Kiss: Interesting stories and facts about the band

Something you might not know...

Stories about the glam-rock monsters Kiss

Kiss is an internationally known glam-rock band, whose members created a bright and quite scandalous image from the first days of their existence as a band... And it is this image that turned into a marketing giant! As a result, they managed to turn their success into permanent fame... However, many listeners would call them actors rather than musicians... Why? Yes, their outrageous clothes, makeup and antics go far beyond just rock music. However, it is the reason why the band is known all over the world! The band released their greatest hits in the far 70's, but they are still sounding today: now on the screen, now on the radio... Today we prepared for you a portion of interesting stories about this unique band that might surprise you...

Kiss could have made a deal with… the devil!

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

In any case, the band's fans would love it! The image of the group is a scandalous image of guys living out of bounds, built on love for Lucifer (and much more in that spirit). And the band's fans quickly realized that the famous song "The Oath" could well pass for a legend about Satan:

“Like the blade of a sword, I am hardened in a hot flame.
I take into the night tempered steel, bright flame.
I'm not afraid.

Now driven by what I can't see
I go ahead, surrendering to history.

I swear I will ride for you and your glory.
I believe that your strength rides with me.
I am your servant and will always be…”

This song, among other things, brought a lot of attention to the band, and devoted fans were intrigued by the band's supposed demonic connections. Decades later, the band is still benefiting from this so-called Devil deal (as are the band's fans).

Ace Frehley is considered the gold standard for rock star insanity and self-destruction...

Ace Frehley
Ace Frehley

When leading guitarist and KISS co-founder Ace Fraley published his memoir in 2012, his crazy stories spread like wildfire across the Internet! As the music critic AV Club put it about Fraley's book:

“During the heyday of the 70s, Frehley’s behavior deviated so much from even the most fuzzy and generous ideas of acceptable human behavior that he might as well be an alien Harpo Marx, communicating mainly through gestures and sounds ...”

So, for decades, hedonistic rock stars have been able to convince themselves that even if they're crazy, they're not Ace Frehley's crazy!

The band's management was rude to the creator of KISS Army

KISS in 1976
KISS in 1976

Bill Starkey went to his first concert in 1974 and was captivated by their music... By the next year he had recruited some of his friends and started the KISS Army fan band. Starkey and his classmates began spreading the music - they claimed it wasn't about gimmicks, costumes or makeup: it was all about the music... Starkey was the first commander-in-chief of the KISS Army, and his buddy, Jay Evans, was its field marshal!

Starkey's efforts caught the attention of the group, and he met them in 1975. He decided to run KISS Army from his home, but in 1976 he received notice that management would take over... Starkey was not compensated for his idea. Management also designed a logo and began recruiting members, reaching 100,000. The base waned for a while, but was revitalized in 2007 with a new Web site.

Starting in 2018, joining the KISS Army includes getting a t-shirt, discounts on band merchandise and pre-show ticket information. The annual subscription price is $50.

Germany banned the KISS logo in the 1970s due to its resemblance to World War II iconography

Dressed To Kill (kiss) – album cover
Dressed To Kill (kiss) – album cover

The name "KISS" and the band's logo have remained subjects of speculation since its inception... Alleged links to Satanism fueled claims that KISS was an acronym for "Knights in the service of Satan". Gene Simmons always denied it, but also admitted that the band did not reject the idea because it was good for business: after the band's first album, in an interview with Circus magazine, Simmons said that he "sometimes wondered what human meat tasted like..." Of course, this caused a flurry of emotions!

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

As for the logo, many felt that the KISS lettering was remarkably similar to the letters SS or Schutzstaffel from World War II. Germany even banned the logo in the late 1970s. But according to Ace Frehley, who drew the logo, it was a coincidence.

Despite the party-goer behavior, Simmons supposedly doesn't drink...

Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons

Despite his hardcore lifestyle, Gene Simmons claims he has been a lifelong teetotaler! Simmons says he avoided alcohol and other drugs for the sake of his mother, a World War II concentration camp survivor. The musician also said that he "did not have the right to harm his mother, even morally, since this was enough for her in life ..."

At the same time, Simmons spoke frankly about drinkers. He openly criticized his bandmates who drank, calling them "drunkards" and "losers". This attitude is in keeping with Simmons' public personality. Simmons not only insulted people suffering from substance abuse, but also allegedly encouraged people with depression to commit suicide! He also wanted the immigrants to learn English...

Paul Stanley Claims His Former Band Members Were Racist Posers

Ace Frehley and Peter Criss left KISS in 1982 (whether or not they were fired varies, but Frehley claims he left of his own accord). The departure of both members was associated with their harmful addictions, but their former bandmates accused both of some other disgusting behavior ... So, Paul Stanley said:

“They felt powerless when faced with the tireless focus, drive and ambition of me and Jin. As a result, the two of them tried to sabotage the group…”

Stanley also claimed that Frehley often wore Nazi trappings (which Simmons also mentioned in his autobiography) and Criss made fun of waiters in Chinese restaurants... Both Stanley and Simmons told a story about how Frehley and Criss allegedly dressed up as Nazis one night and knocked on Simmons' door, asking for his papers. In addition, Stanley spoke out about Simmons, stating that "he was never the genius he claimed to be! He was just a guy who took responsibility for the actions of a lot of other people…”

KISS sells everything from Hello Kitty dolls to lunch boxes and air bags!

Hello Kitty in KISS style
hello kitty kiss style

All the visuals associated with KISS were hardcore, outrageous - from their album covers depicting monsters, fire and women! The group has developed a wide network, producing products for adults and children, as well as a few things that can be of interest to both. The KISS lunch box was a treasured gift for children in the 1970s (there is a newer version), and in the KISS comic, the blood of the band members themselves is allegedly mixed with ink ...

As of 2018, you can go to the KISS website and buy water bottles, shirts, cell phone cases, and even a demon waffle iron! The group even sold air bags and Hello Kitty KISS dolls! In 2014, Paul Stanley proudly said, "We'll put our brand on everything!"

Some equate a KISS show with theatrics...


Critics of KISS - those who do not want to call them a rock band - consider the band's concerts more spectacle than entertainment. It is widely believed that the show is a distraction from bad lyrics and lackluster musical performances. Many people, such as Washington Post writer Steve Knopper, believe that KISS shows are more about lights, lasers, and fire than they are about songs.

At the same time, some people think that the theatrics make KISS a band for the people, because the impressive effects appeal to the crowd...

The band was allegedly excluded from the concert dedicated to the memory of Michael Jackson ...

KISS group, 1976
KISS group, 1976

In Cardiff, Wales, KISS was eliminated from the line-up for a Michael Jackson tribute show. This came after the media reported that Gene Simmons had made disparaging remarks about the late singer shortly after his death. The concert in October 2011 was supposed to headline KISS, but the move was canceled by the promoters.

By the way: Michael Jackson is not the only respected figure that Simmons spoke out about. His long list of curse words includes Prince, whose death he allegedly called "pathetic" ...

Gene Simmons made a journalist take off his shirt before giving an interview...

KISS is known for making all sorts of condescending remarks and requests in their self-proclaimed god status as a rock band! Not least one of these stories concerns a South American journalist who was about to interview the band in 2012 until they challenged his outfit.

He was wearing an Iron Maiden shirt. Gene Simmons immediately pointed this out and reportedly refused to answer questions until the journalist took off his shirt.

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