Where is South Detroit?

Submitted by meddler on August 6th, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Question for the folks out there:

Where is "South Detroit?"

I was born in Detroit and raised in the suburbs. I have never lived more than 30 miles from the Detroit border yet I have never wandered into this elusive part of Detroit. I can easily identify the east side, west side, and the southwest corner of the city. One would suppose from the way thousands of Detroit area fanatics belt out the lyrics from the classic rawk hit that the region is famous or populated or exists.

I hope someone can fill this gap for me. If not, well, I will forever endure the apprehensive shudder that courses through my soul each time the first note of the Journey song pierces the gameday sanctity of Michigan Stadium.

Comments

jmblue

August 12th, 2011 at 7:30 PM ^

Wikipedia does not know all.  If there is a "South Detroit," it has to be part of the city proper.  The suburbs are part of Metro Detroit, but they're not Detroit.  There's a clear distinction in peoples' minds.

LSAClassOf2000

August 6th, 2011 at 9:20 PM ^

Directly south of downtown would be the Detroit River. Southwest Detroit, on the other hand, is an established area with a few thriving neighborhoods. Downriver is thought to be the collection of communities south and west of Detroit and near the river. There is actually a collective community organization which represents the business interests of the region. 

MGoShoe

August 6th, 2011 at 9:22 PM ^

....in this thread. According to GOBLUE4EVR:

Side note to the whole "south detroit" term... the term came from a groupie that one of the band members brought back to the hotel after a show X amount of years ago... the next morning journey was leaving detroit but they had this groupie with them and they needed to take her home, they asked where she lived and she said south detroit... what she meant was south OF detroit meaning taylor... i heard the story on 97.1 when the morning show interviewed one of the guys from the band because journey was in town that night and playing at DTE in 2008...

Raoul

August 6th, 2011 at 9:32 PM ^

For what it's worth, Steve Perry tells a different tale in this article:

He recalls writing the song with Cain — combining his own memories of smoky nightclubs with an image he had of Detroit from a hotel window after a concert in 1980.

He only found out later there is no such place as the "south Detroit" he sings about —that south of the U.S. city is the Ontario city of Windsor.

"I tried north Detroit, I tried east and west and it didn't sing, but south Detroit sounded so beautiful. I loved the way it sounded, only to find out later it's actually Canada," Perry said.

The Barwis Effect

August 6th, 2011 at 9:48 PM ^

... Alice Cooper's "Detroit City":

 

Me and Iggy were giggin' with Ziggy and kickin' with the MC5
Ted and Seger were burnin' with fever
and let the Silver bullets fly
The Kid was in his crib, shady wore a bib
and the posse wasn`t even alive
Shock rock choppin' block, songs to make your heart stop
Shovie it in ta overdrive

Playing loud and fast
Make that guitar blast
Playing like today will be your last...

Well I was born there
Gonna die there
With all my long hair
Detroit City
You feel your heart beat
You hit the concrete
Dance the mean street
Detroit City

There`s a riot raging downtown
Tryin' to burn the place down
Skies glowin; red and grey
But the Riff kept a Rockin'
The Creem kept a-talkin'
And the streets still smokin' today

Playing loud and fast
Make that guitar blast
Playing like today will be your last...

Well I was born there
Probably die there
With all my long hair
Detroit City
You feel your heart beat
You hit the concrete
Dance the mean streets
Detroit City

Six mile seven mile eight mile nine mile
ten mile eleven mile Detroit city

Louder
Faster
Louder
Detroit City

Well I was born there
Gonna die there
We don`t belong here
Detroit City
You feel your heart beat
Hit the concrete
Dance the mean street
Detroit City

Well I was born there
Probably die there
With all my long hair
Detroit City
You feel your heart beat
You hit the concrete
Dance the mean street
Detroit City

Jarred

August 6th, 2011 at 11:43 PM ^

I don't know if they got banned, but they definitely played the Victors in Columbus during their Stadium Arcadium tour just weeks before the #1vs#2 game of the century.

http://michiganzone.blogspot.com/2006/11/suck-my-kiss-columbus.html

There used to be a story on the Columbus Dispatch site, but it's been lost to web history.

snoopblue

August 6th, 2011 at 10:07 PM ^

the area where they want to build the new bridge, delray. The vicinity of that area is technically south detroit. Anything further down is just downriver.

michiganprof

August 6th, 2011 at 10:27 PM ^

Journey isn't the only one with this problem. An English group called Paper Lace had a minor hit in the 70s with a song called "The Night Chicago Died". It starts "(Spoken - portentious voice) Daddy was a cop. On the East side of Chicago..." Which would be Lake Michigan. Always check a map when you're writing songs about places you don't know.

Rico616

August 7th, 2011 at 2:07 AM ^

Chicago does have an east side...anything east of State Street is the east side. However most people just refer to Chicago as North/South/West sides since some parts of Chicago, like downtown, the east side is only a few blocks but if you go south more the east side expands. However they prefer just to call it the south side there.

Brimley

August 7th, 2011 at 10:08 AM ^

Having been in Chicagoland a long time, I can say "we locals" call it Lakefront or, if you're pretty good, by neighborhood (Rogers Park, Lincoln Park, South Loop, whatever).

However, saying "Daddy was a cop, on the Lakefront of Chicago" makes it sound like he was arresting drunk college kids for peeing on the beach rather than doing an Untouchables thing.

Tater

August 6th, 2011 at 10:33 PM ^

"South Detroit" would make a great fictitious name/home for a sports team in cinema or on TV.  It could go all the way from drama to comedy, depending on how it is done.

Seth

August 6th, 2011 at 11:04 PM ^

South Detroit is a great way to say you're from Toledo
if you want to avoid letting on that you're from a particularly embarrassing state to be from

JEL

August 7th, 2011 at 6:12 PM ^

The important things to remember are you can’t get there from here and there is no midnight run out of Detroit rock city.

JEWBILEE

August 7th, 2011 at 2:41 AM ^

and laughed..idk why it just seemed so simple...to answer your question, anything south of 8 mile and east of wayne county would be considered south detroit...i've never been there but i can't imagine it being great 

ChiefLB

August 7th, 2011 at 9:08 AM ^

Windsor was once called South Detroit.  Before the US occupied and claimed that part of Canada (including the coastline running down past Amherstburg's Fort Malden) as part of the War of 1812.  After thed US returned this land to Canada, Windsdor held a city vote and the name of Windsor won out.

With the history lesson now completed, I highly doubt the band named Journey knew this.

shnweller187

August 7th, 2011 at 11:02 AM ^

I'm telling all of you. There is a sign heading south on 75 saying "South Detroit". Im not saying it is what Journey is referring to but I have seen the sign, and it opened up my eyes I saw the sign.