The Joyous, Lonely Soul of Bob Seger


This is a brilliantly written appreciation of one of the most substantial talents of our time. Thank you Mr. Sparling for, much like Seger, finding a way to articulate the words that are in the hearts of so many of us.
Great job Scott - I enjoyed reading this....and you didn't even mention any lyrics from ROLL ME AWAY in all of those great lines. People don't have a pulse (or a heart), if you can't be moved by that one. I'm 33 right now...and I can't to appreciate LIKE A ROCK later on in life :) I was at the opening show in Toledo this year with my wife (4th Seger show). And yes, by the end of the night, my face hurt from all the smiling. Enjoy the show in Portland my friend...may your face hurt as well. - Carl
'cause the devil's red, but his money's green' from Neon Sky is a brilliant line IMO
The first live show I ever saw was Seger, Pontiac Silverdome, 1976. In the intervening years I’ve seen him so many times I’ve lost count. I will be at the Palace on April 11th to see him yet again and I will no doubt smile until my face hurts and embarrass my husband by singing ‘backup’ on every song. Thanks for articulating what I’ve known for almost 40 years.
good songwriters have the gift for setting the mood by "closing your eyes and let your mind build a video to the words of a song"...nothing better than "Roll Me Away"...I've had tears come to my eyes doing just can feel and breathe and taste it...even more so if you've traveled "up north" in the Michigan summer...thanks for this story and thread...Seger rules!
The first time I seen Seger was in Cleveland many year ago. I was very sad when he stoped touring but I know he had Health problems. I love Seger because he really goes out of his way to make his fans happy, and he has a voice like know other and he is a family man. I have seen him 4 times I hope to see him again and hear that owesome voice. Carol
Wish I would be at the Denver concert....oh well Daniel and friends will be there!
Wonderful article about the most amazingly talented singer/songwriter ever!! Thank you for putting into words what I feel about him but can rarely say myself. All my friends know I love Bob Seger, and have since the 70s, but your article explains why.
Nice, but I'd like to add the Famous Final Scene to that list of awesome lyrics.
Great article. Wish more musicians would put as much effort into their songs / albums as Bob Seger. Great songwriter; enjoy listening to the entire album; unlike a lot of the music being put out by singers today. You're lucky if you get 3-4 good songs on SN album (CD). I prefer to own my music; not a downloader. My brother and I keep reminding the younger generation that we have yet to hear a song by Bob Seger that we don't like and that each song tells a story. Not just a quick hook and a boom boom beat! Live Bullet is still my favorite album!!
Great article!!
I still have the memory of seeing him in Cobo Hall in '71 or '72. Still sets the mark for "every ounce of energy you try to give away" performer I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot since then
Where I worked a group of guys would gather and play guitars in a conf. room at lunch. I told them one day that if they played a Bob Seger song for me, I would dance on the table and sing it for them. I gave them my Bob Seger piano song book and they practiced. Three weeks later, I danced on the table! One of the guys told me when they were done that he never realized the depth of Bob's lyrics and, yep, another new Bob Seger fan was born! I will be seeing Bob in Denver on 4/2 and it will be my 31st concert and yes, I had a smile on my face the entire time and those guitars played I knew all of the words! Love that man BOB!!!! p.s. I am also a Detroit native but living in Colorado and am hopeful he plays Detroit this summer as there is NOTHING like seeing him 'at home'. He ROCKS IT!
We live and breath Segers songs at least once a month. He is as big ib Boston as he is in Detroit.
Nine tonight Boston Garden ...I was hooked!
Or how about Shame On the Moon - "Once inside a woman's heart a man must keep his head.....some men go crazy, some men go slow, some men just go where they want, some men never go." Such a beautiful song - I wish he would play it on tour. I have seen him 6 times these last 2 tours and that's one song I have yet to hear. Going to see him at Charlotte - maybe then. Either way I know its going to be a Rockin good time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
we saw bob in 76 loved it,then again in 79, he sang a song from his new album coming out,it was against the wind.I know right then we were going to name our child after that song.that next nov.our daughter was born,janie was lovie she was the queen of my nights.We saw him again,20 years went by he is still the same.(maybe better)
Despite being a Seger fan for more than thirty years, I saw him perform live for the first time two years ago in Tulsa. He exceeded expectations. The audience sang every line of every song and the smiles, my daughter and I shared as a result, lasted for days.
Thank you, Mr. Sparling for this article. I am from Taylor, Michigan, a working class suburb of Detroit and Bob Seger played at one of my Junior High School ( what we called it before it became Middle School). He is by far my favorite singer and song writer. My sister and I saw him in KC a couple of years was the best and we can call him one of our own. He never forgets from where he came.
Good read and so right on! I've been waiting for someone to write a book about Seger. His life and who he is has been kept so private. His songs are the only windows into his soul. I don't mean to be a voyeur, but I am interested to know more.
I see Bob & the SBB at least once every tour, for some 25 years or so. Lately, I say, "Nah, I've seen him enough.......I'll sit this one out" but yet never can NOT see him, I end up going, and crying over how much I love his music...especially live! Never fails to bring me to tears. So many wonderful lyrics, fantastic songs, that I could never, ever pick even a couple of favorites. A true lyracist, a storyteller in 6 minutes or less. I Long Live BoB!
mr. sparling you are so right, i first saw seger back in 66-67 on a local show, he sang east side story and i was hooked right there, i believe that bob seger is american greatest singer and writer of rock ever, as i have told friends if bob lived by or in new york he would be the greatest rocker ever, for fans of bob who never heard his early music please do yourself a favor and check out these songs, eastside story, death row, two great songs, and check out these two lp's which i believe are two lost gems and truely great lp's, mongrel, seven,and finally bob seger is not a father of rock and roll but i know he is a son of rock and roll and help define what is known as heartland rock which he is the father of........
Thank you for a well written article. What a story teller this man is, his words can take you to anywhere and back again in one song. Thank you Bob for sharing your amazing gift with us.
Feel Like a Number, Night Moves, Against the Wind, Main many, many great and meaningful lyrics.
I've seen Bob 5 times now, the last one being the opening show of his new tour Rock & Roll Never Forgets in Toledo Ohio. Great show. Just saw Kid Rock in Toledo and he went on and on how great it was for him to play with Bob.. he even wrote a new song he preformed :) I got one more ticket to see him April 11 at the Palace with Joe Walsh... I can't Wait!!!
My sister and I saw Bob for the first time in Fargo a few weeks ago. I've heard his music my whole life but It wasn't until last year that I really paid attention to the lyrics. Now so many songs remind me of different times or people in my life. Roll Me Away is my favorite song of Bob's. It takes me right up on that mountain with him! (My profile pic is us at the concert!)
Give the song "No Man's Land" a listen (from the Against the Wind album).....painfully wonderful soul searching words.
I saw Bob Seger 4 times in the 70-80's and then saw him last night in Tacoma Wa...he hasnt lost a note, his voice is still the same...he put on a great show last night!!! To me, it was the best show I have seen of his...the audience knew every word to the songs and sang along...what a wonderful night it was!!
As always you weave a story about Bob Seger like no one else can. I just shake my head yes yes, wishing I could put to words the way I feel about Seger and his music the way you
do..Well done!!........Hey Punch really is there anyone more qualified to write BS's autobiography?? Of course not, this is a no brainer!!
Great artical indeed, I have been very blessed to have embraced the words and music of Bob since 1975. Through the years I have seen him live 13 times and I'm adding two more shows this month in Reading and at Penn State. In 1996 I even had the op to meet him while he was in town playing at Merriweather Post during the It's a Mystery tour.

A few favorites that are some of Bob's best writings of feelings and truth are:
The Ring
Famous Final Scene
No More
Lock & Load
The Fire Inside
Somewhere Tonight
Wait for Me
Ship of Fools and
Jodi Girl

Long live Bob and the SBB