Corporate meets entertainment at the opening and closing of each trading day. What better place to bring KISS and Dr Pepper together?
By Tina Susman
KISS guitarist Paul Stanley fluffed his thick, shaggy hair as bassist Gene Simmons fidgeted in the background, their eyes looped in black makeup, faces painted chalky white. As the seconds counted down to 4 p.m., Stanley leaned on the green button in front of him.
"Clang, clang, clang!" went the bell as the clock struck the top of the hour.
Flap, flap, flap went Simmons' famous tongue, stretching to the tip of his chin and back again.
"Bang!" went the gavel, which Stanley brought down with a thud. The white-haired man next to him, Larry Young, head of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, smiled gamely and hoisted a Dr Pepper Cherry soda.
It was closing time at the New York Stock Exchange, and if it weren't for the fact that a Scottish terrier named Sadie, the Aflac duck, Sports Illustrated swimsuit models and snowboard champ Shaun White would soon stand on the same platform, the KISS-meets-Dr-Pepper spectacle might have been more of -- well -- a spectacle.
But abnormal has become normal on the ornate bell podium. The stage once reserved for corporate leaders has become one of the nation's highest profile red carpets, a result of the global melding of the corporate world with entertainment, sports, politics and social causes.