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Detroit Rock City

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

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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.

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