Memories of KISS in the 70s

I must admit I never jumped on the KISS bandwagon when they got popular. I wasn’t blind though, I saw and heard them everywhere at school.  I was interested in them because they were such a mystery. The more I was ignoring them the more I felt like I was missing out on something.

The lunch boxes and the KISS Army posters were everywhere. I remember my schoolmates talking to each other about the KISS comic book that had their blood mixed in with the ink. To a 10 year old that was pretty cool. After talking about them to friends I did end up buying “Destroyer.” I liked it ok but it was the image that intrigued me.

They were brilliant in what they did…not getting their photos taken without makeup and keeping their past hidden. They were like cartoon characters coming to life. They knew how to market themselves and kept people wanting more.

I did like some of the songs like Shock Me, Hard Luck Woman, New York Groove, and the anthem Rock and Roll All Night.

I also remember that TV movie KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park. I will admit I still watch it from time to time because it is so bad it’s good.

After the 70s I really didn’t follow them at all until…

In the 90s I finally got to see them with the original members and makeup. Since I never got to see them at their peak this was as close as it got. It was like finally solving the mystery I couldn’t solve when I was 10. I had fun and that was enough for me… for closure.

I have some friends who are still fans of them and who followed them through the 70s until now.

They do have their place in history whether if you like them or not and they were as part of the 1970’s as Star Wars and Inflation.




Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “Memories of KISS in the 70s”

  1. I remember everyone in school was crazy about them. I thought what is the big deal? I was not a big fan at first but after a while I liked some of their stuff. I think one of their best songs was off the Dynasty album. Sure Know Something. it had a disco beat but it is one of their best written songs. another interesting note. Hard Luck Woman that was written by Paul Stanley was influenced by the song Brandy You’re a Fine Girl by the band Looking Glass. Paul was going to give it to Rod Stewart but Peter Criss ended up singing it for Kiss.

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  2. Before I really knew who they were, I heard ‘Beth’ and loved it so I bought the single. They’ve been smart music businessmen from day one, that’s for sure. Once I saw the makeup and heard their more crude stuff, I couldn’t take them seriously. But they were everywhere when I was in high school. There was no getting away from their influence on friends and classmates. They were pretty much worshiped and emulated. As the band members who’ve stayed in the public eye have aged, they’ve only gotten creepier to me. The shtick and the drama is lost on me. Strip that away and what’s left is average (imo) music. But my tastes aside, you are right that their impact on 70s teenagers can’t be written off. They were a game changer, whether I liked it or not.

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    1. I was a 10 year old Beatle snob. I would compare everything to them…which is not in any way fair…but I was 10… I never saw what the big deal was about Kiss’s music…their image captured my imagination…I mean these cartoon looking guys…it grabs you a little.
      I saw Kiss in 1984 without makeup (free ticket) and I feel asleep…no joke. They were average musicians at best but like you said I have to give them credit for marketing.

      I’m with you on this…

      The mid 90s show was good and enough for my 10 year old self to be content.


      1. If you fell asleep, that does say average. That’s hilarious. One cool thing about the makeup was that they had the option to go about their normal lives unrecognized. Not a bad thing at all.

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      2. That was a benefit other rock stars didn’t have anyway…but they were hunted down with people trying to grab a shot of them without it.

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  3. The only Kiss related material that ever interested me was Ace Frehley’s single ‘New York Groove”- bought the album on discount for .99 to get the song. Never cared for them. Oh and I can remember watching their television movie Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park when it was on – if I recall correctly a Friday night in 1978… I remember Gene Simmons saying how he was a big Beatles fan. They had a lot of success by selling that image- Kiss that is.

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    1. I remember watching that movie for the first time on television. I liked New York Groove and Shock Me…. and I liked Hard Luck Woman…the one that Peter Criss sang.

      Oh they were unique in the way they marketed themselves. I have to give them that…
      The only one remotely close is Alice Cooper…but his music was more substantial to me.

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      1. You know to be truthful he sounded better than the Stones… the sound was so much better… that place should not have concerts… it just isn’t suited for it.

        Cool first concert! Better than mine… REO

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      2. Is there a concert you’ve been to where the sound was really awful? I saw X about ten years ago in an old theater- and it was dreadful. I had ringing in my ears for days- and it wasn’t even worth it- the sound was all muddled.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes two…The Stones were the worse sound because of the venue… followed by Nazareth who was an opening act…. just crazy loud and distorted… loud and clear is one thing…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Maybe that X concert I spoke of- I think a week later my ears were still ringing and I was starting to think it was going to be permanent. How about yourself?

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      5. My answer will shock you…The Monkees in 86… The way the venue was set up…. it was ear splitting. I moved around some and found some relief in the back… People had their hands over their ears everywhere.
        2nd would be Nazerth…that one makes more sense.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I know! Of course it wasn’t on purpose…but I don’t know what happened…and I’ve seen The Who, Stones, Kinks and many other loud bands…but yes The Monkees.


      7. I was going to write that my first concert was the 1976 free Hyde Park Queen / Kiki Dee / Steve Hillage / Supercharge etc.
        Then I remembered that a guy outside offered me money for my Rainbow badge. So I must have seen Blackmore before.
        Yay, how cool am I?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. off topic but I’ve seen the first 5 episodes of Breaking Bad…I love the dark humor…I didn’t expect that. You were right though…it is slower but not a bad slow. It keeps you entertained while learning about the characters. So far I love it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The first season kind of sets things up. I think it is the slowest of the seasons. I like that there is no rush- not a going from one car chase to another type show. Glad you are enjoying it… Did you see the Paul Mac Carpool show Monday night? I thought I was dvring it but I guess I didn’t – found it on youtube.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes it shows more- but the best parts were in the shorter version- and I liked the shorter version because the concert at the bar was at the end- in this they mix in songs during the show. What is added seemed to be more talking in the car- for some reason the arrest in Japan was brought up.. it was worth watching… also they went down to the Beatles statue in Liverpool.

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      3. That’s what I thought but of course I’ll still watch it… I’ll never forget the SNL skit with Father Guido Sarducci throwing rocks at Paul’s window about the arrest… that’s what I think of when I think of the Japan bust.

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      4. Paul doesn’t throw Linda under the bus- or even mentions her on the arrest-he just says there was marijauna in a suitcase- that he didn’t know was there. It was worth watching but I thought the shorter version was better put together.

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