Playing With Bob Seger Since: 1969
Born: Detroit, Mich. Raised in Plymouth.
Currently Resides In: Sarasota, Fla.
Other Bands: The Stringbenders, Rodney Knight, Toby Wesselfox
Influences: Motown, Tim Bogert, Rare Earth, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix
Hobbies: Golfing, working out
Nickname: C-Note. “I got a modest inheritance from my father when he passed away. I had a little money — I was not rich, but it was more than kids my age had, so I always had good equipment and they started calling me C-Note.”
Playing Music: I started banging on things at an early age. My mom knew the band instructor at the junior high school, so I started playing percussion but could never read music, so I could only get to chair number two. I was a drummer for a few years in various bands, then I picked up guitar around 18. Then Eric Morgenson, a fellow Plymouthite who I played with a lot, called me and was putting a band together called Toby Wesselfox. It was a horn band and he knew I had a weakness for horns. But there was one catch; he said, “I want you to play bass.” “I don’t play bass.” “Well, you play guitar, so you can play bass. You do this for me and I’ll let you play guitar on three or four songs during the night.” So I did that.
If I Wasn’t Playing Music: I was really into psychology. My family didn’t have a lot of money, so I went to Schoolcraft College and was headed to probably a business career of some sort. Then I got the calling, as they say, and I liked music better.
Joining Seger: Around August of 1969 I got a call from Al Nalli. He said, in a very hurried voice, “I just got off the phone with Punch Andrews. (Bob Seger System bassist Dan) Honaker busted his arm or wrist and they’ve got a tour coming up in a week or two. Go buy the ‘Mongrel’ album, learn it frontwards, backwards, sideways, and I’ll get you an audition.” I thought I was just going to be a temporary replacement, but at about the time one would get out of a cast we were in podunk, somewhere, and Bob goes, “You want to still play with me?” I went, “Yeah!” and I’ve been here ever since.
A Road Story: Robyn Robbins, our old keyboard player, was a bit of a womanizer. One night we were in Seattle, in the notorious Ford station wagon — that’s how the band traveled while we sent the Ryder truck with the crew ahead. After the job Robyn wanted to borrow the car keys ’cause he had a hot date just waiting to go out in the car. And he took the car and never came back, left us stranded at the job. Oh, Bob was SO tickled with that. The closest room we were able to get was a good 50 miles away, if not more, in western Idaho. So we had to get a cab or something back, and Bob was not happy. (Robbins) got his ass chewed bad by everyone for that. He didn’t get fired, but, boy, he got his ass chewed out. Needless to say, he never got ahold of the car keys after that.
Favorite Seger Song: There’s a lot that I like, but I think one of the most fun to play, and I never really get tired of playing it or hearing it, is “Hollywood Nights.” It’s just a very upbeat, pedal-to-the-metal song. It really gets you going and revs you up.
What Makes Seger Great: Bob has always been just a brilliant singer and songwriter. Deep beneath that rock star and that tenacious singer is a really ordinary guy, and his stories speak of everybody’s experience. Everybody can relate to them. They strike that chord in people where they go, “That’s exactly how I feel!”