KISS Tradition Continues at Northern Michigan Music Event

By Ross Boissoneau / My North

The rock band Kiss couldn’t have predicted that their decision to travel to the Northern Michigan town of Cadillac in support of the local high school football team would garner them press and fans around the world. But as Cadillac prepares for the 40th anniversary of that weekend with Northern Michigan music events and more, Kiss front man Paul Stanley took some time to remember why the band came and what they left with.

Paul Stanley isn’t a man given to hyperbole. Well, actually, as the front man for the legendary Kiss, that’s exactly his day job. Yet in a recent phone interview, the singer and songwriter came across as thoughtful and down-to-earth, whether discussing his band’s longtime underdog status, paying homage to the progenitors of soul and r&b with his band Soul Station, or – and most importantly in this area – the band’s connection to the town of Cadillac.

No one could have predicted that Kiss’s visit to the Northern Michigan city in 1975 would become a hallmark of its commitment to its fans throughout the world. Stanley and the rest of the organization remember well how their decision to show up to support a high school football team resonated with the media and fans everywhere.

“This was another example of the incredible community we have,” he said. “It was reflected in a high school football team that turned itself around.”

Ah yes, the football team. The whole thing started with assistant football coach Jim Neff. The longtime rock and roll fan suggested to head coach Dave Brines that the 1974 Vikings football team was wound too tight. His solution was to charge the players up with the records of Kiss, then a relatively unknown hard rock band that was best known for its outrageous makeup and stage show.

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