Bob Seger (pictured at his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2004) is one of those classic rockers we take for granted because we hear him on the radio every day with “Night Moves” or “Against the Wind” or – if we’re really lucky – “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.”
We assume Seger will always be around. And one day he won’t be, and we’ll say, “Aw, damn! I should have seen him when he was in town a few years back.”
After telling Rolling Stone magazine in 2011 that his career was “winding down … I can’t do this much longer,” Seger hit the road again in 2013 (and 2014 and 2015 and 2017 and 2018 and 2019) and repeated that line to anyone who asked. He’s a relative spring chicken though. He turned 75 in May 2020, just four years behind Bob Dylan.
I interviewed Seger in September 2006 to discuss his first new album in 11 years, Face The Promise, his last recording until 2014’s Ride Out. Face the Promise was also Seger’s first album since 1975’s Beautiful Loser where he didn’t share billing with the Silver Bullet Band. “You can only blame me for this one!,” he told me on the phone. “It’s like my Full Moon Fever, I guess, the way Tom (Petty) just wound up doing something different, I guess.” Bob and the band hit the road the following year, also for the first time since 1995. It was a thrill to see him on both outings.
Here is a portion of a considerably longer transcript.
WHAT MOVIES HAVE YOU SEEN RECENTLY?
I loved the (Al) Gore film, I took my kids to see that, the ecology film (An Inconvenient Truth). And they came home and told their mom, ‘Mom, that’s the most important film of the year.’ And I was really proud of them for picking up on that. There’s so many great independent films. I think I kinda lean that way. They’re not dictated to by the studios. People really get to express themselves. I loved The Aristocrats. That was great! I loved Syriana. I loved Good Night, and Good Luck.
DID YOU SEE CRASH?
Crash was good. I thought, personally, Capote was a better movie, in my opinion. I just thought it was a better movie.
I JUST SAW THE NEW CAPOTE MOVIE, INFAMOUS. THERE ARE TWO OF THEM, BOTH DEALING WITH THE SAME SUBJECT
Oh really? You know what? I read the book right after I saw that movie. Wow, what a great book! I’d never read In Cold Blood before. What a great book! Wow!
YOU SAID YOU LIKED BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN?!
Mmmm! I thought it was great. I think Ang Lee is great … Randy did a great job. A friend of mine, Dennis Quaid, we’ve been friends for years. And his favorite actor is his brother, Randy. And I can certainly understand why. Randy’s a wonderful, under-rated actor, and I thought he was wonderful in that one.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR OTHER FAMOUS FRIENDS?
I don’t have many. The Eagles, I’ve always been good friends with them. They’re probably my closest musical buddies. I play golf with Larry Bird, a great guy, another midwestern guy. I’d say that’s about it. Dennis, Larry and the Eagles.
DO YOU COME OUT TO L.A., CRUISE MULHOLLAND DRIVE AND PLAY “HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS”?
Not anymore! Cos I’m always in Nashville. L.A.’s a little bit far for me. I’ll be out there next week. We’re gonna spend three days out there. My daughter’s so excited to go to Hollywood because she watches television. We’re gonna show her the star that I have in Hollywood. And she’s real excited to see the sign, and walk down Hollywood Blvd. I think she’s gonna be shocked when she walks down Hollywood Blvd!!! I gotta prepare her for that.
YOU SHOULD GO AND SEE TRUMAN CAPOTE’S GRAVE. HE’S AT THE WESTWOOD CEMETERY
YOU CAN SAY, “I READ THE BOOK AND NOW I’VE SEEN HIS GRAVE”
Oh, yeah. I was driving out in Kansas about three weeks ago, and I actually tried to go see the house in Holcomb. You can’t get to it. The roads are so muddy going out to it. You can see it from a distance, but that’s it. I kinda went out there just for one day. I was out in the area anyway because I love to drive out west, so I decided to go through Garden City and see it all, because I’d just read the book, y’know?
WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE ROADS BEING MUDDY, THEY WERE MUDDY JUST AT THAT TIME, BUT NOT NORMALLY?
What they actually do, Dean, is they water ’em. And you can’t get out to the house, because they don’t want people messing around and hanging out there for whatever reason. Holcomb’s just tired of it. It’s right out in the middle of this field, and literally I tried to drive out to it, and I almost got stuck. I said, “Get me outta here!” And I almost had to call a tow truck. It’s eerie going under the trees on the long driveway, and thinking about the movie (In Cold Blood) with Robert Blake and Scott Wilson and all them. Great movie, by the way. From ’67. You’re actually seeing the trees that begin the movie.
IT’S GOOD THE HOUSE IS STILL THERE. YOU’D THINK THEY WOULD HAVE KNOCKED IT DOWN.
No, they haven’t knocked it down.
DO PEOPLE STILL LIVE IN THE HOUSE?
I don’t think so. It looks pretty empty to me. I don’t know how you’d get out to it. Unless you had a tank!!!
NOTE: Unrelated to the above interview, my memoir Strange Days: The Adventures of a Grumpy Rock ‘n’ Roll Journalist in Los Angeles is available here. For more info, go to strangedaysbook.com
Copyright © 2006, 2013 by Dean Goodman. PLEASE DO NOT CUT AND PASTE THE WHOLE THING