By Robin Leach / Las Vegas Sun
Fire breathing, spitting blood, guitars on fire, levitating drum kits and extraordinary pyrotechnics have always been hallmarks of KISS led by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, and it all finally took them to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The rockers’ worldwide record sales are more than 100 million, making them one of the bestselling bands of all time. Incredibly, the group that formed in 1973 is going stronger than ever, and its Army of fans grows larger, too.
Now KISS is celebrating its 40th anniversary with its first-ever residency — at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel — where Gene promises: “What happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas, not if we have anything to do with it. We intend to blow the roof off the Hard Rock.”
KISS will play nine shows Nov. 5-23 with guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer rounding out the action. Beneath that bizarre makeup beats the hearts of two astute businessmen who are marketing marvels. We actually share the same Wall Street investment banker.
I’ve known Gene and Paul for many, many years, so it’s always good to have a long chat with them. I caught up with Paul just before he left for Mexico City and his annual KISS Cruise.
You’ve just wrapped another one of those major tours?
We did 42 shows and played to 600,000 people, so right now I’m just catching my breath. Tomorrow I leave for Mexico City to headline a festival, then we have the KISS Cruise, which we do every year, and that’s sold out with 3,500 people from 33 countries. Then we come to Las Vegas, which is the icing on the cake.