Society Confidential: No Seger at New Orleans Jazz fest

Susan Whitall and Chuck Bennett

Seger at Jazzfest? Not this year ...

In November, Bob Seger told Billboard that he intended to play several “bucket list” venues in 2016, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (April 22-May 1), which has become a must gig for iconic classic rockers (Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and John Fogerty have performed in recent years). Veteran New Orleans music writer Keith Spera wrote in New Orleans’ Advocate this week that if it happens, Seger would most likely close the Acura Stage on a Saturday, the traditional slot for Jazz fest artists who appeal to the broadest audience. But alas for us, and other Jazz fest fans, Seger’s peeps tell us he won’t be playing the festival this year. Next year? We can hope.

Bringing cheer to the shelter

Christmas came early and in a big way for nearly 100 women and children from the Detroit Rescue Missions’ Genesis House II homeless shelter on Saturday, thanks to WDIV’s beauteous (and philanthropic) morning anchor Rhonda Walker.

Some 57 women and 31 children were showered with toys, as well as clothing and essentials by 70 Secret Santas, including Walker’s friends, family and several on-air co-workers (Guy Gordon, Evrod Cassimy, Lauren Podell and Brandon Roux). Screams and applause erupted when Motown recording artist Kem walked in. The sexy crooner shared words of inspiration and encouragement, while telling his personal story of addiction and homelessness on the streets of Detroit. But he wasn’t done yet. Kem also passed out hugs and gift cards (valued up to $200) to each of the women from the shelter. It culminated with a hearty holiday feast served compliments of Beans & Cornbread in Southfield. An unnamed corporate exec from Rock Ventures (who reports directly to Dan Gilbert, we’re told) arrived dressed as Santa to give each kid one additional gift.

The always fashionably dressed Walker was holiday-appropriate in a sumptuous, bright red pant and sweater ensemble specially designed for her by Lyudviga Couture Birmingham, finished off with black Christian Louboutin stilettos. “The homeless party was created after I attended a fundraising event for the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries,” Walker said. “Since that day 13 years ago, I’ve been committed to helping the homeless and bringing them a day of joy where they are the reason for the season with no judgment.”

Isn’t it romantic?

Bringing fine art into the commercial realm, Atwater Brewery chose to use Tony Roko artwork as colorful labels for their various beer brands. For the brewery’s flagship brand, “Going Steady,” they selected a piece from Roko’s catalog depicting a man and a woman in a car. There were certain changes the beer company requested. They wanted to move the man and the steering wheel to the other side, and take the cigarettes out of the picture (the woman’s cig is replaced with a rose; the man’s with a wheat husk). But the biggest snafu was that in the original art, the woman appears to be, uh, handling her partner a little too romantically. The brewery and its ad agency, Driven, wanted that toned down, and with a little artistic shading, mission accomplished.