“You wanted the best, you got the best”
By James Shotwell / substreammagazine.com
The legacy of Kiss is one of style over substance where songs serve to sell the live show and live shows exist to sell the merchandise. The band has had numerous top 10 singles during their forty-five-year run in rock music, but in many ways, they have always been considered outcasts. Blame it on the makeup they wear or the fact they only take themselves as seriously as the need to at any point, but rock diehard at large have always looked down on the group as something existing just outside the realm what is considered cool.
What those so-called rock purists don’t realize is that being outside what is considered cool is exactly where bands should want to exist.
Rock and roll has always been the sound of outsiders. Though it was stolen from its creators and repackaged for mass marketability, the heart and soul of rock has remained the same since its inception. Kiss has always represented the original intention of the genre. Remove the clothes and makeup and nonstop pyrotechnics that accompanies every performance and you have a band writing songs for the working class that are grounded in everyday reality. They sing to inspire as much as they do to entertain, and their final tour is an extension of that idea in every way.
Final Long Island road show brings dose of nostalgia for rock lovers
By David J. Criblez / Newsday
Ron Buckley keeps his holiday tree up all year long in the cozy den of his Middle Island home. “It’s a KISSmas tree,” says Buckley, who has garnished it with the rock band's action figures, bulbs and a snow globe besides a giant logo that stands in for a star. In fact, the nurse has decorated his home in style of his favorite group, KISS, which brings its “End of the Road” farewell tour to NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on Friday.
“KISS gives you a good feeling and puts you in a different mindset,” says Buckley, 37, who has both a spare bedroom and a storage facility filled with thousands of KISS collectibles. “There’s no political view point and they are not preaching anything. This band is focused on having a good time.”
The band's costumed and face-painted characters — the Demon (bassist-vocalist Gene Simmons), the Starchild (guitarist-vocalist Paul Stanley), the Catman (drummer Eric Singer) and the Spaceman (guitarist Tommy Thayer) — are superheroes who rock. But, their fans don’t just listen to KISS — they live and breathe KISS. From their clothes to their bedroom walls to their family vacations, KISS is factored in.
“KISS takes me back to my childhood,” says Mike Brunn, 48, of Farmingdale, who has been a dedicated fan for 43 years. “I remember sitting on my bed looking at their album covers and listening to their music. KISS brings me to that place and allows me to escape reality.”
Brunn takes his family on a KISS Kruise every fall, when the band plays multiple shows on board and hosts cooking classes, drum competitions, guitar pick-throwing contests and songwriting master classes like the one he and his daughter Courtney took the past few years with Simmons.
“Me and my dad now have a song that we wrote that’s legally copyrighted,” recalls Courtney, 20. “It’s something I never would have done without Gene’s help.”
As KISS says farewell, Paul Stanley reveals why the band is taking the makeup off
By Chuck Arnold / NY Post
KISS is giving a goodbye smooch to their fans with their End of the Road farewell tour, which hits Nassau Coliseum on Friday and Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. (The trek returns to the area in August.) New York native Paul Stanley — the 67-year-old co-founder and co-lead singer of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band — dishes on his KISS alter ego, his makeup secrets and being “Dressed To Kill” in Chelsea.
So why did you guys decide to hang up the makeup after all these years?
We take tremendous pride in what we do, and we have a tremendous responsibility, not only to the fans but to our legacy. If we were a band wearing T-shirts and jeans, we could do this into our 90s, but . . . we’re carrying 30 to 40 pounds of gear and running around and making it look easy. Our idea was to make sure that, before we reach a point of diminishing returns, we go out and, in essence, take a victory lap. We don’t wanna go out with a whimper; we wanna go out with a bang.
Will you miss wearing the makeup?
It’s so much a part of me that whether it’s on my face or in my blood, it’s always there . . . So whether I ever put it on again or not, it’s part of me. The tattoo is on the inside, also.