04/27/2016

1975 KISS and makeup

A delicate routine, before rocking all night

by Alex Q. Arbuckle / MASHABLE

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In the early 1970s, two members of New York rock band Wicked Lester, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, struck out to start a new group. They recruited drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley, and by early 1973 had settled on a name — KISS.

Their first gig as KISS was at the Popcorn Club in Queens, New York, on Jan. 30, 1973. The band members outnumbered the audience of three.

It wasn’t until a couple months later that the group began to develop their signature look. During performances at The Daisy in Amityville, New York, on March 9 and 10, the band took to the stage with striking black and white makeup.

Each man’s makeup reflected a character and personality: Stanley’s heady romantic “Starchild,” Simmons’ twisted and cynical “Demon,” Criss’ nine-lived “Catman,” and Frehley’s extraterrestrial “Space Ace.”

Here, the glam-metal quartet go through their well-practiced makeup routines backstage before shows in 1975. 

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