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The Cat,The Dude, and the Formation of Hideaway Records-Rayman’s Trac Two

(Photo by Ron Case/Keystone/Getty Images)

I’d like to tell you a story, but first, let me ask you a question. Where can teenagers go around here to just hang out? The street corner or the Mall is about it right? It didn’t used to be that way. Back in the day, a man (I’ll call him Cat) got the idea of having a place the teenagers could hang out and listen to some live music. He called it a Teenage Club, and if you were thirteen to eighteen, you could come out and be entertained by live bands, maybe have a burger and coke as no alcohol was  available. He called the place “The Hideaway.” Kids came in throngs, and every Friday and Saturday nite, the Hideaway would have four hundred or more kids.

The Teenage Club grew over the next three to four years, and one nite the Cat said to himself, “The bands I bring in have really improved over the years,  I think it might be time to form a record label so some of them can cut a record and get a little exposure.”  He brought his idea to many of the bands, and they agreed. One problem. The bands were good, but they were “cover” bands, and only played hits made by other groups. There wasn’t a songwriter in the bunch.

Cat put the word out to all the bands that he was looking for some songwriters, and one day he was talking to this keyboard player about it. “”I know this one Dude who fancies himself a songwriter and he plays and sings a little too.” That was the best news Cat had heard in a long time, and tells him “Bring him around to see me.”

A few days later, in comes this kid, I’ll call him the Dude.  Cat says, “whatcha got for me” and Dude takes some crumpled paper out of his jacket, straps on his guitar, and starts singing one of the tunes he wrote.  Cat listens awhile, then tells him” it’s not bad, nothing I can put on a record though, come back when you’ve got something better.”

A couple days later in walks Dude. “Whatcha got for me’” so Dude takes out a crumpled paper, straps on his guitar and starts singing. “Yeah, that’s much better than the first time you came in, but still, nothing I can put out, come back when you’ve got something good’” so the Dude leaves.

A week went by, and Dude comes back, takes a paper filled with chicken scratching out of his jacket, straps on his guitar, and starts singing. This time Cat realized the Dude had something. Each of the three times he came to play, his songs were all in the same unusual vein, something Cat had never heard before. “Alright, I’ll take that last song, give it to one of the bands, we’ll cut the song and see what happens, and I’ll give you the songwriting credits. But listen, the next time I see you, give me all you’ve got, I want to hear the best songs you have, “  Dude nods and leaves.

Finally, the Hideaway record label was formed.  A couple weeks goes by, and in walks the Dude again. “Whatcha got for me?” Dude takes out a crumpled yellow paper, straps on his guitar and starts singing.  Cat thinks to himself, he’s got it, these songs are hits, and tells Dude, he’ll take them all.

With the addition of  Dude’s new songs, the fledgling Hideaway Records was on it’s way, and produced several records. As Hideaway became better known, other songwriters started  submitting songs, and the small record company took off.

I suppose you’re wondering about the Dude, and whatever happened to him right? Well,  Dude never came to sing his songs for Cat again. He didn’t have to. He felt he had a talent for writing  songs, and with his unique, almost storytelling style of singing, thought he had a good chance at success.

He was right on both counts. His name was Bob Seger.

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