Custodian David Farris dressing in full KISS attire and performing the band’s music on his guitar is the students’ favorite part of the annual Lafayette High School’s Beta Club battle of the bands, Principal Bryne Jacobs said.
When the Lexington school staff recently collected money to buy Farris and his family tickets to the KISS farewell tour in Louisville in March, Farris shared with the faculty why he is more than just an average fan.
“His story is awesome,” Jacobs said.
It began one day in 1979 when Farris was 9 years old and he heard that his favorite band KISS was coming to Lexington.
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“I have always been the biggest KISS fan, and I got a call from my buddy down the road who had been to a previous KISS concert two years earlier. He was going to share his experience of the previous concert, and in my excitement, I hopped on my three-speed bike,” Farris wrote in an email to his co-workers.
At the end of his driveway, Farris said he “collided with another neighbor’s car. I hit the windshield and bounced off the hood.”
The accident put him in St. Joseph Hospital where he was treated for multiple injuries including a brain stem bruise, broken ribs, and he was in a coma for two months.
“The doctors told my mom I wouldn’t survive, and if I did, I would be a ‘vegetable.‘ She had faith and prayed for me,” he wrote.
“On her birthday, August 1, I left St. Joseph Hospital and went to Cardinal Hill ( rehabilitation hospital). On my first weekend visit home, in a wheelchair from my injuries, my first words were ‘I will walk.’ Two months later, I walked out of Cardinal Hill – with a limp and a few spasms but determined.”
Sixteen years later he graduated from Campbellsville College with an art major and music minor. After a series of part-time retail jobs, he applied to Fayette County schools and 24 years later, he’s still here, he wrote.
Now, 40 years later, he’ll get to go see KISS on its final tour. “Thank you for causing this realization of a lifelong dream,” Farris told the staff.
In an interview Tuesday, Farris said the staff raised $700 so he could take six members of his family to the concert including two grandsons, a stepson and a nephew who also are all fans of KISS.
“I always wanted to see them and never got the chance,” Farris said in the interview. “The point of the whole story, my story, is that if you keep struggling, you can overcome anything.”