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When KISS Played Fremd High School (With Rush As An Opener)

It was a Saturday night in April 1975 when the Fremd Vikings' booster club got a little more than they bargained for. The boosters had hired KISS to play a fundraiser - see more on that below - and while the boosters were aghast they had also unknowingly contributed to local rock history.

ChicagoArchive just uploaded these photos along with audio from "the kid who took the pics" at a meet-and-greet" and apparently recorded the soundcheck.


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How It Happened:

"[T]he boosters had decided to have a fund raiser . . . They had the students vote on the act that would raise the funds . . . The winner: Kiss. Along with Kiss on the tour was a Canadian band called Rush. These two bands, just a couple of years later would go on to sell out stadiums.

"So Gene Simmons took his blood spewing, make-up wearing, flame shooting, tongue wagging rock show to Fremd High School's gymnasium. It is safe to say that the boosters didn't investigate what was included with the travelling circus . . .

"During the show, the Viking at center court of the gym was set on fire, a security officer had his gun lifted, and the geriatrics hired to watch the kids were left mouths agape as Gene SImmons flicked his footlong tongue in beast-like lust."

The Setlist:

1) Deuce
2) Strutter
3) Got to Choose
4) Hotter Than Hell
5) Firehouse
6) She
7) Ace Frehley Solo
8) Nothin' to Lose

Rush:

Rush was on their Fly By Night tour on which they also opened for Aerosmith and The Tubes.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Jeffrey Schroeder:

I graduated from Fremd in the spring of 1975; missed the Kiss concert but knew something wild happened that Saturday night when during our Monday morning gym class it smelled like we were running inside a giant bong.

2. From Dave Lampson:

I was at this concert. Went with some friends who wanted to see Kiss, and then was blown away by Rush. The pyrotechnics at the concert weren't unexpected: the Fire Marshall was there. There were two columns of flame, one on either side of the stage. I can't speak to the accuracy of other comments in the last paragraph, but the "Viking at center court of the gym was set on fire" is highly doubtful. They put down a covering on the gym floor to protect the hardwood. You can see a picture here.

The only untoward occurrence I know happened before the doors opened. The crowd grew early, and the crush of people at the entrance where we were was enough to actually damage the doors.



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Posted on November 2, 2011


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