James Campion in the Detroit Free Press

James Campion, author of the book, Shout It Out Loud, was featured in the Detroit Free Press over the weekend, focusing on his quest to solve the mystery behind the classic song, “Detroit Rock City.” Read more about it below!


00141630“Detroit Rock City” has become an anthem around these parts, a hard-rocking, much-loved Kiss classic whose title gave the Motor City another enduring nickname.

And here’s something you probably didn’t know: That 1976 track, a tribute to Kiss’s favorite concert town, seems to have been inspired in part by a tragedy far outside Michigan, for years shrouded in mystery.

Nailing down that vexing detail has become an obsessive, ongoing quest for author James Campion, whose just-published book, “Shout It Out Loud,” chronicles the making of the band’s iconic “Destroyer” album.

At 380 pages, Campion’s book digs in deep, exploring the backstory of an album that many regard as Kiss’s best, with plenty of info about “Detroit Rock City,” the album’s epic lead-off track. (One anecdote from producer Bob Ezrin: The band sang about driving “down 95,” inadvertently substituting the East Coast highway for Detroit’s I-75. Kiss tried to divert attention from the screw-up by changing the printed lyrics to “doin’ 95.”)

As the veteran New York journalist readied his final manuscript earlier this year, he realized there was one crucial factoid he’d not yet tracked down: What was Paul Stanley referring to when he said that “Detroit Rock City” was based on a fatal fan wreck after a Kiss show in the Carolinas?

The obscure tidbit had been mentioned by Stanley in a handful of old interviews, usually with a uncertain reference to a show in Charlotte. The band had gotten word of this fatal wreck, Stanley would say, and wove it into the story line of “Detroit Rock City.”


Read the whole story over at Detroit Free Press!

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About HLPAPG

Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on October 27, 2015, in Music Fans and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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