Are you in these photos? KISS rocks the Cow Palace in 1977

Peter Hartlaub | SF Gate

San Francisco played host to Elvis Presley’s shaking hips, the Rolling Stones after “Sticky Fingers” was released, and Menudo when the multilingual boy band was eliciting its loudest screams.

But few concerts in Bay Area history struck simultaneous terror in the minds of conservative adults and joy in the the hearts of young rock and roll fans, as Kiss at the Cow Palace on Aug. 16, 1977.

“Sixteen thousand kids put up $6.50 apiece to catch tiptoe glimpses of the four silversuited contortionists from New York who constitute the rock group known as Kiss,” Chronicle reporter Steve Rubenstein wrote in an article that appeared two days later. “It was dazzling, deafening and looked outrageously profitable.”

The concert was part of the Bill Graham Presents Mid-Summer Music Festival, which included the Ramones at Winterland, and Led Zeppelin playing a Day on the Green concert at Oakland Coliseum. Opening for Kiss was the mostly unknown Cheap Trick, misidentified by The Chronicle as “Cheap Tricks.”

Kiss and the Cow Palace were both at the peak of their powers in 1977. But looking back on The Chronicle’s coverage, there were two other notable elements:

• The band performed on the day Elvis died — a fact that many young concert-goers didn’t realize until Kiss sang a tribute to the King near the end of the concert.

• Chronicle photographer Stephanie Maze focused her lens on the young crowd, taking dozens of photos that captured the feral joy of a 1970s rock concert. The resulting photo essay, which mostly went unpublished, included children as young as 10.

Kiss had released the albums “Alive,” “Destroyer,” “Rock and Roll Over” and “Love Gun” in a two-year period before the concert, and had just been named by a Gallup poll the most popular band in America. The band was entering the final stretch of the 1977 “Love Gun” tour through Canada and the U.S., so their voices were hoarse, but the stage show was polished.

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KISS’ Paul Stanley Picks Floyd Mayweather Over Conor McGregor – Podcast Preview

Graham Hartmann | Loudwire

For Loudwire Podcast #26, we’ve got an exclusive interview with KISS legend Paul Stanley! In this podcast preview, Paul breaks down the massively anticipated boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

Just a few hours before KISS’ performance at Chicago Open Air, we went backstage to speak with the iconic Starchild. After asking if he feels any pressure to write a new KISS album, as it could possibly be the band’s final recording, Stanley mentioned that even the greatest boxing champions got knocked out towards the end. When it comes to KISS’ legacy, Stanley already feels it’s golden, regardless of how a potential final album is received by fans and critics.

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Alive! ’75: The Evolution Continues

Anthony De Lucia, Jr. |

It has been less than three years since Alive! ’75 burst onto the scene, entertaining fans in the northeastern United States with their “ultimate classic KISS tribute” experience.  Each year has proven bigger than before, and this year is no exception as they continue to innovate and push the boundaries in the KISS tribute space.  We caught-up with Anthony De Lucia, Jr., the band’s  manager and “Demon” to discuss a few highlights from the first half of the year, as well as their plans for the future.
“This year kicked-off with a BANG!” says Anthony, “including our very first international show.  We’d been kicking around an idea for an Alive! / Alive II double-bill for a while but we needed to find the right venue or event to host the show and we needed the right tribute band to partner with.  Most fans we spoke with were very excited by the idea and we were determined to make it happen – we just needed the right opportunity.”
That opportunity presented itself in Montreal, at the “Rockin’ New Year’s Bash!” thanks to Pasquale Vari of The KISS Army Nation Facebook Group (  “We then connected with KISSed” said Anthony.  “They are a phenomenal KISS tribute – real pros that do a great job.  The energy and excitement in their performance is like no other we’ve seen.  But even more than that, they are a great group of guys that love what they do.  They are Montreal-based and we were honored to have shared the night with them in their home town.”
Then in February the Band was contacted and asked to perform at the NYC KISS Expo planned for June.  “We were totally flattered to be considered” says Anthony.  “The special guest line-up included Peter Criss and Bruce Kulick.  We were very excited to be a part of this event.  Unfortunately, it turned into a nightmare, a complete logistical nightmare…”
Anthony continued, “It was very memorable for all of the wrong reasons.  Completely inadequate support made for an extremely frustrating and stressful day – for fans and guests alike.  We’ve chronicled the entire experience in our “Stories from the NYC Expo” (, for anyone interested in the gory details.  Thankfully, the story had a happy ending – at least it did for the die-hard fans that muscled through it with us right to the end.”

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Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley To Open Rock ‘N’ Roll Restaurants In Chicago

The Eagle

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS are bringing their Rock & Brews restaurant chain to Chicago with plans to open 10 to 15 locations in the city

The Chicago Tribune reports that the rockers plan to expand the chain over the next five to seven years with the first Chicago-area restaurant scheduled to open next year, though the location is still being negotiated.

An expansion that large is considered a risky gamble. The 67-year-old Simmons said, “Either Chicago is America or it’s not. Everywhere we’ve gone, it works beyond expectation. The only thing you could say is, it’s not going to work here because we’re in Zimbabwe.”

He added, “Look, we’re not McDonald’s, we’re in a higher end, but when it works, boy, it works. When a brand gets it right for their audience, it can work almost anywhere.”

Since launching in 2012, Rock & Brews has grown to 20 locations in the U.S. and Mexico. They offer rock-themed casual dining with a wide variety of locally brewed craft beer on tap. Each location has 30 to 40 televisions, playing sports and rock videos.

The plan is to get to 100 locations in the next five years.

Paul Stanley in Ernie Ball’s String Theory


As the latest guitar star to feature in Ernie Ball’s ongoing web series, String Theory, Paul Stanley goes into detail about his lifelong love for the guitar, its importance in rock’n’roll, as well as his time spent in a certain face-painted 1970’s rock band. Watch the video below.

Listen to Ace Frehley’s new song ‘Hard for Me’

Mathew Wilkening

Ace Frehley is keeping his hot streak burning with a newly expanded deluxe edition of his 2009 album Anomaly, which arrives on vinyl, CD and digital formats Sept. 8. You can listen to our exclusive premiere of the bonus track “Hard for Me” above.

“I think this new edition of the album is great – a special treat for the fans,” says Frehley. “And, with the bonus tracks, they’ll get a little more insight into how the album came together.” For example, “Hard for Me” is a previously unreleased demo that evolved into Anomaly‘s lead-off track, “Foxy & Free.”

Anomaly Deluxe also features a slower version of “Pain in the Neck,” and the previously digital-only track “Return of the Space Bear.” It will also include enhanced album art, a new live poster and extensive liner notes featuring track-by-track commentary from Frehley.

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