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Fueled by a mix of stage theatrics, costuming, and hard rock music, the band KISS was one of the biggest acts of 70s rock, continuing over four decades and counting. At first unseen without face makeup, the group branded themselves into pop culture with a major merchandising venture including everything from board games to lunch boxes and action figures.
Founded in 1973, KISS began when bass guitarist Gene Simmons and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley renamed their band Wicked Lester and searched for new members. They picked up drummer Peter Criss before the renaming, and added guitarist Ace Frehley shortly thereafter. The band’s original lineup—Simmons, Stanley, Criss, and Frehley—adopted stage names corresponding to their makeup art, and were called, respectively: Demon, Starchild, Catman, and Spaceman.
Over their career, they produced 20 studio albums, some with original members, and some with replacements after Criss and Frehley left. Despite a brief reunion, Criss and Frehley never returned to the group full-time after the early 1980s. And although not always hailed by music critics, KISS joined the rock and roll hall of Fame in 2014.
The first KISS comic book, printed by Marvel Comics in 1977, reportedly had all four members’ blood mixed in with the printing’s red ink; this detail has been debated amongst fans for years
A signed gold record award from KISS’ 1974 self-titled debut album sold in 2013 for $2,500 on eBay. The framed award was signed by all four original band members
The official fan club of the band is called “KISS Army"