Vince Gill, the “Nicest Guy in Nashville,” Once Taunted a Crowd of Raging KISS Fans

Country legend Vince Gill is Nashville’s poster child for down-home wholesomeness. It’s a well-earned reputation, as most artists who have worked with Gill will tell you he’s the nicest guy in Nashville. However, even the “nicest guy in Nashville” has his limits. Nearly 50 years ago, a rowdy crowd of metalheads found out the hard way.

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Vince Gill Recalls Opening For KISS

In March 1976, Vince Gill was trying to scrape together a living in music as a member of the Oklahoma City bluegrass outfit Mountain Smoke. So the superstar and his bandmates didn’t ask many questions when a promoter offered them a gig. It wasn’t until they showed up to the venue “with our mandolins and our fiddles” that the band learned they were opening for heavy metal legends KISS.

“I went, ‘Nah, can’t be. That’s just not possible. … We must be doing a Shriner’s convention in the basement or something,'” Gill recalled in a 2019 interview with SiriusXM.

Alas, the bluegrass boys from Oklahoma City were indeed opening for the heavily made-up hard rockers. So Gill and his bandmates steeled themselves and took the stage to face an audience primed for “blood and guts and rock ’n’ roll.”

Predictably, the booing started immediately after the first song. And “not lightly booing,” Gill said, “but angrily, like a bad football game ending.” And the mild-mannered country icon found he “kinda liked it.”

“You know, I enjoyed hearing that many people pissed off,” Gill said.

[RELATED: “You Want Blood Don’t You?” Vince Gill Recalls a Hilarious Exchange He Had With Country Legend Ray Price]

“The More They Got Like That, The More I Was Having Fun”

As the crowd’s fury intensified, so too did Gill’s pleasure. “I said, ‘Well, thank y’all, we appreciate that,'” he said. “We got another one picked out for you; we know you’re gonna like as much as you liked that last one.’”

Eventually, the army of KISS fans started throwing bottles onstage. Gill and his band left the stage before finishing their third song. However, the current Eagles member still had something to say.

“On my departure I hung the bird, bent around and grabbed my a** and said, ‘Y’all can kiss my a**!'” Gill said.

Who knew the quietly humble country star could hold his own in a sea of raging metalheads?

Featured image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

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