A Little Message From A KISS Fan


Hello everyone, it has been some time since I had something worth writing here about. I come to you today as a KISS fan. In lieu of their success so far in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fan pole it seemed appropriate I give a message for you all.


7th Grade KISS

7th Grade KISS

Now I myself have other interests like you I’m sure. But I am a KISS fan nearly first and foremost. Now how, you may ask, did this happen? Well I was in my 7th grade year of school and “Tony Hawk’s Underground” was out and in addition to being a fantastic game it also included a KISS music video as well as KISS themed level. My interest was piqued. When you’re 12 years old, explosions, smoking guitars, fire-breathing and blood spitting are and continue to be pretty damn cool. From there my friends and I did an ‘Air Rock’ concert as KISS with other groups doing excellent acts like Prince and Tupac among others. This was the beginning; when KISS grabs you at 12 they grab you for life. Since I have gotten into all sorts of other music with KISS setting the pace for my interest in Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and Guns N Roses while in high school. I learned how to play bass as a direct influence. I have seen KISS four times and a solo Ace Frehley show in San Francisco that was absolute greatness.



Senior year of high school Halloween

Senior year of high school Halloween

I have amassed a collection of KISS memorabilia and in many ways am like a fairly typical fan of the band. The KISS fans have always had a strong devotion for the band have shown it vocally as well as their pocketbook. Total record sales worldwide are claimed to be near the $100 million mark, and $40 million in the US alone. They have over 4000 pieces of merchandise ranging from caskets to condoms. They recently purchased an Arena football team, The L.A. KISS; they have a KISS Café in South Carolina, a new restaurant, Rock and Brews; A mini-golf course and wedding chapel in Vegas, their own cruise event, their own movies… everything. In total it has been estimated that the KISS brand is worth nearly $1 billion dollars.



Part of the collection

Part of the collection


KISS is more than a band; they are an image, an icon, a piece of American social history. Although they are historically disregarded by what we can call perhaps the “critical intellectual elite” of the music world, they have received proper recognition in other venues beside the Rock N Roll HOF. This year the Smithsonian accepted a Gene Simmons bass as part of its American Music collection. In 2006, they were inducted in the inaugural class of the VH1 Rock Honors. In 2002 they played at the Olympic Games. In 1999 they played the Superbowl. The 1995 KISS Unplugged on MTV was the most viewed Unplugged.   Even early in their career, the 1977 Gallup Poll rated them the most popular band in America. They have influenced the likes of the late Dimebag Derrell, Steven Adler, Rob Zombie, Lady Gaga, Lenny Kravitz and many others. While perhaps their music may not be the most complex, they lay down sold riffs and catchy hooks. The live show KISS employed starting in the mid 70’s laid the ground work for live performances across the realm of entertainment and they continue to put on some of the most spectacular shows you’ll find. Thematically KISS is good time American rock n roll, occasionally reaching the realms of sweet and sinister. One won’t find deep meaning in KISS songs, and perhaps that’s why they turn off so many critics, but KISS doesn’t ever pretend you will. They are straight foreword about their message and who they are and continue to be unapologetic about the fact.

So why one may wonder with the instant recognizably KISS has maintained as well as their well-documented popularity and influence have they not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?  Kiss have been eligible since 1999 and meet the loose qualifications set by the Hall, yet they have only made it as far to the nomination list 2 times, the first being in 2009. Well the answer is simply politics. The Nominating committee consists of about three dozen members of the music community in various functions. These members vote for who is eligible that year and that list is narrowed by a smaller group. A member of these groups is one Dave Marsh who is a contributor to Rolling Stone Magazine who once said, “Kiss is not a great band, Kiss was never a great band, Kiss never will be a great band, and I have done my share to keep them off the ballot.”  Last year however, they incorporated a Fan Poll into the process last year giving fans a voice, though not a choice as to who among the nominees will make it in. As of this writing, with KISS making their first appearance in this fan vote process are in the lead against Nirvana, Deep Purple, YES, LL Cool J and the NWA with 225,435 votes. It seems this might be the year KISS makes it in the Hall, as it would reflect poorly it seems for the board not to include them being the number one fan choice.

KISS can be many things to many people. Fan or not, one cannot deny the overreaching and encompassing scope KISS has had on music and popular culture worldwide. They have become bigger than a band; they are Disney, Coca-Cola, the NFL. They are instantly recognizable figures and the KISS brand permeates all facets of life. It is this I urge you dear reader to think about and recognize. I hope that you too will perhaps vote for not only KISS but some of your other favorites. Maybe even grab a record or concert DVD and see what all the KISS Kraze is all about

Much Thanks, Rock n Roll

DJ Jonny Mac kssu.com



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