Today marks the 40th Anniversary of the first gig of the legendary KISS; Yep, on this day back in January of 1973, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley performed together under this name for a mere handful of people at a place known as the Popcorn Club. This venue would later be renamed to The Coventry which is very familiar to those who know their KISStory. The band wore garish makeup and each of them was a character of their own design with The Demon, The Starchild, The Cat and the Space Ace and it was a shock to the Rock and Roll system of the time when they all appeared together in this manner.
The bands live shows were spectacles to say the least and when you saw one you were left in awe for many weeks afterward. My first KISS album purchase was either “Love Gun” or “Alive II” and while these were later 70’s albums, I had been listening to them since “Rock & Roll All Nite” was played on the airwaves of the AM Radio and I first caught them in concert during the “Dynasty” tour. I remembered wanting to go see the “Love Gun” tour but my request was denied by the parents. You see at this point in history, you just couldn’t easily go if your folks said “no way”. Nowadays this hardly seems to matter. So yeah I’m admitting my vintage just a little bit. At that influential age, the combination of what I was starting to consider to be kick ass music and the outlandish superhero persona, KISS was almost immediately my very favorite band of them all. That being said I raise a glass and a pair of the Metal horns to the band that has entertained me as a music fan the most over the years. I’ve even added in some of the photos that I secured over the last few shows for your enjoyment.
Since the “Dynasty” era, I think that I have seen KISS about 25 times over the years. I know people who have seen them a lot more and even followed some of the tours but for me, once or twice per tour was good enough for me. I needed the money for merchandise after all and you know how much of that stuff there is to purchase.
Over the years KISS has gone through some lineup changes and while it began with Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter; the band found Eric Carr, Mark St. John, Vinnie Vincent and Bruce Kulick among their number. Sadly Eric Carr and Mark St. John are no longer with us, and nowadays KISS features Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer in the makeup originally worn by Peter and Ace respectively. This lineup has released a kick ass new album called “Monster”. Do check it out.
I still want to do my “Artist Focus” on KISS sometime this year but you will have to wait on that since I plan on getting the last of their back catalog releases reviewed on the website first and I still have a few to go. Until then, let’s just give some props where they are due for this incredible anniversary milestone. Congratulations on Forty Years KISS, who needs the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
Official Website: http://www.kissonline.com