You might think you already know everything there is to know about the band, but there are many bizarre, obscure facts you have yet to learn. From their collaboration with Hello Kitty! to their refusal to appear in a Beatles movie, here are the most exciting, forgotten facts about the band.
The Kiss Movie that Missed the Mark
They'd rather you forget about this, but, in 1978, at the height of the band's success, Kiss released a straight-to-TV movie titled “Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park.” This comedic musical failed miserably and was hated by devoted fans and confused critics alike. Ouch!
At first, the band bashed the movie as well. But, today, the movie has a (somewhat -questionable) cult status. Though most of the band is embarrassed, Ace Frehley has admitted that he enjoyed shooting the movie, while Gene Simmons said that the movie could only be enjoyed while under the influence.
Kiss Van Halen Goodbye
Long before people had Kiss's name on their lips, the band considered having the renowned Eddie Van Halen as a band member. During their early years, the band actually collaborated with Van Halen and his brothers. Eddie even wrote the celebrated guitar solo for the song “Christine Sixteen.” But, tensions between the band members meant that they had to kiss Van Halen goodbye, and Eddie's solo was later recorded by Frehley.
Luckily for the Van Halen brothers, they ended up making it on their own, without Kiss. But Eddie still wanted to get a taste of Kiss's fame and asked Simmons if he could join the band. By this time, it was too late, Simmons didn't want another rock star casting a shadow on the other Kiss members, and Eddie had to settle for staying in Van Halen with his brother.
The band members aren't exactly known for their cuteness, and it's safe to say that their target audience isn't, usually, little boys and girls. This is why it was quite surprising when the band decided to team up with one of Japan's cutest brands - Hello Kitty!
The collaboration included a line of Hello Kitty! merch, inspired by the band's iconic look. The 2012 Kitty-Kiss line had it all -- posters, mugs, shirts, and stuffed cartoon cats in full KISS makeup. Rumor has it that even tough boxer Mike Tyson got himself some Kitty-Kiss merch, but could you really blame him?
Missed Kiss Shows
You don't have to be a genius to know that the most important band member is Gene Simmons. Could you imagine going to a Kiss show and find out Gene Simmons wasn't performing that night? You'd feel like you were ripped off. But, this isn't really the case with any of the other band members.
Despite the fact the band should always consist of four people, there were two shows where Kiss actually performed as a trio. In 1992, the band took the stage without Frehley. In the 2000's Stanley missed a show as well, but he has a good excuse, he was in the hospital. What was Frehley's excuse? Guess we'll never know.
God Of Thunder Belongs to Starchild
One of the band's most iconic songs is “God Of Thunder.” The song, which appears on the album “Destroyer,” is known to be one of Gene Simmons' signature songs. A weird fact you may not have known is that this song wasn't even written by Simmons.
The song was actually written by a different band member: Paul “Starchild ” Stanley. So why isn't he the one performing it, you ask? Well, the band's producers claimed that “God Of Thunder” just doesn't go with Stanley's image. Wow, what a bummer for him!
Peggy Bundy Sang With Simmons
Everyone knows Katey Segal as Al Bundy's wife on “Married...With Children.” While Peggy Bundy is lazy and tries to avoid work at all costs, Katey Segal is a hard-working woman. Before she landed the role of Peggy in 87', she was a struggling actress who would take pretty any gig she could get her hands on.
Most of you probably don't know this, but in 1978, Segal actually worked as a backup singer, not for Kiss, but for Gene Simmons. She took part in his solo album and even joined a band that was signed by the same label as Kiss. Luckily for us, she later moved on to play the memorable Peggy Bundy.
The Warriors of Kiss
If the name “The Warriors of Kiss” sounds ridiculous to you, you are not alone. But, for some reason, both Kiss and World Championship Wrestling thought it was a good name. They also thought it was a good idea that kiss would start their own wrestling group.
They started with one wrestler who was dubbed The KISS Demon. He had Gene Simmons' makeup and was supposed to be his alter ego. But, the idea didn't really take off; the whole thing fell off the table.
In 1983, Kiss made history when they decided to perform without makeup and costumes for the first time. What not many know is that this wasn't the first time the band was caught without their signature looks on.
That being said, 10 years earlier, they were actually photographed "unmasked" without their knowledge or consent. The culprit was a photographer named Charlie Auringer. Charlie wanted to make money at the expense of the band, so he lied to them that their manager agreed to them being photographed without their makeup. That was a lie, of course, but at least Kiss managed to convince him to keep the pictures to himself.
A cool fact you may not know about Gene Simmons is that he is actually considered to be one of the world's best fire breathers. Inspired by a magician, Simmons was inspired tried to pick up fire breathing himself. At first, he began to doing it as a cool stunt to perform on stage.
Over the years, Simmons has improved his fire skills quite a lot, and he even holds a personal record in fire breathing. He has managed to breathe out a 15-foot flame. How hot is that?!
No Kiss For The Beatles
Despite their massive success, it seems that Kiss's career is filled with one bad choice after the other. How else could you explain the fact they gave up on the opportunity to be a part of the Beatles' classic film, “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band”?
Kiss was offered to participate in the 1987 classic as the Future Villain Band. But, they refused because they were afraid that playing the bad guys would hurt their reputation. The part was offered to Aerosmith instead, and the rest is history.
No Beatles For Kiss
When Gene Simmons worked on his solo album, he was determined to have at least one song featuring the Beatles. But, after asking each and every member of the four Beatles individually, all Simmons was left with was four negative answers.
Maybe they all refused because they were still hurt by Kiss refusing to take part in their movie that same year; maybe it was just “scheduling conflicts.” Either way, we may never know the truth. Simmons just ended featuring The Cast of Beatlemania instead.
Ace Lies Down To Get His “Kiss” Voice
Remember that we promised you some truly bizarre facts? Well, get ready to read one of them. While most singers have different ways to make sure they sound their best, Frehley's method to get the best out of his voice has to be the weirdest one we have heard about.
Apparently, while recording his vocals, Frehley lies down on his back. This is because, according to him, if he's standing up, he can't really hit each and every note. In order to help Frehley record on his back, Kiss's producers had to build a special microphone. All we have to say is, if it works, it works.
Kiss is known for its comprehensive makeup and costumes, but did you know that, in addition to having special costumes, each band member has an on-stage name and character?
The four characters are Gene Simmons - The Demon, Paul Stanley - The Starchild, Ace Frehley - The Spaceman, and Peter Criss - The Catman. The band created these characters, all inspired by comic books, to make sure they stood out. What can we say? They sure did!
A Total Of Ten Kisses
Kiss had been around since the '70s, which means it makes sense that some band members were replaced by others. But, did you know that the only two original Kiss members that are a part of the band to this day are Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons? Frehley and Criss haven't really been a part of the band since 1996.
Over the years, there were a total of 10 people who at some point were Kiss band members. Eric Carr and Eric Singer, who play drums, were replacements for Peter Criss, while Bruce Kulick and Tommy took over Frehley's solos.
Kiss The Kiss Logo Goodbye
The original Kiss logo was and always will be iconic. It was actually Ace Frehley, the band's guitarist that came up with the idea for the design. One of the logo's special features is that the two final letters create what looks like two lightning bolts. But, when the band toured in Europe, the logo caused some trouble.
The problem was that the logo's last two letters resemble a German symbol from World War II. In order not to offend anyone and to avoid any problems, the logo was altered to look like two Zs in several countries.
Before finally deciding on the legendary name “Kiss,” the band had quite a few other names. First, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley used to perform in New York using the name “Wicked Lester.” Interesting choice. Later on, after Criss and Frehley joined Simmons and Stanley, the four were not sure what to call themselves.
They had many different ideas like“Albatross” and “Crimson Harpoon.” While Simmons suggested, they should just be called after the infamous four-letter word. So how did they end us choosing Kiss? Randomly enough, Criss said he had a band that was named “Lips,” so they decided to go with Kiss.
A Change of Character
Apparently, Paul “The Starchild” Stanley wasn't that happy with his original character. This is why he is the only Kiss member that has ever tried switching to a different one. The year was 1973, and Paul wanted to try being “The Bandit” instead. We do have to admit that “The Bandit” sounds a lot cooler.
In order to become “The Bandit,” he changed his makeup, but his new look ended up looking a little less like a bandit and a little more like a raccoon. The fans did not respond well to the raccoon, and Stanley was doomed to forever be “The Starchild.”
Kiss And The King Of Pop
Kiss and The King Of Pop, AKA, Michael Jackson, had a nice thing going for them. They both were at the top of their musical genres, and they developed what seemed to be a really close friendship. After Michael Jackson died, Kiss was actually asked to be a part of the Michael Forever concert.
But, they were dropped from the show in less than 24 hours. This is because Simmons had some controversial opinions about Jackson, and he wasn't ashamed to state them publically. MJ fans were outraged, and Kiss was kicked off the show. Simmons just couldn't keep his mouth shut to save his own life.
The Kiss Comic Book
Remember when we told you that Kiss's names and characters were inspired by comic books? Well, it didn't end there. The band actually partnered with Marvel, who, in 1977, published a Kiss comic book. The comic also featured some never-before-seen pictures of the band.
As you know, Kiss doesn't like playing it safe, and they enjoy adding just a little bit of shock value into everything they do. The cover of the comic said that it was printed with real Kiss blood. Whatever that means, you do have to admit it is a little bit shocking.
This Kiss Means Nothing
Over the years, many people have wondered, what is the true meaning behind the band's name? Some rumors claimed that the name was actually an acronym and that it stood for either Knights or Kids In Satan's Service. Wow, that's dark.
Others claim that this rumor was actually started by preachers who were against rock music and wanted to make sure children would never listen to it. Either way, Simmons has always stated that this is a baseless claim. What do you think?
“The Demon” Was Almost a Rabbi
Here's a fact about Gene “The Demon” Simmons you might not have known: he was actually born with the name Chaim Witz. Chaim was the only son of a Holocaust survivor, and he lived in Israel until he was eight. After moving to the States, he went to a religious Jewish school. His dream was to become a Rabbi.
So, what happened to his dream? And how did he become “The Demon” that we all know and love today? Well, you can thank a public school in New York for that. After transferring from his Jewish school, he grew more and more distant from religion and started really getting into music, eventually falling in love with it.
Kiss Bryan Adams
If you've never heard of Bryan Adams, you are missing out on some of the world's most romantic songs. His song “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” has been known to melt even the coldest of hearts. But what's the connection between romance and Kiss?
Well, this might shock you, but the soft and sweet Bryan Adams actually wrote songs for the band. He has worked on a few different tracks in Kiss's album “Creatures of the Night” and even co-wrote “War Machine" and “Rock and Roll Hell.” After that, Adams released music of his own, and the rest, well, the rest is history.
Freddie Mercury And Eric Carr
Eric Carr wasn't one of the original members of Kiss, but he still means a lot to their fanbase. Eric joined the band in order to replace Criss. He was the band's drummer from 1980-1991, which is quite a lot of time to stay in a band. But what made him leave? Well, it wasn't his choice.
Sadly, Carr passed away on November 24, 1991. But, he wasn't the only person to die that day. Freddie Mercury has also died on November 24, 1991, which meant that Eric “The Fox" Carr got less attention than he deserved.
Kiss Lied To You
The Kiss band members really enjoy playing tricks on people; it is just a part of their brand. We assume that this why, from the '70s till the '90s, their album covers were very confusing. What do we mean by that? Well, if you see someone's picture on an album cover from that time, that doesn't necessarily mean that they were a part of the album.
In “Dynasty," for example, you can see all of the four original band members on the cover. But Criss doesn't really play in any track on the album, except for one. Another example is that both “Killers” and “Creatures of the Night” have Ace Frehley on their cover. But the truth is that he didn't record anything for neither album.
A Kiss For Happy Days
Some Kiss band members weren't a part of the band for a long time but have still managed to make their mark. Vinnie Vincent is one of those members. But did you know that before the guitarist ever joined Kiss, he used to write songs on the television? Hey, we all gotta find creative ways to pay the bills sometimes.
Some of the more popular songs that he wrote were actually for the sitcoms “Joanie Loves Chachi ” and “Happy Days.” Vinnie Vincent was definitely a talented guy, but his time with the band was cut short because of claims he was hard to work with.
Kiss has been the kind of band that makes bad decisions and does weird things. But, at the beginning of the 2000s, Gene did something that seemed like a little bit too much, even for someone like him. He was responsible for some of the band's weirdest merch yet.
What kind of merch was that? A Kiss cookie jar. Ok, that's not that bad. A Kiss Mr. Potato Head...that seems random, but ok, we'll take it. And a Kiss Kasket. We have no idea what the hell he thought when he came up with that one, but it is kind of creepy.
A Kiss Beef
The original members of the band reunited in the '90s, and it seemed like everything was fine between them. A decade later, it seemed like they probably had some unresolved issues; otherwise, how could you explain the fact that Criss was not invited to their 2004 reunion?
It gets weirder; not only was he not invited, but he actually wasn't even contacted. How rude! Criss didn't like the situation, to say the least; as one of the band's founding fathers, he excepted to at least get a call. While it is unclear why he wasn't invited, he suspects it's because other band members thought he was too old.
Kiss isn't only known for its cool music but also for elaborate stage pieces. When you come to see Kiss, on top of their awesome music, you can expect a show. The band always changes it up and makes sure that new stage sets are created in order to give fans the best experience.
One of their coolest set pieces was featured in the “Destroyer” tour. The set piece was a lighting machine that was taken out of the original set of 1931's “Frankenstein.” The machine was actually a huge Tesla coil. Sadly, it was so old that it didn't make it to the end of the tour.
Kiss and Scooby-Doo?
You probably noticed that Kiss isn't really a kid-friendly band - that didn't stop them from trying to be one. In the early 80s, the band members realized that being family-friendly makes a lot more money than trying to be edgy.
So they decided to try and get younger listeners. How, do you ask? Well, firstly, they tried not using as many swear words as before. But, their most bizarre attempt was when they appeared on an episode of the beloved kid's show “What's New Scooby-Doo?” We are not sure if it worked or not, but it did make for a cool Scooby-Doo episode.
Kiss's Football Championship
Kiss has always been big with college kids, but no one ever thought that liking Kiss would result in a big win. But, that was the case in 1975, when a college football team became obsessed with Kiss. They played the band's music over and over, at any chance they got.
Well, something about Kiss's music must be magical because that football team ended up winning seven games in a row. If that's not enough, they also ended up winning a championship. The excited coach wrote a letter to tell Kiss, and in return, the band offered a free show for the entire campus.
As you've probably noticed by now, Gene Simmon is a pretty peculiar guy, and he's willing to do almost anything to get people's attention and to make more money. This would explain why he choose to let cameras into his life in his reality show “Gene Simmons Family Jewels.”
But, the truly astonishing part was the way he decided to advertise his new show. He thought that it would be a good idea to put his face on ... urinal cakes. Yes, urinal cakes. Many fans ended up stealing them, because well, they had Gene's face on them.
The Kiss Army
Today, we know how passionate fans can be, but back in the '70s, having an extremely passionate fan group was pretty special. Having a fan army was unheard of, but Kiss had one. The Army was started by a super fan named Bill Starkey. His mission was to help the band get more plays on the radio.
The army that he started grew bigger and bigger, and Bill Starkey even got to meet Kiss in real life. But, for some reason, in 1976, Kiss decided to take over the fan army. Today the Kiss Army is managed by Kiss's team, which has never bothered compensating Bill Starkey for all his hard work.
Simmons is Sober
Here's something that might surprise you about Simmons -- he doesn't drink and doesn't use any illegal substances. How untypical for a rock star as big as him! Even though from the outside it might seem like Simmons has a really wild lifestyle, this isn't actually the case for him. Why?
Simmons has stated that stays aways from these things because of his mother, who was a Holocaust survivor. And while we respect and appreciate his choice, he doesn't seem to do the same for others. He has been known to call his bandmates losers for drinking.
Interviewers Must Obey Simmons
You'd think that someone who is used to performing with a full face of makeup and in crazy costumes would be at least a little bit forgiving when it comes to what people who interview him choose to wear. That isn't the case with Gene.
Simmons has rules one must follow if they want to get the chance to interview him. Wearing a shirt that symbolized your love for a band that isn't Kiss is a big no-no. While Simmons was interviewing in South America, he came across an interviewer who was wearing an Iron Maiden shirt. Simmons told him to take it off!
Alice Cooper's Kiss
Have you ever wondered who was responsible for Kiss's unique look? The surprising answer is -- Alice Copper. When Kiss started experimenting with their makeup looks, they knew they wanted something that would set them apart from any other band.
At first, they were inspired by the New York Dolls' makeup look, but when they tried it on, they thought they looked a little bit like old drag queens. It wasn't what they were trying to achieve. Luckily for them, Alice Copper met with them and inspired them to try the look they are now famous for.
Simmons And... Jiminy Cricket?
Simmons has a tough guy persona, but every tough guy used to be a vulnerable child once, and so was Simmons. When Gene was a kid, he used to watch Disney movies, and for some reason, his childhood hero ended up being Jiminy Cricket.
Simmons had said that when he heard Jiminy Cricket talking about how fairy tales can come true, it made him believe in himself in a way he hasn't before. Gene even said that hearing this sentence changed his life. Later in life, he covered the song “When You Wish Upon A Star” as a tribute to his favorite character.
Gene's Long Tongue
Gene's tongue is long. Like, really, really long. So long that, in fact, it has sparked rumors about how it came to be so long and about how long it actually is. Some people say that his tongue isn't real but that it is a cow's tongue that was somehow surgically attached to his. Spooky.
Others claim that his tongue is longer than the longest tongue known to men. The record is just about four inches long, but many fans swear that Gene's tongue is actually seven inches long. What do you think?
An Extremely Loud Kiss
Rock bands have always been loud, and they have always been known to break the rules. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Kiss's concerts can get really loud. But, one concert they had was actually louder than a chainsaw.
When the band performed at a festival in 2009, they decide to push the limit and play at 136 dBs. The festival's limit was 90 dB, but, as the true rock stars they are, they didn't really care. So, next time you go to a Kiss concert, make sure to bring earplugs. If Kiss turns up to 150 dB, they might actually rupture your eardrum.
Kiss's Guitar Smashing
Rock bands are known for smashing guitars on stage; for some reason, guitar smashing really gets the crowd excited. Even guitar smashing can be taken too far, and you can trust Kiss to be the band that did exactly that.
Paul Stanley was so into smashing guitars that he somehow managed to smash over 200 guitars over the span of 57 shows. That's over three guitars smashed in each and every show. Well, it was in the same tour that Kiss performed for 42,000 fans, which was the largest crowd they have ever played for. So, can we really blame Stanley for getting a little too excited?
Rock stars usually talk about their private lives quite a lot. It is sometimes unclear if it's because we want them to or because they want to. Either way, many rock stars have bragged about their romantic relationships, but no one has done it like Simmons.
If you choose to believe trickster Gene before he got married in 2011, he has had the pleasure of spending the night with more than 4,8oo women. Simmons has also said that he had a large collection of polaroids to prove it. His wife wasn't really happy to hear about that, which is why she asked him to burn it down.
Frehley Can't Stand
If you've ever seen Kiss perform, you might have wondered why is it that Mr. Ace Frehley always seems like he's about to fall. Well, one reason for that might be rooted in his special Kiss character, “The Spaceman.”
How do we know that? Well, if you look inside the cover of Kiss's album “Alive,” you will see four letters, one from each band member. The letters are addressed to the fans. In Frehley's letter, he talks about being a spaceman. He explains that the gravity on our planet is different than the gravity on the planet he came from, which is why he has a hard time standing up.
Big in Japan
Kiss is known for having a style like no other band, which is why you can't blame anyone who sees them for not really knowing which country or planet they're from. A fun fact about the band is that because of their makeup, which is inspired by Japanese Kabuki, many people thought that the band members were actually from Japan.
Simmons has told the press that because Kiss's looks were so bizarre and inspired by both comics and Japanese culture, people actually thought they were Japanese. After learning these facts, you will not be surprised to hear that Kiss has always done great in Japan, with tours always being sold out in the country.
Curious Kiss Fans
When Kiss just started out, their actual identities were top secret. No one knew what each band member looked like without makeup. The fans were, of course, inquisitive, and they used to come up with crazy ways to try and get a glimpse of what the band's faces might look like.
When the band released a collection of four solo albums, the fans saw that as an opportunity to try and get a closer look at the members' faces. Many fans took the album covers and tried to paint skin on top of the band members' made-up faces. We are not sure if the method worked, but it sure is very creative.
After years of speculation and skin painting on top of album covers, people could not wait to finally get to see the faces behind this rock band. Kiss decided to show their faces for the first time in a music video for their song “Lick It Up.”
The decision to reveal their faces paid off -- record sales went up as well as public interest. But it was the fans, who longed to see Kiss's faces for so long, that were a bit underwhelmed. They didn't like seeing the band members bare-faced and wanted the makeup back! It is impossible to make people happy!
Stanley Is Deaf
We all know that musicians really need to be able to hear what they are writing and playing, but some musicians are so great that they manage to have successful careers even with a disability. Paul Stanley is one of those people.
Not many know this, but Stanly was actually born with a condition that has left him completely deaf in his left ear. When he was young, being deaf has made him feel isolated and different, and other kids even bullied him for being so shy. That was actually caused him to want to show everyone what he can do, which is why he became famous.
Kiss's Biggest Hit
If you are a true Kiss fan, you probably know that one of the band's biggest hits was featured on their "Destroyer" album that was released in 1976. What you may not know is that Kiss's biggest hit was actually written by... their drummer!
“Beth” was written by Peter Criss, but no one really knows who is the mysterious beth who inspired the lyrics. Some claim that the song was written about Criss's wife and how hard it is to be in a relationship when one partner is touring. Others claim that the song was written to mock a former bandmate's girlfriend, who was clingy. Either way, the song will always be remembered as a massive hit.
The Kisses Who Never Wore Makeup
Here's a scoop for you, there are two Kiss band members who actually never wore Kiss's iconic makeup. The first one is Mark St. John, who was a part of the album “Animalize.” The second is Bruce Kulick, who played guitar with the band for twelve years. Both of them never wore makeup, but why?
Well, because both of them joined the band in their unmasked era, the two never had a makeup persona created for them. But, Simmons and Stanley knew that the big money will always be in their original looks, and they ended up kicking both of these band members in order to start an iconic reunion tour.
Blinded By Kiss
Another peculiar fact from the band's day is that when they just started out, they were not allowed to be seen without their heavy makeup looks. This strict rule had bitten Ace Frehley in the...eye. Frehley told that while he was in Paris, he met a friend of his while he was wearing his full face of makeup.
The two friends drank four bottles of champagne together, and Frehley ended up falling asleep with his make-on, which we all know is a big no-no. When he woke up, he realized that he had an allergic reaction. His eyes were so swollen that he couldn't open them, and he was completely blind.
A Kiss World Record
You could imagine that a band as big as Kiss has broken many musical records. But, a surprising fact is that the band has also broken some non-musical records. In true Kiss fashion, the band holds the world record for... blowing stuff up. In their 2020 Goodbye Concert in beautiful Dubai, the band wanted to surprise everyone, and they did.
During the show, the band broke a Guinness World Record. The Record was for the highest flame during a musical performance. The flame was 115 feet tall! They also broke the record for most flames at the same time, with 73 flames burning on the stage.
The Final Kiss
After breaking so many records, massive hits, and some weird merch, what's next for one of the most iconic bands ever? Well, they have been marketing their tour as the final one for quite some time. So technically, the final tour could be their final one for decades, or it could actually last decades. You never know.
What we do know is that both Stanley and Simmons swore to never wear makeup again, which means classic Kiss tours sound unlikely. What might be likely is a reboot of the band with four new, young members who will help continue the legacy of Kiss. We will have to wait and see, but either way, we can trust Kiss to make it awesome.