I had never heard this particularly piece of KISStory, but it’s such a teenage fantasy come true that I hope there were at least a few members of the Kiss Army there to extra appreciate it.
Assistant Coach of the Cadillac High School Vikings Jim Neff tells the story:
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 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.
Even as an ex-marching band kid, I can appreciate the beauty of this rock/jock marriage. If you click here, you can flip thru a 1975 issue of Lisa and Richard Robinson’s Rock Scene magazine that tells the entire story in detail with a lot of photos.