KISS Reflects On 40 Years: 1973 - 2013; GENE SIMMONS Discusses Band's First Concert
Celebrating the band's 40th Anniversary this year, the members of KISS
have issued the following statements: Paul Stanley
(vocals/guitar) - "My dream from the start was five
years of glory with KISS. Along with Peter (Criss) and Ace (Frehley), 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 (Thayer and Eric (Singer)’s pride and dedication have enabled Gene
(Simmons) 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. Humble thanks." Eric Singer
(drums): "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 and present. I especially want to thank Paul, Gene,
Tommy and (manager) Doc McGhee for giving me a place to call home. And
most importantly the fans. YOU fuel this engine!"Tommy Thayer
(guitar): "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."
(bass/vocals): "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!"
Forty years ago today, on January 30th, 1973
, KISS performed their
very first concert at Popcorn (The Coventry) in Queens, NY. The band
performed two sets at the club that night for a crowd of under 10
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, ee thought it was the worst crap he had
ever heard. Needless to say, he was gone immediately. So, we were
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."