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Review

New York KISS Trip & Diary
10/2009
Review and pics by Daniel Hill

DAY 1
After weeks of research, planning and printing maps out, I finally landed for my New York KISS Trip.  I had 5 days in the city, so wasted no time in getting on my travels.  I arrived at my hotel, in Times Square for about 17:00.  I dropped off my case, put the maps in my rucksack and off I went....
 
On my first night, I decided to stay local, sticking in and around Times Square and Broadway. The first place I went to was the Hard Rock Cafe on Broadway.  In there, I found a few photos of KISS, loads of KISS pins, a pair of Eric Carr's drumsticks, an Ace Frehley Gibson and a Gene Simmons Axe Bass.

From there, I went into music store 'Colony', on Broadway also.  They sell loads of really cool and rare music memorabilia.  The KISS section is super.  I could blow a fortune on rare KISS items in this shop alone.  I then went on to find the Infamous Studio 54 and the old Diplomat Hotel, where Bill Aucoin met KISS when playing a gig there one night. Sadly this is now a freight depot. Getting used to the time difference was taking it's toll, so I returned to prepare for my next day.

01-Hard Rock Cafe (Broadway, Times Square) 02-Paul pic in Hard Rock Cafe
 
03-KISS pic in Hard Rock Cafe 
04-Gene pic in Hard Rock Cafe 05-Ace pic in Hard Rock Cafe
 
06-Eric Carr's drumsticks in Hard Rock Cafe
07-Eric's Plaque in Hard Rock Cafe
 
08-Gene's Axe in Hard Rock Cafe 09-Gene's Plaque in Hard Rock Cafe
10-Ace's Gibson in Hard Rock Cafe
 
11-Ace's Plaque in Hard Rock Cafe 12-The music store COLONY
13-Studio 54 14-The old Diplomat Hotel


DAY 2
Having had a good rest, I headed out to the mid/east side of Manhattan.  Here I visited a couple of infamous 1973 KISS photo locations.  I then went to the Olympic Tower, where Bill Aucoin had lived on the 35th floor.  From here, I continued on to Paul Stanley's Manhattan address and Peter Criss's early Manhattan address.  After this, I was off to catch my first subway ride....up into the Bronx!

The first place I went was Ace Frehley's High school, followed by walking a hell of a way to Ace's Elementary school, which is now in the process of being demolished.  My penultimate visit was to Ace's childhood home, where his parents had continued to live up until 2000. My final destination in the Bronx was Ace's stomping ground, Poe Park.

After the subway ride back into Manhattan, I visited the church most infamous for the photograph of the door used on 'The Elder' album cover.  This was really cool to see.  In 1973, KISS had visited Central Park and photos were taken, which I went to recapture.  These spots haven't really changed that much at all.  Right opposite this end of the park, the apartment where Gene and Cher lived when they were dating, can be found.  My last stop for the day was a building on Madison Avenue, which was one Bill Aucoin's Management Office.  After stopping back at my hotel, I headed into Broadway for a night out.  I sang 'Beth' and 'Rock & Roll All Nite' on Karaoke.  Needless to say, I was drunk!
 

01-1973 photo
 
02-KISS 1793 03-1973 photo
04-KISS 1974
 
05-1973 photo 06-KISS 1973
07-Bill Aucoin lived on 35th floor
 
08-Paul's Manhattan address 09-Peter's Manhattan address
10-Ace's High School
 
11-What was Ace's Junior High School 12-Ace's childhood home
13-Poe Park, Ace's Stomping Ground
 
14-Door used for The Elder 15-Door used for the Elder
16-The Elder cover
 
17-1973 photo 18-KISS 1973
19-Gene & Cher apartment
 
20-Aucoin Management office on top floor


DAY 3
With a bit of a sore head, I got up and headed over to the west side of Manhattan.  I first went to Paul's School Of Performing Arts and then to the school where Gene was once a teacher.  I was allowed to have a quick look round and one old lady even remembered Gene working there about 40 years ago.  I then went to Gene's Manhattan address.  Travelling further down the west side took me to the stop where the 'Dressed To Kill' album photo was taken.  This was one of the coolest places in KISStory that I visited on my trip.

I then headed into Greenwich Village (where John Lennon was shot).  I first went to where the interior part used in the 'All Hell's Breakin' Loose' video was shot, but this site has now been rebuilt on.  Just around the corner to this is the street where the exterior part to the video was shot.  This street still has many similarities to the video.  Still in Greenwich Village, I went to the Pleasure Chest.  This is a sex shop where KISS bought costume pieces in the early days.  Not far from here, is the VERY Infamous Electric Lady Studios.  I managed to get through the first door but the 
rest is unfortunately closed to the public.  Also not far is the old 'Village Voice' building, where Paul placed the advert for a lead guitarist. It is now an Italian restaurant, but still a good picture for the photo album.  My last three stops for the day began with 'Nice Guy Eddies Bar'.  The location has no actual KISS connection, but has a superb Destroyer mural on the wall outside.  The second was to the famous Bleecker Street loft, and then on to the loft on 23rd Street.
 

01-Paul's School Of Performing Arts
 
02-School where Gene was a Teacher
03-Apartments where Gene lived in Manhattan
04-Spot where Dressed To Kill was shot 05-Dressed To Kill cover
 
06-All Hells Breakin Loose interior building was here
07-All Hells Breakin Loose exterior (street) 08-where KISS bought early costume pieces 09-Electric Lady Studios
 
10-The Old Village Voice
 
11-Bleecker Street Loft 12-Nice Guy Eddie's Bar
13-Loft on 23rd Street


DAY 4 (Day Of The Show)
Waking up with pure excitement of what was to come, I gathered my maps and got on the subway into Queens.  Firstly I went to, what was,  'The Coventry'.  However, it had been burnt down so clearly has no resemblance whatsoever.  I then went to Newtown High School which both Gene Simmons and Bruce Kulick had attended at various periods of time.  Gene's Junior High school and Gene's childhood home were next on my route.  Another subway ride was needed to get to a different part of queens, where I went on to visit Paul's childhood home and his Junior High School.  
A taxi ride later and I was back in Manhattan and at the building where 'Lets Put The X In Sex' was shot.  Now this really is exactly the same and you can spot it a mile away.   Before heading back to my hotel to prepare for the show, I went to Ground Zero to pay my respects.    Arriving outside Madison Square Garden, the whole area was kicking.  Before the show, I bumped into the Dan Bach, Billy Coxon and Fraser Munro.     After a fantastic warm up from the 
one and only 'Buckcherry', it was time for the one every KISS fan wants to see.... 'KISS AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN'!
The show was everything you expect from a KISS show and more.  The band were on top form and the NY KISS ARMY was out in full force.  The set list was pretty much the classic Alive 35 set with the new hit, 'Modern Day Delilah', squeezed in. Not that that's a bad thing, we all love classic KISS!  After the best 2 hour(ish) show that I had ever seen, I met up with a few guys I know from Norway (some of you may have read my review back in Feb, Norway KISS EXPO/ESP SHOW).  I went for a few beers and then back to my hotel for some much needed sleep. (I Will Post A Concert Review In A Couple Of Days, Keep Looking)

01-Where the Coventry Once stood
 
02-Gene & Bruce's High School 03-Gene's Junior High School
04-Gene's childhood home
 
05-Paul's childhood home 06-Paul's Junior High School
07-Where Lets Put The X In Sex video was shot 08-The Show
 
09-The Show
10-The Show  12-The Show 

 
DAY 5
This was a long, but short day if you get me!!  After taking a few pointers from Dan the previous night, I headed for the coach up into Newburgh, to pay my respects to the Legend that is Eric Carr.  I ended up meeting a cool guy on the coach who had got a lift at Newburgh, so ended up having a lift to the cemetery and back up to the bus station so that was a great help. Thanks a million for the advice Dan, would never have made it up there otherwise!    By the time I got back, it was rather late, so I just hit Broadway for my last night.

01-Eric Carr's Crypt 02-Eric Carr's Crypt


DAY 6
This was the end of my trip.  I Checked out of my hotel and went to the USS Intrepid where KISS held the 1996 press conference.  Finally, I visited the last spot in Central park where KISS had another photo took in 1973.  After finding this, I got on the subway and headed for the Airport.... 

01-USS Intrepid, Where KISS held 1996 Press Conference 02-1973 photo
 
03-KISS 1973

 
I had a few other addresses I wanted to visit whilst on my trip:
Two Eric Carr childhood addresses, Eric Carr and his girlfriends home, Ace Frehley's former home with the Underground Studio, Ace Frehley's current home, Peter Criss's childhood home, Peter Criss's current home and Gene Simmons's childhood Brooklyn address.  However, with New York City being such a huge place, 5 days is nowhere near long enough to cover it all! Needless to say, I had a trip I would never forget!
 
Thanks for reading!
 
Daniel Hill