I think it’s time I tell you what it’s like being a KISS fan. I’ve told you my story of what it is like being a Lordi fan so now I will go into how I became a KISS fan.
I was twelve years old and in my visual arts class in 7th grade.
The 8th grade students must have been doing some kind of assignment related to KISS. I saw a picture of them on the whiteboard and I thought they were scary looking. Especially Gene Simmons with his makeup and long tongue combined. I asked someone what that was and thought they were monsters or punks. A student sitting next to me told me that they were called KISS and they were a rock band.
I heard a few KISS songs later on in my life such as “Rock and Roll All Nite” one of their catchy songs on the “Dressed to Kill” album on my brother’s Guitar Hero game and in some commercials. Then a few years later I caught a few episodes of Gene Simmons Family Jewels and as soon as I saw Gene and then I realized: “Oh so that’s who he is, I remember him!” KISS kept popping up coincidentally as time went by and then I became a Lordi fan and in the interviews, Lordi kept talking about how KISS was their biggest influence to how they formed. I became even more intrigued. Then come April this year my friend buys tickets to see KISS and I decide to go with him because if I love Lordi I might as well check out KISS. Two weeks after my 20th birthday, I went to the mall with my friend and bought my first two KISS albums. I listened to them at home while blogging on Tumblr and then all of a sudden I went head over heels. I loved KISS’s music. Some of the songs were catchy, some of the songs were heavy and some of them were in between. So I began buying more albums starting with the ones from the 70s and also the most recent ones too. I began to realize that the original line-up had a more classic sound while the current line-up had a more aggressive sound. But no matter, it was still rock and roll to me and it didn’t matter to me who was in the band as long as I enjoy the music. I began watching interviews and quickly learned the names of the rest of the band members, and finally when I went to see KISS live this year for the first time, I fell in love instantly more than ever and I was like, that’s it I’m a hardcore fan now. I hope that one day I’ll get to see KISS again, and I’m sure I will because they will definitely come back to Toronto on the next tour.
Gene Simmons became my favorite band member after I learned the names of the other band members. My reason to look up to him is not easy to explain but I’ll put it in simple words: I love Gene for his musical side. His business/merchandise side is not really my bag even though I watch GSFJ and see most of that side of him more in the show than the side of him that I prefer. When I saw him on stage at the concert this year I began screaming how much I loved him. Yes, I have a crush on him just like I do with Mr. Lordi and the simplest way I can explain that is I love him for his personality and talent on his musical side. I also like how he speaks his mind and gives advice to fans on Twitter. He gave me advice on there once and one time he acknowledged some advice that I gave him. My parents will probably never understand why I look up to him and love him because they believe that he should be doing something more contributing to society at his age and, that since he’s 64 years old they say he’s old enough to be like my grandpa or something. But I don’t give a rat’s fart, Gene does what he does and I respect him, also age is just a number and what I really care about is his personality, individuality, and musical talent. The only thing I don’t like about him a lot would have to be his greedy side because that’s the one thing that stands in the way of me possibly meeting the band one day especially if I wanted to meet them with their makeup on. The meet & greets are awfully expensive that only the rich fans, and fans that have good-paying jobs will be able to afford these things every now and then, and still have enough money left over to pay for something more important later on. I would love to meet Gene but to be honest sometimes I think I would rather meet one of the newer members, like Tommy a little more because there have been stories about fans who met Gene backstage and, he was in a bitchy mood and turned them away. Or I would rather meet Gene elsewhere like on the street and during that moment he might be more likely to be in a more cheerful mood and I won’t have to pay over $1000 to talk to him. He may be without makeup at a time like that but it’s better than overpaying to meet him with makeup. I also like Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Tommy Thayer for different reasons. Ace because he’s funny, Paul because he’s cheerful, and Tommy because he’s kind.
Being a KISS fan I wouldn’t say it’s much of a rough ride as it is being a Lordi fan, because KISS actually tours Canada and I got to see them this year. I never thought it was going to happen because as I said in a previous entry, KISS was never on my concert bucket list but it happened and I went to the KISS concert. It was the best night of my life. I say it’s a strong bond because I love and respect KISS no matter how much they change or do something that I don’t approve of. I don’t complain about it because it’s pointless. I do the same with Lordi as well, even though looking at tour dates for them can be hard because there is a 99.9% chance that Canada won’t be on there for the moment at least until the band gets more money and recognition.
I have to say that I love KISS but the fandom is difficult to survive in. Why? Because the fandom is divided into two sections: KISS fans, and KISS fans who hate KISS. KISS fans are people who will always support the band no matter what happens. KISS fans who hate KISS are the people who are unable to accept the changes KISS goes through especially the change in band members and they constantly complain about it online anywhere on the Internet in any way possible. I’ve said this for the billionth time and I grow tired of saying it so this may be the last time I say it: I am sick and tired of people bashing Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. KISS is always KISS no matter who’s in the band. Peter Criss refused to honor his existing contract during the reunion tour so Eric Singer replaced him. Ace Frehley refused to sign a new contract when Gene & Paul wanted the band to continue so Tommy Thayer replaced him. Now also these haters are complaining that Eric and Tommy are wearing the Catman and Spaceman personas but the truth is that Gene & Paul do not want to make any new personas for Eric & Tommy, I’m not sure why, they just didn’t. Eric & Tommy can use these personas without being sued because Ace & Peter pawned off their rights to the makeup so they don’t own them anymore. But then again there are 30-40 year olds whining about it online as if it happened yesterday when in reality this happened 10 years ago. One of the most annoying parts is that so many others agree with these haters and they bash younger fans like me who are totally fine with different guys wearing Catman and Spaceman makeup.
Tommy has been helping out with KISS for years and now he is finally a member of the band. Eric’s story I still have yet to figure out. Again I also grow tired of saying this so this will be the last time: Eric & Tommy are one of the main things that keep KISS going. Just be glad that KISS is still around and chances are that if KISS were to last for 5 or 10 more years, and Gene & Paul decide to call it quits but Eric & Tommy want to keep going chances are there will be a new Starchild and Demon. Paul said he wouldn’t mind being replaced one day. And Gene said on Twitter that KISS is even more successful now than they were earlier and he wants fans to accept it. If Ace and Peter were still in the band, then the band wouldn’t have as much success because of Peter’s self-esteem and Ace’s drinking habits. I’m not trying to bash any hatred at Ace & Peter because I love them too but I understand and respect their reason to stay out of the band now. But recently I have lost some respect for Peter after he bashed at Tommy.
Let’s just be clear on this. If you say you’re a fan of KISS but you hate the way they are now, you’re not a KISS fan at all. Real KISS fans support KISS and always will support them until the very end. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been supporting them since they’ve started or you’ve been supporting them since now (like me) what really matters is that you respect the changes they go through. Heck, if someone replaces Gene and puts on his makeup one day I may be upset about it at first but eventually I will accept it.
So that’s how I became a KISS fan, I’m proud to share it on here. I still remember the night I went to see them live this year and I will never forget that special night. I even remember the night after the concert I stayed up until midnight writing about the concert on this blog of mine. My place as a KISS is a strong bond because I will always love and support them no matter how much they change. Even after someone replaces Gene & Paul, KISS will always be KISS to me and I’m sure there are other fans out there who think the same thing as me.
Once a soldier in the KISS Army, always a soldier in the KISS Army as long as you continue to love and support them no matter what happens.