Kiss The Sky was founded “officially” in 1996, although the idea and thought of owning and operating a record store was born in the late 60’s when Steve and Mike met in high school and began a musical journey that took them here.
Steve was an Army Brat and, therefore, really had very little in the way of roots while Mike spent all of his childhood years growing up in Dolton, Illinois. Nevertheless, although coming from very different backgrounds, they shared a love of music that was unique and quite unusual among their circles of friends. All that knew the two well had thought that they would somehow end up in the music business, in some form or fashion.
So … although the two of them played musical instruments (Steve played accordion and guitar while Mike played the sax), neither one of them seemingly had what it took to be a “professional” musician. Therefore, some other music avenue would need to be explored.
Post college, Mike and Steve became good friends playing park district sports (softball, football and basketball) together and also started attending concerts together at the Auditorium Theater and Aragon Ballroom, among other venues as well. In fact, the first concert that they saw together actually took place at the Kinetic Playground while they were in high school. That show featured each one’s favorite band of all time … The Kinks (Steve) and The Who (Mike).
In order to fund their growing music addiction in terms of building their record collections and attending concerts, seemingly every weekend, Mike and Steve worked as a human resource manager and an accountant respectively. During the 1970’s and 80’s, they developed their careers and were off and running when that midlife crisis thing hit them in the mid 90’s. Steve approached Mike with the idea of starting up a record store, twisted his arm a bit and promised Mike a rose garden if he joined him in his pursuit of musical bliss. Mike bit and the rest is history.
As stated before, Kiss The Sky became a reality in 1996 … in fact, the doors were first opened for business on December 6 of that year, which just happens to be the birthday of Steve’s middle child Mat. Over the years, all three of Steve’s children have worked the store at one time or another as has one of Mike’s two sons … it’s been a Family Affair for sure.
20 years later … three locations … over 500 live in-house performances … more than a million albums placed in the hands of music enthusiasts, and more friends and acquaintances made than would fit in the Albert Hall! Life has been interesting and grand … it’s certainly been a very long strange trip indeed!
Kiss The Sky is located at:
180 First Street
Batavia, Illinois 60510
You can certainly call or get in touch via Facebook or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you like or need to get in touch. Although a personal visit is always preferred, that may not always be possible and is understood.
Here’s a link to a Kiss The Sky virtual tour of the store that will give you and idea of what the store looks like inside … and, being an Army Brat, Steve has failed to sit still with the layout and has rearranged the place a couple of times since the pictures in the virtual tour were taken. Yet, it should give you a decent feel for the space that Kiss The Sky occupies today.