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Travelin’ Man

On the Road and Behind the Scenes with Bob Seger

Tom Weschler / Gary Graff Foreword by John Mellencamp Afterword by Kid Rock

Publication Year: 2010

Tom Weschler spent more than ten years from the late 1960s through the 1970s in the Bob Seger camp, working as tour manager and photographer during Seger’s hard-gigging, heavy-traveling, reputation-making early days. Weschler’s behind-the-scenes photographs document the frustrations and triumphs of recording, performing, songwriting, and building the Seger empire before the breakthroughs of Live Bullet and Night Moves. Travelin’ Man collects Weschler’s early photos with additional images leading into the present. Weschler and award-winning music journalist Gary Graff annotate the images with Weschler’s recollections of the events and Graff provides additional background on Seger’s career in an introduction, timeline, and cast of characters section. Weschler’s photographs and stories pull back the curtain on seldom-seen aspects of Seger’s career, including time in the studio recording Mongrel, early struggles to get radio airplay, and small shows at schools and shopping malls. Weschler captures Seger’s personality on stage and at home and reveals the colorful personalities of those people he worked and performed with, including Alice Cooper, Bruce Springsteen, Glenn Frey, and KISS. He takes readers inside Seger headquarters in Birmingham, Michigan, and practice space in Rochester, Michigan, introducing them to renowned manager Punch Andrews and the various members of Seger’s bands. Weschler’s photos feature highlights like Seger’s show at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1976, his first gold record in 1977, the first meeting between Seger and Bruce Springsteen in 1978, and Seger’s induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Travelin’ Man also contains art from eight Seger album covers that Weschler designed, a foreword by John Mellencamp, an afterword by Kid Rock, and a comprehensive discography. Seger fans and readers interested in music and biography will enjoy the one of a kind story in Travelin’ Man.

Published by: Wayne State University Press

Series: Painted Turtle


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pp. vii

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pp. ix

In 1969, I’m sixteen years old. I’m riding around with four guys in the small town of Seymour, Indiana, and this drumbeat comes blaring out of the three-inch speaker. Then this voice sings, “I wanna tell my tale, come on.” I asked the guys in the car, “Who the fuck is this guy?” So I made the fella driving the car pull to the shoulder ...

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Preface: Tales of Lucy Blue: Tom's Story

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pp. xi-xiv

When I was six years old, my parents gave me a camera—a Kodak Brownie—and those first snapshots began a life long journey in photography that also provided an opportunity to explore my other passions—and not only girls! It was music, too—rock ’n’ roll in general, and, specifically, Bob Seger. every time he played around the Detroit area, my friends ...

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Introduction: Heavy Music

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pp. xv-xviii

I was a Bob Seger fan before I moved to Detroit in 1982—just in time to write about The Distance, Seger’s twelfth studio album and his follow-up to Against the Wind, which was his first to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and also earned him his first Grammy Award. Expectations, and stakes, were high, and I was excited and also a little apprehensive...

Time Line

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pp. xix-xxi

Cast of Characters

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pp. xxiii-xxiv

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On the Road and Behind the Scenes with Bob Seger

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pp. 1-6

We recorded the album Noah at GM Studios (East Detroit) in the spring of 1969. Bob was very adroit at recording; he wanted to make sure everything sounded exactly the way he wanted it to sound, even to the point of tuning the drums himself if they weren’t the way he wanted them to sound. He was particular about recording his voice...

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”If you do a TV show you’re gonna get 100,000 people seeing you.”

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pp. 7-27

The Oakland Mall was already open, but they were throwing a big party to celebrate the second phase and the opening of Hudson’s department store on August 17, 1969. That was a gig I really lobbied hard for. Punch wasn’t really into it; he thought it was just a commercial thing for Hudson’s. He was like, “Who the fuck’s gonna come to that?” But Hudson’s really advertised it, and we drew 20,000 people to the parking lot...

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Seger and I used to jam once in a while—always the blues, baby.

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pp. 28-55

One of the first things Bob did with some of the money from royalties was buy the winner of a Detroit motorcycle show in 1970. It was a show bike, not for everyday use, but he would ride it back and forth from Ann Arbor. We warned, “You shouldn’t be driving it. That’s like a Porsche, man.” But he did, and when stuff started falling off he went back to driving his car. It was a bizarre bike but looked cool. And he looked like a movie star riding it...

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“I can do gigs like Simon and Garfunkel without Garfunkel.”

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pp. 56

Seger hooked up with Teegarden and Knape (Van Winkle) and went on the road with them. So Seger had a band called STK (for Seger, Teegarden, and Knape) for a while. It was a pretty good act. Everybody loved Teegarden and Van Winkle; they were from Tulsa, with serious southern accents, and fun to listen to. That’s how we hooked up with Leon Russell...

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pp. 153-154

I’ve been spoon-fed Bob Seger from the time I was born. My parents had barn parties on the weekends; they’d get some old tubs and fill them with beer, and they had a stereo out there in the barn and a dirt floor and they’d just throw down—and Bob Seger was always the soundtrack. I used to go to bed with Bob Seger blaring out...

Bob Seger Discography

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pp. 155-161

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pp. 163

We have both had the privilege of some special years with Bob Seger, either working for and photographing him (Tom) or interviewing and writing about him (Gary). We’ve been able to share good times and many special occasions—sold-out arena concerts, weddings, sailboat victories, his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—and haven’t pissed him off, too much, over the years...


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pp. 165-168

E-ISBN-13: 9780814337028
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814335017

Page Count: 192
Illustrations: 163
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Painted Turtle