THE LEFSETZ LETTER: Beautiful Loser

"He wants to dream like a young man
With the wisdom of an old man"

Standing in the bathroom at the shrink today I was shocked. That guy in the full-length mirror. That was me. My hair had finally decided to give up the ghost, not only had most of it disappeared, but the gray was unmistakable. But worse was my skin. It no longer had the smoothness of a baby's bottom. It wasn't quite rugged, but it had crevices, my life was more than half over. Where did it all go?

Funny thing about getting older. You do get wiser. Shit, I'd never want to go back to college. I'd never like to revisit any of it. Not without knowing what I know now. It's so great when things finally come together, when you start to get yourself.


Bob Lefsetz, Santa Monica-based industry legend, is the author of the e-mail newsletter, "The Lefsetz Letter". Famous for being beholden to no one, and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to music business honchos like Michael Rapino, Randy Phillips, Don Ienner, Cliff Burnstein, Irving Azoff and Tom Freston.

Never boring, always entertaining, Mr. Lefsetz's insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music's American division and consultancies to major labels.

Bob has been a weekly contributor to CelebrityAccess and Encore since 2001, and we plan many more years of partnership with him. While we here at CelebrityAccess and Encore do not necessarily agree with all of Bob's opinions, we are proud to help share them with you.

But it happens too close to the end. And the questions? They keep poppin' up. Part of me still believes I'm twenty three. But then I start to run and my legs feel like lead. There's so much I still want to do, but so much I've missed. Oh, I got married, but I never had children. And the latest research shows birth defects come not from older women's eggs, but older men's sperm. This is my life. How did I do? Was I asleep too long? Shit, I'm still wrestling with so much, do I have to be ushered out so soon?

It doesn't seem that long ago I graduated from college. Funny how it's just like "The Graduate". You're at loose ends, you've got no clue. I dealt with the sense of loss by going record shopping at Sam Goody's. And over in the corner, amidst hundreds of cut-outs, I found Bob Seger's "Back In '72". I played it. Not that I got it. It had been reviewed so highly seemingly only months before, but now it had been abandoned. Still, there was this one song that penetrated me, that I played over and over. "Turn The Page".

And then I left home.

That's what you've got to do. I feel sorry for those who've grown up in the metropolis, with no need to move on. But you can't really find out who you are until you cut all ties and try to start over somewhere else. Finding not only your digs, but your social group. Building your life, as opposed to continuing to reside in your parents'. And, after two years of loose ends, skiing for a living, more like flipping burgers for a living, I found myself in L.A. Going to law school. It was great to live in a major radio market. With five rock stations. There was the choice of soft rock KNX. And exploratory KROQ. And hard rock KWST. But we all started in the middle of the dial in '76, at KMET and KLOS. And in the heat of the summer certain songs started pounding out of the radio. Stuff from Bob Seger's "Live Bullet". He'd been around forever, I'd even bought an album and had given up. But suddenly, with this live greatest hits album, his career came alive.

"Up with the sun, gone with the wind
She always said I was lazy
Leavin' my home, leavin' my friends
Runnin' when things get too crazy
Out to the road, out 'neath the stars
Feelin' the breeze, passin' the cars"

On most live albums, the singer oversold. He was trying to reach the back row. But Bob Seger seemed to be in a therapy session. Or on your couch after a couple of beers way past midnight. Telling his story.

Now "Travelin' Man" eventually portrays the life of a desperado, the same one the Eagles sang about. Still, I always resonated with the freedom. I didn't want to be tied down, I didn't want to sacrifice. I wanted to experience, I wanted to live. I always heard from my parents I was a lazy son of a bitch, but out here in the new world, trying to find out who I really was, I was fully active, I was fully alive.

That Bob Seger could get it so wrong year after year in the studio but get it exactly right on stage surprised me. After the above lyrics, more of the instruments came in, there wasn't only the wispy organ, there was a full tilt boogie band. That might have been from third-rate Detroit, but didn't give a shit. They weren't citified, not all slick like their Angeleno brothers, but these guys in the Silver Bullet Band knew how to ROCK!

And halfway through the song, Bob hung back, the drummer pounded, and the band worked out. And suddenly, in the height of the break, the groove changed. They sneaked into a whole new number. One we'd heard in its studio version on the radio now and again the year before. But instead of being poised, this "Beautiful Loser" had the feel of a bumpkin beaming on a country day. Of a come from behind local winning the U.S. Open. Of a band denied their spot on the national stage for so long finally claiming it. Yes, when Bob Seger and the Sliver Bullet Band launched into "Beautiful Loser" you smiled on the inside, you were with them, you shared the joy of their long-postponed success. When the crowd cheers when Bob starts to sing the words you tingle, you've been there, when you know every note your favorite act plays.

"Beautiful loser
Never take it all
'Cause it's easier
And faster when you fall"

Everybody starts out playing to win. But when sometime in their twenties they realize how hard it is to succeed, to fulfill their dreams, they give up. They make internal excuses. They become fans as opposed to players. They become shadows of their former selves. With no schoolmarm to push them, and out of their parents' sight, they're lost and broken. No, you just can't have it all. But you're entitled to quite a bit. But you've got to fight for it.

Suddenly, with the release of "Night Moves", primed by the success of "Live Bullet", Bob Seger was the biggest act in the land. He dominated the airwaves. And every time I heard the live version of "Turn The Page" on the radio I never forgot where it started for me, "Back In '72".

They say that Bob Seger doesn't want "Back In '72" released on CD because he doesn't like his vocals. But I never noticed a problem in the title cut. The kind of swagger rock absent from the scene today except for the Black Crowes. The kind of stuff that used to pour out of the jukebox at the bar after work and on weekends, when America cut loose from its factory jobs. There's a power and a soul that's irresistible. And there's a great cover of Free's legendary "Stealer", so legendary that if you've never heard it buy it immediately on iTunes, to hear why Paul Kossoff's death was a tragedy. But the piece de resistance is "Turn The Page".

"On a long and lonesome highway, east of Omaha
You can listen to the engine moaning out its one lone song
You can think about the woman, or the girl you knew the night before

But your thoughts will soon be wandering, the way they always do

When you're riding sixteen hours and there's nothing there to do

And you don't feel much like riding, you just wish the trip was through

Here I am, on the road again
There I am, on the stage
Here I go, playing star again
There I go, turn the page"

And you wonder why all the musicians do drugs. You're adored by twenty thousand people and then you get in the bus with the same four assholes you've known your whole life, onto a new city to start all over. "Turn The Page" is the best song about the road I've ever heard. Because it's got a sense of desperation. Bob doesn't know why he's riding the bus. Should he give up? At this point, in 1973, almost nobody was listening. It's like hearing Elton John working out in his flat in London before "Your Song". Bob had all the talent, all the greatness, but somehow it all didn't matter. You can hear the fatigue in his voice. He's so tired, he can't even be desperate.

Metallica did a great cover.

And the live version smokes.

But the best take is still the original, on "Back In '72". And this week, I play it on the Rhinocast. You should hear it.

Bob Seger quit the road. To have a life. He got it right, as opposed to all those who died living the rock and roll lifestyle. His latter day career is marred by too many ballads, but for years he rocked. And when I hear that rock I'm reminded of who I once was. And wonder if my journey has been the right one. Whether I've got a blind spot and am really the beautiful loser. Whether I'm just not old enough to understand it, to get what life is about. I'm still listening to records to find out what life is about.


Readers Respond:

From: Dawayne Bailey

Subject: Re: Re-Bob Seger – My Meeting Jimmy Iovine

These stories remind me of how incredible it was to be able to tour and record as Seger's guitarist/backing vocalist from 1983 to 1986. And my Jimmy Iovine moments.

Getting to stand behind Seger as we played Hollywood Nights, Get Out Of Denver, Fire Down Below, Against The Wind, Her Strut, Night Moves, Feel Like A Number and on and on – was an unforgettable powerful lifechanging time.

I could tell stories forever but I'll try to keep it short. This is about meeting Jimmy Iovine for the first and second time. Before I was called to audition for Seger, I was called by an engineer friend of mine to go to the Captain & Tennille's recording studio in Canoga Park called Rumbo Recorders.

His name was Hil Bren Swimmer and Hil was helping engineer the new Seger record The Distance with Jimmy Iovine producing. Hil knew I was a struggling Kansas boy in LA trying to make it in the biz.

My previous job other than playing LA bars a that time was guarding the ET creatures for Steven Spielberg at various locations around LA as a movie security guard. Spielberg always let me bring my guitar to the set so I could write while I worked.

Hil calls and says I can make 40 bucks if I want to drive to Rumbo to answer phones for Seger. So I did.

With a flat tire on the way on my 1976 Plymouth Scamp. I got there and answered calls from Don Henley because his house was on fire in Malibu – this was late 1982. I walked into the rec area and Jimmy Iovine was playing pinball. He handed me a 20 dollar bill and said "kid, go get me some quarters for the machines".

I ran over to the nearest Ralphs and came back and that was pretty much that. I felt like a schmuck. It was humbling. Ironically, I had recorded my first indie solo record there at Rumbo a few months earlier and here I was being a gofer to a guy who looked to be about my age. I went home with my 40 bucks and what was left of my pride.

A couple of weeks later, Hil called me and asked of I wanted to audition for Seger. I asked "to answer more phones? – You gotta audition for that? – Didn't I do it right the first time?"

Hil says no, to audition for Seger as a guitarist for The Distance tour. I asked him how soon were the auditions – in a couple weeks? He says "in a couple months". He told me to go buy all Seger's albums and that was that.

I was too broke to go buy a bunch of albums and figured in 2 months they would hire some famous guy who was on the insde circle of their Detroit friends.

Sure enough, 2 months went by and my friend Hil calls ans says "didya buy the albums?" I said "no, I can hardly feed my 2 little kids at the moment!!".

Hil says "I told them you know all the material and they're gonna call you from Detroit in 5 minutes". Ironically, I had just finished watching myself on TV playing guitar for Clint Holmes and Ann Jillian on an NBC show called 'Fantasy' while my kids were down for a nap.

Hil says "Just tell em you know everything and go borrow some albums, schmuck!" Sure enough, in 5 minutes, Seger's office calls and they ask if I can fly out the next day to Detroit. I nonchalantly said "Sure, no problem". I call my wife at work and she hardly believes me.

So I called my neighbors and musician friends and borrowed all the Seger albums I could find and taped them and packed them away with my Walkman, got on the plane, flew to Detroit, arrived at the audition, played with Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, went back to the hotel and Seger calls me personally and says "Bailey…you be the one!!"

I was totally blown away to put it mildly. So after all the rehearsals, we head out on the road. We eventually played The Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles and standing backstage before we went on, I saw Jimmy Iovine there. I walked over with my guitar strapped on and asked him if he needed any quarters before I went onstage.

He stood there for a second and it finally hit him and we both shared one of those stupid Mentos moments.

Anyway, long story even longer, getting to play with Seger & The Bullets (Don Brewer of Grand Funk was our drummer) was beyond amazing and I wish Bob and the band all the best as they prepare for their new album and tour. Bob was the best and sweetest boss I've ever had and the best singer you could hope to work for.

—————————————————————————-

Bob:

It was in the latter 70's that Rush were touring with Bob Seger and had a run of dates in Michigan. We were opening for them and played about 15 shows together including one in, if I remember correctly, Flint, Michigan. They were such a great rock band and it was amazing to feel the love for them from their audience. We were slowly developing our core audience around this time and the Midwest was one of our stronger areas. We played our set and got called back for an encore. From our limited experience at the time, encores by opening acts were not always embraced by the headliner so we went back on and made it short. As we exited the stage, the crowd was insistent for one more encore and as we came down the steps offstage, there was the band pumping their fists for us to do another. I don't think we ever did 2 encores as an opener and it spoke volumes about their class and consideration. We went away learning a valuable lesson from that and have always treated our opening acts with respect and encouragement. I will never forget that.

Alex Lifeson

—————————————————————————-

Dick Hassenger:

Your right about him – after having both on vinyl (still do), I just got "Nine Tonight" on CD – another great live one that is out there – and you're right, Silver Bullet still sounds great 30 years later.

As for "on the Road Again", been there, done that, and know what it's like to wake up on a crew bus in the parking lot of a shed somewhere and wonder where the hell you are…and why…or it's 4 in the morning and the only other person awake is the driver who is talking like hell on the CB to stay awake…and then you look at the speedometer and he's going 95 in a Prevost….turn the page

—————————————————————————-

Famous Toby Mamis:

"Back in 72" was already mid-period Seger, at least for me. His earliest singles, that have NEVER been released on CD (ownership questions abound), like "East Side Story," "Persecution Smith," and the original "Heavy Music" set the tone, led into "Ramblin Gamblin Man," and then the "Smokin OP's" album and THEN "Back In 72." That was the glory days of Bob Seger. When he truly rocked.

—————————————————————————-

Ken Shane:

Seger had some great songs, but for me his status would have been assured if he had written nothing other than the following line:

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then".

I just turned 55 a few weeks ago, and this line seems to mean more to me every year.

—————————————————————————-

Eric Shea:

I wish Bob Seger wasn't such a choad.

Why won't the man reissue his Bob Seger System albums?

The first three are better than any of his bloated truck commercial soundtracks. Case in point: Ramblin' Gamblin' Man (enclosed). Crank it up, and tell me that doesn't make you feel 23 again. MUCH better than, "Someday lady you'll accompany meeee…" Who the fuck puts the word "accompany" in a rock song? OLD GUYS. That's who.

Long live The System!

His old stuff is so popular here in the Bay Area that there is a tribute band called Total B.S. who cover his vintage nuggets: http://www.myspace.com/TotalBSusa

—————————————————————————-

Kim Zimmer:

This piece really struck something in me. Maybe it was sitting the floor in my best friend's bedroom listening to Seger when we were about 13… "too young" to understand what he was singing about, yet we felt it just the same. We were dreaming like the young and felt we had the wisdom of the old. KNEW we knew it all and couldn't wait to get out of the small town we were growing up in: population 3000; graduating high school class 69 or something equally pitiful. Everyone keeps telling me that pushing 40 is no big deal. I tell them to f*ck off because it is.

Metallica's version of Turn the Page just might be the very best cover of all time. But hearing the original still makes the hair on my arms stand up and transports me back over 25 years. GODDESS, has it been that long? I'm younger than you but ask if I'm on the right road just the same. I think I have FINALLY found the right road – "work" wise that is. "Life" wise, I'm still not sure – I may never be sure.

—————————————————————————-

Alec Pappas:

How many careers in the seventies were made because of live albums or greatest hits? Seger, The Eagles, Cheap Trick, Frampton

About the road, so many people in management don't get what it's like out there, it should be mandatory for them to be out with an act for a month just to get a handle on it.

From my underwhelming blog

http://blog.myspace.com/alecpappas

Wanna see what it's like on the road?

This is in a van, mind you.

Get up @ 10:30 (or 9, or 11 0r 8 depending on the day), jump in the shower and pack your shit and get in the back seat of your car.

Sit in your car and don't move for the next 3 to 6 hours with the radio off (or maybe on), only getting out to stretch your legs or taking 5 evey two hours to hang a whiz or get a light snack.

Go inside your house and randomly pick up and move furniture around for twenty minutes, then turn up the stereo really loud and say CHECK 1-2!! for a half hour.

Get back in the car again, this time driving to any random hotel within a 30 minute distance, talk to Mr & Mrs. Patel about nothing for a half hour.

Get in room, then get back in car and drive home.

grab the cold cuts that you left out before you went to the hotel and try to eat them.

sit around for 2 hours as you have strangers with bad taste in music play their favorite crap

then do mild aerobics for 2 hours of the day while drinking to escape the rest of this shit sandwich, or be morose because the drinking isn't helping you to escape the rest of this shit sandwich.

Have random neighbors bring you random drinks the entire time, while they tell you how much they love the edging on your sidewalk, or they ask you questions who cuts the topiary bushes in the yard.

Have a family member disassemble the swing set for you

Pick up and move random bits of furniture while drunk

drive around a strange neighborhood for a half hour while drunk, then go home and sleep on the floor/ a couch/ your kids/guestroom bed

Wake up @ 9/10/11 and repeat for the next 9 months

—————————————————————————-

Walter Lee:

Bob… many of Bob Seger's songs still resonate today. I'm very fortunate to count myself as one of Bob and his manager Punch Andrew's friends. I met Bob a long time ago when i was the local Capitol promo rep in Boston, then became reacquainted when Capitol moved me to Detroit. I was there when he recorded Beautiful Loser and then again at Cobo Hall when Bob recorded the Live Bullet album, the beginning of what turned out to be a Hall of Fame career. His dedication to the music, to the performance and to the audience was quite evident … Bob is one of the really, really good people. During his most active years at Capitol, he was one of the most well liked, respected artists on the label…from top to bottom, Bob went out of his way to have a smile, a kind word and/or a thank you for everybody. He has a new CD coming out this fall…let's hope there are a few prophetic lines in one or two of his new songs.

—————————————————————————-

Talley Griffith:

So I head off to Bonnaroo, for my virgin voyage as an artist. By myself, driving my Chevy Tahoe form the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia headed for the greater Nashville/Manchester area.

I soon realized that I was traveling down I-81, that same exact corridor that the Carter Family of Mother Maybelle & A.P. used to travel (pre-interstate) to go to Bristol to record for Ralph Peer…in what became historically known as the "Country Music Big Bang". And soon, others would follow that Hillbilly Highway. From Ralph Stanley to Dan Tyminski. All making that trip from Southwest VA to Tennessee. Because you see Bob, for a country-rocker like me…this is my Hajj….my trip to Mecca.

And heading past Johnson City, into Knoxville, I thought of my old ETSU classmate Kenny Chesney. And his ride from playing our acoustic "jap guitars" and singing "Seven Bridges Road" on the porch of the Lambda House…all the way to selling out the massive stadium at UT Knoxville.

Passing through Knoxville, I took a hard left to Chattanooga. And I soon realized the words to the David Allan Coe classic "The Ride" (about the Hank Williams Sr. ghost trip) was somewhere on a road between Montgomery and Nashville, which most likely was that same road I was traveling from Chattanooga, briefly whisking the Georgia and Alabama state lines, to a straight shot towards Nashville.

But of course I stopped short…in a farm town called Manchester. Along with 100,000 of the possibly the last real music fans and musicians left today. Oh sure, the lineup included Radiohead, Beck, Death Cab For Cutie, and a few other younger draws. But Tom Petty (with Stevie Nicks) and Elvis Costello put on the best shows of their careers…easily.

SO here's my main point…about Bob Seger.

Since I drive my beat-up '99 Tahoe to the show (parked alongside Cypress Hill's million dollar bus, and in between My Morning Jacket and Robert Randolph's giant hell on wheels…haha)…I make my own CDs for road music. Sure I use my iPod, but I like the feel of the CD as a ritual experience on a solitary road trip. With just my clothes, credential letters, and my two guitars in the back.

And as I was leaving Bonnaroo, just out of Manchester that final Sunday night…weary, drained, sunburned, and my fingertips still bleeding…I popped in my mix CD. It was all Bob Seger songs. All of the ones you mentioned, plus others.

So I listened to every note, every word. And I felt it. Hell, I was living it!!! I was that man "Up with the Sun…". I was the guy in Sun Spot (because she left me many years ago). I WAS the dude in Against The Wind, with my deadlines and commitments". I thought of my L.A days with Natasha Wagner as she was the girl for me during my "Hollywood Nights' period.

The guy in "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man".

Tears rolled down my face as "Like A Rock" came on. Thinking of driving down the same road exactly fifteen years ago as I left ETSU in Johnson City driving alone back to the mountains of Virginia with all my worldly possessions in my car. As the slide guitar wept, so did I…recalling how bright my life and future were, with my friends and all my women. "Twenty Years…Where did They go?".

And of course my thoughts drifted to Julie during "Night Moves", because she had those points all on her own…"way up high…way up firm and high". I was 17 and she was 16. Where could she be today? Who knows. But Seger knows, and I thought of her and those hot Summer nights.

—————————————————————————-

Tom Cartwright:

I keep hoping that one day Bob will make another album. I gotta give him credit, when you run out of stuff to say, better to not say anything at all than fake it. Still, maybe he'll fire up his bike, take off down the road…and get inspired. Just an album for the fans. Of course, it could never be on Capitol. Nobody there would understand anymore. Maybe on one of those new indie alt-country labels. Bob? Punch?

—————————————————————————-

Francis Dupuis:

About 15 years ago I was driving from Thunder Bay, Ontario to Vancouver, BC in one long shot. Coming across the prairies driving through the night and the fog, exhausted and bored to tears this song came on the radio. It was electrifying and I'll never forget it – it meant something. At that moment I could totally relate.

Regardless of style or time or genre, the great songs touch you in ways that over hyped and formulaic dribble just cannot.

—————————————————————————-

Michael Abramson:

Bob,
Boy, did you strike a nerve this time. Without a doubt, THE GREATEST road song EVER!

"Out there in the spotlight you're a million miles away
Every ounce of energy you try to give away
As the sweat pours out your body like the music that you play
Later in the evening as you lie awake in bed With the echoes from the amplifiers ringin' in your head
You smoke the day's last cigarette, rememberin' what she said

Here I am
On the road again
There I am
Up on the stage
Here I go
Playin' star again
There I go
Turn the page"

I just got misty eyed…I forgot how great this song & Seger was. Have a good night my friend and remember, don't sweat the little shit…it's all little shit!

—————————————————————————-

Damon Lawner:

Life is about FAMILY. Having been with my lady for ten years and our new baby girl nine months, I have been delivered fully into the truth and grace of being a father. I'm 35, still young enough to be clever and handsome, but old enough to know my youthful charm isn't going to last forever, and I can honestly say I wake every morning next to the two most beautiful people I have ever known, my wife Melissa and our daughter Olivia. I wanted to make music and go out in a drug induced blaze of glory in my twenties, I gave it a good go believe me. Now I want to stick around to see what my grandchildren are going to look like. My fire has never gone out, WILL never go out. I'll always be that soul searching for heightened experience, travel, music, making money to afford the finer things in life. My libido being no less enthusiastic then ever, is something I have learned to keep chained down for the greater good. Sacrifice is part of what a relationship is, how could it be any other way? We live in a universe of opposites, nothing to do about that. The point being we all have the choice to do for self or do for others.

Sometimes doing for others turns out to be the best thing we could ever do for ourselves, especially in the case of family. I am in the presence of overwhelming love from the moment I wake until I lay my head down on my pillow. Watching the Godfather Part 2 last night, with my wife and baby asleep beside me in our king-size bed, someone asks the young Vito Corleone, played by Robert De Niro, don't you think my girl up there on the stage is beautiful, and he pauses and says something like, yea, for you she's beautiful, but for me there is only my wife and child. It just hit me hard, it was the most poetic thing I'd heard in while, and I connected with it so strongly. I could be out there with my bachelor friends banging twenty-something models in town from NY, I really could. I could be getting wasted in the VIP rooms at the coolest clubs (well that does happen, but with my wife, not some chick I want to do in the bathroom so I don't have to wake up next to her), I could even be still trying to be a rock and roll God. But I'm not, and I feel lucky that I am where I am, and who I am, at this moment in time. The beginning of the next 35, maybe the best 35 years of my life.

—————————————————————————-

Rob Meurer:

"Come to Poppa" will always smoke my shorts…

—————————————————————————-

Larry LeBlanc:

Back In '72 is one of my favourite albums. i've practically worn the vinyl out. I adore Turn The Page. The live version doesn't catch the isolation as well. Seger hit in Canada early where his song "Noah" was a sizable hit and he used to play in the London/Detroit circuit. I remember him opening for Dr Hoook when he was still just a Detroit phenomenon. Back In 72 was Bob at his zenith before the breakout hits….when he rocked his ass off. Jeez what a great album.

—————————————————————————-

Ron Platzer:

Those of us from Michigan (in particular, the Detroit area) have a fondness for Seger that people from other parts of the country will never understand. He was OUR boy. He was OUR Dylan, Lennen, what have you. His music was of greatness, and here he was from Ann Arbor, and his band was from Birmingham! Not New York City or London, etc – he was one of US. He sung about the loneliness of the bluecollar worker and told stories that spoke to the average guy.

Obviously I was not getting off the line at the Ford plant at 4:00 to the sounds of "Night Moves", but I was 8 years old in 1977 and I sure was listening to WRIF, and besides the Nuge, there was no artist heard more than Seger. I was listening, and although at the time I only understood Kiss and Aerosmith, I knew there was something special the 'Sege. So in 1979 I bought on LP, "Against The Wind" and it was a monster. I still own that very same LP.

—————————————————————————-

Ringling:

Seger has always been one of my favourite artists. He, like Mellencamp later, is a Midwestern storyteller, with a good backup band to help you remember the story. I was lucky (depends on how you want to look at it) enough to see him on the last tour (he had said he was going to hang it up at 40; and living out there in the middle of nowhere MT, most artists come to ski or fish, not to play). "Turn the Page" and "UMC" are both good live cuts, as is "Get Out of Denver".

Sadly, when Bob was on VH1 a couple years ago for the RnR HOF, it just wasn't the same. He had become that weary singer from "Turn the Page"; his voice was weak, and he didn't have the fire he did on that stage in Minneapolis in 1996.

Word has it that he is starting to release the albums that led up to Live Bullet again, and that he will be touring to support a new album this fall. You've probably already heard that. I'll try to get tickets to see him in Detroit, if only to see a glimpse of the magic from the years when he was at the top of his game.

—————————————————————————-

Deanna M. Root:

As a mid twenty-something trying to achieve my dreams, I identify completely with what you are saying. While youth and beauty are more so visibly present at 25 than say, 50, I still compare myself to the 19 year old girl that packed her bags and threw them into a Greyhound bus from NY to TX. I wonder not only where the baby-soft skin went, but also where the idealism went. I imagined that, at 25, I'd have at least partially taken over the entertainment industry, taken it under my arm, and somehow made it better for all – not just better for musicians, but better for roadies, for tour managers, for street teamers, for executives, and for the world. Music alone doesn't need any help – there is great stuff out there, but, much like beauty, it is all too often smothered by the truth of experience. Each wrinkle beginning on my face is experience – the time my business failed, the awesome job I didn't get w/ Los Lonely Boys (and damn how I wanted Platinum under my belt before 25), the time I starved FOR a musician, instead of actually *being* a starving musician.

Here I am, present day, wondering if the things people told me aren't true, and worse yet, questioning myself. But yet one thing stays strong – my love and passion for music. Nothing makes my day more than throwing on some old 70's vinyl record and kicking back. Sure, I think to myself how I was perhaps born 15 years too late, but then again, maybe it was meant to be. Maybe 15 years earlier and I would have had NO chance at achieving my goals, because women just hadn't really broken that barrier yet. The Lansing's of the past have now paved the way for me in the entertainment world, and each day there are more and more female record executives. But me, I wanted more. Hell, I want more, and I'll admit it here and now – and yes, I'm prepared for those to scoff, and worse yet, for those to hope for my failure, but fuck it – it's my dream, not yours: I've always wanted to be the 1st female CEO of a Major Record Label. Back then it was the "Big 5", but hey, you know, I wouldn't mind going back to the drawing board and trying to start my own – if the 3rd time is a charm then I'd better get failure #2 out of my way!

Regardless of what happens, I can identify with the Beautiful Loser, but I can't say that I'm ready to be one.

—————————————————————————-

John Baltic:

Heavy Music!

Two Plus Two Is On My Mind!

A very young guy in the Cass Cafe in Cass Coridor (downtown Detroit) pulled out a cassette with a live version of 2 + 2 on it a few weeks ago. He said it was from his dad's collection. My God – It rocked so hard. And the middle section was like the psychedelic section in Magic Carpet Ride – but lots longer.

Bob Seger's concert in the late seventies at Cobo Hall was the first show I saw girls take their tops off. I went over and asked them if they had a rolling paper (even though I already had some) and would they like to smoke a joint. "Hell yes!" and, after handing me a giant Strawberry EZ-Wider, we proceeded to get high. Them with their breasts out! My buddy, super straight, on the swim team, actually smoked pot for the first time just so he could be included! Such is the power of rock and roll. And, um, breasts.

—————————————————————————-

Kevin Gingrich:

Early 70's Bob Seger, fantastic!

First time I remember hearing Turn the Page was in my dark bedroom late at night with small radio on and the lyrics just stuck to me. Haunting and so true, if you've ever been a musician in a strange town and on the road in anywhere North America. I'd like to bring up another Bob Seger nugget. Smokin' O.P.'s. What a great collection of covers that rocks with that Detroit funk.And what a great voice!

Related Post