Today is a pretty awesome Music Milestone in my book because its the fortieth anniversary of the KISS Army. Those ardent loyalists who support everything that is the band KISS. I’ve snagged some of the official formation stuff from Wikipedia and then noted some of the KISS Army “moments of importance” below and will continue afterward on my own.
The KISS Army History:
In January 1975, Starkey and Evans, two teenage Kiss fans from Terre Haute, Indiana, began contacting local radio station WVTS in an effort to get Kiss music played. After being repeatedly turned down by program director Rich Dickerson, Starkey and Evans began calling WVTS claiming to be “the Kiss Army.” Additionally, they sent letters to the station and signed them, “Bill Starkey–President of the Kiss Army,” and “Jay Evans–Field Marshall.” By July 1975, WVTS had begun to play Kiss records, often referring to the Kiss Army. Some of the letters included threats to blow up the station. Before long, listeners started calling the station asking how they could enlist. Dickerson worked with Starkey and Evans to provide advance promotion for a Kiss concert at the new Hulman Civic-University Center in Terre Haute. Before the show, Kiss publicist Alan Miller contacted Starkey to discuss the Kiss Army. At Miller’s request, Starkey and Evans took phone calls on the air at WVTS to recruit as many members as possible for the Kiss Army. As a result of these efforts, the November 21 show sold out (10,000 seats). During the concert, Starkey was brought on stage and given a plaque by Kiss. Soon after the Terre Haute concert, the Kiss Army became the official fan club of the group.
Continue reading Happy 40th Anniversary To The KISS Army (8/1975-8/2015)
Director: Jim Heneghan
Title: “KISS Loves You”
Label: MVD Visual
Release Date: 11/20/2007
“KISS Loves You” is a film by Jim Heneghan that began back in 1994 when the mighty KISS was no longer considered at the top of their game and the bands popularity in the mainstream was at its lowest. No longer was a mass frenzy surrounding their activities but instead it was left to the hearts and minds of their most ardent fans as some sort of underground legion when it came down to it. By 1994 KISS had long taken off their signature greasepaint and was very well established as a killer Hard Rock band without it to help them along but of course the tide of music changes like the weather and by this time in this decade the Grunge Movement was in full sway. It seemed as without those remaining loyalists and remnants of the once proud KISS Army that no one really seemed to care about KISS anymore. As a lifetime fan I found this film interesting because like many of these loyalists KISS had never really lost much of their appeal to me, and just because something is not shoved down your throat every minute doesn’t mean it has died a quiet death. The film takes you back to these years before the bombastic reunion of the original four members of KISS and follows the lives of those people who loved them very much. It takes you inside the rehearsal rooms and on the stages of some of the bands who believed in KISS so much that they formed tributes to them and as result became rock stars in their own towns and brought the KISS show that was no longer done by legends right to them. We follow the bands Dressed To Kill and Strutter who were actually two groups that seemed to consist of interchanging members at one point in their lives. Given this was 1994, a KISS tribute band was not as commonplace as it is today and while there might be hundreds to choose from now there are only a select few who do it properly. The bands presented during the movie did a great job both visually and musically and were to be commended for some of this early initiative.
Continue reading “KISS Loves You” by Jim Heneghan