Westbound Day 10 – 323 miles – Detroit to Chicago

Monday, 27 June 1994

Maureen at Tamla MotownMotown has one final attraction we can’t ignore and that, of course, is Hitsville USA, the Motown Museum. Tamla Motown records shifted to Los Angeles in 1972 but kept their first Detroit office and recording studio. The company’s extraordinarily rapid growth is quite a tale but the museum is strangely disappointing.

The recording studio, used from the first Tamla Motown records in 1959 right through to the move to LA, is original but it doesn’t have the same gritty authenticity of the Sun studio in Memphis and the other displays are mainly publicity stills.

Crossing Michigan on I94 is not a great drive, you don’t even see Lake Michigan although the road must run very close to it for many miles. In Chicago we quickly find a motel, a rather grubby Best Western, conveniently close to the centre and head out for the obligatory deep dish pizza. Spain has just beaten Bolivia and exuberant Spanish fans are ole-ing around town. In front of us at the pizzeria one group announces they had better have an outside rather than inside table as they intend to be rather rowdy. They were. In fact downtown Chicago as a whole is pleasantly bright, energetic and rowdy – poor Detroit makes a sorry contrast. Feeling rather stuffed we walk back to our hotel along the Magnificent Mile, admiring Chicago’s magnificently floodlit architectural highlights on the way and dragging Kieran onward from one sports shop to the next.