Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band – live at The Whiskey A go-go, August 8, 1975 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Bob Seger tonight – doing a memorable gig at The Whiskey in West Hollywood on August 8, 1975. I say memorable because I was sitting in one of the booths that night and remember this gig very well. It was hardcore, sweaty and non-stop.
In the 70s, if you were to ask me who the quintessential American Rock n’ Roll artist was I would tell you without hesitation that it was Bob Seger. What you’re hearing, via this broadcast from either KLOS or KMET is only a fraction of what seeing Seger live was like. An artist who gave (and most likely still gives) 110%. Straight-ahead, no frills, no bullshit, no attitude, no posturing. Bob Seger always struck me as the real deal. When its real and has no pretense, there’s nothing like it – you understand why Rock became the universal language and hearing it presented in its purest form is a transformative experience. IMO.
In the event you may not be familiar with Bob Seger, or have just heard about him or ran across one of his albums and wondered, here’s a little background:
A roots rocker with a classic raspy, powerful voice, Seger wrote and recorded songs that dealt with love, women, and blue-collar themes, and is an example of a heartland rock artist. He has recorded many hits, including “Night Moves”, “Turn the Page”, “Still the Same”, “We’ve Got Tonite”, “Against the Wind”, “You’ll Accomp’ny Me”, “Hollywood Nights”, “Shame on the Moon”, “Like a Rock”, and “Shakedown”, the last of which was written for the 1987 film Beverly Hills Cop II and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He also co-wrote the Eagles’ number-one hit “Heartache Tonight”, and his recording of “Old Time Rock and Roll” was named one of the Songs of the Century in 2001.
In 1974, Seger formed the Silver Bullet Band. Its original members were guitarist Drew Abbott, drummer and backing vocalist Charlie Allen Martin, keyboardist and backing vocalist Rick Manasa, bass guitarist Chris Campbell, and saxophonist and backing vocalist Alto Reed. With this new band sitting in occasionally, Seger released the album Seven (1974), which contained the Detroit-area hard-rock hit “Get Out of Denver”. This track was a modest success and charted at #80 nationally.
In 1975, Seger returned to Capitol Records and released the album Beautiful Loser, with help from the Silver Bullet Band (with new keyboardist Robyn Robbins replacing Manasa) on his cover of the Tina Turner penned “Nutbush City Limits”. The album’s single “Katmandu” which was featured in the 1985 movie Mask starring Cher (in addition to being another substantial Detroit-area hit) was Seger’s first real national break-out track since 1968’s “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man”. Although it just missed the US Pop Top 40 – peaking at #43 – the song received strong airplay in a number of markets nationwide including Detroit.
In April 1976, Seger and the Silver Bullet Band released the album Live Bullet, recorded over two nights in Detroit’s Cobo Arena in September 1975. It contained Seger’s rendition of “Nutbush City Limits” as well as Seger’s own classic take on life on the road, “Turn the Page”, from Back in ’72. It also included his late 1960s successful releases – “Heavy Music” and “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man”. Critic Dave Marsh later wrote that “Live Bullet is one of the best live albums ever made … In spots, particularly during the medley of “Travelin’ Man”/”Beautiful Loser” on side one, Seger sounds like a man with one last shot at the top.” An instant best-seller in Detroit, Live Bullet began to get attention in other parts of the country, selling better than Seger’s previous albums, getting progressive rock radio and album-oriented rock airplay, and enabling Seger to headline more shows.
On September 18, 2018, Seger announced his final tour. Named the Travelin’ Man tour, it includes postponed dates from the 2017 tour as well as additional shows, and was scheduled to kick off on November 21 at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI.
In case you just missed him, you can still catch up by heading over to his website and poking around the Music section – lots of stuff there. Check it out.
In the meantime, here’s a taste to tide you over.