You can bet at that appointed hour Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band will hit the stage in Jacksonville, Charlotte, Virginia Beach, Raleigh, Washington DC, Jones Beach, and Holmdel NJ on a series of six dates with destiny in Detroit beginning June 6! Before the internet and online concert ticket sales, you had to really want to go see your favorites on tour. You had to EARN it. It was just after sunrise on a cool late winter Saturday morning in Memphis in 1980, and about a thousand people had camped out overnight at the main ticket outlet to be among the first to buy Bob Seger concert tickets for his upcoming stop on the Silver Bullet Band’s Against the Wind tour. The album had debuted at #1 , and in anticipation of this turnout for tickets, my Memphis radio station ROCK 103 was serving free hot breakfast to the first 103 people in line.
As I gazed out over the long line of humanity as it snaked around the building across the crowded parking lot, boom boxes blaring out Seger songs to serenade the bleary-eyed throng, my mind drifted back 8 years earlier to my first time seeing Bob perform. It was another Saturday, about mid-afternoon in Summer 1972 in a cornfield in Northwest Ohio where Seger was about fifth down the bill of mostly regional Detroit acts. As it turned out, he was on sabbatical from rock’n’roll, accompanying himself with just an acoustic guitar. Many years later Bob would explain to me in this classic rock interview that it was his journeyman period for songwriting because, unlike with a band, when you perform solo there’s no place to hide. Every phrase, every chord, every note is laid bare.
Apparently Bob Seger learned his lessons well. That Memphis concert sold out in advance, as did practically every stop on the 1980 tour, documented on the remastered and expanded Nine Tonight . Against the Wind turned out to be one of seven Top 10 multi-platinum albums in a row for Bob. And by the way, Seger didn’t forsake rock’n’roll very long : he ended his acoustic set that afternoon “back in ‘72” by calling out his friends David Teegarden and Skip “Vanwinkle” Knape for a rousing rendition of “ God , Love , and Rock’n’Roll “ !- Redbeard