So we all know now that on April 4, 1975, KISS performed a legendary concert at the Nordic Ice Arena in Hartland. Our story on the long-forgotten concert has already generated hundreds of Facebook shares and thousands of views.
And now, we’ve uncovered some more great photos and tidbits from the Hartland concert. Starting with this: This is a photo of guitarist Paul Stanley backstage at the Nordic Ice Arena:
There’s a reason why he’s wearing sunglasses instead of the trademark star on his eye. Right before this concert, Stanley developed a bad eye infection that prevented him from putting on any makeup near his eyes. He also wore sunglasses for KISS’ April 6 concert in Washington, D.C.
These two concerts are well-known among members of the KISS Army as the only times Stanley appeared on stage without his full makeup on.
Ah, but there’s more.
There’s also a rumor that following the April 4 concert at the Nordic Ice Arena, Stanley’s eye was bothering him so much that he went to McPherson Hospital in Howell to have it checked out. With all of the rest of his makeup still on. If anyone was working at McPherson Hospital on the night of April 4, 1975, and can verify any of this, we’d love to hear it!
Another one of the opening acts: Rush
Although it wasn’t listed on the concert poster, we’ve heard from several people who attended the show that Rush – the Canadian rock band fronted by Geddy Lee – was one of the opening acts. A check of Rush’s historical tour dates confirms that. So we had TWO legendary bands in Hartland that night.
KISS on stage
Here’s the only photo we’ve been able to find of KISS actually on stage at the Nordic Ice Arena. You can see the rafters!
We also found a story about a music buff from Commerce Township named Frank Pettis who was able to talk his way backstage to meet the band. Here’s a photo he got of himself with Gene Simmons, Stanley and Ace Frehley:
And Flint radio station WHNN also got in on the action when KISS came to Hartland, getting the band to pose for this promo shot:
And lastly, here are photos of Simmons, Frehley and drummer Peter Criss backstage at the show. We’re loving the cinder-block walls from the Nordic Ice Arena: