Goodbye, Kiss: How the glam-rockers laughed all the way to the bank

Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, and Gene Simmons
Kiss in 1975: Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, and Gene Simmons Credit:  Michael Ochs Archives

Tony Wilson, the PT Barnum of English music impresarios, was known to marvel at the chutzpah of Kiss. The former co-owner of Factory Records and one-time manager of Manchester’s Hacienda club was particularly taken with one ruse dreamt up by the band to give fans the chance to see its members unmasked for the very first time.

In 1975, supporters were invited to enter a competition to win one of five photographs of the New York group without make-up, an offer that was taken up by hundreds of thousands of people. The only problem was that once the pictures had been freed from their protective wrapping, the image of Kiss sans slap faded to grey after just five minutes.

“Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous...

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