Since 1973, KISS has recorded over 20 studio albums; been recognized as an innovator in rock presentations; witnessed a firestorm of rumors and controversies; remained a thorn in critics’ sides; and continues to surprise its massive fan-following, the KISS Army, with various career twists and turns. Moreover, many television shows, movies, toys and even comics have kept KISS a bigger-than-life name in entertainment for decades.
Recently I was discussing the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Creatures of the Night album (you can find it here if you’re curious). Maybe I was trying to block it out in a way, but this now reminds me that it is also coming up on thirty years since I first saw KISS live. I thought I would dive into those memories for a few moments here, but be warned – this is just my experience as a fan going to the show; there’s no chance meeting with KISS members to be told here, no funny road-trips to be mentioned, just the kind of thing we all did as fans going to shows … certainly what we all did back in 1983 at least.
Back in October 1982 I was working at a bookstore in Yellow Springs, Ohio with a guy named Larry Blake. He was the manager of the store and did his own self-published comic-book on the side. He also was a big KISS fan; having first heard them on the radio back in 1974 and then seeing them live at the Agora in Columbus, Ohio that year. One night he came in with a copy of the just-released Creatures album and played it on the cheap stereo we had hooked up in the store. I remember his take on the album was that it wasn’t quite as good as Music from “The Elder” – that it sounded a bit too commercial after such an experimental album like the previous one – but overall he was pretty happy with the results. My take at the time was more “Hey, those guys are still around? Well, that’s nice. Glad they can still get work.”
As you can see, I didn’t immediately jump on the bandwagon right there and then. But Larry kept playing the album in the store and I was getting more accustomed to it as time went on.
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