August 05, 2011
KISS, Friendship and Beating Cancer!

In 2003 my family and I went to Gene’s book signing for his Sex Money KISS release. I had waited in line no less than 4 hours to meet the God of Thunder himself. This was the first time I was going to meet Gene and the fulfillment of a 30 year wish. We started talking with the family in front of us to pass the time. It turned out Rich and his family had so much in common with us. We even learned we worked for the same company. We all enjoyed meeting Gene and even joked about this being fate and how we were destined to be friends. We exchanged contact information and said goodnight.

Not only did I meet Gene, but I just met one of the best friends a person could wish for. Our families have become so close over the years. Every KISS concert or event…we were there together. All celebrations, holidays, you name it. KISS brought us together and we were tight!

About one year ago, my friend Rich found out his son Brandon had leukemia. It just knocked all of us to our knees. For the last year, he and his wife have split time between Massachusetts and California (where Brandon lives) to be with him during his fight. Brandon had a bone marrow transplant a few months ago and is on the road to recovery!

One night looking on an auction site, I noticed KISS was auctioning a meet and greet with a private backstage tour to raise money for cancer research. When I found the auction for this event, I just had to win it...no matter the cost. If anyone needed a great time, it was my buddy Rich. What he has done, sacrificed and accomplished over this last year has been incredible. I know he is a hero to his son but he and his wife are also incredible role models to all parents. What matters most to us is Brandon's continued recovery and that is ongoing...To celebrate it with the hottest band in the world and Doc...there are no words. And believe me, we had no idea how spectacular the night was going to be and what KISS and Doc had in store for us.

I can not tell you how excited my friend Rich and I were about going to this event! We are both life long KISS fans and serious collectors (since 74...yeah we are old guys!). Between us we have seen KISS over 100 times and done many meet and greets. Now, with the chance to get a tour with Doc...We could not even believe it! This event will be even more special because it is a fund raiser for cancer research.

The show that night…well we all know there is none better on the face of the planet. Gene, Paul, Tommy and Eric brought the roof down! The meet and greet was larger than life. However, we were able to experience something most KISS fans have never done…backstage access!!! We saw the Superman curtain…nuf said! For that, I need to send the entire KISS management team A HUGE THANK YOU!!!!

Doc was the most gracious inviting host. I could not believe it, he spent over a half an hour of his busy schedule with just the two of us. Every question answered, every photo posed for, every experience over the top! The entire team...Diane, Gooch, Keith, Dean, Spike, Francis and the rest of the production team made sure they took the time to make this a dream experience. A dream come true, the best band in the world and a fundraiser to beat cancer...how can it be toped. I have always been a proud member of the KISS Army, but on the night of July 12th I felt like a member of the KISS family. THANK YOU!