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I left my daughter backstage with KISS.

Jill Cataldo

KISS fan, syndicated newspaper columnist, KISS fan, workshop instructor, KISS fan, mother of three, KISS fan, coupon queen, KISS fan.

On Saturday night, I did something that would have been unthinkable during the 1970s. I took my 13-year-old daughter backstage after the KISS concert... and I left her there for three hours.

Before you react and think I'm a horrible parent, relax. Gene Simmons had already left the building.

After KISS's amazing Minneapolis concert, with two very tired preschoolers in tow, parental duties had to come ahead of my inner desires to hang out backstage post-show. (Ahh, the sacrifices we make as parents!) My husband took our youngest (fully asleep for the night in his arms) out of the arena, and I headed backstage with our 4-year-old son and our 13-year-old daughter.

Neither of the kids had been backstage before. My 4-year-old notified me before the show, very matter-of-factly, that he would NOT be going backstage if KISS was wearing their makeup (of course, dashing any dreams I had of him taking a photo with the band where he wasn't in hysterics.) Looking at the clock, I told him it was highly unlikely KISS was still made up, and as we arrived, Eric and Paul had already showered and were back in street clothes. At that point, he was very happy to tell Eric what a great show it was and gush to anyone who would listen about how much he loves KISS. (God forbid they put their makeup back on though!)

Our 13-year-old had never been backstage and enjoyed that after-show experience, and so upon making sure she was safe and would be hanging with friends who work for the band, and reminding her to leave her cellphone on, I left.

That's right. I left my 13 year old backstage with 3/4 of KISS.

My husband and I took our two very tired KISS kiddos back to the hotel, where they immediately crashed in bed. My husband was tired too, and he fell asleep shortly after. Now, my inner KISS fan said "go back to the arena... everyone's still there..." but the mom in me knew that would probably be received as very uncool by one teenage girl who was probably enjoying the time of her life.

So I stayed. I took a shower, did some work on the laptop and waited for her to check in.

Around midnight, I got a phonecall from one of the friends I'd left her in the care of. He said "Do you want to know what your daughter is doing right now?"

I said "I'd love to know, though I trust her and I trust you..."

He said "She's eating Tommy Thayer's birthday cake."

You see, Saturday night was KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer's birthday, and after the show, the band had a small party for Tommy, complete with a Spaceman-makeup themed birthday cake. And our daughter was happily hanging with the band, eating birthday cake and chatting about everything from school musicals to boyfriends! She was having a grand old time.

I smiled as I hung up the phone. She would never forget this night.

And a while later, my friends called again to say they were heading back to the hotel, and could I find a pizza place that would deliver pizza in the middle of the night? They were hungry!

Jumping on it, I called around and had a couple of pizzas and Cokes sent to the room. And when everyone returned to the hotel, in walked our beautiful daughter, with a piece of Tommy's birthday cake in her hand.

She chattered away about the wonderful experiences she had that night. She's a big drama enthusiast and enjoys acting and musicals, and evidently she and Eric sat and discussed amateur theater productions..! Eric mentioned he had performed in "Oliver" in elementary school and that he'd also been an orchestra percussionist for "The Sound of Music." (Eric, you were already her favorite drummer, but this stuff scored huge points with her!)

She was also thrilled that Paul remembered her from the art gallery show we helped out with a couple months ago. As for the birthday boy? She'd already been holding a "Happy Birthday Tommy!" sign up during the entire show prior to this, and she loved being able to wish Tommy the same in person.

I have always found KISS to be incredibly gracious with their fans, but on this night, this particular fan received an experience of a lifetime. I can't say enough about the KISS's incredible crew too, many of whom she enjoyed great conversations with as well.


Back at the hotel, as our group of friends continued to eat pizza and listen to my daughter continue reveling in her escapades, one of my friends who had accompanied her said to me, "Guess how many times someone backstage asked her where her mother was."


Not once.


Special thanks to Keith Leroux and KISSonline for taking these photos!



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