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Bob Seger Changes His Tune About Detroit

Bob Seger built his first big following in his native Midwest — even though on "Katmandu" he sang of getting as far away from there as he possibly could. His frustrated Midwestern characters head for the mountains, or flee backward into their memories. Yet for all the leaving, Bob Seger never quite left his native Michigan.

Cars made by Detroit automakers race through his songs. One of the most famous, "Night Moves," was set in the backseat of a "'60 Chevy." Years later, Chevrolet turned another Seger song, "Like a Rock," a commercial theme.

His latest album, Face the Promise, has Seger touring again at age 61, the first time in a decade. Last month, Seger made headlines when he played near Detroit, headquarters of the industry where he briefly worked as a young man.

But he didn't want a career in the auto industry.

"Even in junior high, I always knew I had a talent for music and I knew I could make money that way," he tells Steve Inskeep.

But it was years before Seger really became noticed as a musician. "It took me a long time to learn how to write a good song," he says.

On Face the Promise, he once again turns to writing about cars, but in not such a positive way. In "Between," he sings:

Seger lauds Al Gore for speaking out about the dangers of global warming and says, "The overuse of oil is just wrecking our economy."

But Seger says he doesn't regret that his "Like a Rock" was used to sell millions of Chevy pickups. "I actually helped my hometown. I saved a lot of jobs."

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