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How KISS opened the floodgates of Rock

Posted on 01/23/2013
Had to share this story with you guys since I share it with everyone else. I was 16 years old in 1996 and wasn't into music much. The only CDs I had were Weird Al Yankovic and ESPN Jock Jams. I had grown up around music but it never sank in. I never tried to sing or play an instrument. I just wasn't interested. During my freshman year, KISS had reunited and put on the makeup, much to the delight of a family friend of ours. He wanted to go but couldn't find anyone available that night. He asked me to see KISS and I said, "Are those the make up guys?" He confirmed my idiotic question and I agreed to go with him. It was August 9th, 1996 at Market Square Arena in Indy, I was about to have my life changed. The anticipation was growing and the crowd became restless for the real show to start. As soon as the lights went out and the announcer came on to utter those famous words, I started to get goosebumps. Something big was about to happen but I had no idea exactly why. A loud BANG echoed MSA and the curtains dropped. Before my eyes were these larger than life, comic book super heroes on stage with instruments. "Deuce" was the first song they opened with and I was hooked as soon as the intro riff blared through the speakers at MSA. The whole show was a blur and don't remember anything but just being in complete amazement and feeling an instantaneous transformation as I said goodbye to my former self. After that show, I knew what I wanted to do. I told my mom I wanted to play guitar, I wanted to go buy some CDs. The first KISS album I bought was "Double Platinum". This seemed like a good starting point. I listened to it over and over again, trying to mimic the guitar parts only using my ears and fingers. Eventually I learned to play every rhythm section and riff Paul played and sang all the words.Over time, my brain was starting to recognize musical patterns and chords and scales. KISS had help me learn to play an instrument and sing without any formal training or lessons. A few years pass and my whole life has changed. The clothes I wear, the music I like, everything had changed. KISS led me to Zeppelin and the Beatles, Zeppelin and Beatles led me to Metallica and Megadeth, Metallica and Megadeth led me to AC/DC, AC/DC led me to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, etc. etc. Since then I have lived my dream of being a singer/guitar player in a rock band. I have written songs and even have an album on iTunes (Blue Luster). At a KISS Konvention in Indy, I had the pleasure to eat lunch with Eric Singer and John Corabi. No VIP pass, just sat down at our table. I even got to open up for bands like Bad Company and Night Ranger all because a good family friend took me to see the hottest band in the world and I've never been the same since. Thank you guys. Thank you KISS past,present, and future. I wish you the best. JD
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