Bob Seger Biography
Review The Artist (25)
One of the cornerstones of the Detroit rock 'n' roll sound, Bob Seger (b.
Robert Clark Seger, May 6, 1945, Dearborn, Michigan) has in the course of his 30-year career proven to be one of America's most consistent songwriting talents. Like Bruce Springsteen, Seger has amassed an extremely loyal audience that has come to see him as representing the voice of everyman--of sharing the same beliefs, values and working-class background, yet still rising above it all for the glory of rock 'n' roll and the personal redemption it promises. In the blue-collar town long nicknamed the Motor City, Seger has struck a powerful alliance with rock fans who can relate all too well to songs like "Makin' Thunderbirds"; he is no elitist, he has no pretensions, and--perhaps most significantly--after the glories and temptations of superstardom, he continues to make Detroit his permanent home.
Raised in the university town of Ann Arbor, Seger started performing in early '60s Detroit-area bands such as the Decibels and the Town Criers. By 1965, he'd struck up a business relationship with manager Eddie "Punch" Andrews that continues even today; with Andrews at the helm, Seger scored a regional hit single with "East Side Story" that was soon picked up by the Cameo-Parkway label. Following a series of Cameo-Parkway singles such as "Persecution Smith" and "Heavy Music," both significant Michigan-area hits, Seger signed to Capitol Records, and by 1969, with his band the Bob Seger System, had a top 20 hit with "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man."
Though Seger's workaholic nature made him a Midwestern fixture throughout much of the late '60s, all that roadwork did little to help the sales of his first few albums. While his first Capitol album Ramblin' Gamblin' Man enjoyed some success, reaching No. 62 on the charts, its little-known follow-up Noah failed to chart at all; similarly, 1970's Mongrel peaked at No. 171 and was off the charts in four weeks, and 1971's Brand New Morning--a completely solo recording, an adventurous concept at the time--failed to chart as well. Disheartened, Seger took some time off to attend college, but by 1972 had resurfaced with Detroiters Teegarden & Van Winkle on Smokin' O.P.'s, issued by the independent Detroit label Palladium Records. Filled with covers of songs by Bo Diddley ("Bo Diddley"), Stephen Stills ("Love The One You're With") and Tim Hardin ("If I Were A Carpenter") and only two originals--his Cameo sides "Heavy Music" and "Someday"--the album attracted enough interest to be picked up by Reprise Records.
Seger's stint at Reprise was essentially a rerun of his Capitol days; Smokin' O.P.'s only reached No. 180 on the charts, Back in '72 did worse, peaking at No. 188, and 1974's Seven didn't make the chart at all. Still, there was a difference. Seger was maturing as a writer, penning believable ballads about his wearying road life such as Back In '72's "Turn The Page," and classic rock rave-ups like Seven's "Need Ya" and "Get Out Of Denver." Other artists were listening as well: Welsh rocker Dave Edmunds (and U.K. punk group Eddie & the Hot Rods) later covered "Denver," and, unfortunately for Seger, no less a talent than Eric Clapton snared his excellent backing band, which included Dick Sims, Jamie Oldaker and Marci Levy.
By now one of the most experienced performers on the Midwest circuit, Seger put together a new group, the Silver Bullet Band, and carried on. By 1975, he had re-signed to Capitol and issued an album that marked a significant turning point in his career. Beautiful Loser--which peaked at No. 133 but has since gone platinum--was the album on which Seger transformed himself from goodhearted Midwestern rocker to respected singer-songwriter of considerable depth. And by 1976, with the growing presence of saxophonist Tom "Alto Reed" Cartmell in the Silver Bullet Band, more than a few critics were starting to draw parallels between Seger and one of the hottest new artists of the decade: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
Just as Peter Frampton kick-started his career into high gear that year with the double-live Frampton Comes Alive, it took Seger's own double-live set, Live Bullet, to finally take him over the top. While the album's chart peak of No. 34 might seem unextraordinary, its duration on the Billboard album chart--a full 167 weeks--indicated how powerful a statement it became for the singer. Boasting the best songs of his long career, from "Heavy Music" and "Ramblin' Gamblin Man" to "Katmandu" and "Get Out Of Denver," the album told the world what the Midwest had long known--that Bob Seger was one of most exciting performers in rock 'n' roll.
Seger has credited his viewing George Lucas's film American Graffiti as a personal turning point; the coming-of-age epic on the screen soon found parallels in the singer's newest songs, which often seemed a mixture of
nostalgia ("Rock 'N' Roll Never Forgets") and hometown provincialism ("Main Street"). Beginning with 1976's Night Moves, the title track of which became a top 5 smash, Seger began a lengthy hit streak that brought him enormous success. Between 1976-81, the singer released eight top 20 singles, including "Still The Same," "Hollywood Nights," "We've Got Tonight," "Fire Lake," and "Against The Wind." Even more impressive was his streak of top-selling albums, including Live Bullet (quadruple platinum), Night Moves and Stranger In Town (both quintuple platinum), his first No. 1 album Against The Wind (quadruple platinum), and 1981's Nine Tonight (triple platinum).
At that level of success, Seger began taking longer and longer to make albums; platinum-seller The Distance emerged in 1983, Like A Rock in 1986, and--after nearly five-and-a-half years, The Fire Inside saw release in 1991. Still, for most of the '80s, Seger was becoming something of an institutional figure in American pop: Tom Cruise captivated many with his underwear-only air-guitar performance of Seger's "Old Time Rock 'N' Roll" in 1983's Risky Business, while the singer's "Like A Rock" was later adopted for use--with his full blessing--in, appropriately, car commercials. Additionally, Seger closed out the decade with the first No. 1 single of his career, 1987's "Shakedown" from
the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop II.
Though 1991's platinum The Fire Inside was one of Seger's most substantial albums ever, its failure to generate any charting single was a troubling sign. Five years away from the marketplace, particularly in the MTV-driven music industry of '90s, may have been too long for Seger, who turned 50 in 1995. "The chance to play rock 'n' roll as an adult feels like a privilege to me," Seger said by way of acknowledgment in 1991. "I look at guys from Jagger and Springsteen to James Brown and Chuck Berry, and I figure they're damn nice company to be in."
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1,250 miles of Bob Seger..oh yeah!!!!! | Reviewer: patsy | 5/3/13
My lifetime friend and I drove to upstate NY just 2 weeks ago from Ohio, and all the while we drove we had BOB SEGER up full blast and singing to the top of our lungs. I had 5 CD's and every one of his greatest hits but never missed a word. We both were going back to our youth.... we are both Bob's age....Long live our rock and roll and Bob Seger...the greatest songs of all time in my opinion. He keeps it real..and he sang prophectically and didn't know it, for I do FEEL LIKE A NUMBER!
Still the same | Reviewer: Daren Stephenson | 10/19/11
Im 46years old&cant remember not ever listening to Segar,Im such a fan that if he had long hair so did I,if he had his cut so did I,Ive been told we could be twins if i was born 20years earlier,his music & Lyrics have described my life totaly and to this day it remains ~Still the same~thanks for being such an influence in my life I wish the whole Segar family the best.also if Im right the one that ask about the song Mainstreet..it was origanally about a place on Ann Street in Dearborn Mich.
Born May 1963 | Reviewer: Scott Benson | 10/7/11
When I inserted the "Beautiful Loser" cassette, received from Columbia House Record Club in the mid/late 70's, into my Panasonic upright player, my body calmed within a warmth that, in retrospect, was unsolicited, unexplainbable and quickly dismissed. I was a first year middle schooler and the "older" crowd had recently voted Bob Seger as their favorite artist in the school rag so I ordered a couple tapes. There was something earily comforting in his voice regarless of the lyrics, which at 12, I narely understood. He'd already caught my ear, thanks mostly to my art teacher's reverence of "Night Moves"; "Night Moon" to my naive ears..LOL I've indulged myself with Seger's material ever since, much to the chagrin of many friends over the years. Recently, I've begun to reflect upon something, that even I recognize as seemingly delusional, but can no longer ignore. I'm a pragmatic midwestern type with an engineering degree and all things associated, but because I'm adopted and was recently exposed to a few seemingly obscure but increasingly eary details of my birth and adopotion, I've become more than curious, to say the least. I could never sing a lick until recently, at 47, I tried. My father never appreciated any noise or "disruption" inside the household, which certainly discouraged anything musical. Notwithstanding my newly acquired and scant facts, I more than just look like Seger; I can effortlessly and with zero singing experience reproduce his voice, both old stuff and 80's up, seemingly more agile than he now that I quit crossing octaves and began to relax my throat. My bio mom was engaged or married to a military guy stationed in Arkansas(?), but she was living in Michigan in '62. She received help from Missouri Baptists Childrens' Home in St. Louis, where I was born. My adoption was pre-arranged and I've known/accepted it since I was 7. I've had no desire to find my bio parents but my mother, 81, feared that I might change my mind after her passing and offered the tidbits that she knows, which include nothing about Bob Seger. She does know that I'm a lifelong fan but I assume that's irrelevant. I think there's a significant possibility that he's my bio father but feel that my inquiry would only reflect my status as a fan rather than a desire to know who "Joe Blow" was. This whole thing is so surrealistic that I've resorted to this message to strangers as a first expression. Does anyone have Punch's email address in case I sort this out and need a liason? Sometimes ignorance must be bliss.
Bob Rocks | Reviewer: Patti | 3/30/11
I have beeen a fan of Bob Segers since I can remember and was really disappointed when I could not get tickets for his last tour. Needless to say that was not going to happen this tour. I live in Tennessee and went to Saginaw Mi to see him with my 28 y/o daughter who was raised on his music and loves it just as much as I do. That concert was last evening and the best concert I have ever been to. It was well worth the trip from TN and I would do it again. Bob rocked for 2 1/2 hours and looked great. Keep it up Bob and thank you for a wonderful evening!!!!!!!!!
firstname.lastname@example.org | Reviewer: email@example.com | 3/26/11
I went to 9 shows last tour and 5 after parties with the band ... was sooo the time of my life . what a great performer and artist WOW !!! and yes he is as good as ever and better I think than the 96 tour for some reason ... I can not wait to see him in Chicago and I will have to go to at leat Detroit as well ... Wish the cash flow was there to go to a lot of shows this time ... hmmm May have to sell all my belongings ..lol
The Best | Reviewer: Jody Girl | 3/6/11
I've seen Bob Seger several times and have been a fan of his from my "tween" years! My daughter and I are seeing him in Atl in April to celebrate my birthday, the year she turns 30! She was raised on his music and we thought it would be a great way to commemorate this memorial event! He is the ultimate! Some people only master one or two of the great qualities but Bob Seger is songwriter, singer, musician and entertainer! He has the talent to sing a song with such pure feeling it's almost like, he's telling you, personally, his story!
seger rules | Reviewer: darcy kugel | 1/31/11
i have been a seger fan since i first saw him 25 yrs ago, although i have many groups i love, seger is the only one that when news comes that hes gonna tour or come out with a new cd i almost cry, he is a true legend
Midwest Greatest | Reviewer: Dan Griffin | 12/19/10
I had the pleasure of seeing Bob perform in Sfld.,Mo. back in the late seventies. It was GREAT! You know, I've heard people say that the mid-west has produced some of the greatest musicians in the world and I thought to myself,shit, I've known that for forty years!! That one was for you Bob. May your music live forever.
Main Street Biography | Reviewer: You Mama Says | 11/12/10
I was told the song "Main Street" was written about a litle bar in downtown Chattanooga, Tn. down on Main St.... Does anyone know where I can find the "REAL" biography to this song?...Appreciate all you guys' help...Donna
I have happy memories | Reviewer: sylvia asplet | 8/15/10
I love your songs and relate to them as i have suffered so with great losses of a son and one sons health! and the depth of your songs especially Against the wind and Living inside my heart now give me a sense of strength. I pray you embrace our lord as you have a great heart and soul Bob.
Seger Fan's in TX. | Reviewer: Ned | 1/24/10
Hey I've Been a Bob Seger Fan sence 75 I can relate
to many of his Songs, my life has been a roller coaster ride but with Bob Seger in every part of my life it's always been good Vibes even in 2004 when my father in law past'on he loved the Song like a rock he would sit in the truck and turn it up loud,,he said know that guy can sing,I like him.
in Mem.of Glenn K.Jones
life long fan | Reviewer: Tommy | 12/21/09
Hello, I have been listening to Bob ever since I can remember. My parents would always be blasting his albums and I couldn't help but to listen along. However, as I grew older I'd be singing the songs and realizing what he was actually singing about. (i.e. "points all her own sitting way up high.) Discovering what he meant by that was probaly the highlight of my publescent years ha ha ha. Through my teenage years Bob started becoming my rock, my hero. I never knew how much of an effect the line, "wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" could have until my first heartbreak. Since then, over 10 years ago now, Bob has been my number 1 recording artist. I've seen him in concert and only one day could hope of ever meeting him. Although if I did, what could I possibly say? I'd just be blabbering like an idiot ha ha. I know that he does do some motorcycling events though, so who knows! Maybe someday I'll show up on my bike and see Bob riding along with the pack!
Linda from Gatlin Creek | Reviewer: Linda | 12/16/09
Hi, My name is Linda, I hitched a ride with Bob and his band from Gatlin Creek Concert in Texas to San Fransico in 1971 or 72. I was wondering if Bob remembers me,I went to see the movie Mash with him and a friend. I'm the girl who left the house by fishermans wharf for just a few minutes and just fell off the face of the earth. I'm writing a book and all these menories came to mind,just wanted you to know I am still alive.
concert | Reviewer: Andrea Lambert | 12/13/09
I have been a long time fan of Bob Seager. I love his music. I would like to know if he will be doing a concert in Alabama or a place near Alabama.It would be a great time in my life since we are the same age
More than memorable! | Reviewer: Dale | 7/29/09
Heard "Hollywood Nights" over the air the other day in the car. I cranked it up loud and had a GOOD time. I always have liked your music, Bob, and one of my favorites is "Night Moves". By the way, I saw you on Channel 12 News when you played golf with Tiger Woods. It was good to see you in town! Bless you.
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