Kiss (Kiss): biography of the group

How did Kiss get started? Their first performance. Kiss Interviews: Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons...

Group "Kiss": the formation of rock stars! How did the band start...

The first performance of future rock stars took place in one of the capital's New York clubs, and little stood out from the others, according to eyewitnesses. It was January 1973 ... It was a hitherto unknown rock band that referred to itself as "The Kiss". However, some spectators (albeit few of them) were fascinated by the game. Then they did not yet understand what awaited America in the next ten years. The concert that took place that day was only the beginning of the development of one of the most notable rock bands. And Kiss herself had no idea about the imminent conquest of fan hearts.

The beginning of a rock career

«1973 was a turning point and became the starting point, so to speak. The work on the album for Epic Records was completed, which we recorded. Back then our band was called Wicked Lester and there were three other members besides me and Stanley. Despite the signed contract with a promoted label and the successful completion of the album, we did not feel any feelings other than depression. That's why we decided to create something new and fresh.", - says one of the founders of Kiss Gene Simmons.

Kiss on the streets of New York, 1976. Photo: Richard Corkery
Kiss on the streets of New York, 1976. Photo: Richard Corkery

Paul Stanley: “Our creative path to the founding of Kiss was not easy. It was in our power to recreate any musical style, from country to folk. But in the end it got boring, and we decided: “to hell with everything, we will hone our skills in one style that we can do and play better than the rest.” As you might guess, it was rock. We stubbornly peeled off all the fat from the skin to get to the juicy meat.

And then it started. To start over, Simons and Stanley had to get rid of unnecessary legacy in the team.

Gene Simmons: “We tried hard to get the other three guys out of the group, but they were stubborn and refused to leave Wicked Lester at all. Then we decided not to bother with them for a long time and left the group ourselves. We wanted to start from scratch, with a new idea and a flight of fancy. Our goal was to form a cool rock band, the likes of which the world has never seen before."

The search for participants who masterfully master the technique of playing musical instruments was moving forward rapidly and successfully ...

“We placed an ad for a lead guitarist in a music newspaper. And, believe it or not, we were just flooded with requests, and not just from anyone, but from well-known popular musicians playing in such successful bands as Hookfoot and Long John Baldry. Then Kiss was just a shadow, but we were interested! This fact brought us a real delight!” Stanley says.

Photo "KISS" without makeup
Photo "KISS" without makeup

Paul on playing Ace Frehley: “He was playing with some unknown up-and-coming musicians in one of the shabby bars in New York. But in spite of everything, a bright potential burned in him, and this could not be overlooked. He really came out of the shadow of that nameless horde with which he happened to play in those days.

Ace Frehley had already established himself in Wicked Lester, and later became a member of Kiss. Peter Criss was included in the team back in 1972. Then the highlight of the team was daring and defiant rock and roll.

The first manager did not stay long in his post ...

“Our first manager was Lou Linet. During this period, he collaborated with Jf Murphy and Free Flowing Salt, as well as with Diana Markowitz. He considered the name "Kiss" stupid and inappropriate for a successful rock career. Needless to say, cooperation with him immediately ceased after that, ”says Simmons.

Gene Simmons. Photo: Michael Putland
Gene Simmons. Photo: Michael Putland

«We lived in our own apartment, located in the most decrepit New York block. In general, we didn't care. The apartment served as a studio in which we worked to create an amazing show. A guy I know lent us a typewriter and we printed invitations on it. But the main question was: we had nowhere to play. We didn't have a manager or an agent,” recalls Gene Simmons. “Then I called a bar called Popcorn in Queens. I managed to persuade the guy to hire our band to perform. And so we had three whole evenings of glory, the cost of which was 150 bucks! It was from this moment that one of the most memorable rock bands in history began to exist - the Kiss group!".


Kiss band, 1976
Kiss band, 1976
  • At the first Kiss concert there were about twenty people in attendance.
  • The autumn of 1973 was remarkable for the team. It was then, in September, that the team was spotted by Andy Krammer. Having visited the guys' rehearsal, the producer selected their best singles for a new demo. During the same period, Kiss worked on their first studio album and collaborated with Casablanca Records.
  • The end of the year - December 31, 1973 - became more successful for the group. The band warms up for the Blue Oyster Cult performance at the New York Academy of Music. And already in February 1974 Kiss went on their first tour and made themselves known on television.



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