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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 footbsall 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.

Get a very cool CAD sticker for your car or guitar. Click here for details.

SPECIAL PROGRAM NOTE -- APRIL 2014: 

"Under The Influence" - on CBC Radio

In the feature segment, it's an amazing story from the book, Nothin' To Lose: The Making Of Kiss (1972-1975). Kiss takes a tour detour in 1975 to spend the day with the students at Cadillac High School in Michigan - and that legendary visit not only shows how much Kiss loved their fans, but it helps put Kiss on the map with music journalists across North America. It's a remarkable story.

Under the Influence airs on Monday April 14th at 11:30am on CBC Radio. Stream the show or download the free podcast here: http://www.cbc.ca/undertheinfluence/season-3/2014/04/12/terrys-bookshelf-1/

 

 You can also relive about the Cadillac/KISS experience through the eyes of the people who were at the event. In a new book, "Nothin' To Lose: the Making of KISS (1972-1975)" by Ken Sharp with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, an entire 22-page chapter is devoted to Cadillac.

 

 Nothin To Lose

The "Cadillac High" Movie

A project is in the works for a movie about the KISS visit to Cadillac. This is by no means a done deal, but here are some details as reported in the media. Included is a column I wrote for the Cadillac News. 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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