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John Rich video reunites Kris Kristofferson, Mickey Rourke

March 19, 2009 |  3:32 pm

Big & Rich’s John Rich rounded up Kris Kristofferson and Mickey Rourke to join him in a video for his single “Shuttin’ Detroit Down,” his angry tract about the taxpayer-funded bailouts going to the nation's auto makers and financial institutions. It’s the first single from his new solo album “Son of a Preacher Man,” scheduled for release Tuesday.

Rich, who performed at rallies last year for John McCain during the Arizona senator's bid for the presidency, levels his sights with the following lyrics:

Now I see all these big shots
Whining on my evening news
About how they’re losing billions
And it's up to me and you
To come running to the rescue
Well pardon me if I don't shed a tear

He'll be making a string of TV appearances next week, including the "Good Morning America," "The Today Show," "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" -- and several Fox News shows. He invited Kristofferson and Rourke to appear with him in the video because “I cannot think of two guys who have pulled themselves up by the bootstraps time and time again, blue collar-level superstars, than Mickey Rourke and Kris Kristofferson,” Rich said in a statement. “Two of the all-time great American artists in what they do, and the faces that these guys have, they have faces that tell a story.”

Shooting the video earlier this week in Nashville was a reunion of sorts for Rourke, whom Rich met a couple of years ago in a New York City bar, and the esteemed actor/singer-songwriter, who flew in from Los Angeles where he’s been working on a new album of his own.

“I’ve known Mickey since we worked together on ‘Heaven’s Gate’ back in ’79 and ’80,” Kristofferson, 73, told The Times. “I finally just saw ‘The Wrestler’ -- he was great.”

We can only guess which provides a better subtext for Rich’s song -- the recent Oscar-winning film about a past-his-prime athlete who is forced to reevaluate his priorities, or one of the great financial debacles in Hollywood history.

--Randy Lewis

Photo, left to right: Marc Oswald (John Rich's manager), George Flannigan (co-director), Mickey Rourke, John Rich, Robert Deaton (co-director) and Kris Kristofferson, by Terry Calonge.