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The Ayers Effect: Bob Seger’s Final Stand

October 6, 2011

A Column by Kelson Ayers

Bob Seger is like the grandfather of rock and roll. His stories transcend the genre's glory days, while providing a retrospective light on the carryover of today's rock heavyweights.

Bob Seger.

Detroit’s greatest rocker is on the last leg of his final tour with the ever famous Silver Bullet Band. These boys have been one of America’s most influential rock bands dating back to their formation in 1973. Seger’s influence reached out to the common man, with his legend quickly growing under the ‘blue collar rocker’ persona from the beginning.

Never will you find a man more passionate about his music, about being on the road, performing night after night. Seger has always let us know about his world through his songs whether it be about his early days in Detroit on “Main Street” or being a lonesome man on the road again via “Turn the Page.” His familiarity is why he is such an influence to many rock fans like my self, because he leaves nothing behind. His blues/rock sound has fans feeling this dark romance that cannot be described, but only felt.

With his break through 1976 album Night Moves reaching #4 on Billboards top ten list that year, it was only the start to a stellar career. Later the next year he would release such hits as his soft ballad “We’ve Got Tonight” and later “Old Time Rock & Roll.” Although only reaching #28 on the charts that year, the song earned its way over the years as one of America’s unofficial theme songs. To this day, it has reached the #2 position on the all-time Jukebox singles list. More than that, who can forget Tom Cruise’s underwear dance to this song in the ever famous Risky Business.

Seger would later seek success in other places, such as his work with the Eagles, working as the co-writer of the band’s #1 hit ” Heart Ache Tonight.” In 1980 Seger would release his only #1 album, Against the Wind, which would receive two Grammys. In 2007 it was recorded that Against the Wind had sold over 6 million copies to Americans alone. Seger’s success echoes on through the decades of rock history.

After his album It’s a Mystery flopped in 1995, Seger took a sabbatical from music to work and spend time with his wife and kids. In 2005, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This being the ultimate achievement for any musician he still felt the need to continue. In 2006 he released Face the Promise, which to date has sold more than 1.5 million copies and returned Seger to platinum status.

Now on his supposed final tour, the shows have been extended thanks to sold out performances. Seger still keeps us guessing on what he will do next as he says that he has surprises in store for fans in his last leg of the tour.

“It feels really good to me,” Seger said. “It’s something I haven’t done now in almost four years. I started practicing with the band last fall and they sound really good, and I’m in really good shape and working hard. It’s just fun, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

I know I will be axiously awaiting his performance in New York City’s famous Madison Square Garden. Still being at the top of his game at the age of 66 goes to show you that you are never to old to rock. As Seger begins to turn the last page on his tour, let us not forget what this man has given to American rock.

It’s something that countless have tried to sacrifice, but failed at the alter of rock. Something timeless and true in all of us.

That old time rock and roll.


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