The Return of KISS: 40 Years Ago in Duluth Minnesota

Well 40 years ago today I was 11 years old going on 12 and my parents for my soon to be birthday got me the ultimate gift which was seeing KISS in Duluth!

For KISS it was the Return of! For myself, it was the Beginning!

What an experience for a first concert eh Folks?

You have to hand it to my parents back in 1979 who dragged me to church every dang Sunday but my Mom and Dad were smart folks as they didn’t buy into that nonsense that KISS stood for Knights In Satans Service or any of that other silliness that surrounded the 4 masked ones that were plastered all over my bedroom wall’s back in 1979!

(Below is a pic of me posted with my parents back in Oct/79)

Bottom Line was they were very cool with it! A few years down the road (the early 80s) I still remember my Mom coming into my bedroom and asking me if that guy singing that song was an opera singer at one point! That guy that my Mom asked about was Rob Halford and he was doing his operatic vocal thingy at the end of Side 1 of Judas Priests Magnificient Unleashed in the East album. The song was The Green Manalsihi with the Two-Pronged Crown.

Good call Mom!

Speaking of Judas Priest. That night in Duluth they were listed as the openers but 3 dates before Duluth they left the tour and were replaced by Johnny Cougar and the Zone(as they were called) and faced a hostile crowd that night in Minnesota! I wonder why?!*

Before too long KISS took the stage and I still remember the opening as the Gene/Paul/Ace and Peter raised up from underneath the stage and took their spots and launched into King of the Nighttime World!

My 11 year old mind is blown and thanks to the power of the internet here are the songs that KISS played that night.

1.  King Of The Night Time World
2.  Let Me Go, Rock And Roll
3.  Move On
4.  Calling Dr. Love
5.  Firehouse
6.  New York Groove
7.  I Was Made For Lovin’ You
8.  Christine Sixteen
9.  2.000 Man
10.  God Of Thunder
11.  Shout It Out Loud
12.  Black Diamond

13.  Detroit Rock City
14.  Beth
15.  Rock And Roll All Nite

This show basically set the blueprint for me wanting to attend live shows as KISS in their glory was setting off a ton of pyro on a huge stage complete with Guitar and Drum solos delivering all of this at a loud volume!

I’m not even friggin 12 years old and look what lies before my naked steaming eyes!**

Gene and Paul taking their job that night seriously and I betcha counting the cash from the ticket/merch after the show while Ace and Peter were probably polluted by party treats by that point but I didn’t care and I was way too young to even know about that stuff!

It only took one night to be sold in the live atmosphere of a concert.

If there was an Impact Concert to set as a foundation of wanting to attend a live show from there on out  this would have been the one or probably any KISS concert from the 70s if you were lucky enough to attend and are as old as me!

Big Love to my Parents (Don and Vicki) for raising me right and by not judging what my listening habits were as a youth!

$10 for all seats at this show. Now that is something as well.

*- Cougar got booed throughout as I recall and when you think about it how wild is that it’s your first concert and the opener gets ripped by the crowd! What a first impression!

**- I totally nicked that sentence from David Lee Roth. Is anybody surprised by that?



36 thoughts on “The Return of KISS: 40 Years Ago in Duluth Minnesota”

    1. Crazy to think it was 40 years! Frigg I’m old! haha and yet Gene and Paul are still playing arenas and Ace is playing Car Dealership Conventions! haha
      Peter has bowed out.
      About 6 months after this show Criss got the boot and it was never the same.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dang, he’s been out of KISS that long? Have you written anything with your take on the original line up and the current line up?


      2. Yes I wrote about Peter Criss walking away from music about a year ago.
        I have said it in the past that KISS is a great topic to write about. Your either in or out with them.
        Crisis returned to KISS in 96 and lasted til 2003.
        Thanks as always for reading and commenting

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Now that’s awesome about Sloan! I will really be interested in what you think of them live! I’m going to see them on the 16th of this month so you will read my spin on it before you go.
        There headed west after Tbay.


      2. Ok, might not read it so I’m not tainted! LOL. However, if you can get the setlist that would be great
        I know it’s the Navy album but would want to get some spins on anything else they play.


  1. Nice one Deke! You got to see them about 4 years before I finally did. Cool that your parents took you as well. I don’t think my parents ever took me to a show…granted they had 7 kids so it would have been expensive as $10 was a lot back then. Great memories though. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow 7 Kids! Thats a big dinner table you must have had at supper time.
      Actually my parents got me to Duluth of course as they had and still have friends there and there oldest son and his girlfriend took me to the show.
      My Dad said it would have been way too loud for him! haha.
      But yeah a great memory that I can still somewhat retain from that moment. It had an impact on me big time.
      Here I am babbling on about it 40 years later haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Still pretty cool that they went through the trouble.
        And yes, dinner was fun and the table was this huge round table with a “lazy susan” in the middle spinning the food. You grabbed what you could as fast as you could as there usually wasn’t seconds to eat .

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was going to say, $10 for Kiss + Judas Priest, with tickets that you send a self-addressed stamped envelope and Mail order no less, sounded too good to be true!
    Too bad Priest couldn’t make it after all – as your parents in the photo might say DeKe, oopsie doodle!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! I was waiting for the first Simpsons reference!
      Good call as well as noticing the self-addressed envelope and such. Man how times have changed!
      Now everything is one click away!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s cool your parents didn’t believe all that Knights in Satan’s Service crap about KISS. A lot of people did. I didn’t see KISS until 1985 so it’s great you got to see the original line up.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice write up Deke.
    We are on the same page when it comes to the live show. It’s not about hearing the LP songs exactly as they are, it’s about putting on an entertainment show that keeps you talking about it 40 plus years later.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Poor Johnny Cougar. Bet he wishes he turned those dates down… though I imagine he had a nice bag of cash to soften the blow of the boos!

    Anyhoo, I can imagine seeing Kiss would have been an excellent show. Especially for an 11 year old!

    Young SuperDekes: “Can I go see Kiss?”
    Dad: “Okily dokily”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the excitement you had going into it. They were right in the middle of the pop culture at that time…they owned the late seventies. Going to see KISS at that time was more like an event than a concert. I’m glad you caught them with Peter Criss.

    I got to see them on the Psycho Circus tour…I know it wasn’t the same but I felt like I got a second chance to see the event I missed in the 70s with the original members… Great write up Deke

    Liked by 1 person

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