That phrase, “the end of the road,” is one that looms ominously when you reach a certain age. For the legendary rock band KISS, it is the title given to their final tour. Beginning their journey in 1973, the Hall Of Fame band has sold more than 75 million records, some of which are sitting comfortably in my collection.
On January 22, 1977, I sat in the Chicago Stadium as an 8-year-old kid mesmerized by my musical heroes commanding an explosive, fire-breathing, cornea-burning performance. Before that day, music was something I listened to. KISS showed me that I could see music as well, and it could be just as entertaining to watch.
On October 16, 2021, I sat at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre as a 53-year-old man, still mesmerized by these rock icons. Two of the four men on the stage performed for me in 1977.
Singer/guitarist Paul Stanley is now an agile 69-years of age, and bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons a spry 72-year-old. They still wear the makeup, and they still run around in the same big costumes. Almost 45 years later, they look and move like they did in ’77.
I felt like my introduction to rock and roll had come full circle seeing this concert. The soul of that 8-year-old boy from the Chicago Stadium was sitting to my right, while the very real flesh of my 21-year-old daughter was sitting to my left. All three of us were basking in the legendary glory of KISS, as we listened to and watched one of their last sets of music.
One more thing: This concert provided a pretty special moment for me. It’s a bit difficult to explain the magnitude of the event, but I’m thinking there might be a few others out there with a similar experience.
The photo is a cell phone shot and not great quality. I thought it might make a sweet companion to the story if it could print somewhere around decent.