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Which artist has played Pine Knob the most? It's not who you think


Looking back at the venue's most frequent guests as Pine Knob prepares to turn 50.

After years of performing Pine Knob's traditional opener, Eddie Money became the Clarkston amphitheater's unofficial mascot, and he became synonymous with the kickoff of the summer music season in Metro Detroit. 

But the Money Man is not the most tenured artist at the venue. Not by a long shot.

That honor goes to Chicago, who has played the stage a staggering 81 times, according to venue records, most recently last summer, when the group opened the shortened 2021 concert season. The rock and jazz collective will play its 82nd show at the venue this coming summer, which marks the venue's 50th anniversary.  

They're followed on the list by the Beach Boys, who have graced the Pine Knob stage 61 times over the years, since first performing at the venue in September 1972.

Right behind them is the Doobie Brothers, who have played Pine Knob 59 times, and who bring a 50th anniversary tour of their own to the venue on July 4. 

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Then comes Money, fourth on the list, who hit the stage 38 times, beginning in September 1983. He played an early June concert in 1987, followed by a show in late May 1989, and then played every May from 1992 to 2019. Money died in September 2019 at the age of 70.

Johnny Mathis is fifth on Pine Knob's all-time list with 37 concerts at the venue. Kid Rock is sixth, with 36, 10 of which came during a stretch of shows in 2015, the most one artist has ever played the venue in a single season. 

James Taylor is next with 35 concerts, and Foreigner and Jimmy Buffett are tied for 8th with 34 shows each. 

And none other than Bob Seger is 10th, with 33 shows at the Knob, the most recent of which was on June 21, 2019. If he wants to unretire from touring and add a few more shows to his tally, promoters would no doubt clear some room for him on the schedule. 

Just outside the venue's list of its Top 10 most frequent guests are the Temptations, who between the Temps and the Temptations Revue have clocked 29 shows at Pine Knob over the years, followed by Santana with 28 concerts and REO Speedwagon with 27. 

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama