kerobichaud on 08/01/2007
I admit I feel a bit silly writing a fan letter at my age, like the goofy, star-struck teenaged girl I was when introduced to KISS so many years ago. However, after the unusual show that was Soboba, I feel compelled to express my gratitude and admiration.
This spring, following a particularly difficult period in my life, I decided that I needed to turn it all around. On a roadtrip to visit my father, I picked up Paul\'s Live to Win cd. In those long stretches, I found myself inspired, and it rekindled my interest in all things KISS. When I returned home, I began listening again, filling in the gaps in my collection. Your catalogue became the soundtrack to my mission. Without going into sordid detail, the music and the example you provided--that people can make their lives what they dream them to be--was the impetus to keep me on my path. Today, several months later, I am still going strong and spreading my wings ever wider.
I began planning the trip to San Jacinto as a celebration and a reward. Initially, an old friend was to accompany me. When she couldn\'t, my sister offered, but wasn\'t able to go either. With only two weeks left until the show, I decided I\'d go on my own. I got many a raised eyebrow in response to this declaration--that I\'d go to a KISS concert, that I\'d go so far for one, and that I\'d go alone.
I flew down from Portland Thursday night, and drove a rental car out to San Jacinto. The following morning, I woke up with butterflies of excitement in my belly, and a sense of pride that I was making this happen. That evening, I arrived in time for your soundtrack. Watching through the chainlink, those butterflies began banging around in my gut, as I thought, \"This is real. I am really here.\"
Later, when I overheard the guy in the row in front of me with the All Access pass tell his buddies that Paul was sick and had been taken to the hospital, my heart sank. All that time spent getting there, all that money, all that excited anticipation. Then Mr. McGhee made the announcement, and I thought I might cry with disappointment and concern at the vagueness of the description of Paul\'s condition--was he okay? Was he dying? It was such a strange mix of emotion, and in direct contrast to the elation I\'d been riding moments prior.
Gene, you strode out into the bare light and spoke to us so candidly, almost as though we were truly comrades, sharing anxiety over our ailing friend. In that instant, my impression of you as a larger than life, super-celebrity-god changed into something far better. Your concern for Paul and your williness to try to carry on brought you down to earth, made you human, made you real. You and Tommy and Eric were magical that night, and though I remain disappointed that I still have yet to have a\"complete\" KISS experience, you three were bold, and gallant, and ultimately, just three guys trying to go on, and I loved that. Thank you so much for not allowing me to go home empty-handed and empty-hearted, and thank you for so many years of enchantment. I am tremendously relieved that you have recovered, Paul. Stay well and take care of your babies.
My respect and best wishes to you all,
PS. I surmise, though I may be wrong, that Gene\'s family may have agreed to provide some distraction while Paul was being treated. If so, please extend my gratitude to them as well for the sacrifice of their time and privacy.