Friday, January 9, 2009

Box Set Of Memories

(H/T to Odub at soul sides for the Hitsville, U.S.A. house pic)

My hometown is in trouble - I mean like dire straits, ready to circle the drain and make that big sucking sound. There's a strange rice crispy/radio static noise off in the distance - the Langoliers are slowly moving Motown's way. All those years living, loving and laughing on Dutch Elm and Red Mulberry tree lined streets. Years of knowing way deep down inside of your Motor City soul, that "Gott im Himmel" (Yeah!! I said it you Nazi-fuck Volkswagen/Beamer/Benz/Porsche salad tossers!! And as for you Japanese car manufacturers - maybe things would be different if we'd let Detroit inject some of its assembly line know how into our Manhattan Project efforts. We damn sure wouldn't have run out of nukes after Fat Man...) drove a Cadillac on Sunday and a Shelby GT Mustang Super Snake the other six days of the week. And just like the auto factory workers, not a single day did He rest.

Not when He could be slow rollin' up Joy Road, pimp glidin' Woodward Avenue or doin' the pop & stop down West Grand Blvd. - laying rubber patches until He hit that singular address - 2648 (aka Heaven On Earth).Yes!!! Sitting in a low slung, competition seat and stepping off into a 427 Cobra motor kicking out 520HP, sportin' tuned headers, aluminum heads, an aluminum intake, and a 4-Speed Transmission with a 4.11. That, my friends, will do it for any deity. (Hell, its been rumored that even Cthulhu has been seen driving a supercharged GT 350 around the lost city of R'lyeh - that is when he can get his keys back from Azathoth.). Some of the best days of my life were spent living in that town - Motown, Hitsville USA, the Motor City, the City Of Champions. No more...

All those years living in a town that at one time had the highest per capita rate of Black family home ownership on the face of the planet. A city that once served as the myocardium of the universus somes of the country, pumping its economic life's blood around, across and through every border of every one of the 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km²) of the contiguous forty-eight states plus Alaska, Hawaii and all other territories. Now that city is in big trouble and the whole world knows about it. Ranked as the second worst place to live in the United States (guess which city came in first - for worst and best, ironically), with a seasonally unadjusted November 2008 jobless rate of 9.5 percent (up from 8.8 percent in October). The great heart in Michigan is suffering from congestive failure, and Washington has got all the ACE inhibitors on lockdown with strings attached.

Yes, dear friends - my hometown is in trouble - BIG trouble. You got trouble, my friends, right here, I say, trouble right here in Detroit (a "river" city if you didn't know) City. Right here in Detroit City. Trouble with a capital "T" and that rhymes with "B" and that stands for B-A-I-L-O-U-T!!!! Yes my friends, I hear the sibilant, southern drawl soaked, susurrations of sinister senators as they plot against my beloved. But, despite all the naysayers and Catherine de Medici wannabe's, I believe that Detroit will rise again - not like the mythic Fire Bird of Arabia, rising from its own ashes to take wing and soar up into the sky towards Heliopolis. No!!! Detroit will rise again - but it will rise up like all of those long-haired hippies and afro blacks that Brother James Brown sang about in "Get On The Good Foot":

They all get together across the tracks
And they PARTY
Ho! On the good foot
You know they dancin' on the good foot
Dancin' on the good foot
Ain't nothin' goin' on now
But the rent-ah
A whole lotta bills and my money's spent
And that's on my bad foot
Whoa, unh
You know my face gettin' short and I got the blues
I got a funky job and I paid my dues
On the good foot
Ho! On the good foot
I got to get on the good foot
Hey! On the good foot
Get on the good foot
Come over!

Yes, my friends, Detroit will be back on the good foot some day. People will keep their funky jobs and the unions will survive (despite Rethug shenanigans), their members continuing to pay their dues. But for right now, the town has got a whole lotta bills and its money's spent - its face is getting' short and its got the blues. So join with me in offering up a New Year's prayer for Detroit. And when you're done, get up off your knees and run out and grab a copy of the new, 10 CD box set called The Complete Motown #1's. It may not help Detroit get back on its good foot, but it'll certainly make you feel like getting on yours. Come over!!!

( A little musical rarity for you Smokey Robinson fans: I Care About Detroit.)

BTW folks - let me know what's your all-time favorite Motown tune. Qué pasa people, qué pasa ...hit me!

Labels: Cthulhu, Motown, Trouble