Detroit, Michigan 13 November 2012
Late this morning we de-camped Chicago and after so many days at the same hotel, half the contents of my bag were scattered to the four corners of the room. Gather, fold, zip the case and out the door. I managed to charge nothing to my room, no check out required, straight onto Jason's bus and out to Midway Airport. A fifty minute flight to Detroit this afternoon, most of it spent devouring a large and delicious Cobb Salad with fresh avocado, bacon, chicken, egg, balsamic vinaigrette and crumbled blue cheese.
We landed in Detroit and things were looking slightly bleak. So many abandoned, derelict stores, homes, factories and large buildings.... windows broken out... vacant. The gray skies didn't help. I was told that this mighty city, once the fourth largest in the country with 2 million people, now has a population of 715,000. With a little luck, the auto industry coming back and the economy slowly turning around, Detroit will begin to turn around as well.
Tonight's show was at an opulent theatre that gives a clear view back to those better times, the mighty Fox Theater. Built in 1928 as part of a chain of movie palaces by Fox just prior to the Great Depression, Detroit's Fox was and is a crown jewel from that era. Click this link and scroll down to Fox Theater then click it for the full story and some magnificent photos of the place. http://historicdetroit.org/buildings/ Also, check out Guy's website and diary entry for Detroit, he was a busy boy with a camera. Through many lean years, The Fox fell into neglect, disrepair and on it's last legs in the 80s was showing Kung Fu films. It was purchased privately and restored to it's former glory. Miraculously, 90% of this exquisite theater is still original.
It seemed like Detroit's audience was there to see Mark as much as Bob, great crowd. Last night also marked the debut of Guy playing the banjo-uke he purchased in St. Paul. Guy's an incredibly talented fellow, he can and will play anything thrust into his hands.
Following our set Mark played a few songs with Bob and we were away, back to the Legacy for another quick flight to Toronto, Dianne right there with g & t's waiting and platters of sushi. It all went down well and in less than an hour we'd touched down in Toronto where we'll play next.