TRIBUTE BAND HELPS YOUNG MOTHER
January 07, 2012
By Jo-Ann Jennings Bixby Bixby Bulletin

Dressed To Kill (DTK), a South Tulsa-based KISS tribute band, will perform a benefit concert Saturday January 28 at the legendary Cain’s ballroom in Tulsa. An official 2012 kickoff event for Turn Tulsa Pink, the entertainers will donate their time and talents to raise money for cancer research and to benefit the treatment and travel expenses of a local woman, Amy Willey. Amy is a 35-year old mother of four who just happens to be a KISS fan and a great friend of Dressed To Kill. She is fighting a rare and aggressive soft tissue/bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. It is the same disease which Tulsa musician and former OU and NBA basketball star Waymon Tisdale suffered from.

“Growing up in the 80’s, I was a big fan of rock and my sister and I got to see KISS in 1990,” said Willey. “I loved that DTK had the same energy I experienced watching KISS in concert and became an instant fan.” Amy has seen Dressed To Kill perform on five different occasions, each time recruiting more friends to come enjoy the incredibly accurate and high energy KISS experience the band provides. “They all became fans too,” she said.

The relationship between band and fan is very personal in this case though.

DTK bassist and Gene Simmons impersonator, Gregg Shipman, Bixby, said Willey’s sister is one of his best friends. As a result, Shipman has gotten to know Amy over the years and appreciate her as a friend as well a KISS fan who’s enjoyed DTK music and show. Shipman has followed her journey on Facebook and offered his love and prayers.

Shipman said when one is praying for someone who’s suffering from a terrible disease like this, a way to help may just come to mind. In this case the answer was to get Dressed to Kill back together to put on a benefit concert.

“Honestly, this has already far surpassed my original idea by a lot, and it continues to grow,” says Shipman. “I really think this will be one of the best shows we’ve done, and it could literally not be for a better cause or a better person. My goal is simple, to sell out the Cain’s Ballroom and put on the best show anyone has ever seen there.”

The concert is open to all ages and replicates a classic ALIVE!-era KISS concert complete with 7-inch leather heels, makeup, Gibson guitars and all the familiar theatrics of the four iconic KISS characters (The Demon, Spaceman, Starchild and Catman) who made KISS the “hottest band in the world” in the mid-70’s. Most of the set list will feature classic pre-80’s KISS songs, all performed live by Dressed To Kill.

Willey’s case has been sponsored in part by an anonymous source, and she is confident that a series of treatments at Houston’s M.D. Anderson treatment center offer her a real fighting chance at beating her disease. Any revenues that can be generated to offset her expenses from this benefit concert will be hugely appreciated by the band and by Amy.

Tickets are on sale now at www.cainsballroom.com, and can be purchased in advance for $12 or bought at the door for $15. Children under 10 get in free. The event will include raffle drawings, a KISS makeup contest for kids and food provided by various sponsors and vendors.