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14 Infuriating Stories From Kiss, The Fakest, Most Calculated ‘Rock Band’ In History

 

KISS is a pretty polarizing rock band — or brand, depending on how you look at it. From their first days together, KISS created an image linked to Nazis, Satan, and blood. That image has become a marketing juggernaut and demonstrates why people are split when it comes to the KISS rock and roll legacy. Were they serious musicians that managed to parlay their success into continuous fame or were they just actors in it for the money, sex, and drugs?

KISS is known for its outrageous outfits, makeup, and antics — everything from Gene Simmons’s tongue action to on-stage blood-spewing and fire-breathing — more than its music. KISS got its start with Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley in 1973. Each member played a part — Simmons as The Demon, Stanley as The Starchild, Criss as The Catman, and Frehley as The Spaceman (or The Space Ace).  By 1982, Criss and Frehley were out but KISS’s but the band played on. Later members Eric Car and Vinnie Vincent became The Fox and The Ankh Warrior, respectively.

KISS’s biggest hits were released in the 1970s and their international fame led to solo projects by many of the band’s members. During the 1980s, KISS without makeup toured the world but, after a resurgence in the 1990s, the original Kiss band members dove back into their personas. Did they do it for the music?  Or for the brand they created?  It’s hard to tell, honestly, and here are some of the reasons why.

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