Vince Gill Recalls Disastrous Experience Opening for KISS
Vince Gill has performed in sold-out venues all over the world, but the 58-year-old learned early on in his career that he can't please everyone.
During his appearance at the kickoff to 2015 Summer NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants), the country legend shared the story of when, in the 1970s, his bluegrass band that was "pretty popular locally in Oklahoma City" was asked to open for KISS.
"We got called at the last minute to do this show that the opening act had canceled ..." Gill recalls. "I saw the marquee, and it said 'KISS.' I thought, 'Oh no. Hell no. We've got to be playing downstairs with the Shriners convention or something. There's no way a bluegrass band can be opening for KISS.
"We got in there, and he says, 'No, I need you to open the show,'" Gill continues with a laugh. "What was beautiful about that was, we had KISS' risers and stacks of amps that were 50 feet high, cages and blood and guts everywhere. We come out there with our little mandolins and fiddles. We looked like tinker toys."
The band gave it their all, but it was clear that they weren't what the audience was looking for.
"We lasted about two songs, and they booed us off stage, throwing beer bottles," Gill says. "It's still today one of my favorite dates ever, to have that many people pissed off."
Gill will undoubtedly keep thousands of fans happy when he performs for the 2015 All for the Hall benefit in New York City on Oct. 6. Proceeds from the event, which also includes Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and Emmylou Harris, go toward the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Tickets are available at the Hall of Fame’s website.
See a Childhood Photo of Vince Gill