Pine Knob’s Very First Concert in 1972: C’mon Get Happy
'Partridge Family' star David Cassidy was the inaugural performer at Pine Knob fifty years ago in 1972. The ticket prices were ridiculous.
Everyone is excited about the legendary Detroit-area music venue Pine Knob taking back its original name. A number of concerts have already been announced for the 50th season, including Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, REO Speedwagon and Styx, Matchbox Twenty, Rod Stewart, Chicago, Backstreet Boys, and more. For just a few minutes, let's travel back in time fifty years to Pine Knob's first season in 1972.
It is obvious that many things have changed since '72. The most striking is the ticket prices. To reserve one of the best seats in the house, the expensive ones up front under the pavilion, you would have to part with seven hard-earned dollars. If you do the math and adjust for inflation, $7 in 1972 is the equivalent of $46.69 today. That sounds fine until you see that the average ticket price in 2019 was $96.17. For just $2.50 you could spread out your blanket on the lawn and enjoy the music under the stars in 1972.
We buy tickets in a vastly different way today. In fact, paper tickets are almost non-existent, and most of the transactions are done on our phones. In 1972, you had to order tickets by mail. Yes, the mail! Fans had to send a self-addressed stamped envelope but didn't have to pay exorbitant service fees.
Now, before you sneer at the name David Cassidy, realize that this was 1972 and there was no bigger teen idol. His fame garnered as Keith on The Partridge Family translated to "Cassidymania"- sellout crowds of screaming girls at arenas around the world. A Madison Square Garden concert sold out in one day and he played two sold-out shows to over 100,000 fans at the Houston Astrodome in one weekend in '72. Truly a worldwide phenomenon, in 1973, David Cassidy played eight sellouts at Wembley stadium in England, and the next year Australians called to have him deported after the madness at a 33,000+ person concert.
There are some photos of David Cassidy at that very first Pine Knob concert in the video below, and footage of the frantic crowds at Madison Square Garden. Be warned: jumpsuits, fringe, and early-70s I-think-I-love-you cheese lie ahead.
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