On the White Stripes album White Blood Cells, there’s a song called “Hotel Yorba”–is that a real hotel?
Yes, but even if you’re the world’s biggest White Stripes fan, you may not want to spend the night there. It’s a run-down building on 4020 Lafayette Boulevard in southwest Detroit, just a few blocks away from the Greyhound bus station. (The band refers to the same street on their single “Lafayette Blues.”) You can’t rent rooms by the night at the Hotel Yorba, but one week will set you back just $65. In the song, Jack White contrasts the desolation of the Hotel Yorba with dreams of a home in the country. “There was a great rumor when I was a kid that the Beatles had stayed there,” White has said. “They never did, but I loved that rumor.” As rock ‘n’ roll lodgings go, you’d probably rather stay in Leonard Cohen’s Chelsea Hotel or Bono’s Million Dollar Hotel. (I recommend, however, not spending the night at the fictional Heartbreak Hotel or the enigmatic Neutral Milk Hotel.)
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)