Drew Abbott started out playing drums at a young age but later on gravitated to the guitar, studying Eric Clapton and B.B. King.
In the late ‘60s, he was a member of the aptly named power trio, Third Power, who covered Cream and Jimi Hendrix but whose only LP, Believe, was deemed too hard by Vanguard music execs. Days after the album’s release, Third Power was dropped from the payroll.
Undaunted, the Detroit-based Abbott found session work with the likes of Curtis Mayfield and Stevie Wonder.
Fate stepped in in the guise of his manager Punch Andrews, who just happened to also manage Bob Seger. He put the two of them in touch with each other and Seger, wearying of trying to transform himself into a lead guitarist, asked Abbott to join his band. They first recorded together on Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band’s 1974 release, Seven. It was a partnership that would last about six years. Abbott’s guitar licks can be heard on Against the Wind, Beautiful Loser, Live Bullet, Night Moves, Nine Tonight, and Stranger in Town.
After Against the Wind, Seger replaced Abbott and the subsequent fallout from comments Seger made to the press caused a rift in their relationship that has never completely healed.
Abbott spent little time licking his wounds and moved to Traverse City, Michigan, in 1983, settled down, and started a family. He got involved in the real estate game, but it didn’t keep him out of the clubs, where he had already made in-roads with some local musicians, most notably Tim Sparling, with whom he formed Burning Circle. The band recorded an album, but it was never released.
Abbott has since performed with a number of line-ups, including the humorously titled Drew Abbott Formerly of Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band and Drew Abbott and the Stray Bullet. Other more serious endeavours have included Blue Highway and his latest project, Leo Creek.
Abbott and Seger were reuinited in 2004, when Seger asked him to take the stage with him at his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Here he is performing with Dallas Hodge and his band on “Bad Trouble”…