KISS – Original Road Manager J.R. SMALLING Passes
June 7, 2020, a year 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.
According to a post from Lydia Criss, the ex-wife of original KISS drummer Peter Criss, Smalling passed away on June 1st, 2020.
"I am in total shock & my heart is broken once again. I am so sad to let you know that I lost another good friend. Today I learned of the passing of JR Smalling. He was one of the original KISS road managers. He passed away June 1st, but we were just notified. JR Rest In Peace. You will be missed by all!!"
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.