Thursday, December 29, 2005

A fan letter to Bob Seger

Bob Seger
% Punch Enterprises
567 Purdy St.
Birmingham, MI 48009

Dear Bob,

Just a note from some of your long-time Upper Peninsula fans to remind you how much we've enjoyed your music since you first recorded as a young man nearly forty years ago.

Although many of your fans here are a little older now, many younger folks were made aware of your talents when the heavy metal band Metallica recorded a version of your classic song "Turn the Page," about life on the road.

While you're continuing to add new fans, many of us still love the great body of work you produced before your commercial breakthrough in 1976 with "Night Moves." You were rockin' at your best when you recorded your first songs like "East Side Story," "Persecution Smith," "Chain Smokin'," and "Heavy Music." Fast-talking deejays had a bit of trouble though when your group was called Bob Seger and The Last Heard (try it!).

Then, of course you formed the Bob Seger System in 1968 and snagged a No. 17 national hit with "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man." Heck, that song was on the jukebox at Baron's Bar in Escanaba for years and years. We know how hard it must have been to carry on when your great follow- ups-- "Ivory" and "Lucifer"-- didn't became hits outside of Michigan and Florida.

We admire how you persevered, performing hundreds of concerts every year. You probably remember doing shows in the early seventies at Northern Michigan University in Marquette with Bachman Turner Overdrive and at Michigan Tech in Houghton. When your warm-up band traveled by mistake to downstate Houghton Lake, you thought nothing of taking the stage first so as not to disappoint the crowd, while the other band sped toward the Keweenaw.

And you kept it up. Songs like "Lookin' Back," "If I Were a Carpenter," and "Get Out of Denver," are indelibly etched into the minds of tens of thousands of Midwest radio listeners (and concert goers).

You were unrecognized nationally then, but your Midwest fans bought those singles and cherished them. Even more treasured were your first seven (count 'em- seven!) long playing records. The grooves are worn out on "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," "Noah," "Mongrel," "Brand New Morning," "Back in '72," and "Seven." Although you released 1972's "Smokin' O. P.'s" on compact disc last summer, all your other early material remains out-of-print.

Of course, all your wonderful late-seventies and eighties albums with the Silver Bullet Band remain available and are reason enough that you were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall on Fame in 2004.

Your two greatest hits compilations are especially stellar with 19 Top 40 hits. The first volume, from 1994, with "Old Time Rock & Roll," "Against the Wind," and "Like a Rock," even includes two new tracks. In 2003, you did the same with Greatest Hits 2, by adding "Satisfied" and "Tomorrow." Those new songs really whetted our appetite for something new. Publicity at the time indicated a fresh album would be forthcoming.

We are still eagerly awaiting your new effort and we realize you're a bit of a perfectionist. But, it's been ten years since your last studio album, "It's a Mystery," and we're getting a little anxious.

Now, we understand from Capitol Records that "Face the Promise" is scheduled for release May 2, 2006. That's just a few days before your 61st birthday. This summer would be a great time to tour, too. Although you had a record-breaking American tour in 1996, that was a decade ago.

So, here's hoping you'll release your early material soon. You'd make a lot of people happy. And, best of luck on the new album, too. We're ready for the Bob Seger story to continue.

Thanks, Your U. P. Fans

P. S. If you want to sail into Little Bay de Noc again on your boat Lightning, you know how hospitable the folks around Escanaba can be.

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