The Smiths '80s radio-station takeover: What really happened according to the police report

Categories: Music History


The first letter, dated four days before the incident:

Dear Mom and Al,

What ever I do today is not meant to hurt you. I love you and hold a great deal of respect for you, and if you should be hurt by what I'm going to do I feel very sorry. I feel your biggest question is going to be why, so I'll try and explain.

My views of life and the world are dismal at best. I don't feel right here. I feel as if I'm out of place. My spirit is lost and my body is pollution filled. I always dream about the past, about giving my life for someone else, and about doing things I can never do. It's my only escape. I believe life never ends. When a person dies he is just born again. Therefore people shouldn't let themselves be tied by the codes of the day, and if someone's life is not going well, it would be just as easy to quit and start again. I could write a book of my opinions, but no one would want to read it.

I guess what I'm doing is a protest about life. The world's dying and most don't care, and if they do care there is nothing to do about it because man is the problem. Whoever or whatever made the human race made a big mistake. My views of life are in the "poems" I have written. Some of them show hope, but it quckly dies in others. A lot in the first book have nothing to do with my views.

The second book shows my interest in Morrissey and the first time I planned to do this (this is the second) I think my ideas are mounting somewhat stemmed from Morrissey. There's no doubt his words have changed me and in a way the Smiths and Morrissey are one reason I'm doing this. The third book continues from the second. I want you to know my exact plan.

I have bought a gun for this time. When I tried it the first time I had a fake gun. I'm going to Y108 and I'm going to take control of the station and play all the Smiths and the Morrissey tapes over the air. (As I re-read what I've wrote it sounds crazy to me.) When it's over I'll give myself up. I do not expect to die, but if that happens I won't really mind. I will not hurt anyone else that doesn't try to stop me. I really don't expect to be successful.

At the end most will say I'm insane. I feel I'm sane if everyone else is insane, but I'm insane if they're sane.

Again, I'm sorry for you if I cause you pain. I hope through reading my words you can see why I did this and find a way to forgive me. You're still my mother and father. I hope I'm still your son.

With love and regret,

"Life is hard enough when you belong here"

The second letter, dated on the day of the incident:

Dear Mom and Al,

I am ashamed for any respect you have held for me because I really didn't deserve it. It's true that lies lead to more lies and I have told so many. I have backed out again last Friday. It has happened so many times I think reasons of why outweigh the reasons why not. My only problem is the reasons why not revolve around you two. I hate to disappoint you. I hate to leave you. I hate to hurt you. I can only hope that your pain is weak and short lived. I hope you find a way to understand and forgive. If you can't I'll understand.

I must be crazy because I look around for what purpose I could possibly have in this world and this is the only one I could find. One for whom people could laugh at and wonder where I went wrong.

I could write forever and not tell you all I want. Please read the poems. Please do not blame yourselves because you have been good parents. Please forgive me and don't cry for me.


"There's a light and it never goes out"

I think I feel much better when it's over

Although Kiss was arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree kidnapping and extortion, the Jefferson County District Attorney at the time, Miles Madorin, reviewed the case and declined to pursue charges. "Case not prosecutable because he renounced his purpose prior to committing any act," wrote Madorin in his declination of the case. "Also insufficient evidence of a substantial step taken for any attempt. He never contacted any victim." With that, the incident was put to rest and subsequently forgotten by everyone except perhaps diehard Smiths fans and Morrissey, who referenced the incident in an interview with Details some years later.

Next: Check back tomorrow for more on this story. Over the weekend, we caught up with Fadick and Kiss and talked to both about the incident. Fadick recounted the day's events, while Kiss talked in more detail about what happened and why, how his life took a paradigm shift after this watershed moment, and how the story is ultimately a redemptive one.

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This is getting more entertaining than I possibly could have imagined.  It's not the embellished nonsense that inspired Airheads, but something much more real, tangible.  Can't wait until tomorrow.

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