How well do you know this piece of Michigan history? Or should I say KISStory?

They were one of the biggest and most recognizable bands of their time, but how did 4 rock stars from New York City become so infatuated with Pure Michigan?

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I'm sure you've seen the photos of the members of KISS in their full rock 'n roll regalia standing next to grandmas, students, and football players, but do you know the story of how KISS' infamous visit to Cadillac High School came about in the first place?

Well, because the football coach asked them to!

Dan Arruda via YouTube
Dan Arruda via YouTube
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Coming to Cadillac

Cadillac High School's assistant football coach Jim Neff has an entire website decided to this amazing moment in Cadillac, and rock and roll, history. The story goes as follows:

The CHS football team had experienced a perfect winning season in 1973, but by the next fall the team was struggling. Coaches Jim Neff and Dave Brines decided to play KISS' music before games to get the team riled up and ready to win. It worked!

Of the band Neff says,

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.

Then the unbelievable happened: word got back to the band and KISS adopted the Cadillac Vikings as their team!

Dan Arruda via YouTube
Dan Arruda via YouTube
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Naturally, the band wanted to show support for their team which resulted in the craziest 2 days the city of Cadillac has ever seen. The city sure gave them a rock and roll welcome; as bassist Gene Simmons says,

It was like being on Planet KISS

The entire town including the mayor, football players, students, the police department, and residents all dressed like KISS-- make-up, leather, studs, and all!

Today, a monument stands near the Cadillac High School athletic fields to commemorate their place in rock and roll history. What happened in Cadillac on October 9, 1975 is the stuff rock and roll legends are made of!

In a 2015 interview lead singer Paul Stanley shared,

Do we remember Cadillac? That's not the way to put it. We can't forget you. It's an honor

 

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Gallery Credit: Getty Images- various

 

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