Alive! was the breakthrough album for KISS in 1975. It was recorded from concerts in Detroit, Cleveland, New Jersey and Iowa.

Recently, The Kiss Experience page on Facebook posted a photo of these two KISS fans 30+ years later. The KISS fans in the infamous rock photo are Bruce Redoute and Lee Neaves.

kiss experienceAlive! photographer Fin Costello set the record straight on the album’s back cover photo, in a 2005 issue of  KISS Collector magazine:

“The shot is taken at Cobo — on the contact sheets I have other shots of the kids and some taken from the top of the hall looking down on the stage. I saw the two kids with the banner and asked them down to the front to get a shot with the big crowd behind them so that we could show how big a draw the band were by then. It was intended for press and magazines but was used on the cover. Remember, this was before the KISS Army was launched and there were not many KISS t-shirt’s about then. Incidentally, sitting on the right of the two kids with the banner are Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and his brother Richard who were then at one of their first gigs.”

Note: from a bit of digging on the internet and different KISS fansites, Chad Smith doesn’t appear in the original back cover photo. But the Chili Pepper’s drummer is seen in another photo outtake from the same concert. Smith is the guy to the right of the banner sitting down in the 16th row.

Do you recognize Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers in this photo?

Chad Smith talked to Modern Drummer in 2011 about his memory of the concert photo:

“Kiss came to Cobo Hall on May 16, 1975, and this was back when you had to write in to the Cobo Hall box office for tickets. Your mom gives you a check and you send it in. So Brad tells me that this friend of ours, Jackie Davidson, who used to go to every show—when he saw that Eric Clapton was coming he wrote this little note with his ticket request: “Please, I would like tenth row, on the aisle.” “Yeah, really? Okay, it’s worth a try.” So I write, “Dear ticket lady, Kiss is my favorite band. Please, if it’s possible, can I have four seats, tenth row, on the aisle?” Two weeks later—twelfth row, on the aisle! How awesome is that?! This was like two months before they were coming, and it felt like an eternity. My mom was like, “Okay, but you have to be really good.” I had to try not to get grounded for two weeks. So we go to the famous Cobo Hall. And if you look at the back of the Kiss Alive album, there’s these two kids holding a homemade Kiss poster. And me and Brad and Brian and Jackie Davidson were all sitting in the twelfth row, and in the sixteenth row we see Fin Costello taking pictures of those kids. We watched the whole thing. So the album comes out, and that’s the back cover. I’m like, “I was there!” My friends are like, “B.S.!” “No, I swear!” And since then I’ve had people write to me, “I heard you were in the (original) picture at Cobo Hall,” and I’m like, “No, no, I wasn’t in the picture—but I saw it happening….”


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