KISS is one of the greatest influence in the worldwide music history with more than 100 million album sales. Their legacy will continue like other great rock artists such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix, who gave them the reasons to start the music. Their famous face paints and larger-than-life live performance such as pyros, fire from the mouth (Gene Simmons), smoke from a guitar (Ace Frehley) were important parts of KISS, but the most important influence KISS gave to the world has always been the amazing quality of music. “Destroyer”, “Rock and Roll Over”, “Love Gun” are just a few of their everlasting classic albums. “Rock N’ Roll All Nite”, “Detroit Rock City”, “Tomorrow and Tonight” were just a few examples of their massive hit collections. KISS is also one of the pioneers in making live albums with “Alive” series (2nd is my favorite). Their music will stay alive forever. And most importantly, KISS is literary one and only. That is why younger generations are still influenced by KISS today.
Just like KISS is one and only, their hometown, New York City, is also one and only in this world. There is no other city like New York City anywhere in this big world. New York City has strong and unique identity and characteristics. For some people, New York City is too strong, too bold, and too fast. Maybe for some people, New York City is a lonely place because the city has “don’t come easy” attitude and not really friendly at the beginning unlike many parts of the United States. But for many people, New York City is attractive and addictive. The city of world’s crossroad has a lot of dreams, excitements, entertainment, dramas, and a variety of lifestyle created by the diversity of backgrounds.
KISS’s original members chased their dream to be big rock stars in New York streets. Born (except Gene Simmons), raised, band formation, struggles, building KISS’s career, and the road to stardom, New York City took an important part in KISS history. And the original members were from each New York City borough except Staten Island. Paul Stanley grew up in Manhattan and Queens. Gene Simmons mainly grew up in Queens after briefly living in Brooklyn after moving from his native country, Israel. Ace Frehley grew up in The Bronx, and Peter Criss was from Brooklyn. They were truly New Yorkers although KISS is gone to West Coast today.
Knowing KISS’s history means knowing New York City in the past and current situation depending on each borough. In New York City, each borough has different characteristic, identity, attitude, and pride. This is the reason why KISS was chosen for the first music-travel theme of TRIPMUZE.COM, as well as I am KISS fan. Most tourists visit only southern half of Manhattan like Times Square, Empire State Buildings, High Lines, and Statue of Liberty. But New York City has much more than the small part of Manhattan. If you are attracted to New York City by movies, many of them are filmed in out of Manhattan. There are many sides of life out of Manhattan, too. Same with KISS history in New York City. There are many things gone or changed since their youth, but there are many things still exist.
These series introduce the memorial places of each member and KISS in New York City. Popular tourist places such as Statue of Liberty or High Line aren’t included, but it’s a good opportunity to see the real life of New Yorkers in different boroughs from interesting aspects. Also as being a travel website, these series introduce local tourist spots (introduced as “Rock N’ Visit!”) and recommended restaurants or cafe (as “Eat N’ Roll!) nearby the neighborhoods original members grew up.
Fortunately, KISS and four original members published their autobiographies. This series follows KISS history in New York City by referring their books and other articles.
The series is divided into the following five chapters. Each chapter is scheduled to be posted at 11:00 a.m. on every Wednesday, New York City time, starting on July 6, 2016.
This series is focused on KISS original members until 1977. Although both Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick, who joined KISS after Peter and Ace, were also born and grew up in Brooklyn, they aren’t included in this series.
*ABOUT THE COVER PHOTO: I hope you know what this combination of four photos means. They are the street arts of NYC boroughs where each member represents. (Clockwise from top right) Big Apple=New York=Manhattan: KISS and Paul Stanley, Queens=Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, Brooklyn=Peter Criss, The Bronx=Ace Frehley. Also, the first photo means KISS’s achievement to huge success after trying many possibilities, hard-working, and conquering the difficulties for their dream.