Of the many cover versions that have been recorded, the most popular cover version is by Metallica, who released it as the first single from their 1998 Garage Inc. album, reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for 11 consecutive weeks, the highest number of weeks Metallica has ever spent at the top; the song also reached number 2 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100.
Drummer Lars Ulrich had heard the original song while driving across the Golden Gate Bridge and later commented that he thought it "had James Hetfield all over it". Metallica's rendition is taken at much the same tempo as Seger's, but with a heavier feel; the saxophone part is replaced by a high slide guitar line from Kirk Hammett.
The accompanying music video explores a day in the life not of musicians, but a single mother (played by Ginger Lynn) who is a sex worker; that is, she works as a stripper by day, and a prostitute by night. MTV refused to air the video due to nudity and a scene depicting sexual assault between the mother and a client. The video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund.
On a long and lonesome highway east of Omaha You can listen to the engines moanin' out its one note song You can think about the woman or the girl you knew the night before But your thoughts will soon be wandering the way they always do When you riding sixteen hours there's nothing much to do And you don't feel much like ridin', you just wish the trip was through Here I am, on the road again There I am, up on the stage Here I go, playin' star again There I go, turn the page So you walk into this restaurant, all strung-out from the road And you feel the eyes upon you, as you're shaking off the cold You pretend it doesn't bother you, but you just want to explode And most times you can't hear 'em talk, other times you can All the same old clichés, "Is it woman? Is it man?" And you always seem outnumbered, you don't dare make a stand Make your stand Here I am, on the road again There I am, up on the stage Here I go, playin' star again There I go, turn the page Out there in the spotlight you're a million miles away Every ounce of energy you try to give away As the sweat pours out your body, like the music that you play Later in the evening, as you lie awake in bed With the echoes of the amplifiers ringin' in your head You smoke the day's last cigarette, rememberin' what she said What she said Here I am, on the road again There I am, up on the stage Here I go, playin' star again There I go, turn the page There I go, turn that page There I go, yeah There I go, yeah There I go, yeah Here I go, yeah There I go There I go And I'm gone