Early KISStory Not All Flash Pots and Groupie Polaroids

Categories: Get Lit

KISS75-1205.jpg
David Tan/Shinko Music Archives
New York City, March 1975
How much of the band's success over the decades can be attributed to the makeup, costumes, and pyro vs. the actual music is something that fans and detractors can debate forever (and have). But as Nothin' to Lose makes clear, one thing that nice Jewish boys Chaim Weitz and Stanley Eisen had in abundance (besides ego) was moxie.

"A storm of attitude, oversize ambition and plain old dumb luck," is how Sharp characterizes the rise of KISS. And that includes merchandising. The book points out that KISS has officially licensed more than 31,000 products raking in more than $500 million in fees alone.

Gene Simmons has even gone on record as saying once he and Stanley (the two original members left in the current lineup) retire, he envisions several versions of "KISS" continuing to tour and record.

After all, it seems that anyone can put on the black, white, and silver greasepaint and transform themselves into the Demon, the Spaceman, the Cat, and the Starman. And while today KISS as a phenomena has transcended their musical output, Nothin' to Lose is a fascinating -- if somewhat lengthy -- glimpse into the band's origin and development.


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