Today, as you may have heard, the heavy-metal band KISS (a long-time guilty pleasure of mine) is finally—15 years after they were eligible–being inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Paul Stanley and the others might not be too happy about it, but I am.
If I recall correctly, I first heard about KISS from my best pal Bob (adopted son of family friend Bill Hughes) in 1976, and soon after, I was glued to the TV set for the Paul Lynde Halloween Special that year. After that, I was hooked.
My mother was something less than horrified at my new musical inclination (previously, I had been all about Elton John, especially for “Pinball Wizard“), but she was kind to bring me home the April 7, 1977 copy of Rolling Stone with their article about the “Pagan Beasties of Teenage Rock.”
I drifted away from the band during their no-makeup run in the ’80’s and ’90’s (when they looked and sounded like any other hair-metal band), and reconnected when the greasepaint came back on. For my 45th birthday, I threw a KISS-themed party, and I was not the only one wearing the black-and-white. I saw them on their first reunion tour in ’96, and I’m planning on taking my girls to see the latest version of the band this summer.
It’s very difficult for me to pick a favorite KISS song, but if I had to, it’d be the first one Bob played for me: the menacing, dark, doomed “Detroit Rock City”:
Congrats, KISS! Rock on….
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