"We saw this coming," says Nugent, who blames liberals for the city's woes. "We've already shed our tears and fortified ourselves and improvised and adapted. We pray every night, and I believe it will turn around"
A couple of Detroit's stalwart rock heroes are voicing optimism for the home town's future in the wake of the city's bankruptcy proceedings.
"It's a blow, but we've been taking blows for years," Kid Rock tells Billboard. "I don't think people are that surprised with the bankruptcy -- 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 himself has been a major supporter of and ambassador for Detroit over the years, including through is own charitable foundation and his Made In Detroit apparel company. But he hesitates to voice an opinion about what he thinks should be done to clean up the situation.
Watch: Kid Rock's 'American Badass'
"I'm not a numbers guy," he explains. "I love the city. I support the city. I don't know the numbers and the inner workings what else can be done. 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?"
Rock has a record-tying eight-night run coming up during August at the DTE Energy Music Theatre outside of Detroit (and not far from his home), where his $20 ticket prices are surely being appreciated. But he plans to keep the concerts free of current events rhetoric.
"I don't think those shows are the platform for it at all, so I'm not really gonna touch on it," Rock says. "I just want people to have a good time. It's as simple as that."
Ted Nugent, meanwhile, declares that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. God bless the Detroit survivors." And he, too, isn't surprised at the turn the city has taken.
"This is just the official notice; We've been aware of it for 40 years," says Nugent, who plays his own Detroit area show on Aug. 2 at DTE. "We saw this coming. The 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."
The characteristically outspoken and proudly conservative Nugent -- who moved to Texas after his home near Jackson, Mich., became infested with black mold -- blasts "liberal Democrats" for Detroit's ongoing financial problems, a long list of mayors and congressional representatives as well as labor unions that he feels created policies and corrupt circumstances that, he says, "you can't practice and expect to survive."
"It's heartbreaking but also fortifying in some ways," Nugent says of the situation. "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."