Kiss Biography

Kiss was formed in New York in '72 by guitarist/vocalist Paul Stanley (Stanley Eisen) and Gene Simmons (Gene Klein). The line-up was rounded out by drummer Peter Criss (Crisscoula), located through a Rolling Stone ad, and lead guitarist Ace Frehley (Paul Frehley), who answered an ad in the Village Voice. The band's cartoon image, kabuki makeup and 4th-of-July stageshow concept was in place from the start, and they began promoting their own hall shows in NYC. TV director Bill Aucoin saw them, became their manager, and secured a deal for them with Neil Bogart's Casablanca Records within two weeks. Three LPs were released in a year's time, but the live fourth LP, Alive! (1975) contained their first huge hit, "Rock And Roll All Nite." Until the early '80, Kiss was unstoppable, with two huge-selling Marvel Comics, a network TV movie and four simultaneously-released solo albums under their studded belts. In '80, Criss left for a solo career and since then, the drum and lead positions have been ever-changing. In '83, the band stripped away the makeup and celebrated renewed interest.

Kiss

"You wanted the best, you got it! The hottest band in the land: KISS!" So went the rally cry at the beginning of a Kiss concert, an event of exploding pyrotechnics, vomited blood and louder-than-God hard rock. Their fan club--The Kiss Army--swelled to six-figures strong during the band's '70s heyday, and between 1974 and today they've sold in excess of 70 million albums.

In '96, the original band reformed (made up?), and took their full costume-makeup-pyro 1976 show on the road--for a year-long stint--resulting in one of the most successful rock tours ever. Conjecture that the band wanted to quit on a high note has remained unproven; anything could happen in Kiss' future.

Kiss Biography