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My introduction to KISS

Posted on 01/17/2013
KISS came into my through my sister in 1977 when I was just 7 years old living in Elmwood Park, NJ. The first song I remember hearing from them was "I Want You" and I also remember staring at the 'Rock & Roll Over' album cover constantly wondering who these guys were. For you younger fans you must realize that there was no VH1, MTV, cable, YouTube or any of the mass media that has basically stripped our imagination of what we thought bands were or looked like. Instead, I had to rely on magazines that my sister bought like '16', 'Tiger Beat', 'Hit Parader', 'Creem' and others that escape me just to see the pictures and imagine what being at a concert in person would be like.. My first KISS album was KISS Alive II which I got at the 'Harmony Hut' music store in Paramus Park because I shoveled the diveway following the great blizzard of 1978. The album was $9.99 and I thought that was all the money in the world. A funny side note would be that my sister went to see the band at Madison Square Garden on either the 'Love Gun' or R&RO tour I forget which and she understood how upset I was that I couldn't go. The following day when I had 1,000 questions abouthow the show was (Sammy Hagar of all people had opened), she let me look at her tour book and said that she had met Paul following the show and got me an autograph. She let me look at it and said that she would hold on to it because it was so valuable. Problem was unbenownst to me, she forged it!! So, whenever I wanted to look at "my" autograph I had to do her chores and then she would hide it away again. The sad thing is that I didn't know that it was a fake until I was about 30 and boy was I pissed!! As I approach my 43rd birthday with a 7 year old son of my own, I can see clearly how perfect KISS were for the times and how they were able to create an image so powerful with their characters and everything else that even if they are a little older and slower, those images still transcend the times. This isn't about some of the criticism that KISS as a band (or brand) has taken recently What this is about is a tribute to those four guys who inspired me to pick up my first pair of drumsticks, who made me want to be in a band and express myself creatively through music and most importantly to be an individual. Like any first love, I've moved on to other bands and genres of music, but KISS is always there either in my memories or more recently on my iPod. Those songs are a part of the landscape of Rock & Roll and some of the new ones hold up very well. I certainly would have found music without KISS, but it sure wouldn't have been as fun! Thanks guys!!
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