Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Origin: New York City
Genres: heavy metal, hard rock
Years active: 1973-present

Paul Stanley
Gene Simmons
Tommy Thayer
Eric Singer
Past Members
Ace Frehley
Peter Criss
Eric Carr
Vinnie Vincent
Mark St. John
Bruce Kulick

-American rock band formed in 1973 in New York City
-Well known for it's members face paint and stage outfits, they rose to prominence in the mid to late 1970s on the basis of their live performances, which featured blood spitting, fire breathing, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, pyrotechnics.
-The 1973-1980 lineup was Paul Stanley(vocals, rhythm guitar), Ace Frehley(lead guitar), Gene Simmons(vocals, bass guitar), Peter Criss(drums)
-With their makeup and costumes, they took on the personas of comic book characters. Starchild(Stanley), The Demon(Simmons), Space Ace or Spaceman(Frehley), Catman(Criss)
-Stanley got the name 'Starchild' because he was referred to as the "starry eyed lover" and "hopeless romantic", The "Demon" reflected Simmons cynical attitude and dark sense of humor, as well as a love of comic books, Frehley's "Spaceman" was a reflection of his fondness for sci-fi, Criss' "Catman" was in his belief that he had 9 lives because of his rough childhood in Brooklyn. By 1982, Criss and Frehley were cut from the band.
-Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer have replaced the 2.

-KISS traces its roots to Wicked Lester, a band started by founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. In 1972, they abandoned this idea and began forming a new band. In late 1972, Simmons and Stanley came across an ad in the the East Coast version of Rolling Stone placed by Peter Criss, who was previously in a Chelsea band called Lips. He joined up and the 3 started focusing on a harder rock version of the previous band.

-This band was inspired by the theatrics of Alice Cooper and The New York Dolls. So they started experimenting with makeup and outfits. In early January 1973, the group added lead guitarist Ace Frehley. He impressed the band, even though he showed up wearing 2 different sneakers, one red, one orange. The name Wicked Lester dropped and KISS became the name
-It was said that Stanley came up with the name, as he, Simmons and Criss were driving around New York City. Criss said that he was in a band called Lips. Frehley came up with the idea of making the "SS" look like lightning bolts. The letters were said to look like the insignia of the Nazi SS, which is illegal to display in Germany. So it was changed to 2 backward Zs

-Their debut concert was on January 30, 1973, for an audience of 3 at the Popcorn Club in Queens. For the first 3 gigs: January 30-February 1, they wore no makeup. Their official debut came on Dec. 31, 1973 at the Academy of Music in New York City, as opening act for The Blue Oyster Cult. On March 19, 1975, they released their Dressed to Kill album, which featured the track "Rock and Roll All Nite."
-The band was quickly getting a reputation as a top flight live act. The concerts featured things like Simmons spitting "blood", which was only eggs and food coloring, or "breathing fire", which was spitting flammable liquid at a torch, Stanley busting his guitar Pete Townshend style, Criss' elevating drum kit that sparked, Frehley soloing as his guitar burst into flames(light and smoke bombs inside the guitar

-In March 15, 1976, they released their Destroyer album, which featured the track "Beth". This was their first ballad. In 1977, the band played 5 shows at the Budokan Hall in Tokyo, breaking the previous record of 4 shows by The Beatles.
-The band ended up releasing solo albums in the late 1970s, with Stanley and Frehley's albums staying pretty close to the hard rock that KISS had used. Criss' album featured an R&B style and had ballad after ballad. Simmons' was the most unique, featuring hard rock, ballads, Beatles-influenced pop, and his take on the Pinocchio song "When You Wish Upon a Star". He collaborated with many musicians, such as Joe Perry from Aerosmith, Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick, Jeff Baxter from The Doobie Brothers, disco singer Donna Summer, Janis Ian, Helen Reddy, Bob Seger, Katey Sagal, and then girlfriend Cher
-On May 20, 1980, Criss left the band

-In June 1980, Eric Carr(who was born Paul Caravello on July 12, 1950) was given the stage name Eric Carr. He was KISS' first replacement member.
-On Oct. 13, 1982,  they released another album, Creatures of the Night. This one featured Vinnie Vincent on guitars. Frehley's last time with the band was on the video for "I Love It Loud". Vinnie wanted to use his birth name, but Simmons said it sounded too ethnic and Vinnie, who was born Vincent Cusano, ended up using Vinnie Vincent.

-In February 1991, the band enlisted the help of Bob Ezrin, a record producer, to help with their first 1990s album. But tragedy struck. The band's guitarist, Eric Carr, was found to have a tumor on his heart. It was removed in surgery, but then his lungs were found to be full of tumors. He received chemotherapy treatments and was pronounced cancer free in July. He died on Nov. 24, 1991, of a cerebral hemorrhage, at age 41, the same day as Freddie Mercury
-To replace him, they brought in Cleveland, Ohio born drummer Eric Singer(b. Eric Mensinger). This guy had played with bands like Black Sabbath, Lita Ford, Gary Moore, Badlands, Alice Cooper
-In the summer of 2004, KISS headlined the Rock the Nation 2004 World Tour, with Poison as opening act. Stanley had been suffering from hip problems because of his high platform boots and had already had 2 previous hip surgeries

-In 2007, the band did 4 concerts, prior to the July 27 show, Stanley was hospitalized with extremely rapid heartbeat.
-On May 25, 2006, KISS, Queen, Def Leppard, Judas Priest were honored at the VH1 Rock Honors event in Las Vegas.
-In April 2007, their former guitarist Mark St. John died from a cerebral hemorrhage at age 51.

Makeup design

Starchild- Paul Stanley

The Demon- Gene Simmons

The Spaceman- Ace Frehley, Tommy Thayer

The Catman- Peter Criss, Eric Carr

The Fox- Eric Carr

The Egyptian Warrior- Vinnie Vincent


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