I originally posted this article on July 15th, 2009, but with the release of the new Kiss album ‘Sonic Boom’ and the ‘Kiss Alive 35 Tour underway, the issue of new Kiss members, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer wearing the make-up of original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss has become a hot topic once again. I wanted to update this article and re-post it.
Recently on the Eddie Trunk Show Live, which broadcasts every Monday afternoon on The Boneyard a channel with Sirius/XM Radio. Eddie mentioned his uneasiness with current Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer wearing Ace Frehley and Peter Criss’s original make-up. He said it makes him uncomfortable and the more it goes on the more uncomfortable he is with it.
Lets make a call to Eddie Trunk.
I called Eddie to discuss it with him. I told him, ”I have been a Kiss fan since the release of their 1974 self titled debut album “Kiss” was released and didn’t have a problem with the new guys wearing the old make-up”. It didn’t sway him any, he said he was still uneasy with it. He went on to say he just didn’t think it was right. He also commented that he didn’t have a problem with the new make-up that was created for Vinnie Vincent and Eric Carr, and that it was better than them wearing the original make-up of Ace and Peter. I know Eddie has a relationship with Ace and Peter, they have both appeared on his radio show, and Ace was on “That Metal Show” on VH1 which is hosted by Eddie Trunk, so I think his feelings are a little biased.
On October 5th, 2009, The Pulse of Radio reported what Paul Stanley had to say about this issue:
“That there are people who take issue with it is all well and good. To say the vast majority don’t agree would be an understatement. The fact is, there are four iconic figures that are what KISS is. To change that because someone is no longer in the band cheats me, because I busted my butt for 35 years making this what it is. So why would I let somebody deny me and the majority of the fans what they expect? That’s what we owe to people; the representation and embodiment of what KISS has been since the beginning.”
Stanley added that if he left the group, he wouldn’t be upset if someone took on his persona. He explained, “I would hope it would happen. It would only affirm that the band is bigger than any of us. That the band is about an ideal, about a point of view, about a way to deliver a show, about a philosophy that puts the fans first. I’m not delusional enough to think I couldn’t be replaced.”
The first concert I ever attended featured Kiss as headliners with Rush opening the show in San Diego, CA 1975 but that’s another story (see “My First Concert“). To celebrate Halloween in 1977 my friends and I wore Kiss make-up as did a lot of other fans of the band. But we took it to another level and wore the suits from the “Dressed To Kill” album cover. We payed close attention to every detail of their outfits down to the shoes. When we showed up to the many parties that were going on we were the show stoppers, everyone knew Kiss’s make-up whether they liked the band or not, it was a true phenomenon.
Time for a change.
So to me with the departure of Peter Criss in 1980 and Ace Frehley in 1982 things were never the same, especially the make-up. When Eric Carr (1980) and Vinnie Vincent (1982) officially joined the band and new make-up was designed and put on (Carr the “Fox” and Vincent the “Ankh Warrior”) it just didn’t look or feel the same, a very important aspect of Kiss had been lost, that iconic look that I had grown to love was gone and I hated it.
Moving forward to June 19, 2004 I saw Kiss at the “Irvine Meadows Amphitheater” in Irvine, CA. The band consisted of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer. They wore the original Kiss make-up and it looked good, it looked like Kiss. I had no problem with new members wearing original make-up and the show was great. It is theatrics and sometimes that requires make-up, Kiss make-up.
So what do you think about new Kiss members wearing original make-up?