Silverdome, Pontiac

By Steve Kostan

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is part two. You can read part one here

(WOMC) — Yesterday I started talking about 1970’s Pontiac Silverdome memories and I really appreciate you adding YOURS to the Comments. It really adds to the fun. Let’s continue with some of my 1980’s highlights.

ROLLING STONES-SANTANA-IGGY-Nov. 30th, Dec its 1981. From the intimate Stones show @ Masonic in 78 to the show at the cavernous Silverdome was quite a leap.  Two shows mega huge. Jim Johnson, Calvert, and I met at the station in pre-dawn darkness and headed out to cover it. JJ staked out the Oakland Pontiac Airport, while the rest of us, including Arthur and Karen,  arrived at the Dome at various times that day. By showtime we along with 300 close close personal friends of Brass Ring Productions and the Detroit music scene were all way up top in the loooong press box area.  I had been playing IGGY’s 5″ foot 1”  and his previous stuff for years. I was hoping this would be his big breakout. Nope. Booed and pelted by the crowd. Although at an Iggy show, that ain’t all bad.  As big a  Stones fan as I am, I have to say SANTANA won the day. His band, and style, was better suited for a vast slightly echoey Silverdome. The Stones really brought it at Masonic, but the sweat gets lost at the Dome. Crazy night right? Now REPEAT!  Two shows was an amazing number of people.

Our next “All Hands on Deck” night came the following year in Sept of 1982 with The WHO, The CLASH, EDDIE MONEY. This was what I call the WHO’s 1st Farewell Tour. Eddie Money used a cain off stage after a severe leg injury hobbled the man with “No Control”.  I remember doing a news feed to ABC from a suite that night while the CLASH was playing.  Right before I was going to start, over the phone, Eddie sat down right next to me.  Thanks man, as if I’m not nervous enough.

BRUCE-Sept. 85. he conquered the world that summer riding the “Born in the USA”  smash album. I had seen him twice at Wembley Stadium outside London in July and he had the art of making a big place small mastered.

U2-April 87-I’ve always felt the best sounding bands in Silverdome were, U2, Pink Floyd, and Santana. They have a spacial quality to their sound that is taylor made for huge airy venues. Heck, U2 made HARPO’s sound like the Dome when they played there early on!

DAVID BOWIE-Glass Spiders tour featured, a meet and greet, “Man is he skinny.” Peter Frampton on guitar and every available stage prop this side of the Atlantic.

PINK FLOYD-Nov. 1987. David Gilmore led another masterful night of Pink Floyd classics as well as the great new stuff from the album, “Momentary Lapse of Reason.” Sounded great.

MONSTERS of ROCK-June 88. The new and heavily talked about KINGDOM COME, (clone?) opened on a  really nice sunny, hot day. We caught them and then headed over to nearby Pontiac Lake for boating, sun, and “show prep.”  Came back for the Scorpions and then I to got grab that mic onstage, over that huge PA,  and rally the crowd for the VAN HALEN climax.

I know there were other shows and events in the 80’s.

My friend Dave Edwards actually played for Pope John Paul II there.

The Pistons beat the Lakers to tie the NBA Final series at 3-3 in June of 88.

Here’s where YOUR memories complete the story. Have fun. I’d love to hear them.


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