Excerpted from Binky Philips' story from the Huffington Post
Anyway, a few months later in the early Spring of 1969, I met Stan Eisen from Queens. He wore a slightly odd Prince Valiant hairdo and was a grade ahead of me. We became fast friends when we passed each other in the hallway carrying guitar cases and discovered that we were two of only three guys in Music & Art who owned a Gibson guitar. Murray Dabby, the third Gibson owner, who we befriended a few weeks later, was a ridiculously better guitarist than either me or Stan, and he's now a shrink in Atlanta! Also the smartest of us three as well, obviously. After we graduated, Stan and I stayed in touch.
A year or so after high school, in the Spring of 1972, I bumped into Stan, who introduced me to this imposing giant of a guy with a huge halo of hair outside a Jeff Beck show at the Academy of Music on East 14th St. --later, the world-famous disco, Palladium, and now, NYU dorms.
"Binky, this is Gene Simmons, the bassist in my band, Wicked Lester. Gene, this is the guy I was telling you about who owns the Hiwatt amp." Gene visibly flinched!
Hiwatts were The Who's amp of choice back then and were also completely and totally unavailable in the USA. I'd lucked into literally the ONLY ONE IN AMERICA when I bought it off of Blodwyn Pig, a British Blues band featuring the original and fabulous guitarist of Jethro Tull, Mick Abrahams. From that moment on, Gene, an extremely cocky guy even then, always treated me with respect simply because of that amp, and later, as we became actual friends, because he liked my guitar playing, too. In fact, I wound up his guitarist-of-choice for several of his demos when KISS had become gods (why Gene has never released "Rotten To The Core", I'll never know!). And I'm very proud to report that, years later, Gene's only directive to Ace, according to their engineer, Corky Stasiak, when Mr. Frehley was about to record the solo for "Doctor Love" was, "Do a Binky solo!" and Ace knew exactly what Gene meant and proceeded to cut one of his wildest and best solos ever.
Back to 1972, several months after I met Gene, I got a call from Stan. He announced that I needed to start calling him Paul, please, ("Oh... Okay, Stan") and asked me to come down to a rehearsal of his and Gene's new still-unnamed band. They'd just found a lead guitarist a month earlier and he wanted me to check the whole thing out. Stan, I mean, er, Paul respected my opinion and seemed to be seeking my lead-guitarist stamp of approval.