We compare Motor City rockers Bob Seger and Kid Rock, who share a rare concert bill tonight in St. Paul.
They are good friends. The kind who get together and bring the kids along. They’ve known each other for a dozen years, ever since Kid Rock sought out Bob Seger’s manager.
Now these icons of Detroit rock ’n’ roll are contemplating touring together. They are testing the waters with two Midwestern gigs together — St. Paul on Friday and Fargo on Saturday — in the midst of their separate tours.
They’ve made cameo appearances at each other’s gigs, and even shared a bill at a festival in Orlando in 2011.
They have more in common than being Detroit rock heroes who have longtime band members and sported shoulder-length hair in their respective heydays.
“One is the younger version of the other,” says longtime Detroit rock critic Gary Graff, who has interviewed both stars extensively and wrote a book on Seger, for which Kid Rock contributed the afterword. “They are normal guys living abnormal lives. They still carry the blue-collar aesthetic of Detroit. When Kid Rock put together the Twisted Brown Trucker Band, he wanted the Silver Bullet Band. They are both deep thinkers about their process.”
The two stars maintain contrasting profiles in their hometown, however. Aside from the occasional appearance to sing a patriotic song at a sporting event, Seger is rarely seen, while Kid Rock is the music community’s most visible booster, whether singing at a Detroit Symphony benefit concert, hawking his Made in Detroit clothing line or providing homes for Wounded Warriors.
As for the two joint concerts this weekend, the speculation is that Kid Rock will open, followed by Seger and then a collaboration at night’s end. Whatever the case, Graff says, “Detroit is watching from afar with envy.”
Kid Rock: 42.
What friends call them
Kid Rock: Bob.
Motor City dad
Seger: Stewart Seger was a medical technician for Ford.
Kid Rock: Bill Ritchie owned a Lincoln-Mercury dealership.
Seger: Married, to wife No. 3.