KISS was the first rock band I got into. In 1976, I got to pick a gift for myself in recognition of graduating from grade school. I chose an eight-track tape of Dressed To Kill. I loved the music and would listen to it over and over again.
Krist Novoselic's column on music and politics runs every Tuesday on the Daily Weekly. He writes about what he's listening to every Friday on Reverb.
It didn't take long until I collected the band's work on vinyl and tapes. I just loved the songs. Of course the band is more known for its makeup and spectacular live show. My 12-year-old mind thought this image was way cool. The KISS Alive LP came with a booklet of a collection of photos. I cut out the picture of Gene Simmons and hung it in my junior high locker. As a 12 year old, a lot of the subject matter--KISS songs are usually obsessed with sex--of the songs was over my head.Two or three of us painted our faces for Halloween as KISS. We went out in the neighborhood and knocked on a door, and the dudes who answered were totally decked out as KISS, too. They were older and had the whole look down. We were blown away. And they were happy to see us too, they invited us inside for a minute so the rest of their party could see!
As I grew older, I got into more rock bands. And KISS changed over time as well. They eventually took off their make-up and came across as a more straight band.
Ironically, it was when I got into Punk Rock when I rediscovered the band. I would buy their early records, and as a budding music aficionado I appreciated the band's song craft. When listening to the band's first three records, you can hear how they're disciples of The Beatles. It's all there - three-minute statements of hooks, riffs, and pop bass guitar.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are keeping the magic of KISS alive with a show called KISS Alive 35 to commemorate the release of the band's 1975 breakthrough live record. It may not be the complete original band, but again they were always larger than life, so it really doesn't matter. I'm sure the show will rock!!!