Paul Stanley 1976 guitar
Jeff Scott on 02/24/2013
Bill Shaw was 18 years old when he left his home in Saint John NB Canada to check out the phenomenon was that was KISS at the Moncton Coliseum in the winter of 1976. To Bill’s luck and amazement, he and is pal Norm had scored front row tickets. “I was so close I could reach out and touch Gene Simmons’ boots”, Bill recalls.
He remembers looking up into the bloated Demon face, flooded in green from the stage lights, when spurts of blood began to trickle down the corners of the rock star’s mouth. Bill is certain there were drops of the stage blood stained into his own clothes that night.
But the real thrill was when Paul Stanley ran onto the stage, amidst a shower of confetti and fireworks, and began smashing a Gibson Marauder guitar into the floor. To Bill’s delight, the lead singer, having smashed the instrument into pieces, threw the body of the guitar right into Bill’s hands. “As soon as I caught it, I gave it right to Norm”, Bill adds. His friend was wearing a large winter jacket and the intent was to protect the guitar body from prying hands. Within seconds, Bill recalls, there were numerous people pouncing on top of he and Norm. “I couldn’t breath”, Bill exclaimed.
Somehow, they managed to get out of Moncton and with the guitar body.
On the ride home, Norm offered the broken guitar back to Bill. Norm suggested that they should just throw it out – a broken guitar is not worth much. But Bill Shaw has kept the relic in a cloth sac for nearly forty years.
The signature has faded quite a bit, but Paul Stanley’s name and star are clearly seen on the Marauder’s white pickguard. The body is completely broken down the middle, and only the pickguard and pickup assembly are holding the two halves together. It is clear that the guitar did not separate from the body where four bolts hold the neck and body together, rather, the bolts held tight and took pretty much the middle section of the body with the neck. On the curved edge of the black body, there are bits of round and square confetti that had been pounded into to the paint 37 years ago.
Bill is not sure what the guitar is worth. It is hard to appraise such a unique piece, as well as authenticate its use in a KISS show. For Bill Shaw, it is a souvenir of the night that he ‘almost got killed’ and saw one of the greatest stadium rock acts of the 70s.
-Jeff Scott CANADA