Not a lot of major rock stars would launch a tour the day before Thanksgiving, as Bob Seger is doing tonight, but he has never been one to play by the rules. This is a guy that kept his music offline for nearly two decades after Napster forever changed the industry, still makes it virtually impossible to hear his early albums through any legal means and has declined to create a documentary, DVD, box set or anything else that might help introduce his catalog to a new audience.
It’s like he watched everything Bruce Springsteen has done in the past 20 years to burnish his legacy and was like, “Man, that sounds like a lot of work. I want to do the exact opposite. I’d rather sit home, watch Madam Secretary reruns, go to Pistons games and not do any of that. What’s that? A Night Moves box set for the anniversary with outtakes, demos and live cuts? A documentary for Netflix that traces my entire career? Nah. Pass. Wait, are we out of Pringles?”
But one thing he has done is play live, and even with very limited promotion he always manages to sell out and stage absolutely incredible shows. His farewell tour tour begins this week in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and it continues through at least May, though it’s likely he’ll continue to add shows. Right now the itinerary jumps from a March 9th show in Dallas, Texas, to May 2nd, in Woodlands, Texas, and then suddenly ends. In all likelihood, that lone May gig is part of another leg. And how could he not wrap things up with a huge blowout in Detroit?
One song he’s not likely to do this tour is his 1978 hit “Still the Same.” For whatever reason, he hasn’t touched it in well over a decade and it hasn’t been a regular part of his live set since the early Eighties. Maybe it’s hard to hit those notes these days, or he simply has too many other hits and he never quite gets around to it. Here’s a video of him playing it in San Diego in 1978, right around the time it hit Number Four on the Hot 100. A video like this would be a cool clip to show in a documentary. I’m sure Iggy Pop, the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen and many others would gladly sit for interviews. Just an idea.