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Bob Seger next: A dozen things he can do in the wake of his final tour
On the first night of November, Bob Seger declared his concert at Philadephia's Wells Fargo Center "the final night of my final tour."
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and his Silver Bullet Band certainly went out with a bang, playing 72 hits-filled shows to sold-out arenas and uniformly rave reviews. Seger declared himself "the luckiest man in the world," and few could disagree.
Now, we wonder ... what's next?
Seger hasn't said. In fact, he hasn't done any interviews since a few to support his most recent studio album, "I Knew You When," at the end of 2017, while he was recuperating from back surgery. But Seger, 74, has not said that an end to touring is an end to his career, and there certainly still are plenty of potential avenues he could pursue.
One Famous Final Scene has been played, but that doesn't mean the curtain has to come down entirely. So with no real knowledge of any plans or considerations, here are a dozen things we wouldn't mind seeing Seger maybe ramble and gamble his way into now that he has some theoretical time on his hands...
• We don't expect to see Seger on "on the road again," as the song says, or go all Cher or Motley Crue on us. That said, we notice that all verbiage about the latest tour specified it was the final North American trek. Europe, where he hasn't been in nearly 40 years, and Australia are two territories that are beckoning, heavily, and would be primed for musical visits. With monthly shows at New York's Madison Square Garden and other sporadic dates, Billy Joel has established a model for playing live without necessarily touring — something you can bet the folks at Little Caesars Arena would be happy to establish with Seger.
• Some of the best moments of his concerts find Seger seated with an acoustic guitar, telling more in-depth stories about his songs. Who wouldn't want to see a full-scale unplugged/storyteller show like that?
• A live album from the last tour also seems in order, given the overall strength of the performances and how well the Silver Bullet Band jelled throughout the dates. There hasn't been a concert release since "Nine Tonight" in 1981, so he's overdue.
• Seger tends to take a good deal of time between albums. A mere three years between "I Knew You When" and its predecessor, "Ride Out," seemed like a land speed record. With no touring concerns we can hope that there might be some renewed focus and interest in stoking the creative juices with songwriting and recording
• While we're on the recording tip, it could be interesting to hear Seger dip into something thematic — an album of Motown material, for instance (if Phil Collins and Michael Bolton can do it ...), or a full-scale tribute to Tom Waits, who he's covered effectively in the past. He hasn't done much in the way of duets, either, and has the kind of voice that could pair well with the right collaborators. Seger has broad and eclectic tastes, which could yield some intriguing immersions.
• And, for that matter, why not a holiday album? His "Little Drummer Boy" for the Special Olympics' first "A Very Special Christmas" album is a seasonal staple. And he has "Sock It to Me Santa" from the late ’60s. That's a head start. Record a few more and just like "Greatest Hits" it could be a reliable annual best seller.
• Seger has also broached the idea of writing with and for others, something he's done very little of to this point. We can see the line already forming to get a piece of that.
• Though he's a catalog sales stalwart with his various compilations, Seger is one of rock's few legacy acts who hasn't documented his career with a boxed set. He certainly has the catalog to justify one, and enough unreleased material in the vaults — including the actual track "Stranger in Town" that was dropped from the album that bears its name and loads of unreleased live material — to add value to such a deluxe collection.
• The publishing industry loves its rock star memoirs, and Seger's got a good story to tell — maybe not as colorful as, say, Elton John, but plenty of adventures and, we're sure, some misadventures. He's ripe to tell it.
• A Bob Seger musical? More than most others his songs are full of explicitly drawn narratives that could certainly be linked together into a grander tale. His assortment of night moves may just make for some compelling theater.
• And then there's the biopic — the ramblin' gamblin' man from Main Street survives his Hollywood nights and rolls away in grand fashion. No CGI required, either; Seger knows how to ride his own motorcycle.
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