Paul Stanley is 100% identified with his Starchild makeup, but Paul Stanley almost wasn’t Starchild. For a month in 1974, Paul Stanley was Bandit. Only one photo shoot was taken during this period. Check it out:
What made Paul Stanley change his makeup?
The record executive who signed KISS, Neil Bogart, wanted KISS to take off the makeup… to the point of threatening NOT to sign them. Paul Stanley said, “When Neil heard us before he ever saw us — ‘Strutter’ and ‘Deuce’ and ‘Watching You’ and ‘She,’ I think, were on the demo — he wanted to sign us, and then he saw us, and it was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa,’ you know? And it was like, ‘Well, this is us. This is who we are. It’s either you take it or leave it. It’s our way or the highway.’ … At some point, when it came down to ‘I’ll sign you, if you take off the makeup,’ you say, ‘Well, then, you’re not going to sign us.”
And Yet, Neil Bogart DID Sign KISS
Neil Bogart signed KISS, but with the compromise that Paul Stanley would CHANGE his makeup to something less “swishy.” According to Kisstimeline.com, Stanley said this of the short-lived compromise, “[Bogart] early on said to me, ‘Well, you know, [the Starchild character] is kind of swishy. It’s kind of feminine.’ He also wasn’t crazy about the way I moved around onstage. He thought, ‘You should be more macho.’ And I thought, ‘OK, I’ll be a sport and at least try some of this.’ So, I just came up with this Lone Ranger ‘Bandit,’ as it became known, and it lasted maybe a month. But I just went, ‘You know what? My gig, my face, my makeup.’ And I just went back to [the Starchild look]. So, a lot of people believe that [the Bandit character] came first, but it actually didn’t.”
Photo of KISS back when Paul Stanley was called the bandit instead of the Starchild!!! Please retweet!!! Thx!!! pic.twitter.com/sfxaYBXARG— WarMachine4KISS (@Lukas76304644) March 24, 2020
Paul Stanley doesn’t just paint his face for rock shows, he’s also an accomplished painter. For more on Paul’s paintings, click here. Speaking of KISS artwork, have you seen what John Rios has done for KISS and tons of other bands? His artwork is amazing and he is self-taught AND a Michigander. Scroll down to find out more about John and his art.