KISS Magic - The REAL Paul and Gene
Posted on 01/17/2013Hi fellow fans. With Kiss coming to my home town in a couple of weeks, I just had to share this story with you. I know this is a long letter, but so worth it. Back in 1994, my mate and I were in the US on holiday. So one of the first things I did was find out from Kiss' record company where they would be playing that summer. Unfortunately, there were no tours planned I was told, only a one-off show in Chicago, as part of a Blaze FM celebration day. Seeing that it was on the day before my birthday, my mate bought me a ticket and we flew to Chicago. The venue was a little out of the city and the best way to get there was by train, so we decided to check out how to get there the day before the show. When we arrived in the afternoon, we just walked in and noticed that there were crew setting up equipment, so we just sat in the seats and watched. After a while, someone came up to us and asked who we were. We told him that we were from Australia and had just come down to check out the venue. He told us that we were not allowed to be in there and escorted us out. When we got to the foyer, he asked a man at the door to make sure we left the building. By this stage the trains had stopped running, so we called a taxi. It was so cold outside that we asked the man at the door if we could just wait inside until the taxi arrived. He then gets a call on his radio and tells us that we have to wait outside, as he was locking the door because the band was arriving for a sound check. Well, what would you do? We had no choice but to pay the taxi driver $20 and send him on his way. We just had to try and say hello to the band, as an opportunity like this would never come around again. While we were waiting outside trying to work out our next move, we see a limo driving around the back. By the time we get to the back, we catch a glimpse of Bruce and Eric getting out. Okay we thought, Gene and Paul are still to arrive. Now the tricky part was not to look like we were dodgy characters hanging around the back car park. Of course, eventually the guy who asked us to leave in the first place spotted us and said "look guys, I've asked you to leave already, what are you doing here?" We pleaded that all we wanted to do was say hi to Gene and Paul when they arrived and then we would leave. He finally said okay you can say hi at the door. (We later found out that this was Tim Rozner, their road manager). Before I even had a chance to think about what to say, a limo pulls up and Gene gets out quickly and walks in. My mind is racing so I had to say something to Paul before it was too late. Now Paul had always been my favorite member so this was really tough. I called out "Paul", just as he was about to enter the building. He suddenly stopped and walked back to us. I told him who we were and that we were from Australia and that I had been life long fan and how honored I was to meet him. He was very gracious and thanked me and then said "Why don't you come in and stick around?". You can imagine how we felt. That's the kind of KISS Magic that I've felt my whole life. We then sat in on a roughly 30 minute rehearsal, with only about a dozen people in the room. I was in a daze. At some point I couldn't contain myself and just had to cheer at the end of some songs. I mean c'mon, you can't just listen to a Kiss song live and do nothing. After the set, the band sat on the side of the stage and were just toweling down and I thought there's no one stopping us from going up and talking to them. So I literally went up to Paul and sat down and had a casual one on one conversation with him for about 10 minutes. Talk about a down to earth and respectful guy. Paul was such a genuine person that I could not have been more proud at that moment. Don't ask me what we talked about as it was all a blur. I then met Bruce and Eric, who of course we all know now what top blokes they are. Lastly, I was looking at Gene and thinking I have to go up to him, but what do you say to the God of Thunder? So I took a deep breath and walked up to him, introducing myself and explaining how much of an influence Kiss had been in my life and what a pleasure it was to meet him. At that point he put his arm around my shoulder and gave me a hug. Shortly after that, they left and said to enjoy the show tomorrow night. I wanted to share this story because this was a real meet and greet. There were no cameras, this was no act. Paul did not have to invite me in to the rehearsal. He could have just said hello, shook my hand and left it at that. He didn't have to talk to me after the rehearsal but he did. Gene didn't have to hug me but he knew what it meant. This is what Gene and Paul are really like, always for the fans. Any decisions ever made in the past that involved past members, was only with the fans' best interests at heart. The Kiss Army understands this, which is why we will support you for as long as you allow us to. I'll see you in my home town Perth Australia, in a few weeks.