Channel 5, June 1997
All pictures copyright Channel 5
JD Tonight we have the mighty KISS on the show. Now KISS are famous for many things, their outrageous stage costumes, their crazy make-up and sometimes even their music. But most of all for the huge, huge tongue belonging to bass player Gene Simmons. I'm sure you've spent many days wondering just how long Gene's tongue is. Well take a look at this, [takes out a plastic head with extendable tongue], it's my tongue-o-meter! If I reach inside here and take hold of this by simply extending it I can accurately measure some of the worlds most impressive tongues. So here we are at about 5 inches it's the African swamp frog, at about 6 inches it's Mick Jagger, lucky old Jerry! At a staggering 10 inches blimey it's Gazza, but if I extend it a little bit further [walks to the other side of the studio still extending the tongue], the owner of the world longest lip snake is Gene Simmons from KISS!!
Formed in 1973 they set out to deliver the greatest rock & roll show on earth. Now 25 years on they've sold over 75 million records, their fan club the KISS Army has over 1 million members and the bassist has slept with over 3,000 women - which is 2 more than me! Ladies & Gentlemen those who are about to chat we salute you, it's Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley & Peter Criss collectively known as KISS!! [huge cheer from audience as the guys come out, at this point Ace nearly trips over the stage with his platforms!] Before you sit down, just indulge me, teach me the move [Paul shows him how to hold a tennis racket like a guitar].
PS It's gotta be down lower near your crotch
where your brains are!
JD Sit down guys. I had no idea it was so easy. Where can we see you playing in this fine country of ours?
PS Actually we're going to be finishing up our tour that's taken us all round the world. We've played to 2.5 million people and we're ending the tour at Finsbury Park on July 5th. And we will not only play we will blow the place up and that's how you'll remember us - it'll be worth both your time and your money!
JD They promised to get rid of Finsbury Park that's gotta be a good move.
GS Why don't you come?
JD I will come, will you send me a free ticket?
JD I've never understood, you're like horny spacemen and space cadets and devils, but you're like a very upset little cat, it just doesn't work! [points at Peter, Ace cracks up laughing]
PC It's always the drummer!!
JD Did you all sit down and say "no you can't have a star 'cause I've got one", was it a big fight? Who started it?
PS It actually was all our ideas, but we did fight about who got to wear the star and who breathes fire. We kinda divvied up the effects.
JD You made Ozzy Ozbourne look pretty tame as you just went for it in a fairly large way didn't you?
GS We were always respectful of all English fans in a very large part we're a product of the English music scene. Without the Beatles and on and on and Ozzy's very cool, in fact Ozzy played with us at the Monsters Of Rock about a year ago. It's easy for us to go for the fast lap and all, but we're very, very respectful of English music.
PS All of our heroes were in English bands [audience cheers].
JD What about the New York Dolls? They were round about the same time.
GS They were cool but no where in the league of the Stones.
PS All the great bands, all the great rock bands of the 60's and 70's really came out of your country here - and we're back.
JD But do you think this distracts from the music? I mean all of this because you tried to shred the make-up and this image for a while and you're back into it. Do the two just go together?
PS Well this is the reunion of the original band members who haven't played together for 20 years. We're synonymous with the make-up and we believe in entertaining. When people pay had earned money to come and see us, the idea of seeing a band that's on stage looking at their shoes, if you're gonna see shoes come and look at ours - they're much more entertaining!
JD They are! Let's have a look at those shoes and see KISS in action [small Shout It Out Loud clip played] That was the mighty KISS! Where was that concert guys?
PS That was the first show of this tour that took place about a year ago in Detroit. But Detroit stadium sold out in about 45 minutes and it started the things to come, this tour's been absolutely amazing.
JD Most tour bumph has, you know, stuff like '30,000 trucks, 40,000 amplifiers' and what have you, but you said you've got 6,000 condoms on the road with you, is this the case?
GS Well this is very important, we've got to make sure that good will exists between our 2 countries! And it's our distinct pleasure to do the show onstage and then do the encores back in the hotel!
PS We're first and foremost a rock & roll band, and we believe in entertaining and trying to give people their money's worth and whatever they want to give us in addition we take!
JD And also, you've got 4 of your songs are going to be recorded and used as musak in American supermarkets, I can't believe that!
GS And why shouldn't they?
JD Which ones are they going to be?
GS I was Made For Lovin' You, Beth and one or two others. But I mean in life I think you've got a choice, you can listen to Montevanie or KISS, you pick it.
JD You describe songs like God Of Thunder as romantic ballads, what about Lick It Up, what's that one all about?
GS That's as romantic as you can get!
PS That's the appetiser! But really, you figure that musak and that kind of music is played in dentists offices and you figure that people have been drilled once or twice listening to KISS, so what's the difference [audience cheer!]
JD I was also surprised that you are against drugs.
GS Always have been. We're not trying to earn any moral credit, it's not our responsibility to tell you how to lead your life. Our choice for ourselves and always has been, we've got too much respect for ourselves and our fans to do a half-assed show and we're not gonna get up there [audience cut him off by cheering].
JD And also being shot 50 feet up in the air with your stage show, on drugs, probably would be a bit scary.
GS You've not only got to be of sound mind but also of sound body, there's so many bombs on that stage that if you take one wrong step left or right and you're toast!
JD Is it really that dangerous?
GS Oh yeah.
PS It's a mine field. For us it's safe but once in a while someone jumps up on stage and we try to get them off as quickly as possible because the truth is you can get really hurt up there. It's real dangerous, somebody's gotta do it and we'll do it.
JD Well it's been lovely talking to you, good luck with the tour. But I can't just say goodbye like this, would you indulge me and go for huge rock & roll goodnight in a kind of auditorium way. Okay everyone I'd like to thanks the MIGHTY KISS!
[All 5 guys get up and take a bow as per a KISS concert]
JD KISS have left the interview!
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