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Notes from a Western Life
Ranging Far and Wide on the High Plains and Beyond
Linda M. Hasselstrom's Blog

My Brush with Fame: Rock Group KISS

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Each summer, my husband George’s son Michael came to stay with us. Eventually, instead of driving to collect him from North Dakota, we’d fly him to Rapid City.

On this particular occasion in the mid 1980s when he was twelve or fourteen years old, he came off the plane clutching several brightly-colored music tapes (this was before CDs) and a large poster depicting the band KISS.

If you don’t know the band KISS, look it up right now so you can picture the scene. One of the most influential rock and roll bands ever, they are still rocking, and still wearing their trademark black and white full-face makeup.

Mike was practically swooning with delight, and told us that he’d been chatting with the band on the whole trip.

I immediately looked at the other passengers, expecting to see the flamboyantly dressed rockers. I was especially nervous about Gene Simmons, the one who always has a tongue that looks a foot long sticking out from beneath his black-encircled eyes.

What I saw were four middle-aged men, eyes cast down, shuffling nervously, and probably hoping I wouldn’t scream, "It’s KISS!"

Michael introduced them to us; they all nodded and smiled. We thanked them for entertaining Michael and they told us he was a fine boy. "We like to slide into town without any fuss," said one of them apologetically as they mingled with the crowd heading for the baggage carousel.

But they didn’t give us free tickets to their concert that night.

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