Thirty five years ago today - January 30, 1973, KISS performed their very first concert at Popcorn (The Coventry) in Queens, NY. The band performed 2 sets at the club that night for a crowd of under 10 people.
Earlier this week, Gene recalled how that show came about:
1973 was the beginning.
Wicked Lester had just finished its album for EPIC RECORDS. There were five members in the band, including Paul and myself. Though we had a real recording contract with a major label, and though we had finished an entire album, we were depressed. It just wasn't what we had envisioned.
So, we started again. We tried firing the other three guys in Wicked Lester, but some wouldn't leave.
So, we quit.
We started again with a vision. 'Let's put together the band we never saw on stage.'
We got a manager named LOU LINET, who managed JF MURPHY AND FREE FLOWING SALT and DIANA MARCOVITZ (or something like that)...and when he heard the newborn baby -- KISS. He thought it was the worst crap he had ever heard. Needless to say, he was gone immediately.
So, we were managerless.
I put together a bio kit, while I worked at the Puerto Rican Interagency Council, as assistant to the Director. Peter's friend owned a printing press and printed up our invites.
But, where to play?
We didn't have a manager.
We didn't have an agent.
We never had.
I made a phone call cold to a place called Popcorn in Queens, NY and on the phone convinced the guy to hire a band, who would soon be changing their name from WICKED LESTER to KISS.
We got the gig -- three nights -- Wed, Thurs and Fri for the sum total of $150.
That was the beginning.