MY OWN MEET & GREET WITH PAUL'S GUITARS
November 12, 2009
For me, KISS has always been about the guitars. Whether it be Paul's signature guitars, Gene's Axe bass, Ace and his Les Paul's or Tommy's metal flake Gibsons. If you are lucky enough to see KISS on this tour you'll appreciate all of the people who work behind the scenes to make this one of the best concerts ever. I was given my own special "Guitar Meet and Greet" last Friday in Chicago by Paul's guitar technician, Fran Stewart. Fran was nice enough to allow me to watch as he set up Paul's guitars before the show. Then he asked me if I wanted my picture taken with them. Incredible! Personally, I've always associated the "Flying V" with Paul Stanley. Who can remember sitting in study hall, and drawing KISS pictures and putting the V in Paul's hands, instead of finishing that overdue book report?

Well, the V is back with Paul's latest Washburn Signature V with the unique reverse headstock. But before I could truly savor the experience with Paul's latest "weapon of mass destruction," Fran handed me the Washburn PS2000 with the diamond finish and I felt like I was breaking the law, or something equivalent. Very cool. KISS fans know that Paul's guitars are very much like Paul, dazzling, flashy, original and truly one of a kind. Thanks Fran!

Later that evening I was fortunate enough to run into everyone's favorite Demon. I reached out and grabbed one of the "spikes" on his right arm to say "Hey." But before I knew what hit me, the God of Thunder placed one claw around my shoulder and another under my chin. I was in the Demon's grasp and I couldn't escape! He turned my head and commanded that I speak into this camera to explain to some camera crew who I was and what my rank was in the KISS Army. So I did my best "this is how the Kiss Army started in 1 minute or less" while the Demon flew away. (Probably to the rafters of the United Center I'm guessing). The camera crew represented one of the three major television networks. I think any KISS fan would trade some TV time for 30 seconds with their favorite fire breathing bass player, wouldn't they?

After another fabulous KISS performance, Keith Leroux introduced me to a friend of his - Steve Christensen, a big KISS fan, who, at one time, worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan & George W. Bush. Who says you can spot a KISS fan a mile away?

Thank you KISS for another memorable show!
Bill Starkey