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Bob Seger tribute band wants to make a "home" in Detroit

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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This is the weekend the Bob Seger tribute band Hollywood Nights has been waiting for.

"We've been trying to get to Detroit for six years," Rick Murphy, the group's leader and Seger surrogate, says by telephone from his home in south Philadelphia. "We want to make a home out there in Detroit, to be honest." And, he adds, the group knows full well that, since Detroit is Seger's home town, it's coming into probably the most discriminating Seger city in the world.

"We're ready for the challenge and ready for the excitement of just being in Bob's backyard," Murphy explains. "I better be ready now; we're in our seventh year of doing this. If we're not ready for it now, we never will be. The only intimidating things is I hope a lot of people show up and say, 'Hey,man, let's give this a chance.' "

Murphy was playing with other bands in the Philadelphia area when he signed on with an agent who also worked wtih tribute bands such as Get The Led Out. After the idea was broached, Murphy recalls that one night "some girl same out of nowhere and said, 'Y'know, your voice is just like Bob Seger's voice.' I said, 'Really?' So I downloaded his whole catalog and spent a couple weeks really diving into it and just fell in love with the guy."

Though he grew a beard to look a bit closer to the part, Murphy -- who resembles the mid- and late-70s Seger of "Live Bullet" through "Against the Wind" -- says Hollywood Nights is primarily "a tribute to the music" Seger and the Silver Bullets have made over the years.

"We didn't go out to say, 'We need a saxophone player who looks like Alto reed or anything like that," Murphy explains. "We're just trying to play the stuff like we've written it ourselves and hope people fall in love with Hollywood Nights on top of being in love with Bob Seger's music. We're just trying to get out there and do it like any other road band would do it -- like Bob did it, y'know. That's our attitude."

And, Murphy adds, he certainly won't be said if Seger could become one of those people who fall in love with his band.

"I just hope that cat isn't out there saying, 'What the...are these guys doing, man?'" explains Murphy, who says some members of Seger's camp have liked Hollywood Knights' Facebook page. "I love singing and performing his songs; his vocal structure's right there with mine. And I did fall in love with his lyrics.

"We're not selling anything, not pushing a record or anything like that. I'm just happy spreading his music. If people like it, hopefully they'll go out and buy Bob's stuff and be happy to hear us play it when we come through town."

Hollywood Nights

Saturday, June 20. Doors open at 7 p.m.

The Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.

Tickets are $12.

Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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