Today, January 30th, 2023 marks the beginning of an incredible journey. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first KISS show. It happened at a club in Queens called Popcorn and about 10 people showed up. KISS has always had hustle and tenacity. Obviously, they were not thwarted by the low attendance. Here’s Gene Simmons talking about the events leading up:
Gene Simmons On The First Kiss Show
“Wicked Lester had just finished its album for Epic Records. There were five members in the band, including Paul [Stanley] and myself. Though we had a real recording contract with a major label, and though we had finished an entire album, we were depressed. It just wasn’t what we had envisioned.
“So, we started again. We tried firing the other three guys in Wicked Lester, but some wouldn’t leave. So, we quit. We started again with a vision. ‘Let’s put together the band we never saw on stage.’
“We got a manager named Lou Linet…and when he heard the newborn baby — KISS — he thought it was the worst crap he had ever heard. Needless to say, he was gone immediately. So, we were manager-less. I put together a bio kit while I worked at the Puerto Rican Interagency Council, as assistant to the Director. Peter’s [Criss] friend owned a printing press and printed up our invites.
“But, where to play? We didn’t have a manager. We didn’t have an agent… I made a phone call cold to a place called Popcorn in Queens and on the phone convinced the guy to hire a band, who would soon be changing their name from Wicked Lester to KISS. We got the gig — three nights — Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for the sum total of $150.
“That was the beginning.” – (via kissonlne.com),
Check out more on the history of KISS at kissonline.com.