Alto Reed, a saxophone player who was a longtime member of Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band, has died at 72 years old after a battle with colon cancer.
Bob Seger posted a tribute to his longtime bandmate on his Facebook page this afternoon:
Reed was born in Detroit and part of Seger's Silver Bullet Band since its inception, according to a news release from Plan A Media.
"I loved him like a brother," Seger said in a statement. "I may have been the leader, but he was our rock star. He was the audience favorite, hands down. He was bold, and worldly. I learned so much from the guy. And he was a great ambassador to the fans. He took time for everybody, any picture, anywhere. I can't say enough good things about him."
Alto Reed's family issued the following statement after his passing:
"Last night, under the light of the full moon and surrounded by family at home, our beautiful father passed gently on to the next realm. Our hearts are deeply broken by this enormous loss, but also filled with gratitude as we reflect on his legacy and how incredibly lucky we‘ve been to get to call such a special guy, dad. He lead an extraordinary life, marked by passion, determination, and dreams come true; an action packed adventure filled top to bottom with love, magic, dear friends, family, and unspeakable joys. The stuff of legends, really.
His skillfulness, dedication and brilliance as an artist and performer made him a hero not only to us, but to thousands of others, if not millions. He lived for the stage and most importantly, his role for nearly 50 years in the Silver Bullet Band with his musical family; Bob, Craig, Chris, and so many other talented musicians who played alongside him. We are truly comforted in knowing that his spirit will shine brightly on through the music that he has left behind, and the impression that he’s had on so many souls in concert.
But beyond all of that, to us, he was and always will be, dad. Loving, supportive, sweet and wise. Working front of house at our elementary school recitals, rigging up lights so we could ice skate at night, taking us tubing til our heads spun, rooting for the Red Wings, teaching us how to ski, fish, shoot pool and harmonize, always sharing in deep conversation, and all the while believing unfailingly in us and our dreams. Oh, and fixing everything, everywhere, always.
We are overwhelmed by and so appreciative of the love and support we have received from friends and those who feel like family during this sensitive time; it means the world to us, truly. And tomorrow, on New Year’s Eve, we will be celebrating his incredible life; we hope everyone that loved him will do the same.
In lieu of flowers we will be accepting donations in his name towards the Detroit Symphony’s Detroit Harmony Fund [dso.org], whose goal is to put an instrument in the hands of every student in the city of Detroit. We also encourage friends and fans who loved him to honor his life through regular screenings and other early prevention methods for colon cancer.
Chelsea & Victoria
P.S. Dad, we hope you have fun, flying high over everyone playing your sax, just like you did in the 70s. This time, no wires."