I am reaching out on behalf of my family in regard to the renaming of “Pine Knob Music Theatre.”
We are so thrilled to hear Pine Knob is going back to its original namesake. My husband Joe Locricchio and I have been residents of Clarkston for 28 years. We have raised our family in our beloved Clarkston community and are proud to call it home.
My father-in-law Joe Locricchio, along with his partner Gary Francell, bought what was Pine Knob, at the time only a small ski hill and a lot of vacant land, in 1969.
Joe Locricchio designed and began building the Pine Knob Music Theatre in 1971 and completed the theatre in 1972 for the summer grand opening show.
He was a young man (30 years old when he built the theater) with great vision and foresight and made it come to life in the various aspects of Pine Knob, most notably the music theatre. He and Gary were the owners of the theatre with the Nederlanders as tenants. They did not become the owners until 1985.
The reason I’m writing to you today is regarding the Detroit Free Press article that was released last Friday. As you can imagine, our family is heartbroken to see that they never mentioned my father-in-law. He was the reason Pine Knob exists and is still one of, if not the most successful outdoor amphitheaters in the country.
I had on many occasions thought to reach out to you to see if you would be interested in running a story on the origin of Pine Knob. We have preserved photos on a disc from 1971 that documents the building progression of the theatre to opening.
I had heard they were considering changing Pine Knob back to its namesake and hoped you may consider running an article on the origin of the theatre.
Please don’t misunderstand my reasons for contacting you. We’re not seeking recognition or acknowledgement, however, my father- in- law certainly deserves his due.
PHOTO: Joe Locricchio, Gary Francell, and Don Chamberlain look over the Pine Knob site plans prior to the venue being built and opening in 1972. Photo provided