Contact Us

Steve Perry Reveals Origin of ‘South Detroit’ in ‘Don’t Stop Believin” [AUDIO]

Columbia Records

South Detroit? There’s no such place! (Go ahead, sing along with the song clip.)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“…Just a city boy…born and raised in ‘South Detroit’…”

Journey’s then-lead singer Steve Perry recently revealed the origin of the fictitious Michigan reference in Journey’s 1981 hit “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

Perry told “New York Magazine” that the lyrics came to him while staying in a Detroit-area hotel in 1980, when the band was on tour. ‘South Detroit’ was simply poetic license:

“I was digging the idea of how the lights were facing down so that you couldn’t see anything,” he said as he recalled looking out a hotel room window at 2 a.m. “All of a sudden I’d see people walking out of the dark, and into the light. And the term ‘streetlight people’ came to me. So Detroit was very much in my consciousness when we started writing.” (The song includes the line: “Streetlight people/ Living just to find emotion/ Hiding somewhere in the night.”

“I ran the phonetics of east, west, and north, but nothing sounded as good or emotionally true to me as South Detroit,” Perry said. “The syntax just sounded right. I fell in love with the line. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve learned that there is no South Detroit. But it doesn’t matter.”

[Detroit Free Press]

More from Cars 108

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://wcrz.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Cars 108 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Register on Cars 108 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!