A long time ago (1985), my buddy called me up and said he had set us up for a gig, a one-time, set up/roadie for the legendary rock band KISS. Now, I was thrilled, I love a great rock and roll show and quickly accepted the offer.
So off we went, it was Sunday, Easter Sunday in fact, and the reason we were hired is because the road crew had the day off. We get there at 10:00 a.m. and were put right to work. Six semi-trucks full of equipment, including the large KISS sign, dressing room furniture, monitors, speakers, and various musical equipment-it was a daunting task even for this motley crew. But, we had plenty of help and the set up was finished by 3:00 p.m. for the eight o'clock show. We had the choice of sticking around and watching the show or leaving and coming back to tear down.
We decided to stay (who wouldn't with backstage passes?) and when we went in to eat dinner (they had the food catered in), that is where I met Paul Stanley. He came and sat right next to me (my buddy was across the table) and we had a wonderful conversation; he was a very engaging and personable guy. I did not get to meet Gene Simmons or the rest of the band, but we were told to leave the band alone, and being a veteran roadie, I could understand and comply by these rules; they have enough to worry about.
So the show went on, very loud and the crowd loved them. A band called King Kobra was the opening act (Carmen Appice was on the drums). KISS played all their great songs and really rocked the little civic center (it was in Hammond, Indiana). We tore down and got done by about 5 a.m. and were then paid. What a truly wonderful experience and I really thought that these guys were very classy.
So, why bring this up? I read a fantastic article about what Gene Simmons thinks of the music industry today and I thought I would share it with you. He is certainly well-informed and I can really agree with his views. You can find the story here: