CONDOLEEZZA RICE JOINS KISS ARMY
(AP Photo/State Department, Anne Lyons)
The KISS Army fan club has an enthusiastic new recruit: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In a departure from her normally staid diplomatic duties, Rice met the legendary rock quartet when they happened to share a hotel in the Swedish capital. Rice was in Stockholm on Thursday for an international conference on Iraq. KISS had a sold-out gig to play on Friday.
'I was thrilled,' a beaming US secretary of state said of her late-night encounter with Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer in the executive lounge of the Sheraton Hotel where they signed autographs and handed out backstage passes (good for a year) and T-shirts to her and her staff.
Condoleezza Rice may be a top diplomat who once aspired to being a concert pianist but she let her hair down a bit in Stockholm to meet the flamboyant rock group KISS.
'For someone who likes the whole range of music, it was really fun to meet KISS,' Rice said on the plane taking her to talks with Iceland's leaders in Reykjavik. She also noted that the band seemed well informed on current events.
Her aides showed reporters digital photographs of Rice smiling and chatting to the long-haired band members who were dressed casually rather than in their flamboyant stage costumes of black leather and painted faces. Rice, who had just returned from a dinner with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, appeared in her usual business attire.
KISS, who are on a European tour, weren't wearing their trademark stage makeup, but were recognizable as rock stars to even non-fans by their hair, according to State Department officials who were with Rice.
Rice, a classically trained pianist, said she has eclectic musical tastes ranging from Beethoven to Bruce Springsteen. Hard stadium rockers like KISS are included in the mix and Rice said her favorite tune of theirs is 'Rock and Roll All Nite.'