KISS Pay Tribute To Original Road Manager J.R. SMALLING - "He Was Fiercely Loyal; His Spirit Is With Us To This Day"
June 7, 2020, a month ago
Back in 2018, it was reported that KISS's original road manager, J.R. Smalling, had been diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer. The outlook for that disease is dire with the average patient surviving anywhere from just six months to four years. Smalling passed away on June 1st, 2020. KISS has issued the following statement:
"We were notified that JR Smalling has passed away after a long battle with cancer. JR was the voice you hear on KISS Alive! and introduced us with the battle cry that still brings us on stage. He was fiercely loyal, proud and did whatever necessary to make sure we could do our full show no matter who stood in the way. His spirit is with us to this day and we celebrate his memory and mourn this loss."
Smalling guided the fledgling KISS from 1974 through their breakthrough with ALIVE! and Destroyer, and is perhaps most remembered for being the man who literally invented perhaps the most famous concert introduction in rock: KISS's famous "You wanted the best..." intro. It is Smalling's voice, in fact, who begins the band's 1975 double-disc Alive!
The BraveWords crew send our condolences to Smalling's family and friends for your loss. Rest in peace, Mr. Smalling.