Official site: http://www.kissonline.com/
-The original lineup consisted of Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar, vocals), Gene Simmons (bass, vocals), Ace Frehley (lead guitar and vocals), Peter Criss (drums and vocals)
-Each person's onstage costume was based on something about them. Paul Stanley became the Star Child because of his personality of being a starry eyed lover, a hopeless romantic. Gene, with his cynical attitude and dark sense of humor, became The Demon. Peter Criss became the Cat Man because he thought he had nine lives growing up in Brooklyn. Ace took on the persona of 'Space Ace' or 'Space Man' because of his love of aliens, UFOs and all things sci-fi
-Because of creative directions the band was taking, Criss and Frehley left in 1982.
-Kiss originally began as Wicked Lester, named after a wicker furniture store the band used the loft above to practice in. Wicked Lester was founded by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley
-In 1972, Simmons came across an ad placed in Rolling Stone Magazine for a veteran drummer for several New York area bands, named Peter Criss. His two previous bands were Lips and Chelsea. When he joined, they started experimenting with the kind of costumes, makeup and theatrics of people like the New York Dolls and Alice Cooper
-In January 1973, Ace Frehley joined up. After a few weeks, the band name was dropped and changed to KISS, inspired by Peter Criss mentioning he was in a band called Lips. So Stanley said "What about something like Kiss?" Ace went about creating the logo, making the "s" look like lightning bolts. This led to them changing the "s" to what fans call the "backwards z". And also, this led people to think that Kiss were Nazis in disguise, even though the two key members are of the Jewish faith: Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley
-On Jan. 30, 1973, their first gig was at the Popcorn Pub, only to be renamed The Coventry later, only to start recording their music at Bell Sound Studios on Oct. 10, 1973
-In 1974, their Hotter Than Hell album was released
-Their first premier into the music world came on Dec. 31, 1973, playing at the Academy of Music
-On Feb. 5, 1974, they went on tour. They performed the songs "Nothin' to Lose" "Firehouse" "Black Diamond"
-In 1978, the band, along with their manager Bill Aucoin, decided to take things to the next level. To mount the next assault in the battle of hard rock. Each member would release a solo album simultaneously. Each album reflecting the kind of music they like. It was to show their individual music preferences outside the heavy metal, head banging world of rock. Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley kept theirs close to the hard rock of Kiss, while Peter Criss had a more R&B style, while Gene had gone with a more pop sound, including a touching version of "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio
1978: Last of the makeup years
-They released Dynasty on May 22, 1979. One of the tracks on this album, a disco-infused "I Was Made For Lovin' You", sung by Paul Stanley, became one of the biggest selling songs
-The crowds coming to their concerts had gotten increasingly younger, and suddenly they were being considered the "kiddie" band
-There was also tension within the band. When they appeared on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder, Ace Frehley, who was drunk, kept laughing and joking around, which visibly irritated Paul and Gene, and Criss made references to the fact he collected guns, much to the dismay of Simmons
-Dec. 16, 1979 was the last concert Criss did as drummer for Kiss, although they reunited in 1996
-In June 1980, the band held auditions to find a new drummer, settling on a little known Brooklyn-born drummer named Paul Caravello, soon to be known to everyone as Eric Carr. When he became the drummer, he did not take over Criss' cat makeup, but instead created a new persona, "The Fox".
-Even though he was not with the band anymore, his face was featured on the 1982 album Creatures of the Night and Killers
-Creatures of the Night ended up being far better than they thought, with the hard rock track "I Love It Loud"
-Frehley's last show with the band was in the video for "I Love It Loud". Right after he left, he was replaced by Vinnie Vincent, who took on the persona the Egyptian Ankh Warrior, due to his lanky frame
-Vinnie does appear, along with all the other then members of Kiss, without makeup on the front of their Lick It Up album
-In 1989, they released another ballad, "Forever" from the Hot in the Shade album. This ballad ended up doing just as well as "Beth"
-In Feb. 1991, tragedy struck. When Eric Carr had gone to the doctor, thinking he was suffering from some kind of flu, but instead it was discovered he had a small tumor on his heart. It was successfully removed in surgery, but then more tumors turned up. After receiving chemotherapy, he was declared cancer free in July. But in September, he suffered two cerebral hemorrhages. He died on Nov. 24, 1991, the same day as Freddie Mercury of Queen, who ended up getting more coverage of his death than Carr, which is an offensive slap in the face
-To replace Carr, the band brought in Eric Singer, who performed in bands like Black Sabbath, Lita Ford and Alice Cooper
-At the 38th Annual Grammy Awards, the band got a standing ovation and an intro from rapper Tupac Shakur. The band had appeared, in full makeup and gear
-In Sept. 1998, they released the song "Psycho Circus" and the tour for this even opened on Halloween night at Dodge Stadium in Los Angeles
-On Aug. 11, 1999, there was a Kiss themed movie released, called Detroit Rock City. Which is about four teens willing to do anything to get into a sold out Kiss concert in Detroit in 1978
-On March 6, 2002, Frehley was officially replaced with Black N' Blue guitarist Tommy Thayer, who assumed the Space Man costume and makeup
-Kiss, along with Queen, Def Leppard and Judas Priest were honored at the VH1 Rock Honors in Vegas on May 25, 2006
-Even though the band was eligible to be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1999/2000, they were not inducted until 2009
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Eric Carr (deceased)(cancer)
-Known as: The Catman
-Known as: The Egyptian Ankh Warrior because of his lanky frame
Paul Stanley: http://www.paulstanley.com/
Eric Singer: http://eric-singer.com/
Tommy Thayer: http://tommythayer.com/
Gene Simmons: http://www.genesimmons.com/