Monday, January 6, 2020

Early KISS Footage Provides Inspiration

At little over a week ago, at the always awesome Ultimate Classic Rock website, they posted the earliest known footage of KISS in concert. And it is a remarkable thing to behold.

The show was from 21 December 1973 in the Coventry in Queens, New York. The nearly nine minute black-and-white video has about 1:30 minutes of silence at the beginning. Then, after whatever speaker/microphone issue was resolved, the announcer comes on around the 1:37 mark. He tells the assembled audience that they're "right on top of them [the band]." While he probably means they'll get to hear this new band early in their career, he might also mean the people are literally right up against the stage.

No matter. Once he tells the people to put their two lips together and kiss, KISS starts in on "Deuce."

I know the song. I've known it now for forty one years. I know the show and the stagecraft. I know what they do when this song plays because I've seen it live and on hundreds of YouTube videos over the years.

And they are doing it in this video. When Ace Frehley takes the solo, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley face each other and do their choreographed moves. Later, during the outro, all three guitar players face Peter Criss's drum kit and perform the now-famous swaying.

I just grinned. It didn't matter that they were playing to probably dozens of people. No pyro (except for the candelabra in the back). The song already was all but perfected. They had a vision of where they wanted to be and what they wanted their shows to be like, including Paul's between songs banter as they launch into "Cold Gin." They didn't have the money--yet--but the carried on like they were going to sell out Madison Square Garden (which they did in less than four years).

Why bring this up now, in January 2020 when the band is on their two-year-long farewell tour? Inspiration. They started small, but knew that every little step got them closer to how they viewed themselves.

And it reminds me, here at the beginning of the decade, that the little baby step I'll be taking in 2020 to start up an online bookstore won't be one giant leap from A to Z, but a series of baby steps--and missteps--to where I envision this online bookstore to be.

But everyone has to take that first step, and that's what I'm doing here in January 2020. More news to come as the weeks and months progress.

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