When Kid Rock used Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” as the basis for last year’s hit “All Summer Long,” he went first to the guys in Skynyrd to get their approval. And he got it.
In a similar fashion, when John Rich wrote “Shuttin’ Detroit Down,” he went to a Michigan resident for approval. And got it. As it turns out, the Michigander who gave John the thumbs-up was Kid Rock himself.
“He goes, ‘Let me tell you, this is going to be an important song to people who live here in Detroit,'” John told The Detroit News. “And coming from Kid Rock, that meant a lot. I was concerned, ’cause the title is called ‘Shuttin’ Detroit Down,’ that people in Detroit might take it the wrong way, like I was saying the town wasn’t going to make it. But it was quite the opposite, and it’s a defiant message. Rock said, ‘Don’t worry about it, they’re going to get it. It’s going to be really great, and I can’t wait to see how people react.'”
They reacted hugely – not just in Detroit, but all over the nation. The single is currently at No. 12 on the USA Today Mediabase country singles chart and has revived country music as a place where the working man can feel represented in issues of importance. And the economy, ripped to shreds by the self interests of unregulated executives on Wall Street, is hugely important.
“I’m fired up, and so is everybody else,” John said. “It just so happens that I have a very loud microphone. That’s the only difference between me and another guy out there – I actually have a platform to say it from. I think this song has become a way for people to vent… If that means I’m an activist, good. I think all Americans should be activists. America was built on activists.”
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