So Long Old Friend...

d4rkst4r

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
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So with today, we have the last KISS show, an end to a phenomenal run as few can have, and the soundtrack of my life as a 'KISS freak' since I saw the cover of the first album in a grocery store no less in the early 70's. Every wall in my room was plastered with posters, articles, ticket stubs, and confetti, and picks collected from the shows. None of walls was visible underneath. The music was adequate enough, the optic undeniable. As an impressionable early teen, just being a fan created a sense of belonging. I had plenty of friends, was very athletic, but this was something special that seemed like you were in or out of, very little gray area.
Because they are so visual, I became interested in art, as I was always sketching their images individually or as stage show.

Bodia, myself, and a few others were reflecting on how many times we saw them, it's 25 for me in and around Chicago, with the KISS Konvention probably topping all. To be able to see the costumes, gear, memorabilia, the beginning of songs on various stationary, etc., an intimate unplugged set, and getting to meet them reduced this 33 year old down to that giddy early teen again. My first show was at the Chicago Stadium in 1978, 7th row, dead center. My mom of all people scored the tix for the price of $8.50. Myself and three buds had to scratch for that. Little did I know or even expect that I would be taking my kids to see them many times years later.

So, as the last chord and pyro goes off, the book closes for many, many, many fans. This is not to create debate over music style or quality, the level of marketing they employed. It's a fond and thankful adieu to an entity that heavily impacted my life over five decades.

Thanks boys!
 
Well said, my friend. Well said. They were huge for me, as well. They came along at a time in my musical development and struck a chord. Of course, it was the look and the bombast that got me. I bought that first album at a garage sale for a dime, when I was 11. Funny, at that time, “Kissing Time“ was my favorite song! At the end of the day, it will be 18 for me, starting with the Lick It Up tour and culminating with the March, 2019 End of the Road show at the United Center. That last one sure was fantastic! But, they were all fun. Some great memories with some great friends. I’d agree that the KISS Konvention would be at the top of my list, too. That was a long day, that flew by. I’ve still got that autographed lanyard hanging above my amp! Ordered the last show, and have it queued up to record. I’ll enjoy it time, and time again.

Hey @alantig , what ya got?
 
With all the bands coming out of the woodwork, I'm shocked they're hanging it up. Could it be a planned respite before co-headlining a tour with the resurrected Rush in 2027??? Wouldn't that be one hell of a full circle.

I think I would have to come out of conert-going "retirement" for something like that.
 
I think it was the Destroyer tour for me, don’t recall the exact year. Probably ‘76 or ‘77? Milwaukee or Madison. We had a good hockey team at my high school those years. Our goalie had his mask painted up like Gene Simmons. The league made him get rid of it sometime mid season. Too intimidating they said. I liked them, was not a hardcore fan. They were part of the coming of age soundtrack for me for sure, along with early Rush, Aerosmith, Yes, ELP….
 
I think it was the Destroyer tour for me, don’t recall the exact year. Probably ‘76 or ‘77? Milwaukee or Madison. We had a good hockey team at my high school those years. Our goalie had his mask painted up like Gene Simmons. The league made him get rid of it sometime mid season. Too intimidating they said. I liked them, was not a hardcore fan. They were part of the coming of age soundtrack for me for sure, along with early Rush, Aerosmith, Yes, ELP….
LOL. Hockey morals. Sure, don’t paint your mask like Simmons, but if you want to take five and punch the sh!t out of each other and get a 2-minute penalty, we’re good!
 
Hey @alantig , what ya got?

Who, me?

Absolutely huge band for me. I got on board somewhere around Alive II. That was my first album from them, but not the first I was aware of them. The solo albums were my first new releases. I ate it all up then in big forkfuls. My second concert (first was Johnny Cash in 1971) was the Dynasty Tour. And that caused weeks of mayhem in my house because my parents didn't want to let me go. My dad's best friend finally said, "I'll take him. I want to see them." So he took me, his daughter, and a friend of mine from high school. I was totally blown away - I still have my tour book from that night, an inaccurate review of the show (they did not play "Black Friday"), and a lot of memories. I still remember hearing Ace play the "Making Love" riff to soundcheck between the opener, New England (still a fan of them, too) and Kiss's set. Well, I thought it was Ace at the time, but it was a roadie, no doubt.

Ace was huge for me. I can't claim he made me pick up a guitar - again, Johnny Cash - or that he made me want to play rock and roll - Davey Johnstone from Elton's band gets that honor - but he definitely made me want to play heavy music. His is one of the six names I had put inside my Private Stock because he's undoubtedly one of my biggest influences. To the point that when I saw him at one of his solo shows close to 10 years ago, sitting right up front, I tried desperately to get a pick. Found one under a seat and just barely got it before another guy. Walking out of the show, I called my wife to tell her and was stunned - it was all I could do to get the words out. Seems I've gotten emotional as I've gotten older. There weren't many holy grail picks I've ever wanted, but Kiss picks, and especially an Ace pick were very high on the list. Little did I know that a few years after that, I'd get another at a different show - well, okay, something like six or seven that night. But that's a long story.

I've lost track how many times I've seen Kiss, but that Dynasty show was huge for me - didn't know it would be the last tour for the original four for almost 20 years. They didn't come back to town until the Lick It Up tour, but I saw that up through the Crazy Nights tour, in a variety of cities. I didn't get to the convention, even though it was only a few miles from my house. With two small kids, I couldn't convince myself to spend the money. I wish I had - it would have been awesome. When the reunion came around, I missed out on tix for the show here, but before we came home, we heard them announce a second show, so turn around, back to the store, and I scored my ticket for that. And when the original four came out in the Love Gun costumes, it was like Christmas. I'd seen the Fox appearance and several other things on TV, but seeing those costumes under the bright lights - nothing short of being there does that justice. It was like seeing diamond rings in a jeweler's case after only seeing them under normal lights. I wasn't quite prepared for how they popped. Saw Psycho Circus after that, and then the Alive 35 tour was one of the first shows my buddy and I went to after we reconnected and started hitting shows again. Since then, I've seen them every time they've been in town (except when they played the outdoor barn I hate and refuse to go to), and traveled to Youngstown to see them on the Freedom Tour. That was a last-minute decision - literally decided the morning of the show, and I ended up in the seventh row. Closest I ever sat for them. It was so good, I called my wife driving home and said I was thinking about driving to Erie the next day to see it again (fatigue did me in the next morning). Caught the EOTR tour twice - Cleveland and Pittsburgh a couple weeks apart - and that was it for me. They came back to Pittsburgh, but at that barn, so no go. And they were just in Cleveland, but I'd resigned myself to being done.

Tonight, I ponied up for the PPV show, and I had a blast. I felt the lump rising in my throat when "Black Diamond" started - that's long been my favorite Kiss song. Kind of hard to believe it's done (and there is a part of me that thinks they're not actually done w/shows, but we'll see). As my wife said tonight, "it's pretty much your all-time favorite band, would you be watching anything else?"
 
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