(WXYZ) - It's a karaoke classic, that's sure to get those feet moving and arms flailing on the dance floor.
Journey's 1981 hit song "Don't Stop Believin'" has been rocking bars and arenas for the past three decades.
But, where did the band get the one line so many people around Detroit and Michigan love to sing? You know the one that goes, "just a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit."
After all these years, former Journey lead singer, Steve Perry, is finally shedding some light on that very question.
Perry tells New York Magazine the line came to him one sleepless night in May of 1980 while the band was on a five-night stay in Detroit as part of their Departure tour.
Perry tells the magazine he stood staring out of his hotel window, in the early morning hours, unable to sleep. “I was digging the idea of how the lights were facing down, so that you couldn’t see anything,” he says, recalling the night. “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.”
As for the South Detroit reference?
“I ran the phonetics of east, west, and north, but nothing sounded as good or emotionally true to me as south Detroit,” he says. “The syntax just sounded right. I fell in love with the line."
However, did you know geographically there is no south Detroit? Well, neither did Steve Perry up until a few years ago.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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