First Official Cadillac KISS Tour This Saturday

Many know them as a makeup-laden, heavy-rock band with a penchant for spectacle. However Jim Neff, Cadillac resident and former Cadillac High School football coach, knows the band KISS a little differently. And this weekend, he’ll join fans for the first official Cadillac KISS Tour.

In 1975, Jim made a plan that would result in what is considered by many to be one of the 10 greatest stories in the history of rock music. His desire for a healthy football season and appreciation for KISS would eventually bring the band itself to Cadillac, Michigan.

On June 18, the free Cadillac KISStory Tour will showcase the sites, narratives, and experiences that encompass the KISS Cadillac connection from 1975 to today. Visitors will also see the only KISS Monument in the world. Over 8 feet tall, 5 feet wide, 5,000 pounds, and laser-etched in midnight black granite, it’s a must-see for every KISS fan.

Read the feature story “When KISS visited Cadillac” originally published in the October 2015 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. 

Coaches Dave Brines (left) and Jim Neff (right) at the KISS Monument in 2015.

Coaches Dave Brines (left) and Jim Neff (right) at the KISS Monument in 2015.

The Cadillac KISStory Tour will begin at 10 a.m. at Cadillac High School where KISS performed. From there, visit Veterans Memorial Stadium where KISS departed Cadillac via helicopter. Plus, for the first time, permanent KISStorical markers will be unveiled at five major sites around Cadillac. At the conclusion of the tour, a fan luncheon will be held at Hermann’s European Cafe in downtown Cadillac. “This will be the first time the public has been invited to experience it as a group,” says Joy VanDrie, executive director of the Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau.

While it’s true there have been impromptu tours in Cadillac visiting the same places KISS once did, this is the first official tour and luncheon for fans. “It’s a great way for KISS fans to casually meet each other,” Joy says.

Last year, Cadillac celebrated its 40th KISS anniversary, and the party shows no signs of slowing down. Public interest in the unforgettable event has been continually growing. “Jim Neff and several alumni from that moment are good friends. They keep in touch, relive the experience, go to KISS concerts, talk to McGhee Entertainment, and filter media conversations about 1975, the monument, and the potential movie quite often,” Joy says.

With the help of Jim and countless KISS fans throughout Michigan and nationwide, the saga is able to continue and embed Cadillac in the minds of KISS fans all over the world. The story of the monument unveiling even reached Chinese media, solidifying KISS’ impact worldwide. Go back to where it all started, in the City of Cadillac, on a journey to the night that changed a city and one of its favorite bands forever.

There is no charge for the Cadillac KISS Tour, though donations are appreciated. The proceeds will go to the KISS monument fund. For updates and tour information, go to kisscadillac.com.


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