When I think about my teenage years, I was so absorbed with KISS that no other band in the world mattered to me. I was a super fan. Or what KISS would call a KISS ARMY member.
In those days, when KISS ALIVE and KISS ALIVE II came out, I wasn't nearly as hooked on their music as I was their culture. But I loved the octane they had. And I loved their culture. They had a point of view, "I". And they celebrated anyone who wanted to stand out. People like me were dying inside and looking for inspiration. I got most of mine from comic books...and KISS.
One day, I aspire to have as many gold and platinum records as they have, but I am 55 years old, overweight, and have a day job. There are days when I think back and think, "Man, if I only had people around me who could've supported me. I could've gone very far." KISS' message has always been about going for it, and believing in yourself. And your vehicle was Rock 'n' Roll. The truth is a little more heartbreaking. I never had the courage to just go for it. I never gave up guitar, but I never had the confidence that I was good enough to make it. And I was probably right.
Even those people who do make it, find out it's not all its supposed to be. Like Peter Criss. He more or less quit the band.
But when Peter left the band, I was sad. I wrote:
"You know I think cried when Peter left the band Really broke my heart when heard the catman scrammed I couldn’t rock’n’roll all nite or party every day Yeah, when Peter left the band
Yeah, I hit Rock Bottom when they said he was a Hooligan But whatever they made after him, wasn’t worth a damn I stopped buying records, and they tried to sell a brand Yeah, when Peter left the band"
The weird thing about Peter leaving? It echoed my parents divorce. So, I lost twice. Not only were my parents getting divorced, but the band I grew up with was also going through a divorce, too. The whole time, I got picked on for loving KISS. Everyone around me said, "KISS sucks." I felt like an outsider, in school and at home. I was very sad.
There were many times, and one time in particular when things were bad at home, that I wanted to take my own life. All I had was that damned guitar. Rock'n'Roll saved my life. And so did what used to be KISS.
After I joined the Army, I bought my last three kiss albums: Music From The Elder, Creatures of The Night, and a special signed LP. I never bought another album. By then, I'd given up on them, and turned to Night Ranger, W.A.S.P. and Quiet Riot.
Peter leaving the band was like when your mom finds out your dad's been sleeping with another woman. It's not the end of the road, but it's the beginning of a long slow death of a great relationship.