Probably no other band is better suited for Halloween than Kiss, well maybe Alice Cooper but Kiss has had a lot of cool Halloween related moments over the years and I thought I would take a moment to compile some of my favorites.
1. The Tom Snyder Interview
On Halloween Eve of 1979 the four members of Kiss went to NBC Studios in New York City to do a full length interview with Tom Snyder. Tom had a late night talk show called Tomorrow that aired right after The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Tomorrow would eventually be replaced by Late Night With David Letterman in 1982.
Hands down this is one of the best moments in Kisstory. If you are a Kiss fan and haven't seen it, you are in for a treat. The band were on tour supporting their album Dynasty that had been released earlier in the year and was the group's return after releasing their solo albums the previous year.
Guitarist Ace Frehley is in rare form during the entire interview and absolutely steals the show. I'm not sure that was his intent going into the show but once he gets rolling there's no turning back. Group leaders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons play the straight men throughout the interview and seem a bit put off by Ace's activity but Tom Snyder seems very intrigued by Ace and continues to give Ace free reign.
So, check it out. It will make you day much brighter......
2. Paul Lynde Halloween Special
The Paul Lynde Halloween Special was a Halloween themed variety show that feature campy skits from comedian Paul Lynde and various other celebrities such as Betty White, Florence Henderson, Marie Osmond and others. Kiss was the musical guest.
The special aired on October 29, 1976.
Kiss Lip-synched three songs during the show, all from their current album Destroyer. Although not a live performance, this remains as an iconic moment in Kisstory and many Kiss fans can tell you what they were doing and where they were at the night this show aired.
I was attending a wedding for a family friend. I drove my parents crazy and was protesting the whole event because I knew Kiss was gonna be on TV that evening! My protests did me no good and I got pulled by my ear to the wedding. Luckily my brooding face throughout the ceremony prompted my family to leave the reception early and we got home just in time to see the show. Life was good......
3. Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park
October 28, 1978 the first and only Kiss movie aired on the NBC Saturday Night Movie.
Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park was released a little over a month after Kiss had released the Kiss Solo Albums. Kissteria was in high gear and it seemed the band could do no wrong.
Over the years the movie has become somewhat of a cult classic but I remember watching it as a kid and thinking "man, this movie is kinda lame". My biggest frustration with the film at that young age was, it seemed like it took forever for the band to make an appearance.
The coolest parts for me now are the opening credits scene and the concert footage towards the end. The "Real" Kiss battling the "evil" Kiss is pretty cool too.
Check out the clip below that features all the films dialogue from the band members, it clocks in under 4 minutes......
4.. Kiss MTV Unplugged Debuts
In August 1995 Kiss recorded a performance for MTV's highly successful MTV Unplugged series. This show would debut on Halloween night October 31st, 1995.
In 1995 Kiss launched the official Kiss Konvention Tour and had been traveling the country hosting day long events in different cities. The event included vendors selling everything Kiss, a traveling museum of Kiss artifacts and other Kiss related festivities. Each event featured a Q&A session with the band and a special unplugged performance.
When it was announced that Kiss would be taping MTV Unplugged, rumors were floating around the original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss would be joining the band. This would mark the first time the four original members had played together since 1979. To the surprise of Kiss fans around the world, the rumor became reality. Near the end of the set Ace and Peter were brought out to perform with the band. This performance would plant the seed for a full blown Kiss reunion in 1996.
Kiss MTV Unplugged stands as one of my favorite Kiss moments ever, who knew Kiss songs could sound so good stripped down.
5. Psycho Circus Tour Kick Off At Dodgers Stadium
After reuniting the four original members in 1996 and touring the world for almost two years, Kiss returned with a new studio Psycho Circus on September 22, 1998.
The Psycho Circus World Tour kicked off at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles on Halloween Night October 31st, 1998.
The Smashing Pumkins opened the show dressed as the Beatles. The concert was streamed on the internet and a radio broadcast. Two songs were broadcast live on Fox Television.
6. Halloween Dance Party At The Agora - Columbus, Ohio
Halloween Eve October 30, 1974 Kiss performed at The Agora in Columbus, Ohio.
Just one week earlier Kiss had released their second album Hotter Than Hell.
I did not attend this show but I have lived in Columbus since the early 90's and have attended many shows at this venue which has been called The Newport Music Hall for decades. When I first started going to shows at The Newport (Agora), it was hard to wrap my mind around Kiss playing such a small venue. If only I could time travel.
The show was sold out with 2,000 in attendance. It is rumored that during the perfomance there was a power failure and the lights went out. The band reportedly passed out candles from their on stage candleabra's until the lights came back up. I can not confirm this but how cool is that!
Check out the poster below. $3 bucks gets you in the door......
Scott Carr is a guitarist who plays in the Columbus, OH bands Radio Tramps andReturning April. Scott is also an avid collector of vinyl records and works at Lost Weekend Records. So...if you are looking for Scott....you'll either find him in a dimly lit bar playing his guitar or in a record store digging for the holy grail.