The KISS Homecoming


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The Story of the 1975 KISS Visit to Cadillac, Michigan

 

In October of 1975, Cadillac High School in Cadillac, Michigan made Rock 'n' Roll history when KISS played at their homecoming. Here is the full story about that visit presented by Jim Neff, the person who made it all happen. All those rumors you've heard about what took place are answered here. Included are never-seen photos, original documents, news articles, videos, and commentary..

 

The Story Starts Here -- by Jim Neff

KISS AutographedIn 1973 the Cadillac High School Vikings football team finished undefeated with a perfect 9-0 record. Spirits were soaring as the 1974 season began, but the Vikings lost the first two games of the season. We coaches knew that the team was talented, but we also knew that the pressure of living up to the accomplishments of the previous year were causing the team to play below their abilities. We were looking for something to lighten the atmosphere and playing Rock and Roll in the locker room before practices and games was suggested. As the resident Rock and Roll expert, head coach Dave Brines gave me the task of picking the music. I chose a new and outrageous band -- KISS. They were wild, bold, and loud. Plus, their name invoked an old football credo -- Keep It Simple Stupid. It was a match that was meant to be. The 1974 team won its final seven games with KISS as an inspiration. The band heard about what we were doing and instantly adopted the Vikings as their team. Then in October of 1975 the unbelievable happened, KISS came to Cadillac High School and played a homecoming concert in the high school gym. It's an event that has become a cornerstone of KISStory and a legendary event in Rock and Roll. The story has persevered throughout the years. This website presents photos, documents, videos, articles, unique features, and current news about the KISS visit.

 

 

KISS Logo

(April 10, 2015 – Cadillac, MI) – On October 9-10, 2015, Cadillac will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the KISS Homecoming at Cadillac High School. The legendary rock band KISS visited the small town of Cadillac in 1975 to connect with their football team and perform a concert in the gym, a story that has become iconic in Rock and Roll history.

This year's homecoming coincides with the 120th Anniversary of Cadillac Viking football, so special festivities are being planned. The weekend will include: The homecoming football game, KISS-themed additions to the homecoming parade, a re-creation of the concert in the gym (featuring the World's Best KISS Tribute Band – Mr. Speed), the unveiling of a permanent KISS monument, walking tours of KISStorical markers at significant spots around town, promotions by local businesses, and much more.

Joy Vandrie, Director of the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau, expects the weekend will have great appeal to KISS fans. “This event will garner world wide attention and not only attract many visitors to Cadillac for this unique weekend, but also establish Cadillac as a permanent KISS tourism destination.”

The KISS Cadillac Homecoming is a collaborative event with Cadillac Area Festival & Events, Cadillac Area Public Schools, the Cadillac Viking Athletic Boosters, and the Cadillac Band Boosters. All NET proceeds from the event will benefit the two booster clubs.

A committee of local citizens and many volunteers are working hard to make this event a success. Committee member Jim Neff, the person responsible for bringing KISS to Cadillac in 1975, adds: “We have the total backing of KISS and their management at McGhee Entertainment. The goal for everyone involved is to do something positive for the City of Cadillac and the students at Cadillac High School.”

A schedule of events and ticket information for the KISS tribute concert featuring Mr. Speed will be announced soon.

There are sponsorship opportunities and ways for KISS fans to donate to the monument fund. Every donation is important, big or small, so this is a chance for everyone to become a significant part of KISStory. Click here for a monument donation guide. Click here for sponsorship opportunities.

Continuing information updates will be on the event website at www.kisscadillac.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kisscadillac, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kisscadillac, in the Cadillac News in print and on www.cadillacnews.com, and on www.neffzone.com/kiss. Event details and information about visiting Cadillac will be on the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau website at www.cadillacmichigan.com.

The "Cadillac High" Movie

A project is in the works for a movie about the KISS visit to Cadillac.  Stay tuned for more details as they come available.

 

My Picture With KISS 

Jim with KISSI've done hundreds of newspaper, television, and radio interviews about the KISS visit to Cadillac. Plus, I've retold the story to thousands of KISS fans in personal meetings, phone calls, and e-mails. One of the most asked questions has always been, "May I have a picture of you and the band?" Sadly, I've never been able to fill those requests because, as odd as this sounds, no such photo exists. With all that went on in 1975 getting my picture taken with KISS was overlooked. In the 35 years since, the opportunity just never presented itself. On September 11, 2010 KISS was at DTE Energy Theater outside of Detroit. Through the kind efforts of McGhee Entertainment the Michigan-based members of my family were all treated to the concert, all-access passes, and pictures with the band. Upon seeing me Paul exclaimed: "Jim, you look exactly the same. You haven't changed at all." When I attempted to reintroduce myself to Gene he stopped me immediately. "I know who you are, " he said. About Cadillac he added, "That's become a wonderful story, hasn't it." The occasion was also my 7 year-old grand daughter's first KISS concert. Paul called her "Sweetie" and Gene gave her a fist bump and told her she had a nice smile. It was a wonderful evening, reinforcing that KISS has never forgotten Cadillac. Thanks to the entire band and Melissa Madden at McGhee, I now have my picture. -- Jim Neff --

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