On July 18, the actual city of Detroit filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history, and its hometown rock stars are, well, not surprised.
Motor City’s $18 billion debt, 78,000 abandoned homes, and steady exodus of population and industry were part and parcel to the historical Chapter 9 filing, and both Kid Rock and Ted Nugent shared their downtrodden, but persevering feelings on the situation with Billboard.
“I don’t think people are that surprised with the bankruptcy,” Kid Rock told Billboard, ”I mean people I know in Michigan. Everywhere else they are. Now that everything’s out in the papers and they’re giving all the statistics about Detroit and the shape it’s in and this, that and the other people outside are like, ‘Wow, I had no idea…’ They know Detroit’s run-down and it’s dangerous and it has political problems, but when they start reading the statistics, that’s what they really talk about. But I don’t think it’s a big shock to anybody in the area. We’ve all known what’s going on.”
Rock continued, “I guess when I say in ‘American Badass’ that ‘I put Dee-troit city back on the map,’ it feels a little different now when I say that because we’re always propping up Detroit, trying to focus on the good things, and now it’s like it’s hit rock-bottom. But what you can do, right?”
The thick skin of Detroit’s denizens also extends to outspoken classic rocker Ted Nugent, who was also none too surprised with the bankruptcy, saying “[T]he entire suicidal course began before the ’67 riots and hasn’t changed since. We’ve already shed our tears and fortified ourselves and improvised and adapted. We pray every night, and I believe it will turn around.”
Nugent also took the opportunity to opine on crux of the situation, and singled out “liberal Democrats” and a litany of mayors, congressional representatives, and labor unions that created policies and corrupt circumstances that, as he put it, “you can’t practice and expect to survive.”
“It’s heartbreaking but also fortifying in some ways,” said Nugent. “It exposes the culture of taking what you can get and not caring what the outcome will be and the scam of being in the liability column and taking advantage of everybody else. My brain won’t allow me to pursue that, to scam my fellow American. Maybe people will see that has to stop now. (Detroit) has to improvise, adapt and overcome. Business as usual is over. Let’s just hope it’s not too late.”
Nugent will play a show at the DTE center in Detroit August 2, and shortly after, Kid Rock will play a record-setting eight-night run at the DTE starting August 9 and continuing to August 10, 11, 14, 16, 17 and 19, all with opener ZZ Top. All tickets for Kid Rock’s shows are priced at $20.