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Kiss

1972-
Gene Simmons (Klein)(vocals, bass)1972-
Ace (Paul) Frehley(guitar)1972-1982, 1996-2002
Paul Stanley (Stanley Eisen)(guitar, vocals)1972-
Peter Criss (Crisscoula)(drums, vocals)1972-1982, 1996-2001
Eric Carr Paul (Caravello)(drums)1982-1991
Vinnie Vincent (Cusano)(guitar)1982-1984
Mark St. John (Norton)(guitar)1984-1985
Bruce Kulick(guitar)1985-
Eric Singer(drums)1991-
Tommy Thayer(guitar)2002-

Artistfacts for Kiss

  • Gene Simmons and former Playboy model Shannon Tweed were together for 28 years and had two children, Nicholas and Sophie, before the couple finally married in 2011.

    Simmons and Tweed met at the Playboy Mansion during one of their lavish "Midsummer Night's Dream" parties. At the time, Simmons was in a relationship with Motown star Diana Ross. Simmons was shocked to learn that Tweed's sister, Tracy, was married to Diana's brother, Chico Ross.
  • In 1977, Marvel Comics published a KISS comic book. The red ink supposedly contained some of the band's blood.
  • They were never photographed without their makeup until 1983, when they took it off to promote Lick It Up.
  • Simmons' tongue is 7 inches long, 2 inches longer than average.
  • Simmons and Stanley formed the group after they fired all the members of their first band together, Wicked Lester. They found Peter Criss and Ace Frehley with ads in Rolling Stone and The Village Voice. (thanks, Josh - Framingham, MA)
  • Each member represents a character. Simmons is The Demon, Frehley is The Spaceman, Stanley is The Star Child, Criss is The Cat, and Carr was The Fox. Vincent briefly wore makeup with an Ankh design in his early concerts with the group. (thanks, Jeff - Haltom City, TX)
  • In 1991, Eric Carr, who replaced Criss on drums in 1982, died of cancer at age 41. He and Freddie Mercury died on the same day.
  • In 1978, each member released a solo album on the same day. All 4 made the US Top 50, with Frehley's selling the best.
  • The band name made for lots of speculation, the most popular being "Knights In Satan's Service." The truth is much more mundane: Paul Stanley came up with the name and the others loved it. Peter Criss explained in a 1977 Marvel profile, "It really means a lot. It's the first thing you do to a chick or anybody. It could also be the kiss of death. It's a strong word. It's easy to remember."
  • Most music critics hated the band. They are not considered great musicians, but are known for their live performances, which their core fans, The KISS Army, loves.
  • In 1999, Simmons produced the movie Detroit Rock City, about some guys who try to go to a KISS show and have wacky adventures along the way.
  • Their 1998 Psycho Circus tour was the first rock concert in 3-D. Fans were instructed to put on the glasses at certain parts of the show to see the special effects.
  • Simmons was born in Israel as Chaim Witz. He moved to New York and spent 6 months as a schoolteacher.
  • In 1999, World Championship Wrestling (since bought by the WWE), introduced "The Demon," a wrestler based on Gene Simmons, compete with makeup and stage antics. He was not as popular as hoped and was dropped soon after.
  • In 1977, Kiss was named the most popular band in America in a Gallup Poll.
  • In 2001, manufacturing began on the "Kiss Kasket," a coffin with photos and autographs from the original members. It costs $5000, but is waterproof and can be used as a "Kiss Kooler" until the owner dies.
  • Simmons' mother survived the Nazi concentration camps in World War II.
  • The lyrics for their 1974 Hotter Than Hell album were printed in both English and Japanese, to show their appreciation for their Japanese fans.
  • The Stone Temple Pilots once played a show entirely in Kiss make-up.
  • Kiss appeared in the game Tony Hawk Underground. One level, set in Australia, is a Kiss concert. Kiss songs used are "Lick It Up," "God Of Thunder" and "Rock And Roll All Nite." (thanks, Tom - Trowbridge, England)
  • A homeless man in Santa Monica named Christopher Dickinson had been telling people for years that he was Peter Criss. In 1991, The Star magazine believed him and reported that Criss was destitute. They appeared together on the Donahue show that year to sort things out and prove that Criss was not homeless.
  • Former Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell was buried in a Kiss Kasket following his murder in December 2004, as Kiss and Ace Frehley were his favorite band and guitarist respectively. "Cold Gin," his favorite Kiss song, was played at his funeral. (thanks, Tom - Trowbridge, England)
  • They had a cameo on the popular cartoon Family Guy. Peter Griffin continuously mentions how he's upset about missing "KISS Saves Santa," which is a takeoff of those corny Christmas kids movies. We later find out that Peter's wife Lois was groupie. (thanks, Chris LaBenne - Niles, OH)
  • In the late '70s the Cadalac Vikings of Cadalac, Michigan started playing Kiss albums in the locker rooms and were even rumored to wear Kiss make-up during football games. Kiss came to Cadalac for several days and ended the tour with a parade. The street was later dedicated Kiss Boulevard and Kiss was presented with a key to the city. (thanks, Joel - Mesick, MI)
  • Mark St. John died on April 5, 2007 of a brain hemorrhage. He was 51 years old. (thanks, Jeff - Haltom City, TX)
  • Paul Stanley originally wore paint around his eyes that resembled a Lone Ranger mask on the makeup. He then began wearing an actual mask of the same before finally settling for the star around his right eye. (thanks, Randy - Colerain Twp., OH)
  • Tommy Thayer replaced Ace Frehley in the Spaceman makeup in 2002. (thanks, Calvin - Sasktoon, Canada)
  • In 1999, Stanley sang in the Toronto production of The Phantom Of The Opera.
  • Simmons told the Trouser Press in 1978: "I realized that to make any kind of statement from music or anything else, you really have to simplify it, really bring it down to the LCD – the Lowest Common Denominator, so that people out there that don't play instruments can appreciate what you are doing, that they don't have to sit there and go to school to realize that what we've done is good."
  • According to Bruce Kulick, Eric Carr was the most fan-friendly member of the group. He would answer every piece of fan mail he received, and sometimes even call the fans. Kulick recalls him signing autographs for fans in freezing weather outside of their hotel because the fans weren't allowed in the lobby.
  • Paul Stanley was born without any hearing in his right ear and wears had an implanted hearing aid. He told CNN in 2011, "I was born with a Level 3 Microtia, which is a congenital deformity of the cartilage of the outer ear, and occurs in approximately 1 out of every 8,000 to 10,000 births. There is no ear canal and no direct path to the inner workings of the ear. Except for bone conduction, I'm virtually deaf on my right side, as there is no access for sound to enter."
  • With Ace Frehley making it clear that he was no longer interested in being a member of Kiss when recording sessions began for 1982's Creatures of the Night, the remaining members had to scramble to find his replacement. Instead of enlisting a single replacement, several different guitarists can be heard supplying leads throughout the album, including Vinnie Vincent, Bob Kulick, Robben Ford, and Steve Farris -- the latter of which went on to become a member of pop rockers Mr. Mister, best known for the hits "Broken Wings" and "Kyrie."
  • Paul Stanley attended the High School of Music & Art in New York, whose other notable alumni include The Left Banke. He recalled to Mojo magazine: "I was painfully shy but I would see Janis (Ian) around all the time. Also, Laura Nyro had just graduated. This was a school which had the talented weirdos and outcasts from every school in New York. And to be in a school where the last graduating class had a band who had a top five record (The Left Banke's 'Walk Away Renee,' which was released in July 1966) was exciting."
  • Kiss was eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 15 years before they finally were inducted in 2014. They refused to play at the ceremony because the Hall would not recognize current members Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. In our interview with Gene Simmons, he explained his reasoning: "We said OK, we'll accept the award, but I'm not playing. So I'll tell you what I'm going to do: I have a hall of fame, and I'm going to honor you. You can bring your whole family and everything else. But just your first girlfriend that you went out with. Your wife and your kids, no, they can't come. How would you feel about that?"
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Comments: 57

The band was actually photographed more than a few times without makeup in the 70's, but were able to purchase the film and/or camera from the photographer on most occasions before the film was ever developed.Lane - Lee, Mo
The audio of Peter's voice in KISS Meets the Phantom wasn't used. They dubbed in a voice actor named Michael Bell who voiced many Hanna Barbera cartoon characters.Lane - Lee, Mo
The first media photo of KISS without makeup happened way early - in 1975. Creem magazine tricked them into taking photos without makeup by telling them that their manager, Bill Aucoin, said it was okay to do so.Lane - Lee, Mo
Gene sold the most solo albums, followed by Ace, then Paul and Peter's came in last. Ace's was the only one that had a top 40 hit on it.Lane - Lee, Mo
"Does anyone know what Gene says to the audience before bidding them a farewell right after the song 'Let Me Go Rock and Roll', on the ALIVE I album?" - Randy, Colerain Twp., OH. Randy, Gene doesnt say anything it's Peter who shouts into the mic "Just want to Rock and Roll" and then they play the closing riff.Casey - Richmond, Ky
Kiss is my favourite rock and roll band. Why? Because their songs gave me strenght in my worst moments, their music feed my soul with joy, energy and make me feel better. Some people say thet they suck as real artists, but they are not artists, they're entertainers and do it really good. If you wanna SEE a real rock and roll act who can make their music to catch life, watch them.Marcelo - Santiago, Chile
Technically speaking they weren't great musician but they did have a gimmic and some decent songwriters working for them.Rockheadz - Scarsdale, Ny
i own one of the comic with the band blood in themWeston - Stillwater, Mn
Kiss is my favorite band ever!! I would have to say Ace is the best member.Alyssa - Oxford, Pa
Gene Simmons is pretty much the star of KISS.Vince - Long Island, Ny
im a die hard kiss fan but john bonham is a better drummer than peter criss and kiss are die hard led zep fans im a zep fan myself and you cant compare that terrorist from lebanon serj tankian to paul stanley all that emo crap sux as far as gimmicks go there is alice cooper mudvyne insane clown posse slipknot mushroomhead gorillz marilyn manson david bowie genesis poison motley crue new york dolls shall i go onKrazh - Woodlands, Tx
Paul's heart didn't explode...he had a rapid heartbeat. Get your facts straight.Tiffane - Kalispell, Mt
i am a big fan of the music of kiss i think that they are one of the best rock groups of all times and they had alot of big music songs i have about 2 cassette tapes adn i listen to them when ever there is something not to good and i think that paul stanley kicks ass with all of his great vocals i watched one of there concerts on TV last night and i thought that it would be a kick ass blast to go to one of there concertsMichelle - Maplewood, Mn
Does anyone know what Gene says to the audience before bidding them a farewell right after the song 'Let Me Go Rock and Roll', on the ALIVE I album? Deya from Las Vegas, if you think that both Paul Stanley and Serj Tankian can actually sing, you are obviously 'tone deaf'. I think Don Knotts had sung better in 'The Andy Griffith Show' episodes, than any song that Serj has ever done with SOAD. And Paul Stanley certainly isn't much better. As far as who is the best 'vocalist' of KISS in my opinion, I think it is Peter... As far as which member recorded the best solo album in 1978, I think that it was Ace.Randy - Colerain Twp., Oh
Some people think that Serg from System Of A Down and Paul Stanley are the worst singers but its not true.Deya - Las Vegas, Nm
I agree, as far as musical talent, KISS really didn't have much. I personally think that Paul Stanley and (System of a Down's lead singer)Serj Tankian are some of the worse singers in rock. Really, the only band members that really were good were Ace Frehley and Eric Carr. But KISS still had some decent songs. Some of my favorite included 'Deuce', 'Let Me Go Rock and Roll', and 'Hard Luck Woman', the latter wouldn't have had been a better song if Peter Criss wouldn't have performed the vocals. But the one thing that I will give credit to is that Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, especially Gene, are smart musicians. KISS probably wouldn't have lasted four decades if they weren't. People can argue all they want about the fact that they wouldn't have been popular without their make-up and attire, but they still managed to release albums and tour even in the mid 80's and early 90's when they didn't have that. I will also agree, that without their antics they probably wouldn't have lasted so long, but then again how long do you think The Monkees would have lasted without their television series? People will remember The Beatles simply because they were the best musical group of the 1960's. Most people may recognize The Monkees because of their TV shows. And KISS will simply be recognized because of their antics. But whatever opinion you may have on them, one thing that I think they still deserve is a place in the 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame'. Many critics will argue that they weren't talented enough to win such an honor. But one thing positive that you can state about KISS, not many people can state that KISS drove them, or their friends or loved ones into alcohol or drug use, or even suicide. And definitely what they have lacked in record sales, they have certainly made up in merchandise sales. Despite what you may think of their music, they will always be remembered...Long after they are gone.Randy - Colerain Twp., Oh
dude...they made the rock national anthem, ROCK AND ROLL ALL NIGHT, how much cooler can they get?Dan - D, Ca
IN THE MOVIE KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM IN THE PARK. ACE WAS REPLACED BY A BLACK MANShawnee - Youngstowm, Oh
Kiss is the greatest live band ever. Fans dont like kiss solely for performances, the music rocks too.Joe - Miami, Fl
There was a Trivia Pursuit question about Kiss that is rather misleading. The question was
"what was the final band to play Fillmore East in NYC?" Owner Bill Graham closed it in June of 1971 before there was Kiss, and the Allman Brothers Band closed out the final show. Somehow, Kiss got the empty place reopened and did a show there in 1974. Therefore we have an answer that can cause some Trivial Pursuit arguments, maybe we can let George and the Bubble Boy fight this one out!!!!
Barry - New York, Ny
Its not fair to say that Kiss is a sell out band. In all fairness, Kiss was never against publicity or selling merchandise to make money, so how can they be a sell out if they're not going against what they stand for?
Perhaps people use the term "selling out" too loosely when they don't like a band. Its okay to say you don't like what they stand for, but you can't really call them a sell out.
Kayla - London
"Kiss, living proof that anybody or anything can make it in America. - Don, Pittsburgh, PA"

Really Don? Where can we see YOU performing live next? No, I didn't think so.
Debbie - Canberra, Australia
KISS ROCKZ!!!Jen - Ontario, Canada
did anyone follow the reality show featuring gene. 'rock school'?Marlow - Perth, Australia
kiss is featured on more family guy episodes than any other "guest" character. i heard seth mcfarlane is a huge fan.Josh - New York, Ny
No, I believe that many of us listen to Led Zeppeling as well, John from Philidelphia, I think that the ignorant Led Zeppelin fans need some KissMellissa - Wasaga Beach, Canada
"gene has a trick that he can make his tongue bleed, and that's medicaly bad"
Possibly most inane thing ever said.
Danny - Sydney, Australia
I bought my first KISS ablum when I was in the 4th grade, Destroyer, and I was hooked. Everything in my life was KISS KISS KISS. Every inch of my bedroom's walls were covered with posters, and pictures cut out from magazines. My brother and two cousins would put on the make-up, arrange our room as a KISS stage, put on the black lite, crank up ALIVE and ROCKED OUT as though we were KISS. Once the album was over, we'd critique our performance and improve. It was so much fun, and when I finally saw them YEARS later, for the first time in concert, their reunion tour, I sat next to someone who was given the tickets, he hated KISS, was there only "because" and you know what, after the show he too was hooked. He said, I coul not beleive how awesome they are. He even complimented Paul's voice, ranted on and on about Ace and how "into it" the band was and the fans were. It was the "best concert" he had ever been too. KISS is very special. It caused me to learn to play the guitar and I love playing it LOUD.Brian - Santa Cruz, Ca
I saw KISS live in 2003, I was deaf for about 5 minutes after the concert finished. One of the greatest bands ever.Danny - Sydney, Australia
gene produced a cartoon on nickelodeon called my dad is a rock star and the dad is majorly based off of him it is very entrertaining but the target audience are 7 year olds and I love KISS their songs are awesomeJessi - Indian Hills, Co
Gene Simmons is a mainiac!!! it's rediculus how man KISS groupies he has slept with. His tounge extension is also crazy. I love Love Gun, though. KISS is a great band. ( I even like dynasty, their disco album )Billy Storey - Boston , Ma
Kiss are an American icon/institution, and goes way beyond just music. They do, however, have some of the greatest songs/records of all rock & roll. Period. Statistics prove that. They are the largest selling record band in America (most gold records sold by a band). And, although I don't live my life by statistics, it proves that I'm not the only one who thinks that Kiss M-U-S-I-C is great.Nic - San Francisco, Ca
Not loud enough, but one of the best metal bands.Junyi - Singapore, Singapore
have you seen the family guy episode where kiss saves christmas? its frickin hilarious!Ryan - Los Angeles, Ca
For those of you who say they can't preform, or play. Gimme a break. I saw them in 2004 in West Palm and they kicked A#@! You show me a band, besides maybe the Stones and Aerosmith, that are still around for as long as KISS. They are true performers and can rock. They are a class act!!Mike S - Old Cutler Bay, Fl
In my eyes kiss has had the best people in that band.Many critics have said that they have never
seen or heard such bad music but I think that many critics dont know what they are talking about
My hero is ace freghly (even though im a drummer.)
i know many people probably will say that that is stupid but I wish i was like him.
Jonny - Pittsburg, Oh
Kiss(in my opinion) are the most entertaining band i have ever seen(1980,2004)yes only twice.They have a certain something that enables them to completely dominate the live scene.Absolutely entertaining,absolutely enthralling I wish those guys the best of everything and thank them for helping to shape my life and musical tastes.Timothy - Perth, Australia
P.S i am a very big led zeppelin fan, even more then i like kiss, and i can see their greatness, so basically...back off hahahaShana - Pembroke,ontario, Canada
Ya, you go tom! i like basically the same bands as you...well not some of the newer stuff (i stay away from new school punk and rock) and you are completly correct. if we based our judgements about a band only on the instumentals, then we wouldnt like some very great bands, like AC/Dc, whose drummer was also very poor, but then again, had some kick ass guitarists to make up for it.. just like kiss...kiss had the ability to make some really good and catchy songs, which made up for some ba drumming. I personally dont think that the guitar in kiss is all that bad...Shana - Pembroke,ontario, Canada
I don't think it's fair to say Kiss fans "need some Led Zeppelin". Kiss and Led Zeppelin are 2 very different bands and I myself am a fan of both. I like Led Zeppelin for their ability to write rock songs of the highest quality and their impeccable skills in their respective skills within the band. I like Kiss because they are incredibly entertaining live (even though I, personally, have never seen them) and they are incredibly hard to beat at writing anthemic songs that you can't help singing along to e.g. "Crazy, Crazy Nights, "Rock and Roll all Nite", "I Was Made for Loving You" and "Detroit Rock City". If everyone liked bands solely on their ability to play their instruments expertly and write songs, musically and lyrically, of the highest calibre, then the world wouldn't work because it's important to have, and enjoy, several different genres of music. Personally, I like Classic Hard Rock(AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen), 60s Rock n' Roll(The Rolling Stones,The Who,The Beatles), 50s Rock n' Roll(Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly) UK Heavy Metal(Black Sabbath,Iron Maiden,Motorhead), US Metal and Thrash(Metallica,Slayer), Prog Rock(Dream Theater, Rush,Yes), Old School Punk(Sex Pistols,The Clash, The Ramones),Hair Metal(Guns N'Roses,Bon Jovi), Glam Rock(Kiss,T-Rex,Queen), Grunge(Nirvana, Pearl Jam), Alternative Rock(Red Hot Chili Peppers,Rage Against the Machine), Contemporary Metal(Linkin Park, Slipknot, Lostprothets), New School Punk(Green Day, The Offspring), Garage Rock(The Strokes,The White Stripes,Jet), Other Contemporary Rock(Muse,Foo Fighters,Placebo, The Darkness), Hip-Hop(Outkast,Beastie Boys,Run-DMC) and Soul (James Brown,Stevie Wonder,Aretha Franklin). AND I'm only 17! So, all you Zep fans (who I presume are much older than me) need to grow up and respect people's decision to listen to Kiss or anything else you don't like.Tom - Trowbridge, England
Also, the magnitude of Kiss paraphenalia (merchandise) might amount to selling out to a lot of people but again, it's part of who Kiss are. Some of the stuff they've made is a bit odd though; I can understand pinball, comics, etc but there are Kiss Kondoms for crying out loud! Actually that's quite appropriate considering Gene Simmons' lifestyle!Tom - Trowbridge, England
All the people who hat Kiss must realise that they must not be seen as a rock band; they are entertainers and the make-up is part of the entertainment, it shows that they don't take themselves too seriously. Their goal is to have fun and make sure their fans have fun as well. Having said that, I doubt there are many people who like Kiss just for the music!Tom - Trowbridge, England
Listen Gene sold the most solo albums ace sucked as a solo artist!!Pana - Columbia, Ut
Gene Simmons is "The Demon" not "The Bat Lizard".Jeff - Seaville, Nj
I agree with Don here, KISS is only popular because of their makeup. That is not a reason for a band to be great. You kiss fans need some Led Zeppelin.John - Philadelphia, Pa
Truly one of the worst bands in the history of music, in any genre. They didn't want photographed without make-up because they didn't want the public to know who they really were.Just a bunch of rock and roll posers. Kiss, living proof that anybody or anything can make it in America.Don - Pittsburgh, Pa
KISS are a great band but Peter Criss has to be the worst drummer ever; a 5 year old could do better than him! He's been replaced by Eric Singer again and someone called Tommy Thayer has now replaced Ace Frehley. Also, how come KISS only ever tour the USA, Japan and Australia? Why can't they come to Europe? I'm sure loads of people would like to see them, I know I would!Tom - Trowbridge, England
peter left in 1980 after the release of "unmasked"
but before the tour, and Eric Carr replaced him since the tour
Ozzy - Detroit, Me
detroit rock city talks about a youth from detroit
who was killed in an accident(listen to the last verse,
paul stanley rules
enter this site:
http://www.kisstabs.com
Ozzy - Detroit, Me
KISS was photographed before 1983. They were tricked by Creem Magazine when they were first getting big. They were told that Bill Aucoin gave the photographers permission to take photos without make-up.Josh - Framingham, Ma
Paul and Gene began KISS afetr they fired all the members of their first band together, Wicked Lester.Josh - Framingham, Ma
gene left isarel with his mom and he changed his name from haim to gene, and then from klien he changed it to simmons so his name would sound like a name of a rock starOzzy - Detroit, Me
eric carr(rest in peace)was the fox charecterOzzy - Detroit, Me
Jim is right. Ace had the only top 40 hit of the four albums with his cover of Hello's New York Groove.Chris - Marlboro , Nj
gene has a trick that he can make his tongue bleed,

and that's medicaly bad
Ozzy - Detroit, Me
i belive that gene directed the movie "detroit rock city"

not produced it.
Ozzy - Detroit, Me
I believe Ace Frehley's solo album sold the most.Jim - Rochester, Nh