My first KISS
gappvembe on 02/06/2008
So I became a KISS fan around 96-97 when super-popular again. I couldn’t avoid them, they were everywhere. But being young, broke and green to the whole concert going thing, I missed out on the reunion tour. When KISS released Psycho-Circus, I was excited about getting the album; it didn’t really dawn on me to go see them. Detroit Rock City came out, and I thought it was great; KISS was everywhere and wasn’t going away. I had what seemed and endless supply of CDs to collect, merchandise was always stocked at Spencer’s, and KISS was still on the TV often.
Then it happened they announced that they were hanging up the boots. That the next tour would be their last. So I was floored, I had to see KISS, before they retired. Big problem, I had no money. I had just been weeded out of my hours at Taco Bell. So I did the only thing I could think of, get a coffee can, put a collage of KISS all over it and get donations for me to see KISS from kids at school. When the first leg of the tour was announced, there was no Chicago, Detroit shows; the closest one was Louisville, KY. So that was the place I set my sites on. I must have had a 3 or 4 months to collect cash. I ended collecting $400 in change, which covered the cost of 4 tickets (my cousin Jason, & for my friends Ben & Jeff), food, gas, and the hotel room. I was very well known in school and one thing people did know about me, is that I liked KISS.
So the day comes and we head out late one Friday evening around 7 (the show was the next day April 29) after Ben gets out of work. Well Ben doesn’t trust my blue 1987 Pontiac Sunfie (which I had deemed my Crazy Nights mobile [year and color!]), and Ben just bought this little stick shift brown escort (which Jeff had deemed the shit burger) two weeks prior. Well we all wouldn’t fit with our stuff in Ben’s car, so we ended up taking two cars. It was supposed to be a 5 ˝ hour trip, but then things went awry.
The first of our mishaps was my driving. I was following Ben’s vehicle and I radio to him (yeah we brought walkie-talkies) to them “Fuck guys rain”, something I hadn’t accounted for. They laughed because it was from Ben’s windshield wiper solution, but the real problem was, me practically cutting people off when I changed lanes. I’ll admit that it’s true, but also will contest Ben did it when his little bitch of a car could make it with no problem. Anyway I cut someone off and we get to a light. It went in the order of Ben’s car, mine and then the pissed off driver. Oh was that guy pissed. He was screaming yelling out his window. I just glared forward. I said, “Lock your door” as my hands were quickly off the wheel, locking the door and firmly back on. Jeff radios “Norm that guy is pissed”, I yell out “shut up Jeff”, but not in the walkie-talkie, just out loud. After the light the guy speeds by screaming giving the finger, I think it will all go away if I just ignore it, and in this case it did.
The second break in our adventure was at a rest stop. We all get out to use the bathroom and stretch our legs. As we head back to get ready to leave, Ben is like “uh-oh, where are my keys”. He looks all over in the bathroom, on the ground, and eventually in their resting place… HIS IGNITION! So panic ensued. We asked the grounds keeper, who looked like he was a member of ZZ Top with his long ass beard for a phone book so we could call a locksmith or tow truck. He offers us a coat hanger so we can try and get the door unlocked. It fails. We ended up looking up numbers for a locksmith, but couldn’t get a hold of anyone. So Ben start’s fiddling with the trunk lock. Somehow that bastard picked the lock with some paper clips he had attached to his gay ass bucket hat. Also was stroke of luck that his back seats folded down. As Ben says he’s got them and Jeff decides to give Ben some hard learning, he closes the trunk repetitively on his dangling legs. All we could hear was Ben screaming “owe, shit, fuck; ok I’ve learned my lesson”. Ah, good times.
Unfortunately the worst was yet to come. Finally were back on the road after loosing about an hour of time. So to make up that time, we were going a little faster than the signs permitted. Jeff would radio to us, “how fast are we going” (since the shit burger didn’t have dash lights). We were going 85 mph. Well it wasn’t longer than 45 minutes from our last stop that final stop that it happened… deer. There was a heard of them. I think we caught the tail end of them. There was a car to Ben’s left so he didn’t see them, but since I was behind him I did. Jason radios “Deeee…. Never mind”. I saw the deer get clipped by the passenger front corner of the car next to Ben\'s and then Ben’s totally slammed into it. Jeff said it was the funniest thing, Ben getting hit with an air bag and all he could see were Ben’s arms flailing about. At the same Jeff’s head smacked against the dash board because he was messing with the radio. My vision got blurred by a shower of hair and blood, but I didn’t hit a deer. I braked so fast and yelled “Shit!” so loud. Ben’s car of two weeks was totaled. After everyone was found out ok, Ben called his mom and then the police. Luckily he had his mom’s late 90’s brick of a cell phone. While we waited for them to show up, Ben and I walked back to the deer to see what kind of damage was in. The deer was split open with its guts out everywhere. All I knew was that I was furious. If the deer wasn’t dead, I would have killed it. I yelled “You will not stop me from seeing KISS… Bitch!” As we walked back I kicked Ben’s defunct tail light out. Really this is the only time I lost my cool. So Ben decides to set up some road flairs. He tries lighting it and lighting it. First we all have to yell at him because he was right next to dripping fluids from his car. Then after it didn’t light, I was pissed; I tried and out of frustration threw it into a field. Ben was like what if “lights and then catches the field on fire”. I didn’t care. Finally the cop shows up, wants to see our ids, asks us what we’re doing. We tell him to going to see KISS, he said “you guys are too young to like KISS”, and trust me I’ve heard that often. So he asks us if we are drinking, which I was a little surprised he didn’t as to see my carton of orange juice, since I was drinking straight from it (it’s my favorite drink). Then he went and looked at the car. He said it was the worst car-deer accident he had ever seen. He called a tow truck and we got what we needed from Ben’s car and put it into mine. Surprisingly it was never asked how fast we were going.
It was actually pretty quiet the rest of the way there, about an hour or so, minus Ben telling me I was over the white line on the right. I guess I liked the outer edge. Anyway, it was the last instance he mentioned it, because he says “why are we over the line again” I say, “Because you’re fat”. It was a moment of laughter in our adventuress night. We made it finally to the hotel, probably like 3 am, a couple of hours later than expected.
The concert was amazing. I could feel the heat every time they would say “fire” during “Heaven’s On Fire”. We were actually next to some characters, two stoners. One eventually passed out and the other kept asking Ben for a light. The trip home wasn’t very noteworthy (thankfully). But, at least for me, was totally worth it. It’s too bad Detroit Rock City was already made, because they could have used our story as a script. Regardless, that movie is hits close to home.