John Gibson: Could this be another Detroit?

You've heard of Detroit. Where the Spinners came from. Soul city, when there was good stuff in the charts.

The latest spin from Motor City, what formerly was America's No 1 manufacturer of cars is that, with that industry decimated, its just-published census shows a 25 per cent shrink in its population to 713,000. Half its heyday total.

One person is fleeing wasteland Detroit every 20 minutes. Stark contrast with Edinburgh where, it seems, a new settler arrives every 20 minutes.

On the buses

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Kid you not. There are times when I'm the solitary Edinburgher on the Lothian Bus, as though ostracised, while my fellow passengers are yapping away to each other or on their mobiles.

The way of the world. Just get on with it, John, and belt up.

Clinging to my few words of schoolboy French. Pathetic. And there's no point telling people I was a classic scholar at Leith Academy. Latin's a dead lingo. Not worth a damn.

Aye, I'm having a wee girn. Chucking some facts and figures your way, just to get your dander up.

We have in Scotland 8500 individuals aged 18 to 24 on incapacity benefit rather than work, clawing at the state hand-outs every week, thank you very much.

The too-sick-to-work brigade.

Goin' for Burton

On a bender with his Fender again. It's got to be Ash Gupta. Tomorrow night in the Voodoo Rooms, West Register Street, he has James Burton as his very special guest.

Louisiana-born Burton, 71, knows his stuff, having made it in rock and roll, rockabilly and country.

Linked with Presley, Johnny Cash, John Denver and Emmylou Harris. Thursday night will see him presented with an American Hero award by the American Consul General in Edinburgh.

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One of Burton's biggest fans is the Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards, who in a glowing speech in 2001 introduced him to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.