Saturday, 5 March 2016

We Need a Bob Seger Biography

Bob Seger is one of the most iconic names in Rock Music, who has sold over 50 million albums with hit songs including “Against The Wind”, “Still The Same”, “We’ve Got Tonight”, “Old Time Rock & Roll”, “Hollywood Nights”, “Even Now”, “Ramblin Gamblin Man” among others. However there sadly doesn’t exist even one biography about him. I will discuss why I think we need a Bob Seger biography.



When Bob Seger formed The Bob Seger System, he had his first US hit immediately with “Ramblin Gamblin Man” which reached Number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts in 1968. However, he couldn’t have another US hit until 1976 when “Night Moves” hit Number 4. In those years, Bob Seger worked hard performing live shows around America. I think he found it a struggle and it would be interesting reading about his hard work and persistence. During that period, The Bob Seger System broke up in 1970, and then Bob went solo though the bands he performed with were known as STK and The Borneo Band. Following that, The Silver Bullet Band was formed in 1973 (however they would not be credited on an album until 1976’s ‘Live Bullet’). It would be interesting to read about the working relationship he had with the different band members and the formation of The Silver Bullet Band who have been credited with Bob Seger on most of his work since then. The book would, of course cover how The Silver Bullet Band changed over the years. It would talk of the working relationship Bob has with The Silver Bullet Band and the contributions that they made to the songs.


It would be great to hear some stories of how he wrote his songs, including what instrument he wrote it on and the re-writes that the song went through. I’d like to hear stories from the recording studio with interviews from members of The Silver Bullet Band, Producers, Engineers, Musicians he worked with, etc. His hit “Old Time Rock & Roll” from the ‘Stranger in Town’ album was given to him by The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (a group of session musicians in Alabama that he recorded with many times in the 70s and 80s) and was written by George Jackson and Thomas Jones. Bob rewrote most the of lyrics without credit. He tried recording the song with The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and with The Silver Bullet Band, but it wasn't working so he ended up singing over the demo removing the voice of the original singer as well as adding a Saxophone overdub by Silver Bullet Band Saxophonist Alto Reed. It would be interesting to read why the song wasn’t working when he recorded it both with The Silver Bullet Band and The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Speaking of The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, I’d like to read about their relationship with Bob Seger featuring comments from those musicians.  


Bob Seger is known for having a lot of unreleased songs, believed to be numbering several hundreds, not to mention many other songs in demo form. It would be good if this biography could feature information on songs he recorded for his albums but chose not to release describing the song and giving information on why it got taken off the album.


This book could feature information on Bob Seger’s influences taken from interviews he’s done as well as from some of the interviewees. Then, the author could listen to Bob’s music, find and describe instances of that particular influence.


In his career, Bob has Produced some songs with his manager Punch Andrews and The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. I’d like to read how he collaborated with Punch and The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section as a Producer. Bob has also been given Co-Mixing credits on some of his songs, and it would be interesting to read about the work he did in Mixing.


One feature to focus on would be stories from the road throughout his career. Bob toured mainly in North America where he’s most popular, but did two European tours in 1977 and 1980. I’d like to hear how those tours were different to touring North America as well as why so far has hasn’t toured outside North America since then.

What I’ve said above are some things that can be featured in a Bob Seger biography. If you can and want to write a biography about Bob Seger, I encourage you to do so. I really hope this post will lead to a Bob Seger biography as I believe we need a biography about one of the greatest rock singers in the world.  

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting post Asela. I'm sure Bob Seger would be pleased to hear your thoughts. Perhaps with all your detailed knowledge of the singer, you might be even able to write one yourself? :) I hope someone does take you up on the challenge!

    ReplyDelete