Detroit Rock City

The local legends who defined the sound of the city
Leni Sinclair/Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

blog comments powered by Disqus
1 of 11

When the late Rob Tyner of the MC5 implored his listeners to "kick out the jams!," he was barking on behalf of all the great rock & roll musicians yet to come from his hometown. In Detroit, they've been turning out an assembly line of ass-kickers with guitars since the heyday of the Studebaker. The fourth-largest city in the U.S. in the Fifties, known as the "Paris of the West" for its impressive architecture, Detroit began a long, excruciating decline to its present crisis. But for all its troubles – or maybe as a result of them – the city has never lost its rock & roll spirit. Here are the local legends who defined the sound of the city, from the postwar boogie of John Lee Hooker to the postmodern blues of the White Stripes.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.