30 Fascinating Facts About Your Favorite Rock Band – KISS That Fans Must Know

KISS rock band
(Photo : aresauburn)

Starting with the comic characters – The Starchild, The Demon, The Spaceman, The Catman, to their impeccable live performances including the blood spitting, smoking guitars, fire breathing, levitating drum kits, rocket shooting, KISS rock band is known for their eye-catching theatrical stage sets and insanely awesome performances. The band that was formed by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss in January 1973, has actually changed the world of concert touring and were even the cause of a significant expansion of concert merchandising. Here are some interesting facts about that band that you might have missed before:

    KISS @ The Joint - Hard Rock Hotel"KISS @ The Joint - Hard Rock Hotel" by JamesDPhotography is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

  1.  KISS holds the title as America’s No. 1 Gold record winning group of all time, having earned more than 30 Gold Albums. The band also has 14 Platinum albums, with 3 being multi-Platinum.
  2.  The band has been ranked at #3 in the Loudwire magazine’s list of “Best Metal and Hard Rock Live Band of All Time,” and at #9 in the MTV’s list of “Greatest Metal Band of All Time,” while at #10 on the VH1’s list of “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.”
  3.  The first ever KISS performance was for an audience of fewer than ten people at the Popcorn Club in Queens for a payment of $50 for two sets that evening on January 30, 1973.
  4.  For their first three gigs from January 30 to February 1, the band members wore just make-ups, but it was only during the March 9 – 10 shows at The Daisy in Amityville, New York, that their iconic character designs were introduced to their fans.
  5.  Their movie “Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park,” which debuted on NBC on October 28, 1978, was not a success, and the most of their fans disliked the movie to a great extent.
  6.  Even the four members of the band were really unhappy with the final finished movie, and would often talk about their experiences during the production of the movie, with regret and embarrassment.
  7.  The original members of the KISS band – Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10, 2014.
  8.  The band has gone through several line-up changes till date, with Stanley and Simmons being the only members featured in every line-up. Still, their original line-up has been the best known even today.
  9.  It was in May 1977 that KISS made their very first comic appearance in “Howard the Duck” issue 12, which was published by Marvel Comics.
  10.  Since the year 1976, their signature single – “Rock and Roll All Nite” has been serving as the group’s closing concert number in almost every concert.
  11. KISS 1977 @ MSG NYC - 14"KISS 1977 @ MSG NYC - 14" by Whiskeygonebad is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  12.  In fact, the song which initially peaked at #69 on the Billboard singles chart, was named as the 16th greatest hard rock song of all time, by VH1 in the year 2008.
  13.  The band’s roots can be traced back to Wicked Lester, a New York based rock and roll band, formed in 1970 under the named Rainbow, which was led by Simmons and Stanley.
  14.  They recorded only one album, which was also shelved by Epic Records. Feeling the need for a new musical direction, the duo left Wicked Lester in 1972, and decided to form a new group.
  15.  Simmons and Stanley met Criss, who was playing for the bands Lips and Chelsea, for the first time when he was playing drums in a nightclub, after seeing Criss’s ad in the East Coast version of Rolling Stone.
  16.  Later Criss auditioned for the role of drummer and Simmons and Stanley felt that Criss should be a part of the new band that they were forming.
  17.  Frehley joined the band in early January 1973, after impressing the group with his very first audition, despite showing up wearing two different colored sneakers.
  18.  With the addition of Frehley, the band’s classic lineup was solidified, and it was Stanley who came up with the name while driving around New York City. They started experimenting with their iconic character designs – make-up and outfits for shows.
  19.  It was Frehley who created the now-iconic logo with the “SS” looking like lightning bolts, when he wrote the new brand name over the name “Wicked Lester” on a poster outside a club.
  20.  Later, Stanley designed the logo with a Sharpie and a ruler, and drew the two S’s non-parallel to each other by accident, as he did not take any measurements. Even with the insistence from the art department to redraft it to make a perfect logo, the members decided to go with that.
  21.  In the year 1995, the band released the book “Kisstory,” a detailed chronicle of KISS’s history until that point. Following this, the group embarked on the Worldwide Kiss Convention tour.
  22. Kiss"Kiss" by Man Alive! is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  23.  Criss appeared onstage with KISS during the first U.S. Date – June 17, 1995, to perform “Nothin’ to Lose,” and “Hard Luck Woman,” marking his first performance with the band in nearly 16 years.
  24.  Their first ever live album “Alive!” peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 album charts, and charted for 110 weeks, by far the longest in the band's history.
  25.  The album was listed at #159 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” in the year 2003. But in the 2020 revision of the list, the album dropped to #305.
  26.  In the year 2009, Guitar World magazine placed the album at #3 on their list of “Top 10 Live Albums,” as well as at #26 in the list of “100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time.”
  27.  The period between 1976 and 1978, the band earned over $17.7 million from record royalties and music publishing. Their worldwide merchandise sales reached $100 million. The membership in the band’s fan club “Kiss Army,” was in six figures.
  28.  KISS performed their signature song “Rock and Roll All Nite” during the closing ceremonies for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City which is Frehley's final performance with the band to date.
  29.  According to Simmon’s autobiography “Kiss and Make-Up,” following the departure of Frehley, Eddie Van Halen, the founder of Van Halen, was eager to replace Frehley as the lead guitarist of KISS.
  30.  He was even willing to break up Van Halen, and join KISS, due to tensions with his fellow artist David Lee Roth. However, it was Simmons and Eddie’s brother Alex, who convinced him to remain with Van Halen.
  31.  In collaboration with World Championship Wrestling, the band produced a Kiss-themed wrestler – the Demon, whose face was painted to resemble Simmon’s make-up, in September 1999.
  32.  KISS was honored at the 2001 National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Heroes Award ceremony, at the NARAS New York Chapter. With this, the band has become the recipient of NARAS’s second-highest career honor, only after the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.
  33.  KISS Band Net Worth: $300 Million

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