Letters 10-17-2016

Here’s The Truth The group Save our Downtown (SOD), which put Proposal 3 on the ballot, is ignoring the negative consequences that would result if the proposal passes. Despite the group’s name, the proposal impacts the entire city, not just downtown. Munson Medical Center, NMC, and the Grand Traverse Commons are also zoned for buildings over 60’ tall...

Keep TC As-Is In response to Lynda Prior’s letter, no one is asking the people to vote every time someone wants to build a building; Prop. 3 asks that people vote if a building is to be built over 60 feet. Traverse City will not die but will grow at a pace that keeps it the city people want to visit and/or reside; a place to raise a family. It seems people in high-density cities with tall buildings are the ones who flock to TC...

A Right To Vote I cannot understand how people living in a democracy would willingly give up the right to vote on an impactful and important issue. But that is exactly what the people who oppose Proposal 3 are advocating. They call the right to vote a “burden.” Really? Since when does voting on an important issue become a “burden?” The heart of any democracy is the right of the people to have their voice heard...

Reasons For NoI have great respect for the Prop. 3 proponents and consider them friends but in this case they’re wrong. A “yes” vote on Prop. 3 is really a “no” vote on..

Republican Observations When the Republican party sends its presidential candidates, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people with a lot of problems. They’re sending criminals, they’re sending deviate rapists. They’re sending drug addicts. They’re sending mentally ill. And some, I assume, are good people...

Stormy Vote Florida Governor Scott warns people on his coast to evacuate because “this storm will kill you! But in response to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that Florida’s voter registration deadline be extended because a massive evacuation could compromise voter registration and turnout, Republican Governor Scott’s response was that this storm does not necessitate any such extension...

Third Party Benefits It has been proven over and over again that electing Democrat or Republican presidents and representatives only guarantees that dysfunction, corruption and greed will prevail throughout our government. It also I believe that a fair and democratic electoral process, a simple and fair tax structure, quality health care, good education, good paying jobs, adequate affordable housing, an abundance of healthy affordable food, a solid, well maintained infrastructure, a secure social, civil and public service system, an ecologically sustainable outlook for the future and much more is obtainable for all of us...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Lost treasure found in...
. . . .

Lost treasure found in Detroit

Robert Downes - May 11th, 2009
Lost treasure found in Detroit...
“Don’t forget the Motor City -- All you need is music, sweet music, there’ll be music everywhere...”
- Dancing in the Streets
Robert Downes 5/11/09

Recently, National Public Radio aired a program wondering why it is that Detroit has created some of the best music in the world, and yet has failed miserably in marketing itself as a capital of creativity.
Good point: While Detroit and Michigan have obsessed for years over what to do about the auto meltdown, we’ve ignored the potential of our other top export: music.
Consider this partial list: Bob Seger, Kid Rock, Jack White, Madonna, Iggy Pop, Ted Nugent, Eminem and all the stars of Motown: Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Four Tops... Then there was Detroit’s electronic music scene in the ‘90s, which was better known worldwide than it was in most of Michigan.
To paraphrase an old Talking Heads hit, this ain’t no Arkansas, this ain’t no Wisconsin, this ain’t no fooling around: few states (or countries for that matter) can boast anywhere near the amount of musical talent that has come out of Michigan.
That should make Detroit a lively entertainment destination on par with Nashville, Branson, or Las Vegas. Detroit should be to music what Hollywood is to film. Yet, like a pauper walking along a road paved with gold without a clue as to its value, our state has failed to capitalize on a resource before its eyes.
We never needed the state’s Cool Cities program -- Michigan was one of the inventors of ‘cool‘ back in the ‘60s when Motown was going head-to-head on the airwaves with the sounds of London or Southern California.
What Detroit needs is the imagination to capture that energy in the same spirit as Branson, Memphis or Nashville, with music showcases, non-stop shows, package tours, historical sites, recording studios, museums, a music college and more.
When you go to Nashville, you can walk the hallowed halls of the Grand Ole Opry, check out the pink Cadillac Elvis was chauffeured around in (complete with on-board shoe polisher and 45-rpm turntable), and wander through the Musicians’ Row of old honky-tonks where generations of country legends got their start.
Then there’s Beale Street, “home of the blues” in Memphis, where you can check out the haunts of B.B. King or Muddy Waters. Branson, Missouri? This world-famous destination was virtually invented out of thin air, based on the fact that Patsy Cline and Hank Williams used to play the Ozarks decades ago.
But Detroit -- a place that arguably outshines them all with its depth and diversity? The Motor City’s music scene is spread out among dozens of small clubs, with nothing holding it together.
So consider some of the following ideas for recharging Detroit. They may be facetious, but this is what a former homeboy would suggest:
First, the Motown Historical Museum is presently located on West Grand Boulevard about three miles from downtown, which might as well be on the moon, even for most of the three million people living in the metro area. Detroit needs to move “Hitsville USA“ and the Motown museum brick-by-brick downtown, where tourists are more likely to see it.
Next, Detroit missed a tourist goldmine when the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was built in Cleveland. Take it back with the city’s own ‘hall of fame’ featuring the likes of Bob Seger, Kid Rock, Eminem, the MC5, the Stooges and the next wave of rappers.
There‘s a tribute to Dolly Parton called Dollywood in Tennessee; why not MadonnaLand in Detroit? A big, tacky musical funhouse downtown with a cone bra roof and an IMAX theater inside that would play Madonna concerts and special guest pop artists such as Britney Spears or Hannah Montana.
• A restaurant arcade based around Detroit music: The Motown Rib Shack, Kid Rock’s Cracker Stack, Stevie Wonder’s Midnight Taste Experience, the Candy KISS Chocolate Factory, Ted Nugent’s Natural World...
• A rock & roll music college. L.A. has one -- why not Detroit? Classes could cover everything from electronic music to guitar, drums and home recording.
• A big Times Square-style electronic billboard scene in the heart of the city, reminding every visitor that Detroit is one of the music capitals of the world. At the heart of this district would be a Hard Rock Hotel, a House of Blues and Detroit’s Fillmore and Fox theaters.
Well, you get the picture -- the idea would be to create a ‘scene’ big enough to put a new tourist destination on the map, with half the population of America within a day‘s drive.
Who will pay for all this? For starters, tap some of the musicians mentioned here who rake in tens of millions of dollars each year. Perhaps, like the pharoahs of Egypt, they‘d enjoy leaving a monument to their success and helping to old home turf to boot.
Detroit currently has a few downtown attractions, such as Greektown, Bricktown and the new stadiums, but nothing that’s ever going to rev anyone’s propeller in a big way. But knocking out about six square blocks in the heart of downtown for a world-class music district would also knock some socks off and maybe get the Motor City back on its feet... and dancin’ in the streets.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5