The 2020 Bad News Just Keeps Coming

I wasn’t even aware of this last December – but longtime saxophone player in Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band, Alto Reed (born Thomas Cartmell) passed away last December 30. He was 72.

His most famous song with Seger was one of his first – the iconic sax part from 1972’s “Turn the Page”:

But for my money, I’ll go with this reworking of what had been Muscle Shoals guitar player Allan Carr’s ephemeral guitar part on “Mainstreet” – probably my favorite Seger song:

2 thoughts on “The 2020 Bad News Just Keeps Coming

  1. Funny Seger story.

    Several years ago, a buddy and I took our kids to Red Lake. Ontario for some world class Northern and Walleye fishing. It’s a long drive, and there wasn’t radio reception during most of it, so my pal played his Bob Seger CD….the whole way.

    I was never a big Seger fan, he’s OK, but over and over again…it was worse than being waterboarded. I pleaded; begged him to stop…he thought it was hilarious and started singing along.

    So we finally get to our cabin, some time after 8 pm. First thing he does is pop that CD into his boom box. I quietly removed it, walked out onto the dock and sailed it out as far into Red Lake as I could.

    Fishing next day was incredible; my son caught a 42″ Northern which is hanging on his wall to this day. We had separate boats, but I could hear my buddy singing “Main Street” or “Old Time Rock and Roll” every morning until I was far out of sight.

    My buddy was one of those guys that “one hands” when taking up a caught fish from the water; even big ones. Well, one day, a big Northern thrashed and imbedded the hook (a big one) right through the meat of his thumb.

    When he got back to the cabin that afternoon, we concluded the only solution was to push it all the way through and cut the barb off. As I gripped the hook with a pair of pliers, I started singing “Main Street”…I can still see his face.

    We still laugh about it.

  2. Seger was always like REM, for me: nearly every album had a song or two that I loved, and a bunch that I skipped after a listen or two. Even his best studio albums – Stranger in Town, Night Moves and The Distance – were like that.

    So yeah, I might have frisbeed your friend’s CD after that kind of a drive up, too.

    With Seger, it’s all about the singles.

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