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Dave Kiss And Tells

Updated on October 14, 2013

Why I Joined The KISS Army

In the summer of 1976, I was watching one of the three channels we received on our television. A commercial came on talking about the Hottest Band in the World appearing in Louisville, Kentucky. The music was loud and hard, four men wearing black and white make-up and leather costumes moving about on a stage. They were breathing fire, and vomiting blood. This was my introduction to the now legendary rock band KISS.

(Don't get excited that is not Gene in the photo. It is me and a friend of mine who performs in a Tribute band)

KISS Self-Titled Album
KISS Self-Titled Album

KISS Albums Was The Start

From that moment on I was attracted to everything that had to do with this foursome. I urged my Mother to buy me their albums that were mostly adorned with images of the kabuki-style painted faces of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss.

She bought me that first self-titled album, Kiss. I think I wore it out memorizing every word of every song. The collection grew over the years and today I have all of their released albums including the most recent compilation, Monster.

KISS CD and MP3

I used to just buy the vinyl albums now you can get the CD and an MP3 download without leaving the house.

Monster
Monster

I just received this as a gift from my sister and it rocks just like the first three albums below.

 
Kiss (Remastered)
Kiss (Remastered)

The debut album that started it all for me.

 
Hotter Than Hell (Remastered Version)
Hotter Than Hell (Remastered Version)

This was the follow up to the first album that showed the world how raw and hard their music is. For example, Parasite and Watchin You are the two jams on this record.

 
Dressed To Kill (Remastered)
Dressed To Kill (Remastered)

One of the best cover designs I have ever seen and includes everyone's favorite rock anthem, Rock and Roll all nite.

 
Join The KISS Army
Join The KISS Army

The KISS Army

But I didn't stop with the music I became a card carrying member of the KISS Army. The photo to the right is a form that was inserted into every album sleeve urging you to be a part of the Army of followers that Kiss was amassing.

Kiss was one of the pioneers of merchandising their brand from concert t-shirts, lunch boxes, am/fm radios, and even 12" action figures which now sell for a pretty penny if you can find them in original condition and in the box.

Image Source: fanpop

The Original 1977 KISS Action Figures

I had these when I was a kid and wouldn't you know it, Mom sold them on a yard sale.

Kiss Concert Poster
Kiss Concert Poster

You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best

Every show opens with that bold statement

In the beginning as a child I fell in love with the magic and mystery of these guys who never appeared out of make-up leaving everyone wondering who they really were. This mystery led to controversy in the meaning of their music but also the letters in their name. By the way, at one time was thought to be an acronym for Knights In Satan's Service. After several interviews by the band and later on getting to know their real meaning they quickly laughed this allegation off to ignorance.

But the real magic was found in their live concerts. Kiss played as the opening band to a lot of famous acts and always blew them off the stage with their pyrotechnics, energy, massive stacks of Marshall Amplifiers, and sheer pageantry of presenting the best rock and roll show that you have ever seen in your life. Many of these headlining acts later on found themselves opening for Kiss in stadiums and arenas around the globe.

Image source: Kiss Concert Poster

The Live Show is not one to miss

I saw them for the twenty-something time in August 2012 here in Louisville. Although not the original line up like the 1976 introduction I had they still perform with the passion to deliver the best show possible. If you have never had the chance to see them live; you must check out these live DVDs of their shows over the last forty years. Yes forty years.

Gene Simmons Blood Solo

This is from way back in 1975 when they were delivering what people wanted to see in a rock show. This was the band's reputation maker and he still performs this today in his sixties.

Gene Simmons Breathes Fire

At the end of the song Firehouse, Gene spits a flame into the air amidst sirens and spinning red lights.

Ace's Smoking Solo

Towards a lengthy rendition of the song Shock Me Ace segues into a five minute solo and finishes clean in this short clip. From the costume he's wearing it looks like this is from the 1980 Dynasty album tour. (I know, I am a dork for knowing that detail.)

Ace Guitar Solo Fireworks

Ace added this little bonus in the 96 reunion tour era. Another element of the greatest rock show you'll ever see.

KISSOLOGY - The Complete Concerts

These is the official video of the live shows. I can't tell you how many hundreds of dollars I have spent on low quality VHS bootlegs and now they are all garbage. But I will always have my Kissology sets.

This is all you need to get the real live concert experience that this band meant for you to blow your hair back.

Me at 40
Me at 40

Now That I'm All Grown Up

Today I am in my forties and I still listen to the music when I have a chance but from the last four decades I actually learned a lot from this band. You see I mentioned their pioneer status in rock band merchandising and this is what has made these men millions. Everyone knows that there is not that much money to be made for the band themselves selling records. The money is in the touring, merchandising, and licensing.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, the two founding members have taken this wealth making machine to new heights as I have learned reading Gene's biographies. He talks about coming to America from Israel with nothing, absolutely nothing and amassing wealth in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Kiss Kasket
Kiss Kasket

Kiss and Money

Gene's business now is getting a dollar for everything he can slap a KISS logo on. There are Kiss Kaskets, Kiss Condoms, even a Kiss Coffeehouse in Myrtle Beach, SC. (Which I visited last summer)

Paul has parlayed his passion as an artist to the canvas and Broadway. He produces his style of fine art oil paintings and has appeared on New York's Broadway stage as the Phantom of the Opera.

Rock and Roll All Nite

And Party Every Day

Most people think of KISS as a band with cheesy songs about girls and sexual innuendos. Well that is true but I was able to find so much more inspiration in the presentation of their product, and the entrepreneurship they continue to display to this day.

Their drive to be the best and wealthiest at all of their endeavors speaks volumes that anyone can do anything even if they have nothing to start with. And that is what keeps me Rockin and Rollin all nite.

Its rare to find another person with the sentimental value that this band has given me over the years. Let me know what you thought or currently think of KISS.

Or

Let me know what you think of this lens

Do You Have Any Memorable Moments In KISSTORY?

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    • thegrayrabbit profile image
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      thegrayrabbit 4 years ago

      @Elsie Hagley: Thank you so much for your kind words, blessing, and likes.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Very good lens. Great details of a band you enjoyed in the 1970's. I cannot recall the name Kiss, but maybe it wasn't so popular in New Zealand. Looking forward to more of your lens as a Rocket Squid Greeter. Blessed.

    • thegrayrabbit profile image
      Author

      thegrayrabbit 4 years ago

      @sockii: Thank you so much. I can't believe I didn't think of that when I built this. I'm not deleting the comment someone may stumble on this and help them with their lens making. Thanks again

    • thegrayrabbit profile image
      Author

      thegrayrabbit 4 years ago

      @sockii: True, now I guess I'm looking beyond the music and into the journey and sacrifices that these guys took along the way to become successes in their lives. It is an inspiration if you like them or not.

    • thegrayrabbit profile image
      Author

      thegrayrabbit 4 years ago

      @artbyrodriguez: Now that you know something about the band your life is complete. Ha Ha. Thank you for visiting and the kind words.

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 4 years ago from New Jersey

      One RocketSquid tip - feel free to delete after reading! - I think this lens would do great with a few YouTube clips of KISS in action, just to illustrate the madness of their live shows.

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Very cool. As someone who has several bands I am a lifelong fan of, I know how much music can inspire and motivate us during our lifetimes!

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 4 years ago from Albany New York

      Now I know some facts about Kiss, very interesting. Love your enthusism for your subject.

    • thegrayrabbit profile image
      Author

      thegrayrabbit 4 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: You're never too old to Rock N Roll!!! Thanks for stopping by my lens

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      You certainly qualify as a true KISS fan! Fun lens, even for someone who was never a fan (maybe I'm just too old). Nice job!

    • thegrayrabbit profile image
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      thegrayrabbit 4 years ago

      @flycatcherrr: thanks

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      @thegrayrabbit: Ah, much better! :-)

    • thegrayrabbit profile image
      Author

      thegrayrabbit 4 years ago

      @flycatcherrr: Thanks for the kindred spirit and the tip on the comment section. Doing it right now.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      I'm with you - fell for KISS's showmanship and music, and in later years came to appreciate Gene Simmons as a remarkable businessman, too. Didn't know about Paul Stanley's art, so I've learned something here today - thanks!

      p.s. Would you consider moving this comments section down near the bottom of the page? Because of blogs, we're so used to finding the comments at the end, it's easy to miss out on the cool stuff that comes afterwards. And it would be just a crying shame for anyone to miss out on seeing that great pic of you in KISS makeup! :-)

    • thegrayrabbit profile image
      Author

      thegrayrabbit 4 years ago

      @Katyusha: Thank you for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed the lens

    • Katyusha profile image

      Katyusha 4 years ago

      I can see you have had a pretty good time when I wasn`t even born yet. I know, in that time everybody listened to kiss, even my older friends. 10 years older. In my days there was a lot of grunge and of course Michael Jackson and Madonna. I like the Kiss. As much as I have listened to their music, it seemed o.k. I love it when the music brings back some great memories. I love your lens. Good and nostalgic lens. :) Happy new year!