The Seger File
An unofficial web site about the music of Bob Seger
Archived Updates from 2009.
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Written and edited by Scott Sparling
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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. Springsteeen 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

"Early Seger" Due Nov. 24, Nov. 30...and January?

According to a Detroit News article by Susan Whitall, Seger's management says the new "Early Seger" CD may be released more widely in January 2010. So far, the only solid information is that the CD will be available in Meijer stores on November 24 and on on November 30 (presumably as a CD, not a download, given Seger's disdain for mp3s).

My guess is that the CD will turn up in all sorts of places after the Christmas season. But for now, Live Nation wants to control the sales -- and the profits. In one respect, I think that's fine -- it shows Seger embracing the new business model made possible by the internet.

It was just four years ago, you might recall, when the old said "Capitol Records is responding to requests from the Detroit rocker's online fan community for reissues of Seger's more obscure works by releasing a newly remastered version of his 1972 release, Smokin' O.P.'s." Many of us (okay, all of us) wondered at the time (okay, complained at the time) that there were no unreleased tracks -- all Capitol did was repackage an existing CD with some audio upgrades so we could buy it again.

What a difference four years makes. This time around, the rules are different and we get a great mix of old tracks, re-recorded tracks and unreleased tracks. It's truly cause for rejoicing

At the same time, I'm not wild about being forced to buy the CD from Live Nation. But maybe that's the price we have to pay for unreleased tracks. If so, just tell me where to send the money, and keep 'em coming.

November 2, 2009

The Midwest Gets "Early Seger" First - Nov. 24

Much of the mystery around "Early Seger, Vol. 1" has been revealed. The tracklist, cover art and even audio clips are on the new and improved official website. One song -- a powerful new version of a classic from Seger's Seven album -- features great new vocals and music. And we have a release date -- November 24 in Meijers stores in the Midwest, and November 30 online.

The screenshot tells the story.

Tracks one through five sound more remastered than re-recorded -- the changes aren't obvious in a big way in the online samples.

In contrast, track six -- "Long Song Comin'" -- has terrific new vocals and a scorching new backing track. It will blow you away with the mighty power of Seger's voice and the Motor City Horns.

Together, the effect is stunning. The new vocals fit so perfectly that I didn't even notice them until Seger aficionado Ken Settle pointed them out (and few fans have better ears than Ken).

It's one more tribute to the power of Seger's instrument -- his voice. More than 35 years have passed since the original was recorded, yet the song has more raw energy, power and impact than ever.

Bottom line: What was once an interesting album cut and precursor to "Fire Down Below" is now a Seger classic. I haven't even heard the whole thing, and my advice is to play it night and day until you explode.

The last four tracks are something to celebrate as well. All are previously unreleased songs -- three of them from the Like A Rock era.

"Star Tonight" has been available only as the Don Johnson cover released in 1986. What a difference Seger's vocal makes. When Seger's version was profiled five years ago in the Vault, I described it this way:

"Star Tonight" is a song about a woman who uses her acting skills both to please and manipulate. At least that's what I think it's about. Seger's vocal, obviously, is more heartfelt than Johnson's. When he sings "Isn't it amazing how she makes you love the chase," you feel the mix of attraction and distrust that the narrator seems to have for the woman -- getting caught up in her act even while he knows it's an act."

"Gets Ya Pumpin'" seems to be a different version of a song originally called "Pumpin'." If so, it's the one track not originally from the Like A Rock timeframe. The original song, "Pumpin'" is from the 1970s, but at least part of this recording is new, since the Motor City Horns play on it. Based on the lyric sheet only, the Vault described "Pumpin'" this way:

"Pumpin'" -- another Seger song from the '70s -- consists of exactly nine words. In alphabetical order: All, Feelgood, Got, I'm, Long, Me, Mr., Night and Pumpin'.

I bet this song had a great Stax/Volt groove. But I don't read music, so we'll never know for sure.

The track on "Early Seger" does indeed have a great groove (along with slightly different words). Whether a purist would call it Stax/Volt, I'll leave to others.

Ken Settle adds some expert background on this song:

You are absolutely right -- the song was originally called, "Pumpin." It was copyright in 1976. However, the song goes back to summer 1973. The 1976 copyright makes me think perhaps it was considered for Night Moves.

He used to play that song with the short-lived band between the Borneo Band and The Silver Bullet Band. I've seen him do "Pumpin'" at the Roostertail, as well as St. Clair Shores Civic Arena, opening for The Stooges! The way he did this song at that time was "You got ME pumpin." And HE played the nasty guitar power chords that we hear now. He performed it as a medley with "Seen A Lot Of Floors." He would play "Floors" first and swing into "Pumpin," after, saying, "And if things get reaaal good"....and then it would go into that ferocious riff that we hear on the new album. Albeit with Alto playing TWO saxes at once!

Any way you look at it, the song is an amazing testimony to the power of Seger's vocal -- how he can take some simple lyrics and invest them with extraordinary life. It hard to think of anyone else who could do what he does here.

Seger and Reed at Ann Arbor's Primo Showbar in 1973: Pumpin'?

The next track, "Wildfire," is an undisputed gem. Seger fans have been passing a bootleg version of this around for years; now everyone can hear it. This version is slightly different -- the girl in the bootleg version had brown eyes; on the just-released cut, they're blue. Doesn't matter. The vocal, the lyrics and the songwriting are all Seger at his very best. From the 2004 Vault write-up:

As expected, "Wildfire" was also fantastic. It's possibly the best unreleased Seger song I've heard, certainly one of the very best. If it had found a place on Like A Rock or any subsequent album, it would be a Seger classic, a crowd-roaring staple of any live show. The unreleased version of "Wildfire" is fairly well known to Seger collectors, so I haven't made a big deal of it here. The version I heard in the vault was slightly different than the track that gets passed around -- I could tell because he threw in an extra "oh lord" here and there -- but it was substantially the same. A great, great song with great energy. If I hadn't already heard it before I went into the vault, it would have knocked me off my feet. "Wildfire" should definitely be released.

The final track, "Days When the Rain Would Come," is another Like A Rock out-take. Again, from the 2004 Vault visit:

"Definitely ought to be released" is what Ears Two said about "Days," which was recorded for the Like A Rock album.

Musically, "Days" is in the "American Storm," "Roll Me Away" and "Wildfire" genre -- which is to say that it's a big, piano-driven track. It's slower than all three of those songs, though, and sadder or more melancholy. If you turned "American Storm" into a poignant, slightly uptempo ballad, you'd be close to "Days."

Lyrically, it's a song about memories -- about a romance that might have worked, but didn't. "I remember firelight / and a softness in her words / I remember laughter / I remember feeling sure." But in the end, they were reckless with love's gifts. "Maybe we got older / it's hard to say / maybe we just lost our way." The verse ends with Seger singing "I remember me and you on / Days / Days when the rain would come."

Musically and vocally, the song has nothing to do with Dylan -- but one of the middle verses reminded me of Dylan lyrically. By that I mean the lyrics were both evocative and simple, almost magical in the way they say a lot by saying very little: "Maybe it was summer / maybe it was fall / I think the trees were changing / but I can't seem to recall." Hearing those lines reminded me of how underrated Seger is as a lyricist.

Vocally, the best part of many Seger songs is at the end, when he often lets loose. "Days" is a great example. When the song is basically over, he tips his head back and lets it rip. "When the rain WOULD come. DAYS when the rain would come." It's a big, moving, powerful ending.

Clearly, this is an album Seger fans will treasure. And, as I wrote earlier, a lot of folks who only know Seger for his radio hits are in for a blast of pure, high-energy rock at its best. My guess is that this album with stimulate demand for much more early Seger.

According to the official site, Seger fans in five midwestern states will get the album a week before the rest of us. (Some reports have said just the Michigan Meijer stores.) If true, I suppose that's a way of rewarding Seger's loyal fans in the area -- except for the fact that half of us moved out of the area long ago.

Of course, by the time the disk is released nationally, fan sites that have been loyally writing about Seger for more than a decade will have received their promo copies...or not. Along with review copies of that new photo book, massively promoted here but as yet unseen in the Segerfile offices. (Readers, let me know if any of this snarkiness gets to be too much. Just raise your hands and I'll tone it down.)

Red-state fans get the early Seger early:
Meijers has stores in five midwestern states.

Speaking of snarky complaints, I'm gonna miss shooting zingers at the old, which for years was the most anemic and lackluster site on the Internet, and a great target for my laser-guided wisecracks.

My favorite putdown, from May 6, 2005, claimed that Seger's official site "is updated every time a pope dies."

Well, the official site is anemic no more. Quite the contrary, it is now robustly collecting money from fans for one-year "subscriptions" to the Bob Seger Fan Club. Not wanting to be left out, I just paid $30 for a t-shirt I don't really want, an album I already have, and vague promises of early access to concert tickets if Seger ever tours. But at least the money goes to some good cause, a hardworking start-up company called Live Nation/Clear Channel/Ticketmaster, or something like that. In tough economic times like these, it's important to support our big corporations.

(Word: You're not gonna get sarcasm like that or cheap social commentary on the official site, robust or not. Only the Segerfile pokes an ineffectual finger in the eye of big music conglomerates. And the Segerfile is still free.)

But the good news is, "Early Seger" is on its way. The track list is fantastic. It's going to re-introduce the hard-driving Seger we love to tons of people. And, best of all, it's Volume 1.

Can life in Segerworld get any better?

October 31, 2009

Snarkiness Update, Updated

[Editor's note: Well, that was fun while it lasted, which was slightly less than 24 hours: Yesterday I posted the following allegedly humorous rant, and today the problems I pointed out are gone. Almost as if they were never there! What kind of world are we living in when complaining about something results in prompt, remedial action??? I sense some vast Punch Enterprises conspiracy to make me look crazy...not that I need any help. Here, at any rate, is the post that was accurate yesterday.]

A new Bob Seger CD is enough to send my spirits through the roof any day. Though, admittedly, I've been a bit worried that the new, spiffed-up official site would be so cool that I would no longer be able to poke good-natured fun at it.

But fear not -- the new site is still an object of derision. Exhibit A: the official Bob Segar t-shirt you get when you join!

The Bullet Girls are notoriously bad spellers.

Yep, for a meagar $30, Segar fans everywhere can receive this true collectars item. Why, I'd wagar that everyone -- lovars and deceivars, givars and receivars, true believars, eagar beavars and majar leagars, even dog breedars and those who have committed misdemeanars -- will love this new shirt. Unless I've made a majar blundar.

Joking aside, it's obvious that the official Seger site is not being produced by people who really know and appreciate Seger. The Live Nation web-minions who have been tasked with creating the site probably have only passing familiarity with his music. Which is why they can spell his name wrong on a shirt.

It's also why they can get the order of his albums wrong. When did Stranger in Town come out again? Was there ever an album called Brand New Morning? Apparently not.

Then there's Noah and Beautiful Loser. Anybody in the Live Nation web factory got a copy of those laying around? No? Well, send one of the interns out to the nearest vinyl shop. Don't bother removing the shrink wrap before you take the photograph, and don't worry if Beautiful Loser was actually in the cut-out bin. Those Seger fans won't notice -- they're all old, their eyesight's going.

The small hole in the upper right-hand corner of Beautiful Loser indicates a remaindered album.

Okay, maybe that's not how it actually happened. But the bottom line is this: What Seger really needs is not some spiffed-up online vending machine disguised as a website. What he really needs is a comprehensive, insightful and rockin' website produced by a dedicated fan who truly loves his music.

And that would be The Segar File. I never make mistakes. Although I may have blown my chance at a free CD.

Novembar 2, 2009

"Early Seger, Vol. 1"

That's the name of the upcoming Seger album, confirming that it is older material, with at least some portions re-recorded. No release date has been set, but the cover art is done.

You gotta love that "Vol. 1," which hints that more is to come. Box sets are dead, but multiple volumes of older material are just as good.

I have a feeling a lot of people are about to find out that there's more to Bob Seger than "Old Time Rock & Roll." For long-time fans, it's music we've loved for years. For a whole lot of others, it's the Bob Seger they never knew -- until now.

The information on the album title comes straight from Seger's management, which tipped the Segerfile in appreciation for the many years, no wait, it actually comes from Segerfile readers Paul Dunn and Carol Domanus, who do a better job of searching the web than I do.

Speaking of early Seger and Segerfile readers: Until the album is released, Bill Cook suggests you go here and check out the playlist: Early Seger, Netherlands style.

My guess is Seger news will start coming fast, very soon. Which is why you should follow the Segerfile on Twitter.

October 27, 2009

Studio Says Seger is Re-recording Seven and O.P.s

If a famously secretive rock star was working at my studio, I'm not sure I'd post much about it on Twitter, Facebook, myspace and the studio blog. But here's what Yessian Music has on its various social network sites.

From Twitter:

And Facebook:

Lest anyone think I'm spilling any secrets, Yessian's Twitter page has over 4,500 followers, so the news is clearly out.

It still leaves plenty of questions, of course. Including how trustworthy Yessian's tweet is, considering that Punch et al haven't asked them to take it down. Maybe it's a red herring. On the other hand, would the studio purposely spread inaccurate information across all its social network sites? That would be a great way to destroy your credibility.

So, assuming it's at least somewhat true, what does "re-recording" mean? New vocals? Or the original vocals with horns and back-up singers?

Re-recording the exact same track list would be one thing. But there were plenty of other songs recorded or considered for those albums.

For those of you who remember, can you imagine "Bringing It Back from Mexico" with the Motor City Horns? I'd stop the world for that one. Or an updated version of "Carfax Abbey?" (Indeed, I speculated about exactly that on the Segerfile's Twitter page in early October.) Hopefully there will be at least one or two new cuts.

And even if it is the exact same track list, there are gems on those albums -- "School Teacher," "Twenty Years from Now," "Hummin' Bird," etc., etc. etc. -- that would be stunning to hear in updated form.

I also wonder how accurate Yessian's blogger might be, since there are so many tracks on albums like Back in '72 and -- dare we dream it -- Brand New Morning that are practically crying out to be redone. Does the Yessian blogger really know the difference between those albums?

Obviously there are still plenty of secrets yet to be revealed. And plenty of excitement in the air.

To be fair, the folks over at that other Seger site,, have been talking about this for a little over a week. In my defense, I'll say this: I would have known about it earlier too, except that the past two weeks have been so busy, due to a personal project I've been working on, soon to be announced.

I'd tell you about it now, but it's a secret.

October 18, 2009

New Seger CD Thanksgiving??

News that Seger is recording is always exciting, but never too exciting. After all, Seger can be "working on a new CD" for years at a time. But Seger is in the studio, and currently, the talk is of a new release this year. Could that change tomorrow? Sure. But so far the signs are good. More info, when I hear it, will hit the Seger File Twitter Feed.

October 4, 2009
Travelin' Man is Out Now

It's here. Travelin' Man: On the Road and Behind the Scenes with Bob Seger by Tom Weschler and Gary Graff is available now from Amazon and from some other site that occasionally features Seger news. Says George Thorogood: "Travelin' Man captures in photographs the history and legacy of one of the great American rock classics, Bob Seger."

Also, check out the great Detroit News article on the book, with quotes from Weschler and Punch.

I see the holiday gift-giving season shaping up great. Motor City Horns CDs and Shaun Murphy CDs for some friends, Travelin' Man for others. Maybe even a Reed & Dickinson CD, if it comes out in time. And the new Seger CD for me. Perfect.

October 2, 2009
Motor City Horns Release A Musical Feast

What does it take to back up one of the biggest and best voices in rock? To create new arrangements for some of the most popular songs of our time? And add muscle, oomph and pure pleasure for more than half a million fans over 60 shows?

To do all that, you've gotta be the Motor City Horns -- Mark Byerly, Bob Jenson, Keith Kaminski and John Rutherford. If you heard them with Seger, you know they pack a punch. Now, on their new CD, you can hear them with some of Detroit's best musicians, including 14 guest vocalists.

It's called Local Boys, and it just hit iTunes -- or rather, 14 of the 15 tracks did. One of them's missing. More about that in a minute.

Local Boys represents almost two years of recording and production, and spans a wide range of musical styles. The up-tempo numbers -- like "Kissing My Love" with Thornetta Davis and The Brothers Groove, or "If You Love Somebody" with Tino Martin Gross and The Howling Diablos -- have been burning my car stereo speakers all summer.

Give a listen and you'll recall exactly what Seger meant when he said this about the Motor City Horns: "They're like our turbocharger -- when we really want to shift into triple digits, we get the horns out."

You'll also hear blues, worldbeat that will sweep you off your feet (it may be a federal crime to listen to "Appollonia" in a seated position) and even an old Duke Ellington number, "The Mooche," recorded by MCH with The Hot Club of Detroit.

That just scratches the surfaces. There's more info here. After listening to the generous samples, you'll want to go straight to iTunes.

But if you do, you'll miss the track that will blow away every Seger fan. I call it the official song of the summer, since I've had my copy for a while: "Lucifer" by the Motor City Horns and Barb Payton, one of Seger's amazing backup singers. Seger's music is not licensed for the Internet, Rutherford explains. To get this track, you need to buy the physical disk at CD Baby. Which you should do. Now.

After all, how many groups can take a classic, powerful Seger song and just knock it out of the park? Not many that I know. And when Seger himself uses words like "turbocharger" to describe your music, you know you're good.

Local boys, making good: The Motor City Horns.

September 28, 2009

Shaun Murphy Out Front Again on "Livin' the Blues"

While we're talking about backing up Seger, how about backing him up not just for a tour, but for half a career? To get to that level, you'd have to be Shaun Murphy.

Actually, the term "backup singer" doesn't come close to describing Murphy. Yeah, she's been adding her particular genius to Seger's shows since the early 1970s. She also started her career as a lead singer, later teamed up as a duo in "Stoney & Meat Loaf," and shared the lead singing role in Little Feat for 15 years. (She's also been in musicals. I first heard Shaun in the Detroit production of "Hair" when I was in high school, with a cast that also included Meat Loaf.)

Her collaboration with Seger says a lot about the kind of singer she is. Seger's incredibly particular about his sound, a perfectionist by many accounts. To be part of his live show, off and on, for thirty years, you've got to be great at what you do. Murphy is.

Now, she's back out front with a new CD "Livin' the Blues." While you're at CDBaby, just do this: click on the audio sample for the title track. "I might be livin' the blues," Murphy sings, "but I feel like rockin' tonight."

That was all it took for me. I ordered the CD immediately. (Though not from CDBaby -- I got it from Murphy's site so I could get a signed copy. Check it out.)

Murphy also wails on songs like "Hound Dog," "Can't No Grave Hold My Body Down," and "Rock and Roll Every Night."

And how's this to seal the deal: "Come to Mama." Did I say something earlier about taking a Seger song and knocking it out park? Times two. (The only difference being that Seger didn't write "Come to Papa." But still.)

Bottom line: When Shaun Murphy sings it, you know it's real and you know it's good. What more could you want?

Shaun Murphy: Out in front and living the blues.
September 28, 2009

"One Night" at Sherwood Forest

Over the years, there have been a lot of great places to hear Seger -- and some of venues have developed heir own, lasting mythology. Cobo Hall. The Hideout clubs. Wamplers Lake. Caveland. Everyone has their favorite.

But if you were anywhere near Flint in the late 1960s or early 1970s, the place to hear Seger -- or almost any rock and roll -- was Sherwood Forest.

Ten years ago, the Flint Journal described Sherwood Forest as "the region's answer to Woodstock."

"Though it functioned as a community center, dance hall and concert venue for more than 20 years, Don Sherwood's Sherwood Forest in Richfield Township was the happening place in metro Flint in the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, part of a burgeoning Michigan rock 'n' roll scene where future stars such as Seger, Alice Cooper and Nugent cut their teeth…

"Though Sherwood Forest is long gone, memories of its indoor and outdoor shows, the festival atmosphere, the pond behind the hill where audiences sat, the bands and the audiences still linger." David Forsmark, Doug Pullen and Jennifer Walkling, The Flint Journal. June 27, 1999

How big a deal was Sherwood Forest in the life and times of Michigan rock and roll? Here's what Michael Moore told Rolling Stone magazine a couple of years ago.

"Everyone obviously knows about Woodstock, but we had our own mini Woodstock every Wednesday, every summer, just outside of Flint. It was called Wild Wednesday. It was in a field with a big pond, and it was the first place that people saw so many of these groups, like MC5, Iggy, Seger. We'd literally be there every Wednesday from noon to midnight. Thousands would show up.

"When you said rock & roll, you didn't mean just the music. You meant it as a way of life, as a coat of armor against everything that was coming at you. It was a force to be reckoned with.

"In my mind, there would be no 'Roger & Me,' no 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' if I had not been one of thousands participating in that moment. And the millions who go to 'Fahrenheit' carry that with them as well. They were there at Wild Wednesday too."

The Sherwood Forest concerts were promoted by Peter Cavanaugh of WTAC. How important was Peter C. to Seger? Here's how Seger's longtime manager, Punch Andrews puts it:

"I can never say "thank you" enough when it comes to who really broke Bob Seger locally and nationally. It was and still is Peter Cavanaugh and Rosalie Trombly. Rosalie had CKLW that went into 36 states. She would ask who else was playing the record and, of course, I would say Peter C. at WTAC in Flint.

You had to have WTAC and Peter if you were going to have a hit in Michigan. If he wasn't playing our record, I would immediately jump in my car and drive to Flint. As long as the record was good, he never let us down. We always got a fair run and real air play. Pete, Bob and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

If, like me, you never made it to Sherwood Forest, you can read about it on Peter's blog, or better yet, buy his book, Local DJ.

And if, like me, you never heard Seger play at Sherwood Forest, now you can -- thanks to longtime Seger fan and Segerfile reader Craig Daniels and a friend of his, Dean Wagner.

Recently Craig wrote me about Sherwood Forest. Attached to his email was a recording made by Dean -- Bob Seger, live at Sherwood Forest, playing a song that has never been recorded or circulated, to my knowledge.

First, an excerpt from Craig's message.

The first time I saw Bob at Sherwood Forest was my 18th birthday -- September 26, 1971. At this point he was playing with Teegarden and VanWinkle or "T&V" as he called them, and they were playing inside.

The next time I saw Bob again at Sherwood Forest he played a set alone first, then played with T&V again. My guess is that was in the summer of 1972. I remember sitting very close to the front of the stage outside as he sang some of the Brand New Morning songs, including the title track and "Railroad Days."

And now, the song. Seger called it "One Night." The Sherwood Forest recording was made on a portable cassette recorder around the time of the Mongrel album. I've added visuals, including photos I found on Peter C's blog -- and some other non-Sherwood Forest photos, including some from another mythic Seger venue, The Michigan Jam.


I've also messed with the recording in one small way -- I've added Peter C's PA announcement at the end of the show. Actually, Seger closed the show with a wild version of Lucifer and then Peter made his announcement. I have a snippet of that, and I wanted to include the voice of the man who made so much of this possible, so I pasted Peter's voice on at the end.

I'm surprised there aren't more photos of Sherwood Forest online, considering how many people were there over the years. If you have a good one, especially if Seger's in it, send it my way.

And a special thanks to Craig and Dean for making this rare find available.

September 6, 2009

Tiger & Seger: Twitter and Segerfile

As many of you know by now, Bob Seger and Tiger Woods paired up at the Pro-Am portion of the Buick Open in late July. Many readers sent me photos and links, which I appreciate. If you haven't read the transcript of an interview Seger gave afterwards, you should check it out here.

The golf coverages illustrates the difference between -- the page you're reading right now -- and my Segerfile Twitter feed.

Seger news that does not relate to his music -- like the Tiger Woods story -- is covered as soon as I hear about it on the Twitter feed. In that specific case, I posted four tweets about the Pro-Am, more or less as it was happening, with links to photos and video.

Music news will also get a shout out on the Twitter feed, but it will almost always be posted here first.

Seger on the links with Tiger Woods and Bill Blackwell. (Photo by Curtis Houghmaster.)
Bobicus Segeratus photo (middle) courtesy of Wild Kingdom. And why does the myspace version of Cybelle Codish's Seger shot have crumpled brown paper in place of the sky?

September 6, 2009

The Krayolas: The Machete Always Wins

Even if you run and maintain (and that word is used very loosely) a massive web site on Bob Seger, you have to listen to something else sometimes. There's been a lot of great music going around this summer -- but there are two CDs in particular that I think more people should know about.

One of them is Long Leaf Pine (no smack gum) by The Krayolas.

I caught The Krayolas twice at South by Southwest last year. As usual, I was with Ears Two -- my longtime friend and partner on the Segerfile's legendary trips into Seger's unreleased vault.

After The Krayolas finished their set, here's what happened: We proceeded immediately to the merch table and bought one of everything. And if The Krayolas are at the Austin festival in 2010, you'll find us in the front row. These guys are good.

Of course, that's just my take. How about legendary rock critic Dave Marsh? I've written a lot about Seger that I'm proud of as a writer, but for my money, Dave Marsh captured it better than me or anybody when he summed Seger up with this one line:

"He has all the requisites of greatness: the voice, the songwriting, the performance onstage, the vision and the ambition." Dave Marsh, June 15, 1978, Rolling Stone. "Bob Seger: Not A Stranger Anymore."

So, clearly, Marsh knows music. About The Krayolas recent single, "Corrido Twelve Heads in a Bag," Marsh writes: "This one's something special…Hector Saldana is emerging as an important songwriter."

Marsh isn't alone. Little Steven features The Krayolas on his Underground Garage. Ben Fong-Torres writes that The Krayolas "echo Warren Zevon, Bob Dylan and, for sure, the Beatles." AltCountry describes them as "Bob Dylan meets the Sir Douglas Quintet ... and Dwight Twilley, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds and John Lennon."

My favorite tracks off the current album include "Find A Girl," a song I can imagine Seger doing, with its Bo Diddley beat and driving horns. The title cut will give you hints of Dylan in full blues mode. "So Happy" sounds like it could be one of John Lennon's contributions to the White Album.

And "Corrido Twelve Heads in a Bag" is amazing. "On the road into this city," Saldana writes, "the machete always wins." Check it out, and don't miss The Krayolas live.

And as for that other CD that I think you should hear…more about that soon.

September 6, 2009

Flash from the Past: Seger on Swingin' Time

One minute you're on a soundstage in a Windsor TV station. Blink, and a few decades later, the whole world is watching you on YouTube.

This video of Seger performing on Robin Seymour's Swingin' Time is the earliest I've seen. Thanks to whoever posted it on YouTube-- and thanks to Jack Shaw for the link.

His arms were warm and strong and young: Seger does East Side Story

According to his email, Jack found the link while scouting around for a video of Seger and Michael Jackson at the 1984 Grammy's. That's online too.

Seger presents an award to Michael Jackson at the 1984 Grammys.

My one comment on the whole Michael Jackson saga is this: to reach the King of Pop status, you have to mythologize yourself into a larger than life figure, and everything you do has to feed that myth. Eventually, the man disappears, overshadowed by the myth. That's true for Jackson, Elvis and Sinatra, and for a lot of King of Pop runner-ups, too.

Seger, on the other hand, has spent his whole career trying not to mythologize himself -- trying to be authentically who he is, and giving us that as honestly as possible. I like that a whole lot better.

June 29, 2009

When He's Sixty-Four

Seger celebrates a birthday this Wednesday, May 6. He turns 64. Plenty young enough to rock and roll. McCartney will be 67 in a few weeks; in another month or so Jagger will be 66, and Dylan will be 68 later this month. In rock and roll, 60 is the new 40.

As a matter of policy, this site doesn't write about Seger's family. I'm here for the music, and I figure you are too. But without posting anything you couldn't find elsewhere, let me make a brief exception. Thanks to a link someone sent me, I recently read an essay that Seger's daughter, a middle school student, wrote about her dad. In it, she says a hero is someone who inspires you to follow your dreams.

"My dad is definitely without a doubt my hero," she writes. "The reason he's my hero is not because he's a famous singer....He's my hero because the opportunity wasn't handed to him. He worked hard to get where he is today. He turned a dream into a reality by never giving up."

Amen to that. I don't know what else Bob got for his birthday, but being a hero to your kids has got to be the best present you can get.

And hey -- she also says he's thinking about touring. And if he does, will we still need him, will we still feed him? Oh yeah.

May 6, 2009. Thanks to Lisa Regal for the essay tip.

Seger Book Has a Cover

As followers of the Segerfile's Twitter Feed know, the cover of the upcoming Seger book by Tom Weschler and Gary Graff has been released. You can pre-order "Travelin' Man: On the Road and Behind the Scenes with Bob Seger" from Wayne State Press or Amazon. The release date is October 2009. There's a foreword by John Mellencamp and an afterword by Kid Rock. The book runs 208 pages with 160 illustrations.

May 6, 2009

Training Pandora

Pandora's algorithms get me steamed. Overall, I like Pandora, one of the most popular Internet radio stations. Tell it which artists you like, and it introduces you to a lot of other singers and bands that you might also like. Usually, it does a pretty good job.

But just because I like Bob Seger does not mean I want to hear a lot of lame-ass, overplayed, low-talent classic rock staples -- which is what Pandora's been feeding me on my Seger station.

Don't those algorithm's hear that edge in his voice, that great turn of phrase? How dare they send me Journey right after Like A Rock? The two couldn't be more dissimilar. I guess you could consider Pandora successful, in that it has accurately replicated the too-prevalent misunderstanding of Seger as a journeyman rocker. You and I know better.

May 6, 2009

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

Seger File Exposed as Ponzi Scheme

No actual file ever existed, investigators learn.

Investigators in Oregon yesterday raided the world headquarters of the Seger File, one of the oldest and most visited Seger sites on the Internet. Agents entered the building with hand-trucks and dollies, hoping to cart away the site's massive files on rock legend Bob Seger, but left empty-handed.

"It turns out there is no file," said Special Agent R. Trombley. "There's not even an envelope or a notecard. There was an empty case of Stroh's labeled 'Seger Stuff.' But inside there was nothing but candy wrappers, a foam rock, a souvenir 'Need-Ya' pencil shaped like a baseball bat, a reel to reel copy of Smokin' O.P.s and a VHS copy of Instant Karma. Everything was marked "Ebay Rejects."

Empty dreams: The Seger File turns out to be a beat up Stroh's case with a hodge-podge of collectibles that didn't sell on eBay.

The discovery left millions of Seger fans wondering how they could have been duped by a site that once seemed so authoritative. It is one of several Ponzi schemes recently uncovered by federal investigators. The schemes are named after Art Ponzi, a disreputable Chevrolet dealer in Sandusky, Ohio who painted racing stripes on Impalas and sold them as El Caminos.

The Seger File's Ponzi scheme was deceptively simple. Visitors to the site invested their time and energy reading entries, thinking they were receiving bona fide information in return. In fact, the site's founder, Scott Sparling, had no information about Seger and simply made up the entries, passing off worthless fantasies as profound insights.

"Isn't that what the media does all the time?" Sparling said before he was hauled away. "Think about it. The New York Times coverage of WMDs? Dancing with the Stars? Professional wrestling? It's all fantasies. The information I made up was entertaining, so what's the big deal?"

Details from police photos: The Seger Files only assets were a foam rock, a promotional pen and an unplayable copy of Smokin' O.P.'s.

One of the site's biggest fabrications, the 2006-07 Face the Promise tour, fooled more than a million fans into believing the singer was actually performing again. The web author told agents he started small, making up a single show in Grand Rapids, then adding another and another, until soon he had a nationwide 50-show tour.

"I never intended it to get so big," Sparling told DISC & DAT. "Eventually I had to hire Kenny Rogers to go around the country singing 'We've Got Tonight.' No one's seen Seger in years, so it was hard for anyone to tell the difference."

In fact, investigators said, the actual rock legend has been living quietly in Sedona, Arizona for the past fifteen years, rarely leaving the retirement community where he golfs and collects automobiles. According to the Seger File, Mr. Seger still lived outside Detroit, another fiction the site perpetuated.

Mr. Seger had only limited comments when told of the Internet hoax. "Interwhat?" he said. "Say again?"

The Ponzi scheme worked because Seger-starved web users were overly eager for any kind of news about the elusive rock star. Other falsehoods invented by the site and foisted on a gullible public include Seger's supposed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, descriptions of unreleased songs, Brand New Morning and Punch.

"Punch was my most successful invention," the site's founder said. "I modeled him after Ray Walston on My Favorite Martian. All-powerful and stubborn, with a mischievous underbelly. But without the antenna."

The Seger File created a fictitious manager for Seger,
modeled after a powerful and popular extraterrestrial.

Like most Ponzi schemes, the Seger File claimed to use a secret technique to deliver exceptional results. Bernie Madoff, the businessman behind the recently discovered $50 billion fraud, claimed to use a proprietary "split/strike" strategy of investing. The Segerfile lured unsuspecting web readers with promise of a "copy/paste" method of reporting.

"The site also used fraudulent quotes to trick readers," said Picayune Q. Dellington III. "Frequently these quotes would be indented and attributed to spokespeople with fake names. A citation in smaller type usually followed the quote, to make it appear that the information came from some other newspaper or magazine, which was also usually fake," Dellington said. "It's amazing how gullible people are. Readers fell for it every time." Brian McWhitall, New Old Media, April 1, 2009. "Most Web Readers too Stupid to Recognize Fake Quotes."

Investigators urged the public to use common sense when visiting web sites. "Schemes like this work because people are foolish enough to think they can simply go online and get actual information about Bob Seger -- like when he might tour or put out an album. That's preposterous. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

April 1, 2009

Opening of SegerWorld Delayed Until 2010

Punch Enterprises announced today that SegerWorld, the long-planned amusement park based on the music of Bob Seger, would be delayed another year due to last minute design changes. The park, located in Dexter, Michigan, was originally scheduled to open in 1983.

"We were planning the Grand Opening," said Bill Whitewall. "But Bob wasn't quite happy with the way the parking lot was striped. In the end, we decided to tear out the whole park and start over."

More than 100 rides have been created for SegerWorld, but developers say only 10 or 11 will be included. Some of the rides simply weren't practical, they said. For example, on "Florida Time," riders spent 24 hours in a station wagon, got out, played two 45-minute sets, and spent another 24 hours in the car. "It was overly realistic," engineers said.

Also scrapped is the "Hollywood Nights" ride. "It was kind of like Splash Mountain, but without the splash. You kept going higher and higher, but you ended up alone. It was kind of a downer," insiders said.

According to sources inside Punch Enterprises, GrasserLand, where visitors dance to Come Go With Me inside a circle of headlights, is still included. The park will also include The Waiting Room, where thousands of animatronic Seger fans will wander around aimlessly waiting for word of a tour or new album. "It's truly frightening," one source said. "And very lifelike."

GrasserLand at SegerWorld, set to open next year. Maybe.

A popular interactive attraction, Write Your Own Seger Song, has reportedly been scrapped. The concept was that visitors would be given eight words or phrases -- Wind, Night, Moon, Shore, Shine, Ramblin,' Big Two-Wheeler, and Neutrinos -- with which to create their own Seger anthem. "It was too easy," Whitewall said. "And we were running into copyright problems."

Still planned for the park is the popular "It's An Old-Time-Rock-And-Roll World After All" water feature. "People ride on a little boat past dozens of wedding and bar mitzvah bands banging out the song," Whitewall said. "It's a completely traumatic experience. Be afraid. Be very afraid."

April 1, 2009
New First-Ever Seger Book Scooped by
Even Newer First-Ever Seger Book

Seger fans, delighted by news of a forthcoming book about Seger, now have more reason to celebrate.

Last month, writer Gary Graff and photographer Tom Weschler announced the forthcoming publication of Travelin' Man: On the Road and Behind the Scenes with Bob Seger, a real book which, though mentioned in this April Fools post, will actually be available and will be well worth buying when it is really published in October. But now this first-ever Seger book has been scooped by an even newer book: Seger's own biography.

The new book is called Fortrel Polyester Inkwell: My Descent into Madness. A survivor's tale by Bob Seger. The book outlines the singer's dark journey through poor fashion choices. "I was trying to find my way," Seger writes. "And like a lot of people in the 1970s, I made some bad choices."

Bad to worse: Cowboy Bob, Mr. Pinstripes, Glam Bob.
It was a long way back to basics.

"A top hat and cane," Seger said. "What was I thinking?" The singer, dressed in jeans and black t-shirt, saw the light in the 1980s. His song, "American Storm" describes his decision to record only with musicians who dress normally. "It's funny how you come back to basics," Seger said.

From clean-cut teen to Manson look-alike. Seger's journey is
typical of those caught by the demon beat known as rock and roll.

April 1, 2009

Alto Reed Photo Gallery, "Ordinary People," Opens

A thoughtful and introspective collection of photographs from Alto Reed, called "Ordinary People" opened today in Myalto, Michigan. The photos represent years of outreach and travel by the normally reclusive musician.

"I've always been interested in the common man," Reed said. "Whenever we're not touring, I travel around the country and approach perfect strangers. I ask them if I can have my picture taken with them. Most people say yes."

The resulting collection is an intimate and insightful exploration of everyman -- a slice of life, often with funny hand gestures.The exhibition runs from today through April 1.

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

Coming in May: Motor City Horns CD/DVD

Just as I was heading out the door for SXSW, John Rutherford of The Motor City Horns shot me a note about the band's upcoming CD/DVD, Local Boys -- due out in early May.

The 3-song DVD features Johnnie Bassett, Thornetta Davis, Chris Codish, and The Brothers Groove backed by the Motor City Horns. It's definitely a good time. Check the preview, here.


John says the upcoming CD will feature nearly 50 of Detroit's best musicians. If you heard The Motor City Horns with Seger, you know the CD is bound to be good.

Check it out: You'll be able to get yours on iTunes and CDBaby or online here.

March 29, 2009

SXSW: The Sweet Spot of Authenticity

Growing up outside Ann Arbor offered a choice between Seger and Iggy. Not that you couldn't follow both. But for whatever reason, most of the people I knew went one way or the other.

In those early days, Seger's music was more raw than it is now: 2+2=? had as much power and rebelliousness as anyone could want, so I followed the Seger path. There were a few Stooges songs that made my playlist -- primarily "I Wanna Be Your Dog." But I never really understood the song until last week.

My education occurred Sunday night in the Continental Club in Austin, Texas, as Ears 2 and I were closing out SXSW with the incomparable Alejandro Escovedo.

Escovedo's version of the song begings with a cacophony of violin, cello and drums, a rising column of chaos that grows louder and faster. Alejandro has described listening to the Stooges this way: "It was like you paid money to sit inside a hurricane," and that's what this was.

Then, the hurricane comes to a dead stop and the opening chords of the song break out. It was the perfect cover. The song isn't supposed to be neat and tidy; it's supposed to be disturbing, desperate, messed up -- exactly the way Alejandro Escovedo plays it.

Of course, that's just part of the genius of A. Escovedo, who can rock as hard as anyone and then slay you on the next song with slowest, most gentle ballad you'd ever want to hear.

Indeed, throughout the week, Escovedo turned up almost everywhere, winning Austin Entertainer of the Year, playing at Maria's Taco Xpress, and fronting a 13-piece band -- The Alejandro Escovedo Orchestra -- for hundreds of fans under the stars. Of course, in between those sets came some other great bands and singers you might want to check out, as we wait for the next offering from Seger.

As in past years, Ears 2 was the motivator who got me to Austin. We started our SXSW experience with an amazing set by Jon Dee Graham on Wednesday night. It seemed like nothing could possibly beat it. Yet, before we closed the festival at the Continental Club on Sunday, we heard many other bands and performers who hit what I've dubbed The Sweet Spot of Authenticity.

Some of the bands you hear haven't figured out how to connect with the crowd. They're too new to the stage -- like T Bird and the Breaks -- or maybe just naturally shy, like Melissa McClelland.

Others err on the other side, posing and strutting in a way that's transparently artificial. Tinted Windows, the supergroup that includes the insanely talented Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne, along with (regrettably) Hansen, was about as authentic as Naugahyde.

Futomomo Satisfaction was an all-girl, all-bikini, all-trombone band. (And you thought The Monkees were a manufactured band.) Yet, as contrived as they were, they somehow had the power to lure an otherwise sane man directly in front of an ear-blasting speaker column just to take a photo.

And then there were those who connected easily and authentically. Like Seger does so effortlessly, they hit the sweet spot. In the very center of that crowd right now is Alejandro Escovedo, who, stunningly is currently without a label. ("That Escovedo, whose 'Real Animal' was one of the stories of the year in 2008, has been dropped by his label tells you all you need to know about the record business." From an article by Hector Saldaña of the San Antonio News-Express.)

Of course, there was also the amazing and amazingly under-appreciated Jon Dee Graham -- one of the best songwriters writing today.

At Antones, (and later at Maria's Taco Xpress) we heard a fantastic band from San Antonio called The Krayolas -- featuring the same Hector Saldaña referenced above. (He's a staff writer for the San Antonio paper by day.) They put on a tremendous show -- I highly recommend you check them out. The Breakers, from Denmark, also rocked the house.

For something much softer, check out Elizabeth Wills, a singer-songwriter with a beautiful voice and great songs. I actually missed her showcase, and then heard her onstage at the Austin airport. (There are stages everywhere in Austin. They don't call it the live music capital of the world for nothing.) A country band called Stonehoney hit the sweet spot too.

I've read other people's summaries of SXSW this year and they have nothing to do with mine. That's the beauty of the festival. There's every kind of music you could want, every where.

Ears 2 and I even had a World War II bagpiper in our hotel room. Check out the photos, here.

March 29, 2009

First-Ever Seger Book to Hit the Shelves

Finally, somebody's done it. A book about Seger.

And not just any book. This one -- the first full length book about Bob Seger -- is from two people who have arguably followed Seger's career more closely than anyone: Tom Weschler and Gary Graff.

Travelin' Man: On the Road and Behind the Scenes with Bob Seger by Weschler and Graff will be published on October 1, 2009 by Wayne State Press. According to Weschler, the book will feature "lots of photographs nobody has seen before and plenty of stories from the studios and the gigs on the road."

Weschler should know; he was there. He photographed Seger and his bands from the start and was road manager during the early days. He has also photographed The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Iggy Pop, KISS and many others; his work has been included in previous books such as "1000 Album Covers."

In the days before Google, Graff was always the go-to writer if you wanted to know anything about Seger. He first began covering Bob for the Detroit Free Press. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Reuters, Billboard and many other publications.

After talking with Graff and Weschler, I'm certain this book will be like any Seger album: well worth the wait.

More news -- maybe the book cover and some sneak peeks -- as it comes in. Of course, if you'd been following my Twitter feed, you would have known all this five minutes ago.

A couple shots from Weschler -- NOT from the forthcoming book, but from a quick web search: Seger in 1968 and 1977. On the right is my fake book cover from the 2005 April Fools posting, which fooled a lot of people. Hmm, I wonder if the fake book is still available from the fake Amazon page?

March 17, 2009 -- No updates for at least a week: The Seger File is off to SXSW.

Seger File on Twitter

Now you can get your updates, including some that probably won't appear here, by following the Seger File's Twitter feed.

March 8, 2009

Seger On iTunes, Guitar Hero and YouTube

The latest "new" Seger sightings all feature old Seger songs. The oldest of these is a collection of live songs that have mysteriously appeared on iTunes this month -- in the form of an "import" that looks a lot more like a bootleg to me.

The iTunes listing, Live in America '74, is in fact the same set that fans have been trading as "Live at Ebbet's Field" for a decade or more. That's Ebbet's field, the Denver nightclub, not the ballpark.

Most of the fan-traded copies put the performance date as July 8, 1974. Of the various unauthorized live shows out there, the Denver show has always been one of my favorites. The Silver Bullet Band, still relatively new, has found its chops and is working itself into Live Bullet form, and Seger is in great voice.

On some CDs, and on the iTunes offering, two additional songs, "Rosalie" and "Song for Rufus," have been added, though the sound and vocal quality are different; they're most likely from a different show.

Every track is good, and the version of "Someday" is killer. The big question is why iTunes is now selling these tracks at 99 cents apiece. They list the label as "The Store for Music, Ltd." I can't imagine Bob or Punch are pleased. And I can't imagine the listing will stay up for long. (Thanks to Jack Shaw and Alan McWilliams for the tip.)

Next week, Guitar Hero fans will be able to download "Old Time Rock and Roll," "Her Strut" and a live version (presumably from Live Bullet) of "Get Out of Denver." If you don't play Guitar Hero, or just don't want to wait that long to hear OTRR again, hit YouTube right now. The complete video of Seger playing the song during "The Distance" tour appeared earlier this month. In the past, only snippets of the performance had been released. The video is here. Guitarist Dawayne Bailey comments on it at Segernet, here.

Looking ahead, the Motor City Horns have a project coming up. I'm looking forward to some good reading on Seger later this year. And the rarely-reliable rumor mill suggests that something will happen this fall. That's about as vague and unhelpful as rumors get. But hey, we'll take anything.

And of course, check out the Segerfile day party at SXSW next month, hosted by Gross Mismanagement, Inc. Location to be determined. Just look for the oldest guys in the room.

February 19, 2009

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