Britain's Uncut magazine (web site) recently conducted an interview with KISS mainmen Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Simmons: "What was the first sign that we'd made it? Simply, the girls. As soon as we'd started KISS, girls were turning up backstage and wanting to get into bed with us. The girls got prettier and prettier. There was more and more of them. By the time we started touring Europe in '76, everyone wanted to fuck us. The supply of women was endless. Roomfuls of girls. It was like heaven turned on its tap and said, 'Take whatever you need.' And you have to remember, I was an ugly son of a bitch. At my best, I looked like a dog at birth. But, now that I was in this famous band, I was in a position where I could mount anybody's girlfriend and mother, often at the same time. That's the magic of rock 'n' roll right there. It means that even Meat Loaf can get some puss."
Stanley: "Through '76, you could gauge our success by the parties we were throwing. As we got bigger, the parties got more and more debauched, and everyone was welcome so long as they were female. All requests were considered and honored. Those parties were as insane as you can imagine. Every conceivable excess. And then some. It certainly went beyond anything I could fathom. This was a time when the worst consequence of casual sex was a shot of penicillin. So the possibilities were limitless. There were no boundaries. We did whatever the fuck we wanted. We were like Vikings roaring into town, but the difference was that everyone was left smiling. It's okay to pillage so long as everyone is left satisfied."
Simmons: "We had different tastes in women. Paul was fussier than me. Basically, he's into classic beauties. If she's carrying a few extra pounds, forget about it. Peter [Criss] tended to take it slow with girls — the romantic type. Ace [Frehley] only liked women who were buts. I was your basic male slut. But I preferred them big, fat and sweaty."
Stanley: "I was during 1976 that we awoke to the possibilities of KISS merchandising. That came out of listening to our fans rather than any marketing genius on our part. It was our fans who decided what would be cool, and we were happy to give it to them. It probably started with KISS belt buckles and KISS dolls. Then it took off from there… lunch-boxes, transistor radios, jeans, jackets, garbage pails, bubblegum cards, our own Marvel comic…"
Simmons: "There were problems with drink and drugs, but I was completely oblivious to it then. I've never been drunk or high in my life. If you're talking about Peter and Ace, you're talking about the kind of personalities that are so peculiar you wouldn't know if they were high or not. Even when he was straight, Ace was unable to walk in a straight line. Also, he naturally talks in a slurred way. He was no different when he was high. He had a strange sense of humor, too. He'd be coming out with stuff like, 'Hey, I fucked an alien last night.' He is, without doubt, the laziest, most self-destructive person I've ever met."