Friday, May 13, 2016

40 Year Itch : Kiss Rocks England

     In 1976 Kiss invaded England, much to the amusement of the British press who found little to admire about any American rock band outside of the Ramones and, months later, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. There is an a bit of a sarcastic edge to this report from "So It Goes", backstage at the Manchester show that kicked off the tour on May 13, 1976

Gene Simmons remembers the UK Tour this way:

 "On the way over to our first English tour, I was struck by the notion that this was the Land Of The Beatles. To me, the English Kings and Queens never meant anything. I have always looked at it as an archaic and rather silly posturing about past glories. But as cultural oddities, I suppose it had its own innocence.

  Still, I was nervous to set foot on Holy Ground. We got off the jet in full makeup and the fotogs were waiting for us. We came through customs and jumped on street cars at the airport for photo ops. I was aware it was drizzly and grey. I was hoping that would change in the next few days to sunshine. It didn't.

    We had a female chaperone/record company person with us. And, she showed us the sites. I thought the least I could do was return the favor. I did.

    We visited the Palace and posed with street Bobbies (the English police) and were soon to hit the stage in front of an English audience. Would they like us? Truth was, we never thought much about it. We had a job to do and that was to punish the audience. They had, for too long, stood still for sub par live bands.

    It was our job to show them that there was at least one band who had the balls to introduce themselves with: YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST...THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE LAND, KISS."

    The setlist for the Manchester show was as follows: "Deuce" "Strutter" "Flaming Youth" "Hotter Than Hell" "Firehouse" "She" "Nothin' To Lose" "Shout It Out Loud" "100,000 Years" "Black Diamond" "Detroit Rock City" "Rock And Roll All Nite" "Let Me Go, Rock And Roll"

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