The Story Starts Here -- by Jim
In 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
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
I'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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