Wednesday, January 30, 2013
KISS REFLECTS ON 40 YEARS: 1973-2013
My dream from the start was five years of glory with KISS. Along with Peter and Ace, we kicked doors open that stood in our way, and every band member who has stood with me at some point during these decades has played an essential part in turning that five year dream into a phenomenal 40 year reality. I thank each of you for your contribution to this milestone.
Our journey and victories are a joy I also share with you, our fans who have always given us the freedom to stand and fall on our own terms, and we have done both with a grateful smile. For the past ten years, Tommy and Eric’s pride and dedication have enabled Gene and I to reclaim and celebrate all that we have been, while continuing to move forward in a way that would have been impossible without them. I love playing with the band as it is today, and many of my proudest moments are tied to moments of magic we have created together in the studio and on the stage. I know we’re ready to do it again.
A special thanx to ALL of the Fans who have been with the band on this roller coaster ride called KISS for 40 years! I am honored to be a part of this machine and pay special respect to all members past & present. I especially want to thank Paul, Gene, Tommy & Doc McGhee for giving me a place to call home. And most importantly the Fans. YOU Fuel this engine!
At 40 years strong, I'm proud to be in one of the greatest bands in rock history. KISS is a band that is as full of life and vitality today as it was 10, 20, 30 and 40 years ago. All eras of the band should be celebrated today. Long live KISS.
To the Kiss Army - who made it all possible for us.
To Paul, without whom I would never have been able to achieve my dreams.
And to the band - past and present, for continuing to treat the stage as holy ground and the fans as our bosses.
Here's to another 40 years!
Gene recalls how that show came about:
1973 was the beginning.
Wicked Lester had just finished its album for EPIC RECORDS. There were five members in the band, including Paul and myself. Though we had a real recording contract with a major label, and though we had finished an entire album, we were depressed. It just wasn't what we had envisioned.
So, we started again. We tried firing the other three guys in Wicked Lester, but some wouldn't leave. So, we quit.
We started again with a vision. 'Let's put together the band we never saw on stage.'
We got a manager named LOU LINET, who managed JF MURPHY AND FREE FLOWING SALT and DIANA MARCOVITZ (or something like that)...and when he heard the newborn baby -- KISS. He thought it was the worst crap he had ever heard. Needless to say, he was gone immediately. So, we were managerless.
I put together a bio kit, while I worked at the Puerto Rican Interagency Council, as assistant to the Director. Peter's friend owned a printing press and printed up our invites.
But, where to play? We didn't have a manager. We didn't have an agent. We never had.
I made a phone call cold to a place called Popcorn in Queens, NY and on the phone convinced the guy to hire a band, who would soon be changing their name from WICKED LESTER to KISS.
We got the gig -- three nights -- Wed, Thurs and Fri for the sum total of $150.
That was the beginning.