Eddie Money is happy to be the opening act at the DTE Energy Music Theatre any given year.
But he plans to have the place shakin' again when he kicks off the amphitheater's 40th season this weekend.
"Man, I tell ya, I love it," says Money, 63, who first played at Pine Knob as the season closer in 1983 and has opened nine of DTE's last 19 summers and played the first weekend of all of those years. "I've been playing there a really long time, have had so many great shows there. I remember one time I came out as the band started playing, dressed in a janitor's uniform, sweeping the stage. Another time I came out with a chef's hat on and an apron.
"You can do goofy, silly stuff like that at DTE. I like to have fun, and people in that city love to have...fun, too. This is my big show, y'know? I'm proud of the fact I can do something special like that every year."
Money (who was born Eddie Mahoney in Brooklyn) is even one of the few veteran artists that doesn't complain about the name change.
"I like the words Energy Center," he explains. "Pine Knob was good. I have great memories playing Pine Knob. But Pine Knob could be, like, Sleepy Hollow. I like to have Energy in that name. It means something, I think. But I just like the venue, whatever the call it."
Money is celebrating an anniversary himself -- 35 years since the release of his self-titled debut album, which featured the hits "Baby Hold On" and "Two Tickets to Paradise." Money recalls being "broke" at the time, and that "Two Tickets..." in particular "too me about six months to write." But mostly Money says the long look back is rewarding.
"It's been a long run, a lot of fun," says the father of five whose daughter, onetime MTV "Rock the Cradle" contestant Jesse, frequently performs with him. "You get these kids now who are five, seven years old that know Eddie Money songs. When I was growing up my father was into Benny Goodman, Rosemary Clooney. He hated rock 'n' roll.
"But these kids now grow up with Cheap Trick and REO Speedwagon and Eddie Money and Styx, the Beatles, so it's really a lot different."
Eddie Money, Bear Lake and Impossible Tuesday perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 25 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $34.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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