Bob Seger – Fire Lake

I grew up with this song played on the radio quite frequently. I grew up in the south…and radio stations claimed Michigan-born Bob Seger as their own. The Eagles and Bob Seger were adopted by southern states radio and spoke of in the same breath as Lynyrd Skynyrd and other southern acts.

This song was on the Against the Wind album that came out in 1980. This song was written 7 years before its inclusion on that album. It was originally intended for Beautiful Loser album but was left off that album because it had a different sound and didn’t quite mesh with those songs.

Seger eventually stated that it is about a lake in Michigan called Silver Lake. He said that it was written about Silver Lake in Dexter, about being in the Pinckney-Hell-Dexter area.

He didn’t use the Silver Bullet Band for this one. He recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, where the studio owners, Barry Beckett (keyboards), Roger Hawkins (drums), David Hood (bass), and Jimmy Johnson (guitar), backed him up. Seger recorded some of his most memorable songs there, including his Old Time Rock and Roll. Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmit later added backups to Fire Lake. Seger returned the favor by coming up with the chorus to Heartache Tonight.

Fire Lake peaked at #6 in the Billboard 100 and #3 in Canada in 1980.

Bob Seger helped keep Muscle Shoals in business during this time.

David Hood (part-owner of Muscle Shoals and bass player): “Everything we recorded with Bob Seger, we get a production royalty on. And as it turns out, we recorded ‘Fire Lake,’ and ‘Old Time Rock and Roll,’ and ‘Mainstreet,’ just a whole bunch of things with them. And so that became a very lucrative thing. We don’t even have a real contract on that, but he’s always paid us for the records that we played on, we were co-producers on, as well. And that’s what I think about Bob Seger. He’s a very honest man. He and Punch Andrews are honest people who stick to their word. That’s rare in the music business.”

Fire Lake

Who’s gonna ride that chrome three wheeler
Who’s gonna make that first mistake
Who wants to wear those gypsy leathers
All the way to Fire Lake

Who wants to break the news about uncle Joe
You remember uncle Joe
He was the one afraid to cut the cake
Who wants to tell poor aunt Sarah
Joe’s run off to Fire Lake
Joe’s run off to Fire Lake

Who wants to brave those bronze beauties
Lying in the sun
With their long soft hair falling
Flying as they run
Oh they smile so shy
And they flirt so well
And they lay you down so fast
Till you look straight up and say
Oh Lord
Am I really here at last

Who wants to play those eights and aces
Who wants a raise
Who needs a stake
Who wants to take that long shot gamble
And head out to Fire Lake
Head out
Who wants to go to Fire Lake
And head out
Who wants to go to Fire Lake
And head out (who wants to go to Fire Lake)
Head out, head out (who wants to go to Fire Lake)
Out to Fire lake
Who’s gonna do it (who wants to go to Fire Lake)
Who’s gonna wanna do it (who wants to go to Fire Lake)
Who wants to do it, who wants to do it, yeah (who wants to go to Fire Lake)

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

30 thoughts on “Bob Seger – Fire Lake”

  1. Gotta love that ‘Against the Wind’ album and song although its been years since I heard it. I remember hearing the album in my car doing a cross-country trip in Victoria, Australia. ‘Fire and Lake’ I can’t remember hearing, but it sounds great! Cheers for the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now that you mention it, there is a definite southern feel to this tune. We have a Silver Lake near here, but it isn’t the one he’s talking about in the song. I’m also happily surprised it was he recorded it at Muscle Shoals. I’m proud this Michigan musician has the integrity to pay the royalties on the production with only a gentleman’s agreement. I like Bob Seger music it’s hometown good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Believe it or not, easily my fave Seger song…much under-rated & forgotten by radio. I knew he recorded in Muscle Shoals but didn’t know he was so important to them.
    We Canucks are known for our beer, LOL. Not as much difference between mainstream brews from US and Canada but ours do typically run a bit stronger…Cdn. light beers usually have same alcohol as US regular ones like Miller or Busch.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea it is one of my favorites also…I’m glad he kept his word and paid them…some would not do that without a contract.

      I must try some…I did try a German beer last weekend called Dunkel…it was dark….a little scorched taste but it was strong.

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  4. My favorite Seeger tune. I had no idea he recorded at Muscle Shoals so much. I saw him in Dallas in the late 70s, and he was great live. Good to know that he made sure the session men were taken care of. That stuff wouldn’t fly today. There is a great documentary on Netflix and Amazon called Muscle Shoals, check it out. As always Max, a great post.

    Like

      1. One of my favorites is “Turn the Page” from “Live Bullet”. I also dig “Ramblin’ Gambling Man”, one of his early tunes, as well as “Katmandu” (from the “Beautiful Loser” album). I also like “Beautiful Loser”, “Mainstreet”, “Old Time Rock & Roll”, “Fire Lake”, “Against the Wind”, “American Storm”, “Like a Rock” – really, there’re so many great songs he has written.

        Seger is one of my favorite American rock artists. He’s right up there with Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp.

        Unfortunately, I never saw him and he stopped touring a few years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yea…love Ramblin’ Gambling Man…it’s such a driving song. I can’t believe it took him years after that song to get popular.
        I looked at his discography last night…it was incredible with many that you mentioned.

        I never saw him either and I had chances when I was younger. He is a heartland rocker no doubt.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes…that is what I got out of writing that…keeping the handshake agreement and not “forgetting” it like many artists would do.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great stuff as usual Max. Cool stuff with Hood and the boys. Bob is a very good guy. Oh yeah. Love this tune. Images all over the place in my brain. ‘”Who’s going to break the news about Uncle Joe?” Love that lyric. Followed by another ‘Who wants to tell old Aunt Sarah?”.

    Liked by 1 person

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