These days, Bob Seger is taking it easy.
Back in the day, he'd perform nearly every night on a tour. Now, his 2011 tour through the U.S. only includes performances three days a week so the singer can rest his voice and his body.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Seger stated that this tour, which stops in Omaha on Tuesday, might be his last. But he won't call it a farewell tour, even though he's considering the possibility.
“I think it's too soon to say. It just depends on how my voice holds up,” he told The World-Herald. “We've done 13 shows, and we've got 14 left to do. I can tell you better around the second week of May how I hold up. But it might well be (my last tour).”
It's been a tough one. Out of 13 shows he had performed as of this interview, Seger had a nasty cold for one third of them.
“It's just been a battle every night. I've gotta be really, really careful. I have to use Sudafed at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Then halfway through the show, it runs out and I gotta run backstage and blow my nose,” Seger said. “It would be so nice not to be sick.”
Even so, Seger, who turns 66 on Friday, admits that the tour is going incredibly well.
“I think, personally, we're better this tour than we were last year. We're really playing well, and I'm really happy with everything,” he said.
Though ditching the road is in his thoughts, the rocker behind enduring classics such as “Night Moves,” “Old Time Rock And Roll” and “Turn The Page” is going to make new music.
“I got about half (an album), and I like it. That might come in the fall,” Seger said. “If the writing gods smile on me this summer and I get 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 new songs, we might have something in the fall.”
He's hoping that one of the new songs will be “Hannah,” which he recently recorded with Sheryl Crow and his “good friend,” Kid Rock.
“It just so happened I did a Friday night session in Nashville. (Rock) was playing in Nashville the same night. He texted me, ‘I know you're coming to Nashville, come and see me play,'” Seger said. “I said, ‘I can't, but come by the session after the show. I'll do a song I wasn't planning on doing and we'll record it. Him and Sheryl came down around midnight. It was sweet. It's a really cool song. It's kind of a father to daughter song.”
He said that if he doesn't come up with enough new material, he might mix in some old stuff. He has about 45 older songs (unreleased originals as well as a couple of covers) that are finished and could be released any time, possibly as part of his new album.
He certainly doesn't need to be making new music. He's sort of set, financially. Despite taking a sabbatical from writing and performing for several years to spend time with his wife and young children, Seger's albums ranked No. 1 in catalog sales between 2000 and 2010.
Still, being on the road is currently Seger's No. 1 priority. He said he doesn't have time to think about new material while he and the Silver Bullet Band are on the road. Days off are spent resting and listening to the previous night's show looking for how they could do better, like a college football team watching game tape on Sunday morning.
For this tour, band members have 36 songs they've rehearsed, but they are only performing 25 each night. In addition to his big hits, Seger's planning on singing some less-familiar tunes, such as “Come To Papa,” “Shinin' Brightly,” “Gets Ya Pumpin'” and “Good For Me.”
“We got tired of playing just hits, hits, hits,” Seger said. “Then we've got to do the ‘Old Times,' ‘Night Moves,' ‘Turn The Page' and all that stuff.”
Though they're sometimes tired of the constant hits, Seger said he could never dream of skipping one song: “Old Time Rock And Roll.”
“We try to do it early in the set and get rid of it,” he said, laughing before turning serious. “I can't tell you how many times I've seen kids doing it in talent shows. That's the one I can't skip. It's their show, not our show.”
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