New Orleans KISS Expo - 14 December 2003 (1st annual)
Review & Pictures by Nick Smith

It has been a few years since I last headed over the big pond to do a U.S convention, but as I'd never been as far south as New Orleans before I decided to take myself and my airbrushed t-Shirts along. N'Awlins as the locals pronounce it has a long history, particularly as it's where the Mississippi meets the gulf of Mexico (get out your atlases-geography fans) but enough about the venue you cry, what of the event? Well, held in the giant ballroom of the double tree hotel on the 16th floor it had a spectacular view of the city (It wasn't J.B's Dudley put it that way). The U.S Conventions are more lavish, over the top and they get more guests than our more humble affairs. This one starred Bruce Kulick, who was in good spirits considering he was still nursing his recent Knee wound. He thanked everyone for their emails and cards/messages of support and said he's making good progress to date. I didn't tape or make notes during Bruce's interview so I'm just mentioning key points. He did however talk about going to Gene's house to discuss Bruce playing on Gene's new solo record, apparently they went into the studio a week later and the track is now in the can.

The make-up tribute band scheduled to play had to cancel for personal reasons but SSG a non make-up 3-piece from Kentucky still held there own, put on a great show and went on to play with Bruce and another surprise guest Ron Keel of 'KEEL' (who else?) fame. Nice guy, very talented and spoke well of working with Gene.

Expo organizer, Kiss mega-fan and all round Mr Nice Guy Phil 'Easyjet' Elliott
did all of the comparing, Interviews, announcements and contests. However for the look-a-like contest he was joined by the Goddess of thunder - a female gene fan who's make-up and costume is second to non!!

Other highlights included an interview with Mike Brandvold who is the webmaster who runs Kiss online. The interview was more interesting than it sounds on paper, Mike's a great guy who's a huge Kiss fan, nice to know that the site's run by someone who cares AND who knows what he's talking about!! Nice one Mike!!

Bruce signed autographs all day for everyone!! Posed for photos, very patiently told everyone who asked what happened the night he danced with Rick O'Shea (the Irish markman)…then played some tracks off his excellent C.D Transfomer, including the brilliant van Halenesque opener 'Jump the Shark'. Kiss diehards were kept happy with 'Deuce' and finale 'Rock'n'Roll all nite (what else?).

Everyone when home with a signed copy of transformer, a smile on there face and a memory of a great day!! Thanks Phil, Bruce, SSG and Ron!! Here's to next year.

Check out http://www.kreaturesofthesouth.com/  for further reviews and photos.


Nick Smith is an excellent UK based KISS air-brush artist, you can check out his work here at KISSin' UK or at his own website - http://www.nicksmithworld.com.

THANKS

Thanks to Nick for the review and  pictures.
   

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