Pine Knob has had its share of great photographers snap iconic pictures of the world’s greatest musicians and there are so many stories behind the lens. Ken Settle is one of these amazing photographers. With the 50th anniversary of Pine Knob coming soon, Donielle Flynn asked Ken to share some of his amazing stories behind his Pine Knob images. Here are Ken’s reflections on Pine Knob:
“In the sweet summertime, summertime”…..
That classic line from Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” manages to capture the essence of lusty youthful adventure. And to countless Detroit area concert aficionados, it also brilliantly expresses the emotion of sitting beneath the stars out at Pine Knob, soaking up every nuance of the one-of-a-kind concert experience that the legendary venue gives us every summer.
I have so many great memories of shows at Pine Knob. Bob Seger bringing original Silver Bullet drummer, Charlie Martin, onstage in 1977, 1978 and 1996 to join the band after his tragic accident. Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits doing the quiet passages in “Brothers In Arms” in 1985. The audience was so spellbound and quiet that you could literally hear the hum in Knopfler’s amps. Guns’n’ Roses’ searing performance opening for Aerosmith in 1988. Man…what awesome memories!
I have such vivid and fond recollections of making that long trek from Detroit out Telegraph Road to Dixie Highway. Back when everything seemed so much larger, it might as well have been on the other side of the world! Such precious times. Even before I was old enough to drive…hitching a ride with older friends. Back in the day, for the major shows, tickets would go on sale at the Pine Knob box office, and sometimes hundreds (maybe more!) of fans would show up the night before to camp out in the parking lot, waiting on their chance to score some prime seats. Car radios and 8 tracks blasting, coolers full of refreshments…it was kind of the festival before the concert.
I remember how stellar the sound always was at Pine Knob, even before sound systems were as advanced as they are today. Having no reflective parallel walls for the sound to bounce off of gave even the high decibel rock shows a hi-fi smoothness. It occurs to me that every new concert season at Pine Knob is much like seeing an old friend that you haven’t seen for a while. You reminisce with the old stories and treasure the new memories in the making. “Hello, once again Pine Knob, old friend! Remember that time when…..”?
Check out more of Ken Settle’s favorite Pine Knob moments below… I thought it made sense to go in chronological order, but I’d like to start with Tom Petty first…. such an amazing moment in the history of Pine Knob. – Doni