron Ferrell

"The River" by Garth Brooks. Just listen to the awesome lyrics about sailing his vessel, as the song says. I would say that would be Bob Seger. I hope someday he will record this. Dave Brown

"We're an American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad. John Hilling

"Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan. Oldtimefan

"November Rain" by Guns N' Roses. Imagine Bob unique voice replacing Axel's harsh voice and Bob's own rocking guitar sound over Slash's solo. It would be mind blowing. Ford Wong

"You Can Leave Your Hat On" by Joe Cocker (written by Randy Newman). That would be killer. Second choice: Buddy Miller's "I Worry Too Much." Paul Dunn

"Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum. I think there's some good opportunity for his voice and a sax solo or 2. Michael McShea

"Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica. Since Metallica slaughtered "Turn the Page," I thought it would be fun for Bob to make one of their songs sound better! Second choice: Bob Seger and Melissa Ethridge should do a duet together. Shellie Altman

As some of you have pointed out, Seger could knock almost any song out of the park -- case in point, America the Beautiful. Not to mention Little Drummer Boy. But while we're in this, uh, hiatus, waiting for summer tour news, it's fun to imagine pulling out some CDs and saying "Hey, Bob -- listen to this."

March 8, 2008...wasting way back 'cross that double yellow li-i-i-i-ne....
Songs For Seger -- Your Cover Choices

A month ago -- as a way of marking the Seger File's tenth year online -- I threw a question out to everyone: What song would you like to hear Seger cover? Now the month has past, and man, did you come up with some great choices.

Some of these songs I've heard before, of course, but there are some I've missed, starting with the first one on the list. Somehow I'd never heard the Waylon Jennings song, and I hadn't heard the Sam Cooke tune in a long time. Several others were new to me, too.

In case some are new to you, or you need to refresh your memory, versions of many of them are posted on YouTube.

Here's the highlights from the songs you sent in, along with your comments. And, down below, my suggestion for a song I think Seger could send to Number 1.

Songs Seger Should Cover -- Your Choices

"Wild Ones" by Waylon Jennings. I think Seger would sound great singing it. Jesse Torres

"Standing Outside The Fire" by Garth Brooks. To me it just inspires passion, just like so many of Seger's songs -- the desire to go your own way, the ability to reach just a little bit further than you think you can. Marie Campbell, suggested by Steve Brosnan

"A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. Seger's voice suits itself nicely to old soul classics and this one is right up there with the best of all time. Cooke's classic has been covered exceptionally well throughout the years (in fact, some consider Otis Redding's version to be superior), and Seger's version would easily take its place in that list. Jason Brown

"Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who. It would just be neat to hear Bob sing it, Second choice: Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." Mike Taylor

"Memphis in the Meantime" by John Hiatt. Second choice: Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On" (as recorded by Joe Cocker.) Bob Vogt

"House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals. Second and third choice, the Eagles "Desperado" and CCR's "Who'll Stop the Rain." Ears Two.

''Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon. I love the song. Warren was a great artist and writer… Bob could do it justice. Bob seems to be the only one that can really do a cover of someone else's songs and make them as good or better. Daniel Hawks

"Rock n Roll Music" by Chuck Berry. Second choice, "The Midnight Special," as covered by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Carol Domanus

"Black is Black" by Los Bravos. Because Alto reed would play a mean sax into it and it would be in the same speed as Shakedown. Other choices: Otis Redding's "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," Aretha Franklin's "Respect." Jamil Haidous

"Walking In Memphis" by Marc Cohn. Bob singing about Elvis would be something that I would find enjoyable. I think the song has the right tempo for Bob's inimitable voice and style. I can just hear those high notes now. Teresa Parmentier

"Midnight Special" as covered by CCR. Other choice: "Spirit in the Sky" T.K.

"Summer Rain" done by Johnny Rivers. That has always been one of my favorite songs and I think Bob would be able to do a fantastic job with it. Mary Ann Dotson

"The Long Run" by the Eagles. I realize it was a hit for them, but I think Seger would take this over the top. And with the Silver Bullet Band, this could send this song over the edge. Scarecrow Kunkel

"Water Or Gasoline" by Blackie And The Rodeo Kings. It rocks like a very rocking thing and contains the great line: "Got a feeling stingin' like a new tattoo…back across my mind.'' Gill Comer

"Heart of the Night" by Poco. The unforgettable sax solo in the middle would be great with the Silver Bullet Band. Second choice:"Ophelia" by The Band. John Shaw.

"The End is Not in Sight" by the Amazing Rhythem Aces. Just listen to it! Johnny Mosteller

"Maggie Mae" by Rod Stewart. Seger would give it a great sound that is true to the original, but still unique enough to make it a "Bob Seger song" and not a remake of that old geezer Rod Stewart's classic. Chip Stewart.

"Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails, also covered by Johnny Cash and Christina Aguilera. Bob would come to my house and sing it softly into my ear, and then....well, my brain would melt, ooze out my ears and leave a puddle on the floor. Rosemary in Bay City

Great songs. Thanks very much to everybody who sent in a suggestion. Now all we gotta do is get Bob to give a listen.

And as promised, here's my choice. I gave some thought to Paul Thorn's marvelous "Long Way from Tupelo." I considered Doug Brown's funky "Streets of Ann Arbor" -- yes, that Doug Brown.

But in the end, nothing could top this for me: Jon Dee Graham's "Remain." It's heartfelt, simple, and incredibly real. See if you agree.

The audio track is an excerpt from the new documentary on Jon Dee Graham called Swept Away. Individual tracks, including the full version of "Remain" are available here.

Ears Two and I will get a chance to hear Graham later this month at SXSW, and maybe Paul Thorn as well. (And if we're lucky enough to get into Van Morrison's show, I'll be sure to wear my Seger File t-shirt.) So here's the next question for you. What hot new bands should we not miss in Austin?

March 2, 2008

Your Turn: What Song Should Seger Cover?

From "River Deep, Mountain High" to "Real Mean Bottle," Seger has covered a lot of great songs over the years, making them even greater in the process. Think "New Coat of Paint," "Nutbush," "Let It Rock," "Mary Lou"...the list goes on.

In fact, in what you might call the modern era -- from the Beautiful Loser album on -- only one album, Against the Wind, has not contained a cover song. (I'm counting "Fortunate Son" on the CD version of Like a Rock.)

So what about it? What song should Seger cover on his next CD? (Yes, assuming there is one, which I do, based on certain cloud formations and anagrams found in the original liner notes for Smokin' O.P.'s.) To put it another way, what previously recorded song is out there just waiting for Seger's genius to breathe new life into it?

Send me your top choice and a short explanation why. In another week or so, I'll print your answers.

I've got one in mind, obviously, that I think would be a gem. But maybe someone out there can top it. Send your choices to

(FYI -- A cover song by my definition means a song written and previously released by someone other than Seger.)

February 18, 2008

Seriously, Onion, Why Bob?

The second-most entertaining site on the web did a wonderful little riff Wednesday on the standard rock 'n roller shout, "Hey [Name of Town Here] how ya doin'?" The piece, which pretends to be from Seger, is titled "Seriously, Cleveland, How Are You?"

It's a very funny piece (though not as funny as this, or so I allege). But I wonder: Why Seger? For people on the coasts, Cleveland is always good for a laugh (undeservedly so, I think). But why not Jagger? Mellencamp? Petty? Maybe they just happened to have Bob's picture.

The bio-blurb describes Seger as a two-time Grammy Award winner -- true if you count the 1980 Grammy for best album art.

Ears Two, who was at the Cleveland concert with me, is waiting for the follow-up article: "Seriously, Cleveland, I Can't Hear You...!"

The real Cleveland concert was a little over a year ago, on December 16, 2006. If you're nostalgic for the real deal, click here.

Mark Chatfield and Seger rip it up in Cleveland. Photo by Lynne.

February 8, 2008

Tour Rumors: Summer Drummer Edition

Classic rock stations from Detroit to Columbus are stoking the tour-rumor fires with reports that Seger is searching for a drummer for the summer. Here's how WLVQ's Kristie Kemper puts it:

The rumors about Bob Seger touring this summer are true. Grand Funk Railroad drummer Don Brewer, who was on Seger's 2006-2007 Face the Promise tour, tells us he was asked if he would be available for a summer tour, but he had to take a pass because he is on tour with Grand Funk.

That's a great sign. I'm definitely getting psyched. But remember -- in Segerworld, tour rumors are subject to change without notice. My advice: Don't start the party 'til you've got the ticket in your hand.

February 1, 2008. Thanks to John Hagan and Rosemarie Campbell.

Seger and Live Nation -- Who's Pitching Whom?

In late January, Live Nation sent out a survey to Seger fans (not including me) asking about their interest in a live DVD, whether they would travel to see a Bob Seger show, what they would pay, and so on. People who responded got a chance to win a pair of concert tickets (not to Seger) in a drawing to be held February 15. The survey closed January 31.

The official rules call this an "Artist 360 Fan Survey." The term "360" refers to a type of distribution deal. This is how David Bryne describes it in last month's Wired Magazine:

"Where there [used to be] one, now there are six possible music distribution models...

1. At one end of the scale is the 360, or equity, deal, where every aspect of the artist's career is handled by producers, promoters, marketing people, and managers. The idea is that you can achieve wide saturation and sales, boosted by a hardworking machine that stands to benefit from everything you do. The artist becomes a brand, owned and operated by the label, and in theory this gives the company a long-term perspective and interest in nurturing that artist's career.

This is the kind of deal Madonna just made with Live Nation. For a reported $120 million, the company -- which until now has mainly produced and promoted concerts -- will get a piece of both her concert revenue and her music sales. I, for one, would not want to be beholden to Live Nation -- a spinoff of Clear Channel, the radio conglomerate that turned the US airwaves into pabulum. But Madge is a smart cookie; she's always been adept at controlling her own stuff, so we'll see." David Bryne, Wired Magazine, January 2008. "David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists -- and Megastars"

So is Seger interested in a 360 deal with Live Nation? Or, more likely to my way of thinking, is Live Nation trying to get Seger interested? Consider this tidbit from

When [Live Nation CEO Michael] Rapino and his crew pitch bands, the company databases spew out useful information about the band's fan base -- age, gender, how much they'll pay for tickets.

Says Rapino: "I should be e-mailing you the morning after the Jay-Z concert, saying, 'Want a CD? A download? Want a video of the show? Want a set list? Want a signed shirt with Jay-Z? We printed a limited edition.' The possibilities are endless." Paul Sloan, Fortune senior writer, November 30, 2007, "Live Nation rocks the music industry."

In other words, before they go to an artist with a proposal, they do a survey and crunch the numbers. My guess is that's what's going on.

Would Seger be interested in such a deal? When I read the following about Madonna, I can't see why:

...People familiar with [Madonna's Live Nation deal] say it's valued at around $120 million over a decade. They paid her $90 million upfront in stock and cash, these people say.

Could Live Nation make money on the expensive pact? Well, the contract would pay for itself if Madonna does four tours and three albums in the next decade with revenues comparable to her recent output, the key assumption being that the 49-year-old star suffers no major dropoff. Profits would then come from merchandise, sponsorships, DVDs, and on and on. Paul Sloan, Fortune senior writer, November 30, 2007, "Live Nation rocks the music industry."

Did you catch that? Four tours and three albums over the next decade? That would be great for us fans, but it's hard to imagine Seger going for it.

And even if the dollar amount was lower and the tour/CD commitment was less, it's still quite a stretch to see Seger giving up control. Seger and Punch have always focused on limiting Seger's exposure, not milking it. But who knows. Maybe the times are changing.

February 1, 2008. Thanks to Shellie Altman and Rosemarie Campbell.

What Song Should Seger Cover?

One of Seger's highest-charting singles is his cover of Rodney Crowell's "Shame on the Moon." According to Seger, Alto Reed's girlfriend got him going on that song.

"I took the Crowell album over to Alto Reed's house to play it for him, and his girlfriend Monica was knocked out by 'Shame on the Moon.' I thought it was a man's song, but she made me play it four times." Timothy White, April 1983, Musician. "The Roads Not Taken."

Which got me thinking -- If you could make Seger play a song four times, what song would it be?

This month marks the Seger File's 10th Anniversary, and to celebrate, I'm opening up the request lines. Tell me what one song you think Seger would take to #1, the perfect song for him to cover, and I'll post the responses here later in the month.

Name the song and why Seger should cover it in 50 words or less and send it to It's your chance to be just like Alto's girlfriend...well, that didn't come out right, but you know what I mean.

And if you missed the party for last year's anniversary (when I clearly had a lot more time on my hands) check it out here.

February 1, 2008.

Lookin' Back

Here's one I missed -- the issue of Tour Guide Journal with Seger on the cover. (Good thing I have nothing to do during the holidays except search the web.)

The cover article, by Michael Beck, gives some background on the crew and the set design, along with some stories from the road. An excerpt:

"The backdrop was a huge cabernet drape. It was rarely lit, but when it was, it was lit in shades of orange, red and yellow, which brought the drape wildly alive. Indeed, during "Sunspot Baby" it was hit with 14 slowly rotating gobos of a smiling sun that was the most beautiful look of the whole show."

The article explains why no video was used in the staging. There's a full page of photos of the various guitar techs, sound guys and others in the tour crew. There's a story of Seger touring the Harley Davidson plant in Milwaukee.

The article also quotes Production Designer Bob Peterson, whose first Seger tour was in 1976:

"On the first night I called the show," Peterson said, "I couldn't finish calling cues for 'Turn the Page.' I was crying."

It's a good article. A word of warning though: Read it at your own risk. It'll just make you want the DVD more.

December 31, 2007

On Wanting, Getting, and Wanting More

One thing the person who is Bob Seger must have figured out a long time ago is this: no matter how much he gives us, we will always want more.

That's gotta be kind of strange, because a big portion of his life was spent trying to get people to want his music. Then someone flipped a switch and suddenly he can't give us enough.

So I'm guessing he's not wracked with guilt over the fact that a concert DVD wasn't released. After all, a concert DVD wouldn't satisfy the craving; it would only feed it. Who knows what we'd want next -- a boxed set, or something crazy like that.

So the following little parody isn't likely to change anything in Segerland.

Son: You know what, Pop?
Pop: What's that, son?
Son: Christmas just wasn't the same this year.
Pop: Well why is that?

And why wasn't it released? Simple. Because Seger didn't like the color, or the sound, or the lighting, or the packaging or....I don't know. Make up your own reason. That's all I'm doing here.

Here's the made-up reason I like best. Seger didn't release a concert DVD for Christmas because he wanted to give us something to look forward to in 2008. And you know what, Pop? Whether Seger actually thought that or not, it's true. We still have something to hope for in the new year.

December 28, 2007

Keep those '08 Tour Rumors Rolling

Hey, as long as we're indulging our addiction, why not reach for the stars? Why not hope for a new tour?

Would you settle for a new tour rumor? Those are easy to come by. Check out this one from WCXS personality Ken Calvert, who writes:

What I'm Hearing And I Could Be Wrong

I recently had dinner with a great old friend (genuinely connected to the Seger camp) and he happened to mention casually that Bob Seger would most likely go back out on tour the summer of 2008 and play the outdoor "Sheds" like DTE.

I played dumb and asked "for real"? He said Bob thought the 2006 tour was so successful that there was no doubt it's on the table. No doubt Bob's family ranks number one and that's why I think it will happen. No school or holidays to balance and weather won't be an issue. I think we'll see Bob at DTE this summer.

As for the tour DVD, Calvert says "look for it in 2008 if at all."

December 28, 2007

Meanwhile, Some Silver Bullets Do Some Rocking

Meanwhile, Alto Reed has gotten together with former Silver Bullet Drew Abbott and other musicians for several rocking gigs. Singer Steve Dickinson reports "we did an amazing show in Boston over the weekend in conjunction with the NHL Alumni."

Dickinson writes: "It was a great time. Drew Abbott cut loose through the whole set. When he closes his eyes and ties into a solo, look out. When he, Alto and (former Seger drummer) Jamie Oldaker et al lock it in, it's nothing short of magic. The rest of the band members are Jack Drydan, bass, Tim Sparling (keys/vox) both longtime friends and bandmates of Drew's and monster musicians. On backing vocals and a couple of solo tunes are two beautiful and talented vocalists, Stacia Petrie & Cheryl Lescom.

Sparling*, Abbott, Dickinson, Reed, Lescom, Petrie, Dryden and Oldaker

(*No relation to me. Far as I know -- SS)

Seger fans Boston Sammy, and Kevin from Segerbob were on hand for the Boston show. Check out some more pics on Sammy's myspace page.

Speaking of popular web pages, I've got a job for all the Abbott fans who write me. (Like the guitarist who goes by the name North Rock, who writes "I remember an awesome concert with a big lineup back in the day at Utica High School. I was inspired beyond words by the awesome sound of the Third Power... so much that I became the guitarist I am today. Thanks, Drew.")

The assignment: Update Abbott's Wikipedia entry. It seems to be based on an essay I wrote almost ten years ago about a now defunct Abbott band called Blue Highway. I couldn't publish the essay anywhere, so I was pretty much forced to start this website.

December 28, 2007

Someone Makes A List and Doesn't Include Enough Seger

Stop the presses. Wait -- does the internet have presses? Okay, stop the digital data transmission. Somewhere out there someone has made yet another "Best Of" list and unjustly included too few mentions of Seger.

This time, oddly, it's the (Detroit) Metro Times list of "The 100 Greatest Detroit Songs Ever." Three Seger entries. Give 'em credit for "2+2=?", though maybe they were just showing off at how deep their Seger roots go.

But really -- no Seger in the top 30 Detroit songs? And their summary of "Night Moves" completely misses the mark. The "thunder" that Seger waited on after he felt the lightning had nothing to do with sex. The thunder was realization, consequence. Understanding. Right? Am I the only one who thinks this? All the rest of you think it was about sex? Huh. Not for me.

They did have this cool old photo, though.

December 28, 2007

Grand Funk Keeps Rolling

Alto and Abbott aren't the only Silver Bullet players who have been making music recently. Barb Payton has been on the road with Kid Rock. Jim Moose Brown has been busy in Nashville. Shaun Murphy has been out with Little Feat, with a bunch more dates scheduled for 2008. And Don Brewer's been playing with an American band.

Grand Funk has played 40 shows since the Seger tour ended, and they've got more scheduled in 08 -- check out the tour list here.

An article in the Witchita Times Records News from last fall begins this way:

If he had listened to his mom, Don Brewer would be an accountant.

Luckily, he didn't listen to his mom.

Brewer had other plans. They involved a set of drums, drumsticks and a savory smattering of rock 'n' roll.

Brewer, the kid from Flint, Mich., who should have become an accountant but didn't, instead became part of American rock 'n' roll history as a member of the quintessential American band, Grand Funk Railroad.

"My mother was always pushing me to find a real job," said Brewer, 59, from his home in Florida. "She was pushing me to go to college and get my accounting certificate … But I've always wanted to be a musician ever since."

And so that's what he did.

(By Lana Sweeten-ShultsSeptember 13, 2007, Witchita Times Records News, "An American Band.")

Read the full article here.

December 28, 2007

500 Thank You's

As of today, 500 people have visited Standing Ovation to say thanks to Bob and the Band. Rose from Trenton, Michigan is the 500th person. "Through the years," she writes, "whenever I needed to get through something in life, I listened to his music." She speaks for a lot of us.

If you haven't signed in yet, follow the link and send your thanks.

December 28, 2007

Singles, Songs and Loose Ends

The Seger File was born nearly a decade ago, which means there are plently of sections that need remodeling. In the past week, a couple pages got a bit of a makeover.

The Singles page now has a decent discography, stolen from, (which probably stole it from someplace else). Guess which song charted higher: We've Got Tonight, or Like A Rock? Check it out and see.

And the Other Seger Tracks page got a bit of a re-do, with some new photos as well.

Speaking of photos, I love this one from Leni Sinclair taken at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in 1971.

As for loose ends, has anyone heard anything about those four tracks that Seger once said he might add to a reissued Face the Promise? And has anyone gotten around to writing the bridge for Outland yet?

Thanks for this month's update go to Bill Cook, Steve Dickinson, Boston Sammy, Charlie Keegan and probably some others that I'm forgetting. To all Seger File readers, happy new year.

December 28, 2007

The Seger File Returns

It's been a while. Let's start with this message from the email:

"Last year was like falling in love; every day was better, always something new and exciting to find out. Every night the band got better, Bob's voice got stronger, the fans got louder.

"I don't regret one dime that I spent at those shows, or a minute of the time I took off work to get there. I'm sure you don't, either. If he tours again and I have to get a second job to see him, I will. So write something already."

-- Rosemary in Bay City.

She's right -- last year was kind of like falling in love. Face the Promise was released on September 12. The tour began on November 8. We were busy making getting tickets, making plans. What a great year it was. And now we're back to waiting.

Live Promise

Meanwhile, there is a little news. A little over a month ago, a live "Face the Promise" video was posted on myspace by a film director named Jb Carlin. The video, from the Cobo shows, is professionally shot, the sound is excellent and there are some great images of Seger and the band along with some cool behind-the-scenes shots.

The video is a collaboration between Carlin and a friend, and not an official Seger release-- not part of or a preview of the much-discussed live DVD. Carlin has directed music videos for Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow.

The video makes you realize how great a full Cobo DVD could be.

Segernet's been digging into this, and has a message from Carlin here.

Clicking on the image above will take you the video.

Promise-maker Jb Carlin

(Lack of) Tour News

I haven't been reading my Seger Google Alerts for months, but unless I've missed something, there's not much other news. The fact that it's been more than a year since Face The Promise was released means it's now perfectly fine, by my rules, for Seger to reissue the CD with additional tracks, as he once discussed. And of course the long-rumored DVD would be an excellent Christmans present. So far, silence.

There's no tour news either. As you might recall, Seger said this last March:

"I figure I'll take six or seven months (off) and just write and that's all, maybe a little bit of recording, nothing else, definitely don't play with the band," Seger said.

"Then I'll just reassess in October and say, 'How do I feel?' Do I want to start another record and do the thing the following summer or the following fall?' or something. That's a good way to approach it, I think." March 6, UPI. "Bob Seger says no more touring this year."

If that reassessing is going on now, let's hope it's pointed toward a tour. In case anyone's wondering about my schedule, my summer's pretty open.

On Moose's blog, there are rumors of a spring tour. (And I probably don't need to remind you that in Segerland, tour rumors aren't worth the paper they're not printed on.)

"That was the first time I've talked to Chris since the tour was over in March, and hearing his voice just reminded how much fun I had with all of them on stage. Sometimes I find it hard to believe I got to hang for a few months with the best of the best in rock-n-roll.

"I had breakfast last week with Shaun Murphy and Barb Payton at Shaun's house. Whoooo, that girl can cook! They've heard a few rumors about possibly touring in the spring but at this point they are just rumors." (From Jim "Moose" Brown's myspace page.)

What else? Barb Payton is touring with Kid Rock, who will appear on Saturday Night Live on November 18. That could be worth a watch.

Meanwhile, Kid Rock and Punch are parting company according to a recent Free Press article.

"Punch is the greatest manager of all time," Rock said. "I could not have had a No. 1 record without him. There's a lot of respect for him as a friend and as someone who has guided my career. He's always been held in my highest regard."

Andrews, who handles business from a longtime office in downtown Birmingham, said he will continue his work with Seger, whom he's represented since the early 1960s. The pair will focus on expanding Seger's presence in Asian and European markets, he said. (Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press, October 17, 2007. "Kid Rock talks about leaving longtime manager, signing with Nashville firm")

Finally, some Silver Bullets old and new took the stage last month in Livingston, Michigan as a benefit for a wounded soldier from the Iraq war. Alto Reed and Drew Abbott were joined by Borneo Band drummer Jamie Oldaker as well as Canadian singer-songwriter Steve Dickinson. Must have been a great show.

Thanks to Steve Dickinson, Karen Freeman, Paul Dunn and many others for waking me up from my slumber. Sorry for the long layoff between posts. I've fallen hopelessly behind on answering emails, but I'll try to catch up.

November 5, 2007

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