KISS IS EVERYWHERE!
HAIRDRESSER PAYS HOMAGE TO KISS
By Fabian Forero Baron
Translated from Spanish for KISSonline by Jill Cataldo
Carlos Buitrago, a Bogota resident for 51 years, is one of the most popular personalities in Suba.
Debauchery is taking place at 4 in the afternoon in his hair salon. Érika Ramírez is having her hair done. The salon is an overdose of KISS. Certainly a rarity among hair salons, entering this establishment looks and feels more like a rock and metal record store or perhaps a downtown bar -- not a neighborhood barbershop.
None of it matters to this tender grandmother. She knows the good hand of Carlos Buitrago, owner of the salon. And everyone in the Riviera district knows he's managed Bogota's most mind-blowing KISS beauty salon since 1997.
The place is decorated with a collection of 1,500 objects featuring the American band. In a showcase under lock and key, you'll find memorabilia from band members Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley - a pair of drumsticks, or a small billiard ball with the logo of the exotic group. The walls exude rock and are upholstered with the spirit of KISS, and it's a scene that was born from an idea Carlos had from somewhere out of the ordinary.
Carlos, who is also known in the neighborhood as 'Kiss', 'Scissors' or simply as 'Charly', was the first to display a lush mane in the village of Suba.
In those years, at the end of the 70s, he was already forming a collection influenced by the rhythm of rock powerhouse KISS. "The objects in the collection were the Love Gun and Alive II records. I then began to buy everything that I could find in the music departments of 19 stores. Friends also brought me KISS things from the United States." For him, none of his KISS items are more valuable than another piece of the collection. Everything from t-shirts, caps, CDs, posters, flags, photos, pictures, stickers and trading cards all have the same value and importance. "Clients come here come and bring me things from trips. Once a granny came and gave me a very expensive flag," he added.
April 11, 2009: 'Scissors' lived his moment of glory. That day, his beloved KISS appeared in Simón Bolívar Park.
"Oh... I think that it was the best party I've ever been to in my life. I thought that I would die without seeing them, but no; I was able to enjoy them, thanks to God and that my daughter gave me a ticket", remembers 'KISS', the barber.
CLICK TO VIEW A PHOTO GALLERY OF CARLOS' HAIR SALON