The 5 Sax Notes That Changed Alto Reed’s Life

Alto Reed finally plays with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band in his adopted hometown of Miami Thursday night

Five notes on a saxophone changed Alto Reed's life.

It just so happened the notes became among the most iconic in all of rock and roll, launched his long career with "Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band," and propelled Seger into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And those five notes almost didn't happen.

Reed was helping in a studio recording for Bob Seger when the legendary Motor City rocker told Alto he was thinking of a song that needed some saxophone.

Seger and his producer proceeded to describe what they were looking for: An empty, darkened, foggy street in New York City, wet with a recent rain, and a lonely wailing sax in the distance.

Reed thought a moment and said "Do you mean something like this?" He then ad-libbed those five notes and the rest of the rift that became the memorable portion of the hit "Turn The Page," a thoughtful song Seger wrote about the loneliness of performing on the road. The song sold multi-platinum and cemented Alto's position as one of the four core members who compose "Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band."

Reed is a Detroit-area kid, as is Seger the rest of the band. But few know he moved to Miami in the 1970s and has made it his home ever since.

The band went on what seemed like permanent hiatus for more than a decade when suddenly Seger came calling: "We're going back on the road. Are you in?" And finally, Thursday night at the Bank United Center in Sunrise, Reed and Seger and the band will play in his hometown in front of all his friends.

"We always play our hearts out every show," Reed said in his home. "But in a show at home, maybe I'll have just a bit more in my step."

His wall is full of gold and platinum records for songs like "Hollywood Hills," "Like A Rock," "Strut," "Rock and Roll Never Forgets," "Love to Watch Her Strut," "Beautiful Loser," "Against the Wind," "Katmandu," "Night Moves," "We've Got Tonight," and, of course, "Turn The Page" with Reed's wailing sax.

Contact Us